Costa Rica Ecotourism
With the recent global climate catastrophes and very worrying reports on climate change headlining the news on a daily basis, it’s not surprising that being Eco-conscious and considering our environmental impact is becoming more important to people when planning vacations.
If you’re looking for an Eco-friendly holiday destination, then Costa Rica should be at the top of your list. Renowned for its eco-friendly and ethical practices, this small but mighty Central American country has become a great example of how a dedication to ecotourism and sustainable travel can work well. Read on to find out more about how and why Costa Rica is the best eco-friendly destination in the world.
Ecotourism is Huge in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of the best examples of ecotourism where people have fun in nature. A vacation in Costa Rica will offer an authentic, fun experience while limiting the negative effect your holiday has on the planet.
There are plenty of fun things to do in Costa Rica, and the country has worked hard to make these activities as eco-friendly as possible with minimal impact on the environment. From guided nature hikes to volcano tours to white-water rafting to snorkeling in Costa Rica’s pristine waters, there are plenty of activities that are green as well as fun. Many of these tourist activities benefit the country, people, and wildlife by putting money back into the local community and nature preservation programs, as well as educating visitors more about Costa Rican wildlife.
If you want to have a truly authentic travel experience, you can visit local farms and plantations, or even take part in a tree-planting program to offset the carbon fuel emissions of your journey through reforestation.
Eco-lodges Are The Best
It’s not just eco-friendly activities and excursions that Costa Rica is famous for; it’s the wide range of sustainable and eco-conscious eco-lodges available to tourists too. In fact, the Institute of Costa Rican Tourism actively encourages and rewards hotels and lodges in Costa Rica that implement green business practices, such as the use of eco-friendly building materials.
Across Costa Rica, you’ll find remote eco-lodges — ranging from basic to luxury, depending on your needs — nestled among wetlands, rainforest and riverbanks, far away from bustling towns. These eco-lodges are a great place to stay if you’re eco-conscious and want to be close to nature; they tend to be intentionally isolated to give visitors a truly immersive experience. Lots of lodges offer guided hikes and the equipment needed to explore their incredible surroundings and discover the raw beauty of Costa Rica.
In terms of meals, eco-lodges offer fresh and delicious local produce — whether it is locally-caught seafood or organically farmed vegetables or foraged fruits. This way, you can be sure that food miles and carbon emissions are as low as possible.
The Country Fuels Itself on Renewable Energy
Costa Rica doesn’t just follow ethical and sustainable practices when it comes to ecotourism and accommodation; the country also fuels itself using almost all renewable energy.
You’ve probably seen Costa Rica hitting the headlines over the last few years as it smashes targets and records by running fossil fuel-free for 100 or 200 or 300 days at a time. This tiny Central American country is doing what other much larger and much wealthier countries have been unable to do: produce almost all of its electricity from renewable sources without the use of oil. In fact, Costa Rica uses a variety of renewable energy sources such as hydroelectricity (hydro-electric dams generate around 75% of the nation’s power), as well as solar power, wind power, geothermal energy, and biomass. According to this Costa Rica guide, these energy sources meet 99% of the country’s energy needs.
The country continues to invest in renewable energy generation, with the goal of becoming the first completely carbon-neutral country by 2021. There’s no doubt that it will hit this target, which is very appealing for environmentally-conscious travelers and tourists looking for an eco-friendly destination with a minimal negative impact on the world.
Animal Conservation is a Priority
Costa Rica offers an incredibly diverse number of animal and plant varieties, with approximately 5% of the Earth’s species living in this tiny Central American country. From three-toed sloths, tree frogs and hummingbirds in the humid forests, to turtles and whales in the tropical ocean, the native wildlife in Costa Rica is abundant and awe-inspiring — making it a unique destination for nature-lovers.
Costa Ricans have taken many impressive steps in animal conservation: preserving habitats, creating sanctuaries for injured, sick, or abandoned animals, running sea turtle nesting and hatching programs, and enforcing a complete ban on hunting in 2012. It’s great to be able to visit a destination as a tourist that is known for its dedication to animal conservation and environmental responsibility.
Protected Areas, National Parks & Biological Reserves
A big part of wildlife conservation is the preservation and protection of habitat and green spaces. This is another area that Costa Rica excels in; the Central American country has protected roughly 25% of its land area as national parks, biological reserves, and protected areas — now boasting the largest percentage of protected land in the world, and far exceeding every other country’s protected area percentages.
This wasn’t always in the way; in the 1950s and 60s, Costa Rica had one of the highest rates of deforestation known to any country, cutting down forests to use the land for cattle and agriculture. However, since the 70s, the country has done a dramatic u-turn, rapidly reducing the rate of deforestation and halting it — protecting this wild, tropical paradise and the incredible biodiversity that lives in it. These days, there are few places in the world where you’ll have access to such diverse wilderness; from humid rainforest to wetlands to coral reefs.
If you’re an eco-conscious traveler looking for an amazing holiday, then Costa Rica is a must-visit destination.
This small but mighty Central American country has everything: friendly people, inviting culture, great weather, delicious cuisine, and the most awe-inspiring biodiversity on the planet. And with a strong focus on wildlife conservation, ecotourism, and sustainability, you can visit knowing that you’re supporting a greener future. Costa Rica truly is the best eco-friendly destination in the world.