Costa Rica adventure tour

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Departure information

This trip is only for tailor made departures throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Costa Rica adventure tour

Environment

This holiday takes you to stunning and ecodiverse areas with some of the most sustainable lodges and adventure companies in Costa Rica. The rafting company we work with set up their own non profit organisation in 1994 to help preserve, protect and restore rivers, streams and watersheds. It focuses on the key recreational rivers used by the tourism industry, which are threatened by massive hydroelectric projects as well as constant contamination and pollution. They provide environmental education for local communities, explaining the benefits of keeping their rivers clean, and also educate other adventure activity providers about the specific damage that irresponsible tourism can inflict. We adhere to “Leave No Trace” ethics and practices on all of our rafting tours and ensure that waste is either recycled, composted or disposed of properly at the end of every trip.

You will also stay at the Los Campasinos reserve, which is comprised of primary and secondary regeneration forest protected by COOPECAMPESINOS, an association formed by the people of Quebrada Arroyo community who live there. COOPECAMPESINOS have constructed a lodge, trails and facilities for nature-based tourism and work together on the conservation and sustainable use of their natural resources, including vanilla, cacao, and cinnamon cultivation, native reforestation, soil regeneration, water and biodiversity.

Also on this itinerary you will visit the amazing Playa Nicuesa Lodge, situated within their own private 165 acre pristine reserve, which has been awarded 4 Sustainable Leaves by the Costa Rica Tourism Board. The lodge itself was built entirely by a local workforce and all of the wood used has fallen naturally and is pulled out of the forest by oxen or is from a farmed environment. Their electricity is provided by solar power and propane is only used on demand when there is not enough solar power to make hot water.

Community

Whilst this is an adventure based itinerary, it also incorporates various ways to benefit the communities in the areas you visit, often tied in with protecting the environment. For example, each of the visits to reserves includes a local guide, in addition to the main guide who accompanies you throughout your holiday.

Since our rafting lodge was established in 1985 it has worked alongside the local communities to develop a range of responsible tourism practices. After consulting local people, staff and customers, the lodge started projects such as health clinics, community wildlife protection and efforts to create ecopreneurs among their staff and community members. These include growing organic coffee and offering training as river guides that are then employed on their rafting tours.

At Los Campesinos Reserve, the Quebrada Arroyo community felt that the reserve not fulfilling its potential for tourism and they also saw no benefit from the little tourism that did exist. With the support of the UN Small Donations Program, the Association built and maintained small shelters for walkers and trails and facilities for ecotourism. However, not all of the members of the community are directly involved in tourism, so the Association also uses the extra revenue to help community members to experiment with ways to sustainably manage their crops, to reforest the area with native species and to protect the forest in the longer term by conserving soil, water and biodiversity.

Playa Nicuesa Lodge employs 98% of their workforce from the nearby area and provides them with ongoing training in English and business development, as well as buying all its produce locally. The lodge has also spent a considerable amount of time developing a relationship with local hunters, who have often been involved in poaching in the private reserve, and runs a programme to retrain and employ them as guides and trackers for the its guests.

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