Why is a Costa Rica holiday so eco-friendly?
This week I’m looking at why a Costa Rica holiday is so eco-friendly and why as a destination it has such an enviable reputation for sustainability.
So you’ve decided on a Costa Rica holiday. I hope you’ve booked with Eco Companion! Whether you’ve actively chosen a sustainable holiday in Costa Rica because of it’s eco-reputation or simply for the amazing wildlife, beaches and jungle, it’s more likely than not that you’ll be staying in and visiting places that take an active role in sustainability.
Protecting the environment runs deep in the Costa Rican culture. As one of the most biodiverse nations on the planet, home to over 500,000 species of animal and 4% of the world’s wildlife, nature is everywhere. Wildlife sanctuaries are dotted all over the country including the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary which is part of our Big cats, primates and turtle conservation project where you can see spider monkeys and if you’re very lucky spot an elusive Jaguar.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, with 20 national parks, 8 biological reserves, over 200 volcanic formations and lots of animal reserves a Costa Rica holiday is sure to involve wildlife somewhere along the line.
A conscious decision to protect the environment
Costa Rica recently hit the headlines for running over 100 days straight on renewable energy in 2016. The whole country used abolsutely no fossil fuels for over three months. That’s kind of incredible when you compare it to sophisticated Western countries who still squabble over renewables as if they’re a bad idea. And it’s not stopping there, the Costa Rican government has ambitions to follow in Iceland’s footsteps and run on 100% renewable energy. It’s this policy running from the heart of government that enables Costa Rica to take such great strides. Universally popular and progressive energy policies have shaped Costa Rica into a true world leader in sustainability. Of course this extends deep into tourism. Costa Rica pioneered eco-tourism in Latin-America and today the benefits can be seen everywhere.
But it’s not all big government policy. Almost all Costa Ricans take an active role in sustainability, whether it’s on demand shower heads or disconnecting electrical devices when not in use, Costa Ricans simply get it and more importantly do it. This in-built respect for the environment and a culture that revels in the amazing surrounds of this beautiful country all come together to make the perfect eco-friendly cocktail!
Ensuring your stay is sustainable
If you haven’t seen it already then check out our world rating system here . Eco Companion is committed to ensuring that when you travel you’re helping the natural world, whether that’s simply staying in eco-frineldy accommodation or getting hands-on with local conservation on one of our many projects. The World rating system is our way of classifying how “eco” the trip really is. You can use it as a guide when booking, helping you decide on which trip ticks your eco-requirements.
There’s also a few things you can do when you’re on a Costa Rica holiday:
- Ensure trips and transport are certified sustainable (CST) by the local Costa Rican tourist board.
- Select a carbon neutral company if you hire a car
- Visit and support the local communities
Some super sustainable Costa Rica holiday options
You didn’t think I would leave out my picks of Costa Rica? It’s hard to choose but I’ve managed to whittle down to my top sustainable picks for tours and projects and accommodation. First up is:
Costa Rica climate change project
So maybe a bit of an obvious pick given the title, but this really is an amazing project. You’ll be hands on investigating the effects of climate change on Costa Rica’s biodiversity, staying right next to the Corcovado National Park you’ll be up close and personal with an amazing array of wildlife.
Working on this project you’ll be actively contributing to safeguarding the future of the incredible biodiversity of Costa Rica’s protected areas against the effects of climate change. Living in a wilderness camp and eating locally produced food, you’ll be conducting surveys on leaf litter frogs, birds, turtles, primates and butterflies, amongst other species. By helping to establish a baseline against which future protected area management can be assessed, you’ll be keeping wildlife safe from the potential ravages of climate change.
Read more about the Costa Rica Climate change project here.
As well as the spectacular scenery you can see in the picture above Samasati is an incredible story of sustainability. When the retreat was first constructed over 20 years ago, Samasati’s founders made ‘ecological promises to the land’. Pledging to protect the surrounding natural environment, preserve the ecosystems and to operate with minimal impact on the rainforest. The resort itself was built using simple tools, wielded with bare hands rather than by heavy-duty machinery, and no land or trees were cleared during the process. Rather, the resort’s structures were positioned to integrate and blend in with the natural environment, and to preserve the rainforest in its totality. Today, Samasati continues to adhere to this spirit, and to keep its promises to nature.
Read more about the Samasati resort here.
I really hope this gives you an insight into why we love Costa Rica so much at Eco Companion. If you you’re thinking of a Costa Rica holiday get in touch and we can guide towards the best eco-freinldy choices the country has to offer.