Category Archives: Ecotours

Jumping off a Waterfall: Rappelling in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula

Waterfall Rappelling
Image Source: Reefstorockies.wordpress.com

For the adventurer ecotourist, Costa Rica is a prime spot for rappelling and if you are feeling super adventurous there is nothing like the rush from waterfall rappelling in Costa Rica.  The thrill of jumping off a cliff with water rushing over your head is a once in a lifetime experience. Costa Rica is a world- renown haven of caves, beaches, mountains, waterfalls and endless trails.  Hiking through a rainforest to a secluded waterfall where you ascend some 100ft to jump off a cliff into the water rushing down by a rope. The tougher the challenge, the bigger the rush.  Rappelling is not for the faint hearted and definitely appeals to those with an adventuresome spirit. Continue reading

Guaymi Indians: Teach Us for The Future

 

Guaymi Indians
Image Source: Southerncostarica.biz

Bordering Corcovado National Park is the Guaymi Indian Reservation.  Located in the clouded forest high in the mountains, the Guaymi Indians have lived in this region for thousands of years. They moved to the reserve in the 1970s. A nomadic people, the Guaymi Indians occupied southern central Costa Rica and Western Panama.   Today they sill live a semi-nomadic life, despite their permanent settlements.  They strive to retain their cultural traditions. Fortunately because of the remoteness of the Osa Peninsula, they have preserved their cultural heritage.  The Guaymi Indians are the largest surviving indigenous population in Costa Rica. Continue reading

Micro Farming: The Next Big Thing

Pineapple Micro Farm
Image Source: 3plus.us

As world food demand rises with a growing population, micro farming is an old concept quickly gaining popularity. It use to be that big is beautiful  now the model is shifting to small is beautiful and that is the essence of micro farming.  The dominant 20th century paradigm that large-scale agriculture could save and feed the world is now being turned on its head as years of cumulative problems start to rear their ugly heads and climate instability becomes a more pressing issue.  The search for solutions to these problems has led people to the rediscovery of micro farming.

Micro farming was practiced for centuries before industrialized farming. With the growing demand for food, micro farming is gaining momentum through out the world including in urban areas. 15% of the world’s food now comes from micro farmers. It  works under the principles that the ecosystem is based on relationships of interdependency and balance.   Continue reading

Ecotourist: What type are you?

Ecotourist Spotting
Image Source: Characterclearinghouse.fsu.edu

Americans love to travel making up 49% of Costa Rica tourists and they are demanding eco destination spots. According to the World Trade Organization, ecotourism captured 7% of the international market in 2007 with a global market economic impact of $77 billion. Ecotourism accounts for 6% of the worldwide GDP with a staggering growth rate of 5% per year. The industry is being driven by a rising consumer demand, which is creating a healthy market that many resorts are catering to.

But there are different types of ecotourists.

What kind of ecotourist are you? Continue reading

Endangered Sharks: When the Predator becomes the Hunted

Baby Sharks
Image Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com

Endangered sharks are abundant in these waters and these prehistoric creatures are some of the most intriguing of all of sea creatures. It is no surprise that the fertile Golfo Dulce is a nursery for many fish including juvenile sharks.  While they have gotten a bad wrap for being predators, they play a very important role in maintaining health of the oceans as predators and scavengers. Females travel from the ocean to this coastal area to birth pups in the mangroves where the young sharks find protection from large predators.  A growing concern are the free trade agreements with China that allow for large-scale extraction coupled with China’s insatiable appetite for shark fin soup.  The number of illegal shark poachers is on the rise and there is a growing push for shark protection initiatives in Costa Rica. Continue reading

Discover A Secret Garden Along the Golfo Dulce

Welcome Sign
Image Source: Sailingcamelot.com

Tucked away in a remote spot along the Golfo Dulce is a magnificent botanical garden. New Hampshire natives Ron and Trudy McCallister while on a roadtrip from the USA to South America purchased an old cacao plantation and created the Casa Orquideas Botanical Gardens. Located at the base of the Piedras Blancas Mountains, they turned these five acres into a majestic “Garden of Eden.” Ron and Trudy, self-taught botanists, applied their years of knowledge to create this little exotic garden paradise. Today the garden supports conservation and education efforts and hosts many visitors to guided or unguided tours every year. Continue reading

Spottting Humpbacks in Matapalo

Humpack Whale
Image Source: Cascadiaresearch.org

Besides the great right hand breaks, Matapalo is also a key spot for Humpback Whale watching.  The 5th largest of the whale species, they can grow as long as 52 feet and weigh up to 50 tons. They may be gray, black or mottled and most likely have white on its flipperss and underside. These great mammals of the sea arrive here twice a year from the Northern Hemisphere in January and February and then from the Southern Hemisphere in August and September.  You can sometimes see a pod of 50 or more migrating offshore to the south.  Mothers will bring their calves into the Golfo Dulce to teach their young how to feed on their own and breach.  Sadly, these endangered species are under increased stress due to the acceleration of climate change. Continue reading

Sanctuary for the Wild

Osa Wildlife Sanctuary
Image Source: Sailingcamelot.com

Along a remote beach in the Golfo Dulce covering some 700 acres that borders Piedras Blancas National Park and 25-miles from Puerto Jiminez, lies a sanctuary for the wild. Carol Crews is a San Franciscan native who came to Costa Rica only to accidentally find her true calling in life. In 1996, she started the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a non-profit supported by researchers, conservationists and volunteers. Continue reading

Protecting Eden on Earth: Ecotourism is Big Business in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Aerial
Image source: Cloudfront.net

This week a New York Times editorial by a former climate change skeptic confirmed climate change is real and humans are the chief culprits. Yes, global warming is a real threat, scientists are speaking out, and already many cultures are suffering the impacts of climate change. As the climate crisis escalates, necessity drives the growing international popularity of sustainable development. Costa Rica’s ecotourism industry is a sustainable development model that emerging economies can learn from.  Continue reading

Catch and Release: Big Business and Big Fun

Catch and Release: Hooked A Sailfish
Image Source: Costaricafishingreport.com

Costa Rica is a world leader in developing and implementing catch and release fishing. The efforts of both conservationists and anglers with the support of resorts fosters a prosperous ecotourism industry. Catch and release fishing plays a critical part in the continued success of this industry. Continue reading