Ecotourism in Costa Rica Everything is eco these days. Eco-friendly, eco-conscious, even eco-chic. The current trend towards all things eco has commercialized a prefix once packed with gritty optimism and turned it into a marketing tool. Costa Rica is all about ecotourism—but what does that mean?

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Uvita, a small village in Costa Rica, holds a Whale Festival every year to commemorate these mammoth ocean wonders. Tour operators who host whale watching activities must employ 64 practices for responsible whale watching in order to get awarded stars by the Keto Foundation, a non-profit working for marine conservation in Costa Rica.

With such a prime focus on sustainability, you can expect natural spa ingredients to be the main focus of your pampering experience. The spa at Tabacon Resorts harnesses the power of the nearby Arenal Volcano, while the Onda Spa at the Andaz Papagayo Resort offers nine spa rooms all tucked away in a forest canopy.

Visit Mercado Central and try a range of local fruits. Family-owned small restaurants are easy to find and are great places to sample local food.

Costa Rican food is fresh and pleases the senses — think comfort food with a dash of Latin flair. Eating local means using less carbon emissions to transport the goods, thus reducing its "food miles". Beans, rice, potatoes, pork and beef are commonplace in Costa Rican cuisine.

Try a traditional casado, a Costa Rican meal of rice, meat, fried plantains, beans and often much more. Or try gallo pinto, a dish of beans, rice, onions, cilantro and red pepper. Or, order an ice cold beer with a cup of chifrijo, a bowl of rice and beans with pico de gallo, avocado, chimichurri, lime and pork meat. Bubbling mud pools and hot springs surround the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano , attracting scientists and tourists alike.


Ecotourism in Costa Rica

As a result, its biodiversity is virtually unparalleled. Few of these indigenous peoples survived the dawn of Spanish colonialism, and African slaves were brought in to work the land. Despite its colonial past, Costa Rica eventually managed to achieve a lasting democracy. Ecotourism in Costa Rica encompasses a diverse array of ecosystems, from cloud forests and rainforests to wetlands and coastal marine areas. Ballena Marine National Park Ballena Marine National Park , one of the newest national parks in Costa Rica, is widely considered among the best places in the Americas for whale-watching. There are 13 different ecosystems here, with extensive trails through highland cloud forest, mangrove swamps, lowland rain forests, and sandy beaches.


Ecotourism in Costa Rica: 10 Ways to Experience it

The environmental benefits of ecotourism in Costa Rica have been far reaching. Initially, this was not the case, but over time ecotourism has come to be seen as a way to preserve natural areas throughout Costa Rica. The interpretation of ecotourism, as a means to conservation, has resulted in various initiatives. Thus, ecotourism has provided greater incentives for natural resource conservation in the form of state-protected areas and private lands. Without the market demand and political support for environmental protection, currently protected areas may have fallen to the demands of farming, logging, or mining industries long ago. Ecotourism is meant to both educate and entertain travellers. In the initial stages of ecotourism in Costa Rica, all stakeholders benefitted from this type of tourism and attention was being paid to the conservation of nature because of the amount of money that was flowing into the country as a result of it.


Ecotourism in Costa Rica: The Ultimate Eco Travel Guide




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