Category Archives: Costa Rica Ecotourism

Getting Better With Time: Ecotourism

Ecotourism Costa Rica
Image Source: Magazine.fourseasons.com

Countries such as Costa Rica, Kenya, New Zealand and Australia are known as ectourism hot spots.  Ecotourism requires that the footprint of the traveler on natural resources be a sustainable one. Nations with large undeveloped land bases became interested in ecotourism because it provides a way to generate income that benefits the local economy and at the same time protects the ecosystem.  In Costa Rica, tourism earnings surpass those of coffee and bananas.

The development of ecotourism dates back to the 1960s when public concern about environmental issues increased. Conservation groups formed to lobby governments to set aside land not just for tourists or endangered animals but to also preserve the natural integrity of the ecosystem. These groups found that support for conservation efforts was stronger if people experienced  endangered species first hand. In other words, people who have a direct experience with nature are more likely to be sensitive to environmental issues.  For those living in large urban areas in the west, there is a disconnect between the natural environment and the urban one.  As great as the latest developments in technology are, the opportunity to unplug for a week and connect with nature is good for our well-being and the planet.
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USA and Costa Rica National Park Services Working Together For Conservation

Olympia National Park Conservation
Image Source: Thevacationgals.com

The USA National Park Service and Costa Rica Parks signed an agreement to work cooperatively to protect national parks.  According to the press release, “agencies will work together to support planning, development, management and operation of protected natural parks and cultural sites. Agencies will also share information in fire management and control, climate change adaptation, marine protected areas and the development of educational and public information.” The accord will support conservation practices and sharing resources that serve the interests of the national parks for both countries. Already, the US Park Service has a cooperative relationship with Costa Rica’s park service. Continue reading

Small is Beautiful: Sustainable Agriculture on the Osa Peninsula

Shampoo Plant

I love chocolate and I love the earth, so when the two come together to form an organic sustainable farm that sounds like a good idea to me.  Kobo Farm, founded by four brothers, does just this by including a cocao orchard among the many crops it grows here.  The brothers had a vision to create a sustainable farm and went for it. It is not only a working farm, but also an educational center that ecotourists and locals visit. Here visitors learn about sustainable agriculture practices.  Kobo Farm is leading a growing trend in the area towards sustainable agriculture coupled with microfarming.  I’m betting chocolate will become the next big thing here too. Continue reading

The World’s Greatest Love: Cocoa

Chocolate Heart
Image Source: Sweetique.com

Chocolate is one of the world’s treasured delicacies.  Cocoa can be traced back to 600 A.D when the Mayans migrated to northern South America and established the first known Cocoa Plantation in the Yucatan.  Its early uses included not only eating it, but also using it as a currency.  It was cultivated by indigenous people as a sacred plant for thousands of years until discovered by Spain in the 1600s and has become a major international commodity. Continue reading

The Last Frontier: Golfito Wildlife Refuge

View from Golfito Forest Reserve
Image Source: Realestate-costarica.webs.com

“In wilderness lies the preservation of the world.” Thoreau

On the edge of civilization in the Osa Peninsula is the Golfito Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the regions many protected areas. While Golfito means little, the surrounding area’s biodiversity is a treasure trove of nature’s wonders. In 1939, the United Fruit Company established the frontier town of Golfito for banana production.  This area is known as the last frontier, and it is one of the least explored and most beautiful places in the world. Neighboring Golfito and Blancas National Park is the Golfito National Wildlife Refuge, which covers some 6,943 acres.  this wildlife refuge plays a significant role in habitat protection of wildlife, flora and fauna. They safeguard the area from development paths that would threaten the incredible biodiversity of this country while also supporting ecotourism Continue reading