As an in depth specialist tour operator to Costa Rica responsible tourism is at the very heart of what we do. To us, this means much more than a simple donation to a charity for each client. We try to build long and constructive involvements with local guides, guest houses, wildlife lodges, and hotels, in the course of which we, and our clients, can make lasting wide-ranging contributions to the wonderful places and people we engage with. In this itinerary we use several lodges that fit with this philosophy perfectly, employing local guides and bringing long-term benefits to the local community. We are the first tour operator in the UK to form a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance to work towards the implementation of best management practices in sustainable tourism. In real terms this means that we are working with hotels who are making a positive impact on their local community – socially, environmentally and economically.
Outlined below are hotels we use that employ sustainable tourism methods.
Almonds and Corals is a good example of how a luxurious comfortable lodge can be built inside a wildlife refuge while complying with all the environmental measures to protect and display all the natural beauty that the Costa Rican Caribbean has to offer. The design of the entire lodge has been carefully thought to minimize power needs, noise, and contamination all together. Waste is carefully processed, recycled, and disposed. Only biodegradable soaps, detergents, shampoos, and conditioners are allowed in lodge. A custom made water system was built for this rainforest lodge to assure that there would be no contamination to the area. Additional to this, the owners of this lodge constantly work with the community to spread a consciousness of sustainable tourism in many different areas; such as recollection of trash on the shores, giving speeches and preparing activities in the surrounding schools to cultivate an early environmental consciousness, organizing police patrols on bicycles, and assembling a garbage recollection system for the entire area of Manzanillo, among many other activities that they have been involved in since this lodge was built.
Cariblue supports several non-profit institutions, including the Waldorf School at Playa Chiquita - making donations to the scholarship system for low-income children in the zone. Recicaribe - the business that sorts and recycles wastes. Pueblo limpio ("Clean village") is the programme that conducts clean-ups on the beaches and around the tourist attractions of Puerto Viejo. Playa Cocles has received the Ecological Blue Flag designation; this award is given to communities that meet standards for sea water quality, beach quality, access to portable water, wastewater treatment, environmental education, safety, and administration.
La Quinta de Sarapiqui Country Inn provides jobs for people in the local community (95% of their positions go to local workers). They have developed collaboration programs with local schools, consisting of cultural exchanges with their guests and including donations for improvements to installations and the acquisition of educational materials. They sponsor local cultural and sports activities. They grant four scholarships to students from the local high school. They are involved in community development and local environmental associations and in all the activities meant to improve quality of life in the community of Sarapiquí. They have adopted environmental protection measures through programmes for recycling, saving resources, and the use of non-contaminating products, and they educate tourists about these programs.
On this trip you will visit National Parks at Tortuguero, Sarapiqui, Monteverde and Tamarindo. The entrance fee goes toward the conservation of these protected areas.