At Terra Incognita we’ve identified the Top Ethical Costa Rica Ecotours 2020. First launched in 2019, the list includes 40 tours across the country of ‘pura vida’.

Imagine exploring Costa Rica while ensuring that your experiences benefit the country’s wildlife, communities and cultural heritage. Or discovering Costa Rica’s hidden gems – small, up-and-coming tours that haven’t yet been picked up by international tourism radar.

40 unique tours

To help travellers make more informed choices Terra Incognita curated the Top Ethical Costa Rica Ecotours 2020, a community-generated list that spotlights 40 unique tours seeking to conserve the environment, support local people and educate guests and hosts.

Experiences highlighted range from kayaking in bioluminescent waters off Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, to observing dolphins on the Osa Peninsula, to exploring Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park in search of the Critically Endangered tapir, sloths, monkeys, caiman and more.

Contributing to conservation, local communities and education

The list includes a transparent explanation of how all tours contribute to conservation, local communities and education and is open to reviews from past guests. Discover your next ethical birding ecotour and join a movement to create positive change for people and planet through travel!

Featured Top Ethical Costa Rica Ecotours 2020

Costa Rica Birding & Birdwatching Central America

Though relatively small in size, Costa Rica is home to one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. Encompassing six birding ecozones and numerous micro ecosystems, Costa Rica’s birds and wildlife are virtually on display in they natural habitat.

More than 900 bird species are found in the country, so whether in cloud forest, humid lowlands, and mountain peaks, dry forest, mangroves or the shore, birds are highly accessible to visitors. Today 27% of Costa Rica has been officially designed as protected land.

Costa Rica | Costa Rica Birding & Birdwatching Central America | Costa Rica’s Birding Hotspots Route

The Costa Rica’s Birding Hotspots Route is recognized by the Costa Rica Tourist Board and the Costa Rica’s Ornithologist Association. Visiting the Hotspots you will discover the very best of Costa Rica’s birds while you also support conservation programs. See more here.

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Sea Turtle Conservancy

The Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, is the world’s oldest sea turtle research and conservation group. An international nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization, Sea Turtle Conservancy was founded in 1959 by world-renowned sea turtle expert Dr. Archie Carr to save sea turtles from eminent extinction through rigorous science-based conservation. Headquartered in Florida, the organization carries out worldwide programs to conserve and recover sea turtle populations through research, education, advocacy and protection of the natural habitats upon which depend upon.

Sea Turtle Conservancy | Sea Turtle Eco-Volunteer Programs

You will be assisting researchers with scientific field work at a remote field station, and when not working you will have unsupervised free time to relax and enjoy the nature surrounding you. Eco-Volunteer Participants will assist with:

  1. Nightly beach patrols – Work as part of a nesting survey team to help tag and record data about the nesting turtles. This includes measuring turtles, counting eggs, and marking nests. The presence of tagging teams on the beach also acts as a strong deterrent to poachers and egg collectors.
  2. Morning nest surveys – Walk the beach in  the morning to check the status of nests marked during previous night patrols.
  3. Nest inventories – Assist with determination of nest survivorship and hatching success through nest inventories.

Eco-Volunteers must be 15 years or older (under 18 must be accompanied by an adult). Sea Turtle Conservancy’s research programs are scientific research projects, not guided tours. Fieldwork in remote locations is a delicate business and prone to last-minute change, flexibility is a must. See more here.

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Save The Snakes

Save The Snakes is a nonprofit organisation dedicated exclusively to snake conservation and human-snake conflict mitigation. Together with our worldwide network of snake conservationists, our mission is to protect threatened snake populations around the world through habitat preservation, education and community outreach to create a harmonious relationship between humans and snakes. At Save The Snakes, we recognize and understand how connecting people to nature can be a means of protecting wildlife and wild places. Therefore, we are delighted that Save The Snakes will lead an ecotour to Costa Rica!

Save The Snakes | Costa Rica Conservation Ecotour 

The Save The Snakes Costa Rica Conservation Ecotour will encompass the rainforest, cloud forest, volcanoes, and an abundance of opportunities to find and photograph snakes in their natural habitat. However, you will also have the opportunity to relax on beautiful beaches, observe nesting sea turtles, go whale watching, learn about the fascinating lives of bats, soak in soothing hot springs and enjoy the pleasures of chocolate. This ecotour combines sustainability with personal comfort, as we will stay in first-class ecolodges that prioritize protecting the environment and creating an unforgettable guest experience. Most importantly, you will discover how this ecotour supports local communities, preserves habitat and protects wildlife populations. See more here.

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Casagua Horses

We invite you to join us at Casagua Horses, located at Finca Casagua, our beautiful, fifty acre, family-owned horse ranch, just minutes from Costa Rica’s famous Pacific Gold Coast beaches. Whether you stay at the ranch or the beach, you will experience a taste of Guanacaste’s traditional horse culture, learn about Natural Horsemanship, and  enjoy riding our comfortable Spanish criollo horses.  After you ride, relax in a hammock, take a dip in the splash pool, or take advantage of the many adventure activities offered in the area.   In addition to your custom riding package, enjoy an unforgettable Costa Rican vacation.

Casagua Horses | Tropical Riding Adventure – Ranches, Mountains & Beaches 

Experience Costa Rica’s ranches, beaches and mountain volcanoes on horseback from 7-10+ nights. Let us design a riding package for your level and interests. See more here.

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All Responsible Costa Rica Eco Tours Locations


Top Ethical Birding Tours in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Birding Hotspots Route

Top Ethical Diving Tours in Costa Rica

Top Ethical Sea Turtle Tours in Costa Rica

Green Turtles in Tortuguero.

Top Ethical Whale Watching Tours in Costa Rica

Top Ethical Rainforest Tours in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Conservation Ecotour. Photos generously provided by Save The Snakes 2019 Ecotourist and Wildlife Photographer George Quiroga.

Top Sustainable Food Tours in Costa Rica

Top Ethical Volunteering in Costa Rica

All Top Ethical Costa Rica Ecotours 2020 | Alphabetical Order

To discover more Top Ethical Ecotours, visit our Top Ecotour Lists page.