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Eco-Friendly Costa Rica Preserves Its Natural Beauty and Biodiversity

by Colleen Kelly

May 14, 2024

© Kaido Rummel | Dreamstime.com

Leisure Lifestyle 2024

Nestled in the heart of Central America’s untouched tropical forests, Costa Rica was the first country to capture the souls of environmentally conscious travelers many decades ago. The haven for green vacations offers endless possibilities of leave-no-trace activities for savvy travelers seeking eco-friendly solace and fun.

Costa Rica boasts the largest percentage of protected area on the planet as well as the highest biodiversity density of anywhere in the world. Its longstanding commitment to conservation sets it apart from other eco-destinations, and it remains a global pioneer in sustainable tourism. With lush jungles teeming with wildlife, towering volcanic backdrops, stunning serene shores and farms rich with delicious local products, Costa Rica’s natural wonders burst with unparalleled beauty.

Lodging options range from off-path treehouse villas to full-service retreats offering visitors an ultimate luxe yet earthy ambience. Each stay is truly an oasis within an oasis. Exclusive hotels such as Kura Boutique, set high in Costa Rica’s remote rain forest, and 5-star hideaway resorts like Nayara Gardens, with panoramic views of sleeping Volcano Arenal and proximity to soothing thermal springs, maintain a perfect symbiosis between sustainability and splendor by prioritizing harmony with nature.

These properties use chemical-free and fast-growing building materials, promote ongoing reforestation programs, practice waste reduction and composting, and intentionally design spaces to preserve the land’s native flora and fauna. For a truly tranquil and organic experience, begin the day taking in the fiery sunrise with a sommelier-style coffee tasting at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Farm and Inn, a certified sustainable plantation. Afterward, avian enthusiasts can flock to one of Costa Rica’s 164 conservation regions to view more than 900 species of birds — half of which reside in the canopies of the Monteverde Cloud Forest — including the iconic, resplendent quetzal and soaring pairs of scarlet macaw.

Wanderers seeking satin-white sands with a splash of adventure should head to the Manuel Antonio district, bordering the Pacific Ocean, for a breathtaking hike or exhilarating ATV ride through primary forest, mangroves and lagoons. These wondrous trails provide the perfect opportunity for animal adorers to spot rare monkeys, sloths, iguanas and dolphins frolicking in their paradisial habitat. Follow your adventure with a farm-to-table dining and cocktail excursion at KOKi Beach Restaurant in surf city Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica’s less-visited and culturally vibrant Caribbean coast.


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