Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica

Compared to many other destinations we have been to, Costa Rica seems to be doing really well regarding the sustainable tourism. Approximately 25 % of the country’s land is preserved and based on our own observations the tourism industry heavily promotes itself with eco slogans. Costa Rica has also announced that it wants to get rid of all the singe-use plastics such as straws etc. by 2021 which is absolutely wonderful news and I hope to see many other countries follow this ban. What I would also like to see Costa Rica do in the future is to improve their public transportation so that fewer tourists would feel the need to rent a car to reach its beautiful locations. Or maybe people, including me, should simply travel less. But more about that worry in another post.

Finca Luna Nueva Lodge

If you are looking for a place that truly embraces sustainability this is the choice for you (I’m not paid for saying this)! Finca Luna Nueva Lodge is an eco resort about 20 kilometers away from La Fortuna, the main spot for all the hype activities such as zip lining, white water rafting etc. Yes, it’s quite far away from the main activities but once you are there you may not want to leave at all.

Every single aspect of the place considers sustainability and ecology. Their accommodation units are built of wood that fit well into the surrounding nature. There is no air condition (that’s kind of a given at eco resorts) but the room stayed cool during nights and at some point I even had the need to put on another blanket. The bathroom is equipped with eco-friendly products and the shower regulates the amount of hot water (so you don’t over use it!). The best part about our room or cottage to be exact was the killer view from the balcony.

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View from the cottage

One thing that I often take into consideration when booking accommodation for our vacations is the issue of swimming pools. When you’re travelling in a country with hot temperatures it’s only natural to want to take a dip in a refreshing pool. However, swimming pools are also one of those things that people should avoid more during their trips due to the insane amounts of water and chlorine they absorb. At Finca we could let go of that worry for a while – the water was still in the pool but it was ozonated and chlorine-free and there was also a solar-heated jacuzzi of which I took advantage quite a many times. Another place where we stayed during our trip, Hotel Horizontes de Montezuma (owned by the lovelies person Juan), had a pool with saltwater, also a very nice thing for the environment.

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Pool area

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A lot of the food that’s prepared at the restaurant comes from the farm surrounding the resort.  During the farm tour (included in the accommodation prize and guided by Steven Farrell, the founder of the place) we got to explore the vast estate and land of the farm. Regenerative agriculture, organic farming and biodynamic farming play the key parts at Finca Luna Nueva and the amount of stuff grown at the farm is almost incomprehensible (there is so much stuff that I could list a very little here). The best part, in addition to Steven’s charismatic wisdom, was to taste herbs, fruits and vegetables straight from the bushes and trees!

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Food from the farm
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Steven, my new idol

Not a perfect paradise

As much as I would like to say that Costa Rica is a paradise without any flaws I would be lying to you. Every place on this Earth has some things that could be better. In my opinion, the heavy use of cars by tourists which I already mentioned in the beginning is absolutely one area of improvement for this eco paradise. That also leads to another aspect that worries me: Will Costa Rica run into the problem of overdeveloping its tourism industry since more and more people want to have their share of the paradise? I truly wish that the country will not take the sad path of many other popular tourist destinations where the local people are pushed aside to make room for boring, massive resort complexes and where the streets are paved with soulless bars and restaurants.

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