Costa Rica EcoTourism

Before we talk about Costa Rica we want to start by talking about what eco-tourism is. Eco-tourism is traveling and behaving in a responsible & conscious way towards the natural treasures of the place we visit. Its purpose is to educate the travelers, provide funds for ecological conservation & benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities.

Around a century ago Costa Rica’s government started promoting tourism with the minimal impact and the most effective use of the natural resources for the pleasure of its people. Because of that Costa Rica is now considered one of the most bio-diverse countries of the world with 4% of the world’s total fauna. Plus 25% of its territory is protected as national park, biological reserve, wildlife refuge or some other category of protected area, both private and public. That has helped the development of nature tours & adventures for travelers. The best part of it all is that by going on most of these tours visitors are helping to protect the natural treasures of the country.

Costa Rica hosts something between 500,000 and a million total flora and fauna species; hundreds of thousands of species of insects; 2,000 species of orchids; 208 species of mammals; 850 species of birds. This country is definitely heaven for nature lovers.

When it comes to natural beauties it has it all: beautiful active and dormant volcanoes, huge lakes, amazing black and white sanded beaches, rain forests, cloud forests, mangrove swamps, caves, dreamed little islands & under water treasures.

All of these attributes make Costa Rica perfect for all kinds of tours. In here you can hike along its forests, mountains and volcanoes, zip though the air in one of the many canopy sites, go diving in crystal clear waters, do some inshore or offshore sport fishing in those waters infested with cool fish, do some bird watching in one of the many eco systems it offers, take an ATV or horseback riding tour in the beaches. Just to name some.

Through their sustainability certification program Costa Ricans have managed to turn lots of hotels all over the country into eco-touristic businesses and try to encourage travelers to prefer these kinds of places instead of the non certified ones.

In this country you can even find an eco friendly airline, the only one in the world – Nature Air. The reasons why you want to travel with them is because it not only just flies you over the green, but has been trying to become the greenest airline service of all time and is on the verge to become so. They are also offering National and International flights. Their planes don’t consume as much fuel as regular ones, plus their ground vehicles run on recycled cooking oil!

All this represents a very important income for the country where it has reached its maximum level of realization and success. Plus it has become one of the world’s main nature destinations, which makes it a mecca for hundreds of tourists seeking natural treasures, as well as leader in sustainable tourism.

As you can see this pioneer in eco tourism has something for everyone all over the place.

Top Hotels of Costa Rica

Costa Rica, located in Central America, has become a very popular touristic destination due to its natural beauty and biodiversity. It offers beautiful black and white sanded beaches, lush forests, active & inactive volcanoes, lakes, rivers & protected areas. Plus it is home to 4% of the world’s total fauna with almost a million species. Because of that the touristic industry has grown incredibly. Many tour companies and hotels have been created close to all these attractions.

Since we at CostaRica.org.uk always get questions about what are the best hotels of the country here is our list:

Peace Lodge – This beautiful hotel is located Alajuela, Costa Rica’s Central Valley. It is located in La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park which is considered one of the seven natural wonders of this country. It is great for every occasion but it is especially famous for hosting the most beautiful weddings.

The Springs Resort – This top of the line hotel is located in the Arenal area. It is so close to the Arenal Volcano that it has naturally heated hot springs. This is a super child friendly hotel with many different pools and even a wildcat rescue centre where over 30 endangered wild cats were rescued and are now being rehabilitated.

Arenal Nayara & Gardens – This is another gorgeous hotel in Arenal. This luxury hotel has the best views of the Arenal Volcano that we have seen. Here every room is an independent casita with enough distance between them to assure maximum privacy.

Lost Iguana Resort & Spa – This is yet another hotel in Arenal and this one combines beauty of the jungle and a perfect view of the active volcano. This hotel is landed on 80 acres of primary forest with some trails inside the property for some bird watching.

Arenas Del Mar – This is a luxurious resort located right next to Manuel Antonio National Park. It is perfect for families, romantic getaways and any occasion you can think of. They offer beautiful guest rooms, apartments and suites with spectacular ocean views and two restaurants where they serve amazing food.

Costa Verde – Hotel Costa Verde overlooks the Pacific beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. It features two swimming pools with sundecks. The hotel also offers air conditioned studio and efficiency apartments with cable TV and a special group of 15 studios for couples.

Capitan Suizo – This one is located in Tamarindo, Guanacaste. Well actually it is located 1km outside of the town. The hotel is right in the middle of the forest and has beautifully landscaped gardens. Also you won’t have to go anywhere else to see animals such as monkeys, iguanas and birds because they are common visitors of the hotel.

La Paloma Lodge – This is an eco lodge located in one of Costa Rica’s most remote destinations, Drake Bay, on the northern tip of the Osa Peninsula. In here you can relax and forget about the rest of the world because it can only be reached by boat.

These are just a few of the best hotels on offer. Costa Rica is known for their gorgeous boutique hotels, great service and absolute fun!

Photos by:

Tostie14 – Capitan suizo Pool;

Kradlum – Lost Iguana Pool; Taygete05 – Hotel Costa Verde.

Best Beaches of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a beautiful country known among travelers as a nature lover’s paradise. It has volcanoes, forests, mangrove swamps, rivers & lakes. But its best features are the many beaches that it has. In this country 2 thirds of its coasts are beautiful beaches. This means over 1800km of coastline. Golden sand beaches, gray sand beaches, black sand beaches, and pink sand beaches can be found all over the country.

You can find anything you might want along these beaches. In some towns you will see luxury hotels, fine restaurants & tours being offered for the whole family. Some other will be tiny, secluded surf or fishermen towns where you can have some privacy and seclusion.

Since it is such a narrow country even the Caribbean and the Pacific beaches are really close from each other. You can drive across the country in a matter of hours. You can choose the regions depending on what you want, for example if you love the relaxed feel of the ‘Rasta’ culture you can visit Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. But if in the other hand you want lush vegetation and secluded beach towns we recommend you visit the South Pacific region.

There are also very well developed beaches where you will find 5 star hotels 6 restaurants, great bars & spas all over the place you can visit one of the beaches along the Guanacaste coast.

A question we get very often is: What is the best season to visit the beaches? Well, Costa Rica has a perfect tropical weather so you can visit them year round. Yes sometimes you will get rain but it’s not a lot and even while it’s raining it’s really warm.

After traveling Costa Rica for a very long time we have had time to see almost all of its beaches and these are the most beautiful ones:

Manuel Antonio

This is actually a group of 4 beautiful white sanded beaches within the limits of the Manuel Antonio National Park. In some parts you will find tidal pool where you can chill and let the kids play, there is also a natural land bridge formed by sand accumulations. This area is very popular for snorkeling & sport fishing.

Tamarindo

This is a very long beach, with excellent waves and has a beautiful estuary. There is a great part of the beach called Pico Pequeño for advanced surfers but we don’t recommend beginners to come here. However the rest of the beach breaks are perfect for learning.

Osa Peninsula

This is a long strip of coast located in the south pacific coast of Costa Rica that is formed by around 20 beaches. This area starts in Dominical and ends with the Panamanian border. This is where some of the most pristine and secluded beaches of the country are. Here the tropical rainforests and the dense canopies border the beaches. Some are famous for sport fishing and some other for the amazing surf breaks.

Montezuma

In here you will find a small beach town where during the day you get to experience a laid-back ambience and during the night enjoy a mellow hippie atmosphere. This town is always filled with artists, musicians, backpackers and eco-tourists. We love it because you can still spend the day walking along a deserted beach with some amazing surf spots.

As you can see Costa Rica has a beach for every taste and we recommend visiting as many as possible.

Costa Rica Holiday Guide

Costa Rica is a Central American country with over 800 miles of black & white sanded beaches, 100 volcanoes and a crazy amount of wildlife waiting for you! It is also one of the most kid friendly countries of the area, a perfect destination for adventure lovers and the most romantic place for a tropical getaway.

Some other Facts About Costa Rica

  • One of the most noticeable things about Costa Rica is that it was the first country to abolish its army in 1948.
  • Because of all of the programs & efforts it managed to be a country with 25% of its territory protected.
  • It pioneered the eco-tourism trend.
  • It is home to 4% of the word’s total fauna.
  • They have a 96% literacy rate and high schools in almost every community.
  • A common motto in Costa Rica is “Pura Vida!” which translates “This is living!” or “Pure Life”.
  • Costa Rica is the most popular tourist destination in Central America with over 1.9 million visitors in 2007.

Weather

This country is considered by many as paradise. That is because the good weather lasts all year. You might hear some times that Costa Rica has two seasons: The wet season (June – November) and the not so wet season (December – May) but the truth is that it has a beautiful tropical weather all year long. It does rain sometimes but it is necessary to keep the forests green and lush. So, when it comes to Costa Rica, there is no off season to travel!

Here are some tips on how to find the best experience according to the season:

  • Best time to travel to Costa Rica is between December and May, because it is the sunniest time however this is also the busiest season so you will find crowds and will need reservations.
  • Best time to travel with the best deals is the wet season, between June and November. During this time you will get the best hotel rates.
  • From December to February Costa Rica is affected by trade winds. The whole country gets a bit cooler than it normally is but there is nothing to worry about, it’s still warm enough.
  • However if you’re traveling in the mountains, bring a sweater and a jacket.

Highlights of Costa Rica

As we mentioned before, the Costa Rican landscape is varied, there are beaches, volcanoes, mangrove swamps, tropical forests, cloud forests, lakes and rivers. But it is really hard to see it all in one visit. That is why we have made a list of the places you can visit to experience as many sceneries as possible.

  • Manuel Antonio – This is a place where you will be able to enjoy a beautiful beach that melts with the rain forest. In the area there are luxury hotels and spas, and great restaurants. This is also a well known area among sport fishers.
  • Arenal – In here you will find one of the top ten most active volcanoes in the world, naturally heated hot springs at the base of volcano and many great hotels from where you can enjoy a lava show – when not cloudy.
  • Monteverde – This area is commonly called an alive natural history museum where you will find a wide diversity of wildlife and flora. It is also where the firs canopy zip lines were built. It offers adventure, relaxation, beautiful green scenes, cheap hotels and a unique nature experience.
  • Central valley – This is where you will find the popular Poas and Irazu Volcanoes, day tours to coffee plantations, canopy tours, whitewater rafting adventures, churches, historical museums and national monuments.
  • Tortuguero – Its name can be translated as Land of Turtles. In here you will find the largest mangrove swamps of the country and is a great place to see Sea turtles lay their eggs. The village can be reached only by boat or airplane, is sustained in large part by eco-tourism.
  • Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula – This park is known as the most biologically intense place on earth because of the incredible amount of animals that live in it. Wildlife lovers, this is where you want to go!

In all those places you will be able to find tons of activities for everyone. Are you an adventure traveler, sun worshiper, explorer, or an all-in-one? Well, no matter your tastes and interests, Costa Rica’s got you covered!

Here are just some of the tours that are offered all over the country:

• ATV Tours
• Bird and Wildlife Watching
• Canoeing and Kayaking
• Canopy Tours
• Canyoning or Waterfall Rappelling
• Caving
• Chocolate Tours
• Coffee Tours
• Day Spas
• Diving & Snorkeling
• Dolphin & Whale Watching
• Gambling
• Golfing
• Hiking
• Horseback Riding
• Hot Air Ballooning
• Jet Skis
• Parasailing
• Rafting & Tubing
• Safari Boat Ride
• Sailing and Catamaran tours
• Sport Fishing
• Surfs Up!
• Turtle Tours

Costa Rica

“The Rich Coast” as the little paradise between two oceans is called, is certainly a nature lover’s dream holiday, a destination that offers adventure and pure relaxation in equal measure.

A holiday in Costa Rica can include miles of white sandy beaches, awe inspiring views, expansive green rainforests and national parks. Costa Rica is considered the safest travel destination in Latin America. This is just one of the reasons that Costa Rica has been growing it’s tourism facilities – Costa Rica is now the most visited country in Central America.

CostaRica.org.uk is being developed as the leading travel portal for travel to Costa Rica from the UK. Here you will find practical information on the subject of travel in Costa Rica, the safest country in Latin America. Costa Rica is considered a pioneer in eco-tourism and is a country with no army and with a very high level of education. Costa Rica is a paradise for nature lovers. About one quarter of the land area is in national parks and protected nature reserves. Experience for yourself the unique nature and national parks with a renowned species-rich wildlife, active volcanoes, tropical rain forest &, the paradise style Pacific and Caribbean beaches.