Accommodation and Meals:
We spend two weeks in a combination of hotels and eco-lodges around Costa Rica. We use fairly small, family run and locally staffed establishments which ensures that we are benefiting local communities. Our local operator is a leading member of the Rainforest Alliance and has been awarded a "4 Leaf" award from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute for their sustainable tourism practice & dedication to improving standards. An example of eco-friendly accommodation on this trip is Hacienda Guachipelin, a lodge with a privileged location at the foot of the magnificent Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste. The family owned property has taken great care of the land and surrounding forest for nearly half a century, are committed to sustainable tourism and have a “3 Leaf” award for their practices.
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We operate a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy and local guides enforce this through responsible tourism briefings. These should help clients better understand the living situation for many and the environmental issues in the area. We also aim to benefit Costa Rican communities as much as possible by stopping to use local restaurants, cafes and services as much as possible.
Local Craft and Culture:
Although this is largely a nature and walking holiday, we incorporate as much benefit to local people as possible. One of the ways to support local people and boost the economy is to buy crafts in some of the remote regions that we visit, such as Tortuguero. Having the opportunity to purchase locally made handicrafts encourages cultural exchange and provides a significant form of alternative income. Guides are careful to explain that any souvenirs on sale over the duration of the trip which are made from animal parts, shells or local hardwoods should not be purchased.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size. The maximum group size on this trip is restricted to 12 in order to reduce the environmental impacts of visiting remote areas.