Sustainable Travel in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the world’s richest biodiversity hotspots. It teems with wildlife and a rich variety of plant life. Many eco-tourists and eco-travelers come here each year to explore. But how can we travel to and experience this wonderful country without destroying the very things we travel here to see? To help you enjoy low impact eco travel, here are some tips for a more sustainable stay:

Embrace ‘Pura Vida’ and Learn About Sustainable Food Production

There is a common saying here – ‘pura vida’. And across Costa Rica, this idea of ‘fine living’ or ‘clean living’ is very much in evidence. It is only if you come here that you can feel, rather than just understanding, the phrase and the lifestyle it evokes. 

We should all live a purer, cleaner life, and make sure we are part of making this world better, rather than contributing to its destruction. An inspiring visit to a sustainable farm can be a great place to start.

Costa Rica sustainable travel

If you visit Costa Rica, you can visit one of its organic farms and discover for yourself how people can live in harmony with the land, and enhance the environment rather than degrading it. An organic farm is a place where this idea of ‘fine living’ or ‘clean living’ is very much in evidence.

Whether you already zealously eat organic, or are new to the whole sustainability thing, one thing is for sure. Once you spend some time on an idyllic, organic Costa Rican farm – you’ll never think about farming or food in the same way again. 

In Costa Rica sustainability is not just a buzz word – it’s a way of life. People here understand that organic growing and sustainability are not just ‘nice to have’ – they are essential to our future on this planet. 

Farming has long been important here and small-scale farmers have been growing food sustainably here for generations. Older generations continue as they always have – working hard, tending the land, and enjoying food that has mostly travelled meters rather than miles to reach their plates. 

Unfortunately, mass-produced cash crops such as bananas, cacao, coffee, and pineapple were all grown commercially in Costa Rica using lots of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Inevitably, this short-term thinking caught up with them and caused a crisis. Soil became depleted, workers were put at risk, fresh water was contaminated and forests were cut down for money-making farming schemes. The environment was damaged, people suffered, and productivity fell. 

To deal with this crisis, Costa Rican authorities set about creating wholesale agricultural reform – putting sustainable agricultural practices in place – rediscovering the secrets of the ‘grandmothers’ for commercial growing too. Organic bananas, coffee and cacao are now grown commercially more than ever before. They find a market both domestically and abroad. 

Organic growing has increased dramatically in the past few years, and a green agenda came to sit at the very heart of Costa Rica’s society and culture. Costa Rica is now a global leader for accomplishments and policies relating to the environment and ecology. This is a country that continues to top the league tables when it comes to the environment and green living. So it is a great place to visit if you want to know more about the important issue of sustainable food production.

Learn About Nature and Conservation in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is also a great place to learn about biodiversity and nature conservation. You can visit, and perhaps even volunteer at a range of rescue centres or on a range of conservation and ecosystem restoration projects around the country. Volunteering to plant trees or work will wildlife is a wonderful way not only to experience the natural wonders of Costa Rica, but also to give back. 

Sustainable travel often means not just being a drain on the places we visit, not just passing through. Taking up one of the many great volunteering opportunities in the country means you can not just enjoy the environment and the wildlife it supports, but can also be a part of preserving and improving it for future generations. 

Costa Rica sustainable travel

Back in the 1990s, Costa Rica emerged as a world leader in the eco-tourism and sustainability movements — reversing decades of deforestation with successful initiatives to protect its land, seas and wildlife. So this is the perfect place to learn more about the importance of biodiversity, and how we can halt and reverse the damage humanity has done. 

The Sloth Institute is located in Manuel Antonio National Park is just one fascinating place to visit, volunteer, and learn more. And you should be sure to explore many more options for forest regeneration and wildlife protection when you visit Costa Rica’s beautiful cloud forests. 

Learn About Renewable Energy

Costa Rica is close to getting 100% of its electricity from renewables – mostly hydro power but also from wind turbines, geothermal energy and a small proportion from solar. Other volunteer opportunities for sustainable travellers revolve around learning more about renewable power generation. 

If you are interested in the ways in which renewable energy resources can benefit permaculture food production systems and biodynamic farms, then beautiful  Vista Hermosa farm project in Costa Rica could be the perfect place for you.