Costa Rica is renowned for ecotourism, and the country takes its environmental conservation very seriously. Impressive conservation statistics backup the claimed marketing slogan, “All Natural Ingredients.” For education, lands in conservation,  and social and economic equity Costa Rica boasts a strong record. Our travels will stray to the fringes of this at times, revealing the limitations and the sometime “greenwashing” that is inevitable in eco- or sustainable tourism. Yet, we will also seek to discover the objectives and practices in place to truly promote sustainability, ranging from energy production to certification and education programs.

Costa Rica thrives on tourism, to be sure, yet it also has intensive agriculture, polluting industries, and urban pockets of poverty. A vast rural hinterland is remote from the social services and standards of living found in the Central Valley.

Through individual contacts, interviews, and informal conversations we will develop a wider understanding of sustainability and the dilemmas posed for its realization. We may hear of the struggles of maintaining a business, of balancing the economic and environmental considerations, and we just might come to a new level of appreciation of our own travel behavior and way of life in the States.

 Costa Rica Certification for Sustainable Tourism

Dr. A’s Recommended Hotels and Services:

Cabinas las Olas, Playa Avellanas, Guanacaste

Lodge Vista del Mar, Playa Guiones, Guanacaste

Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve

Hotel Colinas del Sol, Atenas, Alajuela

La Quinta de Sarapiqui Inn, Heredia

Rancho Coral, Playa Esterillos Oeste

Almonds and Corals Lodge, Playa Manzanillo, Limon

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