It’s the country that first springs to mind when we hear the term ‘ecotourism’ and for good reason.
With 25% of the country protected in parks and reserves (the largest percentage in the world), an estimated 5% of the world’s biodiversity packed into just 0.03% of its surface area, and high safety compared to other Latin American countries – Costa Rica is practically bursting with ecotourism opportunities.
Many of the country’s national parks have gained international renown for their biodiversity, including Corcovado National Park, home to big cats, tapirs and monkeys; Tortuguero National Park, a vital nesting ground for Endangered green turtles; and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which boasts more than 500 known species of orchid.
Costa Rica has 12 climatic zones and many distinct ecological zones, including mangroves and moist, dry and montane forests. This diversity, combined with the country’s rivers, volcanoes, islands, beaches and coral reefs, create the ideal ecotourism playground for wildlife viewing, zip lining, trekking, river rafting, snorkelling, diving, biking and more.
But with so many options available, how can visitors ensure that their ecotourism experiences benefit, rather than harm, Costa Rica’s wildlife, communities and cultural heritage?
And how can travellers discover the country’s hidden gems – those tours that haven’t yet been picked up by international tourism radar?
We’ve launched a search to find Costa Rica’s best responsible eco tours to do just that.
Our Top Responsible Costa Rica Eco Tours 2019 list will be the most comprehensive list of its kind, spotlighting ethical ecotours across the country, recognising responsible practices and helping tourists make informed choices.
At Terra Incognita we believe that ecotourism can be a powerful force for good and we want to promote examples of true ecotourism that contribute to conservation, communities and education in Costa Rica. These include the country’s hidden gems – small, up-and-coming tours that haven’t yet been picked up on the international tourism radar.
The Top Responsible Costa Rica Eco Tours list will be generated by a global community of travellers, bloggers, conservationists, tour guides and ecotourism operators. Anyone can recommend a tour, and each tour will pass through a transparent vetting process before being added to the list.
And that’s where we need your help! Do you know an amazing eco tour in Costa Rica that deserves promotion? Or are you a responsible tour operator with a great tour to share?
A true ecotourism pioneer
Once nicknamed the “poster child” of ecotourism, Costa Rica continues to hold a standard that other countries aim for when developing their tourism industries.
Did you know that:
- The World Travel and Tourism Council estimated that travel and tourism directly supported 110,000 jobs in 2016, with ecotourism being one of the most important revenue sources for the country.
- Costa Rica is powered by close to 100% renewable energy, including hydroelectricity, geothermal energy, biomass, solar and wind power.
- The Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST), designed by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, categorieses tourism companies based on their commitment to using natural and cultural resources appropriately and improving the quality of life for local communities while achieving economic success.
Help us ensure that tourism in Costa Rica benefits the country’s environment, communities, culture and economy. You can recommend an eco tour, share this story with your network, and stay tuned for the Top Responsible Costa Rica Eco Tours list 2019.
Photo by Ian D. Keating/Flickr.