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Sustainable Tourism

Friday, July 11th, 2014 | Costa Rica, Costa Rica - Green Travel | No Comments

eco tourismSustainable Tourism & Rural Community Tourism

Take the Challenge

Experience the Real Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known for its outstanding natural beauty. This jewel of Central America has a flourishing culture discovering only experiencing it.

Rural community tourism is an opportunity allowing you to experience firsthand how Costa Ricans live and how they strive to conserve the environment. Rural community tourism implements the community associations. The communities own private ecological reserves or are located near areas of ecological and cultural. All offer visitors a mixture of cultural and environmental adventures in addition to the usual tourist services such as accommodation, tours and crafts. People who visit have the opportunity to discover the real Costa Rica, explore more than just the popular tourist trails and meet people committed to preserving the rural area.

  • Stay in villages located in beautiful rural surroundings and get to know local people and their customs.
  • Explore magnificent forests, fascinating mangroves, and observe the rich diversity of wildlife with experienced local guides.
  • Spend time with women fishers on the Island of Chira and learn about their way of life.
  • Pick your own vegetables from an organic garden.
  • And much more!

You will have the opportunity to listen to stories about rural life and share your own experiences in conservation. See the authentic Costa Rica, off the beaten path, in rural areas where you can learn from the people about their efforts to preserve the environment. ActivitiesFruit

  • Bird watching
  • Canopy exploration
  • Eco / nature / wildlife
  • Educational / research / volunteering
  • Fishing
  • Guided tours
  • Horseback riding
  • River rafting / kayaking
  • Scuba diving / snorkeling
  • Visits to conservation projects
  • Volunteers acceptCIMG9149
  • Walking / hiking

Interests

  • Hiking
  • Honeymoon
  • Families
  • Birdwatching
  • Volunteerism
  • Gastronomy

Be a Sustainable Traveler! Why choose to travel sustainability? Because your travel choices make a difference. By choosing sustainable businesses you will support businesses that conserve natural resources, protect plants and wildlife, and contribute to the well-being of local communities. You will also help to ensure that these treasures will also be there for future generations to enjoy.

What is Sustainable Tourism? Sustainable tourism businesses are those that are profitable while conserving natural resources and benefiting local communities. Examples of best management practices include conserving water and energy, supporting community conservation projects, preserving, recycling and treating wastes, and sourcing locally-produced products in restaurants and gift shops. Sustainable businesses also hire employees from neighboring towns, pay them just wages, and offer them additional training.

What is Rural Tourism?Rural tourism means that local residents can be entrepreneurs on their own land rather than being pressured sell it. People who previously would have only been gardeners or maids in an ecolodge now are the owners of their own tourism destinations, providing visitors with memorable experiences of nature and local culture.

How Do I Know if a Business is Sustainable? Many tourism businesses claim to be “green” or “eco-friendly” – but what does that really mean? How can you know if these businesses are really environmentally and socially responsible? Many hotels, tour operators, and other businesses have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability by participating in a sustainable tourism verification program. This means that they have been audited by an independent, third-party program and have met a vigorous set of environmental, social, and economic criteria. CST, Certification for Sustainable Tourism, is a product of the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT). The CST was designed to differentiate businesses of the tourism sector, based on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management. CST is regulated by the Costa Rican National Accreditation Commission and consists of a scale of 5 “levels” of sustainable tourism achievement. SustainableTrip.org has strict guidelines for participation – all of the hotels, tour operators, and other businesses listed on their site must be verified by the Rainforest Alliance. The sustainability claim of each business is confirmed by their staff before it is included on the site, so you can be assured that all of the businesses on SustainableTrip.org are taking concrete actions to conserve natural resources and support local communities.

How Can You Make A Difference?

  • At the hotel: Ask about environmental policies and practices. Does the hotel support community development or conservation projects?
  • Language: Learn a few words of the local language and use them.
  • Dress: Learn about local conventions and dress appropriately. In many countries, modest dress is important.
  • Behavior: Be respectful of local citizens’ privacy. Ask permission before entering sacred places, homes, or private lands
  • Photographs: Be sensitive to when and where you take photos/video of people. Always ask first.
  • Environment: Respect the natural environment. Never touch or harass wildlife. Always follow designated trails. Support conservation by paying entrance fees to parks and protected sites or making a donation.
  • Wildlife or forest products: Never purchase crafts, clothing, furniture, or other products that are derived from protected or endangered wildlife or plant species. In many countries it is illegal to bring these goods back home.
  • Pay a fair price: Don’t engage in overly aggressive bargaining for souvenirs. Don’t short-change on tips for services.
  • Buy local: Choose locally-owned lodges and hotels. Use local buses, car rental agencies, and airlines. Eat in local restaurants, shop in local markets, and attend local events.
  • Hire local guides: Enrich your experience and support the local economy. Ask guides if they are licensed and live nearby. Be sure they are recommended by tour operators?
  • The Rainforest Alliance, an international conservation organization, helps the tourism industry protect the environment and provide sustainable livelihoods, builds travelers demand for sustainable tourism and enables them to travel responsibly, and promotes sound international standards for sustainable tourism.

Our Mission is to promote environmental sustainability, social, cultural and economic initiatives and Rural Community Tourism of our partners, through the living natural environment by strengthening self-governed independence and transmitting an authentic experience to our customers. For our Sustainability Tours, we work only with tourist operations that are environmentally responsible and that comply with quality and sustainability criteria when selecting our suppliers, products and services we offer.

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COSTA RICA

Monday, August 9th, 2010 | BLOG, Costa Rica | 1 Comment

 

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Saving Americans Video

The ingredients are all natural, making Costa Rica a leader in sustainable green tourism. Located on the isthmus of Central America it is bordered on the north by Nicaragua and the south by Panama. It has an east coast on the Caribbean and west coast on the Pacific with an ideal climate year round.Diverse sightseeing will take you to the exuberant nature of the cloud forests and fiery volcanoes, to the tropical dry plains which encompass a magical combination of mystical scenery surrounded by a large variety of flora and fauna, or hot beaches, some blanketed with white sands and others with black sand covered by crystalline waters where you will be able to appreciate the wealth of nature. This combination makes Costa Rica the perfect place to enjoy a most pleasant vacation.The largest International Airport is located in San Jose and a second International Airport is located in Liberia in the northern area of the Province of Guanacaste. San Jose is located in the Central Valley surrounded by majestic volcanoes and green hills. Here you will find the Mayan Gold museum and the beautiful Opera House and Theatre. Both well worth a visit. In the surrounding hillside villages you can visit coffee plantations and actually see how coffee is grown, harvested, roasted and made into one of the world’s most popular drinks.To the north of San Jose you will find fascinating live fiery volcanoes set in verdant rainforest. La Fortuna and the Arenal volcano offers a variety of accommodations and more activities than you can do in a week’s stay. My personal favorite is a day at Tabacon Hot Springs where you can relax in a series of hot pools fed from water heated by Arenal volcano all set in a lush tropical rainforest carved out of a tangle of jungle and sometimes accompanied by the Arenal’s thunderous rumblings. There are also cool pools where you can enjoy a swim, a wonderful spa with a complete menu of services and a restaurant serving both international cuisine and local favorites. You can take a horseback ride or hike on trails up the volcano where you visit waterfalls and see fabulous flora and fauna. A canopy tour is a must and can be done in an arial tram or zipline. ziplineFor the more adventurous you can rappel a waterfall or go whitewater rafting on several rivers in the area. For those interested in bird watching there is an endless number of species to be found here, including the elusive Toucan. And if you’re lucky, you will be rewarded in the evening with a spectacular fiery show of spewing lava from the top of Arenal Volcano. There is also the wonderful cloud forest of Monteverde not far away where you can see truly exotic botanicals and an abundance of birds, butterflies, reptiles and animals such as monkeys, the 3-toed sloth, poisonous tropical frogs, iguanas and much more. In both these area you will find small resorts, cabins as well as rustic lodging. There are several beautiful resorts perfect for honeymoons including the Tabacon Resort and Hot Springs, Arenal Nayara, The Springs Resort and Spa, Arenal Paraiso and many more.For the beach and ocean lovers there is nothing better than the Guanacaste province know for its impressive white sand and black sand beaches and blue waters of the Pacific. The most popular water sports are surfing and fabulous deep sea fishing. Some of the best beach hotels in the world are found on the beaches of Guanacaste, like the Four Season Papagoya, Grand Occidental Papagoya, Hilton at Hermosa and soon the Ritz Carlton. There are also many small boutique hotels. Here you will also find the Tenorio, Orosi, Miravalles, and Rincón de La Vieja volcanoes, the latter surrounded by the national park of the same name.Manuel Antonio National Park is another destination of the province of Puntarenas. With and hundreds of hectares of rainforest, this park is one of the smallest in Costa Rica, but at the same time, one of the most highly visited. Manuel Antonio is one of the few places in Costa Rica where the spider monkey (tití) still lives. Within the park you may also find over 100 species of mammals and an equal number of bird types. There are an abundance of small romantic hotels in Manuel Antonio and the small fishing village of Quepos. This is an ideal place to a destination wedding or honeymoon. You will find the LaMariposa Hotel here which is listed in “1000 Places to See Before You Die”, however; this should apply to the whole area. There are many other equally beautiful hotels and resort here, such as the Parador, The Mansions, Arenas del Mar and Gaia. All offer views that are totally breath taking and in addition to offer immaculate service and accommodations, they are all very eco-friendly “green” properties. You will find the same type activities available here as in Arenal, but without a volcano and river rafting.Another wonderful beach area is just north of Quepos in Jaco Beach where you will find the fabulous Los Suenos Resort by Marriott. Nearby is the Tarcoles River, inhabited by the American Crocodile. Many measure as up to 16 feet. The Tarcoles River flows through Carara Parkwhere more than 150 scarlet macaws nest and feed.Across the Gulf of Nicoya at the southern end of the Nicoya Tango MarPeninsula you will find several remote small boutique resorts where you can experience a truly romantic isolated honeymoon with out all the glitz of the mega resorts and lots of people, but with impeccable service and hospitality. I personally recommend Tango Mar in Tambor set in a verdant tropical forest and directly on a beautiful bay with no other resorts in sight. Costa Rica has it all, culture, eco-tourism, soft and hard adventure, gorgeous beaches, rainforests, volcanoes, and some of the most diverse flora and fauna to be found in one small geographical area anywhere. Even though the language is Spanish, don’t worry, there are plenty of people who speak English and the local people, “Ticos,” are the friendliest most hospitable people you will meet. They are extremely proud of what their country has to offer and rightly so because Costa Rica has it all “naturally”.

PURA VIDA!

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