Costa Rica Ecotourism and Ecolodges
Written by Jackie Sloves for Anamaya Ecotourism and Anamaya Hotel Resort Costa Rica is known for being the leading country in the world for ecotourism. Ecotourism is the notion that one can travel without having detrimental effects on the environment. This type of travel can manifest in many ways – exploring national parks, experiencing wildlife reserves, and even staying in sustainable accommodations. In choosing to participate in ecotourism, one upholds the integrity of the environment, while still enjoying the experience of traveling. At Anamaya Resort Hotel, we are proud to be environmentally friendly while still providing you with the experience of a lifetime. From our food to our construction, we keep sustainability a top priority. Our food is all organic and locally grown, much of our furniture is made from recycled materials, and we compost and recycle a majority of our waste. With Costa Rica on its way to becoming the first carbon-neutral country in the world, Anamaya is doing its part to contribute to that goal. Why Costa Rica? There are many ways why Costa Rica has become a hub of ecotourism. One of the main reasons is its incredible biodiversity. When traveling to Costa Rica, one has access to rainforests, cloud forests, beaches, volcanoes, and countless species of exotic wildlife. Here in Montezuma, Anamaya is tucked into a pocket of rainforest, with a private trail to waterfalls, and a 270 degree view of beautiful pristine ocean. Montezuma borders one of Costa Rica’s 24 protected national parks. Another reason why Costa Rica is an ideal place for ecotourism is its safety; the country doesn’t have a military, and this gentleness is mirrored in its citizens. Unlike other developing nations, Costa Rica is politically stable and has one of the lowest violent crime rates. In addition, the quality of life is relatively high in Costa Rica, especially in the town of Montezuma. Montezuma is known as a blue zone, in which people enjoy much longer and healthier lives. Another major factor contributing to ecotourism in Costa Rica is the convenience of travel to and from the United States. Costa Rica is a desirable destination because it is closer than Africa and Asia, while still offering a chance to experience exotic wildlife and scenery. Pros and Cons of Ecotourism Despite proponent’s claim of the sustainablility of ecotourism, critics say it is still harmful to the environment. Ecotourism is an industry that profits from being environmentally conscious, so there is an inherent risk of businesses who make eco-tourism claims not practicing what they preach. It is a danger that monetary profit is a higher priority than preservation and protection of nature. However, there are many benefits of ecotourism that cannot be overlooked. The alternatives to ecotourism are: tourism that has negative environmental impacts or no tourism at all. The latter alternative does not seem to be a feasible option, since it is human nature to have curiosity and a desire to explore. Since tourism is an industry, it must be done in the best way possible – the most environmentally conscious way. Thus, ecotourism has many benefits, when practiced with integrity and proper motives. It prevents industries with negative environmental impacts from becoming established, encourages conservation efforts on an individual and local level, and also has positive economic affects on a developing country. In general, ecotourism is practiced with integrity in Costa Rica. The government, the citizens, and the tourists of Costa Rica are proud of and have a desire to preserve the natural beauty of the land, which helps protects Costa Rica’s largest industry: tourism. For more information about sustainable construction, click: Costa Rica Green Building.