Call us today on 020 7644 1755

Costa Rica: an eco-conscious destination

Travellers are becoming increasingly concerned with sustainable travel, which means destinations that offer eco-friendly holiday options are becoming more popular. Costa Rica has done an excellent job of developing its tourism industry while protecting its natural attractions.

In fact, one-quarter (25 per cent) of the country is protected by its national system of conservation areas, giving you some indication of just how important the natural environment is to Costa Rica. The government has also implemented a Blue Flag ecological programme to encourage local communities and state institutions to work together to protect the environment.

More than 50 of Costa Rica's beaches have been awarded an Ecological Blue Flag, with criteria such as the cleanliness of the water, the amount of litter and efforts to provide environmental education to local communities among the factors that are assessed.

Stay in an eco-lodge

There are numerous eco-lodges in Costa Rica, particularly along its stunning Pacific coast. Don't imagine that having an eco-conscious holiday will mean you have to go back to basics, though, as many of these establishments offer refined luxury with a sustainable twist.

If you're keen to make your holiday to Costa Rica as eco-friendly as possible look out for hotels and tour operators that carry the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST). This is awarded to establishments that use resources sustainably and that operate responsibly by helping local communities to develop and protect their cultural heritage.

There are hotels and lodges that hold CSTs all over the country, so whether you're staying on the Caribbean coast, by the Pacific Ocean or in the heart of Costa Rica, you should be able to find somewhere eco-friendly to stay.

Discover Costa Rica's natural attractions responsibly

Costa Rica is home to 20 natural parks, as well as eight biosphere reserves, with these protected areas including some of the country's most spectacular scenery. It's possible to travel sustainably and visit all these wonderful places with a little preparation and research.

There are excellent hiking and horseback riding trails in most of Costa Rica's national parks and the best way to discover these is with a local guide who won't just ensure you stick to any regulations relating to the protection of these amazing ecosystems, but who will also point out some of the unique flora and fauna you'll see as you explore.

There is a wide range of habitats within Costa Rica, including cloud forests, rainforests, mangroves, grasslands, active volcanoes, swamps, wetlands and lagoons. Due to the diverse collection of ecosystems, you can expect to come across a wide variety of wildlife within the various national parks.

One of the most famous - and striking - natural sights in Costa Rica are the glowing lava flows of Arenal Volcano. These look particularly spectacular at night, but are still an amazing sight to behold during the day.

Tips for sustainable travel

If you're keen to make your tour of Costa Rica as sustainable as possible, follow some of these tips when planning your holiday.

  • Aim to buy and spend local as far as possible - this means staying in locally-run accommodation, shopping at small stores and using local transport to get around. Doing this will help ensure the money you spend during your holiday goes back into the communities you visit.
  • Use local guides wherever possible - not only will they know the area really well, but you'll also be supporting the local economy.
  • Think about the resources you're using while you're away. Make sure you turn off lights when you leave a room, avoid using too much water and ask your hotel not to change your sheets and towels every day.
  • Educate yourself about the places you'll be visiting and any local customs before you travel. Understanding and respecting local communities will mean you have a more rewarding holiday and ensure that their traditions, environment and culture are protected.
  • Support sustainable hotels and tour operators as far as possible - Costa Rica's CST makes it easy for you to see which companies are embracing eco-tourism.

Eco and sustainable holidays in Costa Rica Browse all

Best Value

From £1149 per person
taste of costa rica

Taste of Costa Rica

Embrace the rich diversity of Costa Rica and open your doors to new experiences as you venture to San Jose for a...

From £1149 per person
costa rica experience

Costa Rica Experience

Costa Rica is a tropical paradise with misty volcanoes, wild rivers and verdant jungles teeming with wildlife - it's an...

From £1269 per person
enchanting costa rica

Enchanting Costa Rica

Overview Costa Rica is a tropical paradise with misty volcanoes, wild rivers and verdant jungles teeming with wildlife...

From £1499 per person
discover costa rica tour

Discover Costa Rica Tour

Costa Rica is a tropical paradise with misty volcanoes, wild rivers and verdant jungles teeming with wildlife, it's an...

From £1529 per person
costa rica tropical adventure

Costa Rica Tropical Adventure

Costa Rica Tropical Adventure allows you to explore the country's many spectacular, natural sights with misty volcanoes,...

From £1679 per person
nature secrets of costa rica

Nature Secrets of Costa Rica

Explore this tropical paradise on the Nature Secrets of Costa Rica Tour with it's misty volcanoes, wild rivers and...

Talk to a specialist

samson

Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT

Related articles for Costa Rica

Costa Rica News

Browse all Costa Rica News

Selling Travel magazine reviews Andaz Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica

The UK's leading travel trade publication recently reviewed one of the most lavish resorts in Costa Rica, the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo. Since it opened its doors to the public in 2013, the property has maintained an excellent reputation for its bay-side location, delicious flavours of local cuisine, attentive services and top-notch facilities.

Costa Rica records increase in arrivals of UK holiday-makers

New statistics from the Costa Rica Tourism Board have revealed that the number of travellers from the UK increased by 6.7 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. The number of UK tourists visiting Costa Rica totalled 76,173 last year, making it the Central American country’s largest source market in Europe. This has been helped by an increase in flights between London and San Jose.

Two Costa Rica hotels make it to the TripAdvisor's Top Ten World's Best Hotels 2018

2018 will be a great year for Costa Rica it seems. Not only was the country listed in the Top Ten Destinations on the Rise in 2018 by TripAdvisor's Traveller's Choice Awards, but two of its hotels also made it to the Top Ten of the same awarding body's Top 25 Hotels in the World, while one of its beaches was included in the Top 25 Beaches in the World list too. With so many accolades, no doubt this is likely to be a good year for Costa Rica, according to TripAdvisor at least!