Ecotourism In Costa Rica

Ecotourism has been a very important part of Costa Rica’s economy and at the forefront of their thought process since 1930 although, back then it was simply referred to as tourism. Over 80 years ago, the first hotel was built in downtown San Jose with the idea of inviting guests from other countries to enjoy everything this wonderful little country has to offer. The Gran Hotel is still standing proudly in San Jose Centro and offers a comfortable room and warm hospitality to everyone who visits! In 1931, “The National Tourism Board” was created and with only a few changes taking place along the way, still works hard to make Costa Rica inviting for some 2 million + visitors every year! Here is their mission statement… “To promote a wholesome tourism development, with the purpose of improving the Costa Rican quality of life, by maintaining a balance between the economic and social boundaries, environmental protection, culture and facilities.” Since that time in 1930 Costa Rica has become recognized as the ecotourism capital of the world and sets a shining example for other countries to follow.

There are many guidelines that Costa Rica follows to promote a healthy and robust ecotourism industry. The first is by utilizing the theme of “sustainability”. This is so important to everyone involved. Without the abundant biodiversity that is offered here, Costa Rica would have no edge over other vacation destinations. Promoting tourism is done with these things in mind… the generating of economic benefits to everyone involved, protecting the environment and supporting Costa Rican culture and values. Within these simple guidelines, ecotourism in Costa Rica is at an all time high and is indeed growing every year.

There is an abundance of hotels, B & B’s, resorts, etc., again with many falling within the guidelines and structure of the “ecotourism” theme. Major car rental companies have strategically placed their satellite offices in literally every part of Costa Rica, including beach areas, close to volcanoes and even have cars available at many of the smaller local airports. English is widely spoken in all major towns and many hotels accept American & Canadian dollars for payment. Credit and debit cards can be used all over the country as well, both for direct purchases and for cash advances through a network of ATM machines found everywhere. Be sure to notify your bank that you will be using your card in Costa Rica or they may deny your purchases.

Over 25% of the land in Costa Rica is protected and because of this, there are many national parks that offer you quality time spent in true paradise! Far away from traffic and noise, one can immerse himself in a primary jungle setting, sharing space with birds and monkeys, sloths and butterflies! Beautiful ocean vistas abound. Hiking to a volcano’s summit or time spent at a beautiful beach will offer tranquil settings and many chances for amazing photos and fodder for lasting memories.

We encourage you to learn more about this beautiful country and to add to the over 2 million visitors who will be following you here to Costa Rica in the next year. You will never forget your time here and I can safely say that you will return soon thereafter to once again claim your little slice of space and time in this ecotourism paradise.