Costa Rica tailor made tour, in depth

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This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Costa Rica tailor made tour, in depth

Environment

On this fantastic in-depth Costa Rica itinerary you will get to witness some of Central America’s most diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes as well as a plethora of intriguing and unique wildlife. As the organisers of this tour we make it our responsibility to ensure that your tour has a completely positive effect on these fantastic environments and wildlife populations. Ways in which we do this include only using socially and environmentally responsible providers and partners who make it their aim to protect the environments in which their tours operate.

The main operators of your tour are fully committed to ensuring that the tour is carried out in an as environmentally friendly way as possible, and having received Green Deal certification from the Rainforest Alliance, reflecting its commitment to environmentally sensitive, sustainable tourism practices, you can be assured that these responsibilities have been carried out to their fullest. Fuel-efficient vehicles will be used throughout your tour, recycling is not only promoted but imposed, and all tours operated have recently been redesigned to reduce, if not eliminate, their carbon footprint. The operators also donate large portions of their profit annually to numerous environmental programs including reforestation and erosion protection initiatives as well as educational programs which help local people to become more aware of the impact their day-to-day living has on the environment.

On top of this we also ensure that all lodges and hotels used on this tour have appropriate “green” credentials and practices in place to preserve the environments in which they are situated in. For example the Esquinas Rainforest Lodge has an extensive sustainable tourism mission which has resulted in the award of the three-leaf Certificate of Sustainable Tourism (CST) by the Costa Rica Tourism Board. The lodge is one of few lodges in Costa Rica that are 100% carbon-neutral due to the reforestation of thousands of rainforest trees in nearby La Gamba and the construction of the lodge was monitored and controlled by the Rainforest Alliance. The lodge also has exceptionally eco-friendly practices in place for its day-to-day operations including thorough waste handling processes and composting, the use of biodegradable products, energy-saving lights throughout camp, zero chemicals being used in the swimming pool and the recycling and filtering of water. The owners of the lodge have also planted thousands of trees in La Gamba and urge guests to either donate to reforestation efforts or “adopt a tree”.

Likewise, the Casa Luna Hotel has been derived from a 100% nature loving consciousness, and the vision of being an ecotourism model. Extensive energy saving, water saving and waste management processes are in place throughout the hotel and every effort is taken to ensure that their sustainability policies are upheld and promoted. Throughout all of the rainforest lodges and hotels you will be staying in the commitment to sustaining this remarkable environment will be more than obvious. Selva Verde Lodge is another perfect example of this, having been created by Giovanna Holbrook, a pioneer in the business of ecotourism and a nature enthusiast, who had the dream of preserving nearly 500 acres of endangered tropical forest and carefully transforming it into a premier ecotourism destination. The story behind Selva Verde is remarkable, as are the practices in place for eco-friendly operations and ecological conservation and education. Just some of the many practices in place include the use of solar power throughout the lodge, composting & recycling, the usage of biodegradable cleaning products and local education initiatives where young people in the area can learn about sustainability and preserving the natural resources of the region. And it is not only in the rainforest lodges where you will find that sustainability is key. Hotel Bougainvillea in San Jose for example also prides itself on its environmental practices, reducing the impact of the business operations on the environment, with reforestation practices, biodegradable detergents, energy-saving programs and strict recycling schemes.

Throughout your tour you will also be offered advice on how you can travel in an environmentally friendly way including responsible waste disposal and water usage. All customers are also provided with reusable water bottles to minimise plastic waste.

As well as protecting the landscapes that Costa Rica is renowned for we also place huge emphasis on safeguarding the abundance of animal species that reside here. In all lodges throughout your stay you will find that the owners and operators are exceptionally passionate about the on-going conservation of these marvellous creatures. A slice of the cost of your stay in many of the lodges will go towards efforts in place including preserving pathways for wildlife, the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center and Wildcat initiatives.

Throughout your tour you will also be given advice and instructions on how to act around the wildlife you will see, for both your safety and the safety of the animals, including safe distances to keep so as not to encroach upon their habitats and refraining from feeding any wildlife you may encounter. As a company we support many wildlife organisations worldwide and we actively encourage our customers to offset any carbon footprint by contributing or donating to the conservation efforts in Costa Rica.

Community

As a company we believe in promoting tourism as a sustainable natural resource with the power to conserve, protect and improve lives. This translates into ensuring that your trip to Costa Rica has a 100% positive effect on the people who call the areas you will be visiting home. The providers and accommodations we use on this tour are fully committed to their social responsibility practices and this is demonstrated in many ways. The operators of this tour are committed to “protecting and respecting cultural resources”. They have developed tours that support cultural diversity and protect the heritage of local communities. Tour guides are trained in educating visitors and ensuring that all tours are respectful of local communities, traditions and ways of life. The tours also strive to incorporate locally produced products and to hire and train staff and guides from local communities. Jungle treks that use local guides provide alternative income for local people and dissuades them from work that requires reforestation of local areas and also provides education as to the importance of conservation and its link with tourism and alternative income sources. Additionally the company donates money to programs aligned with the protection and support of cultural heritage and environmental protection, as well as offering student scholarships and education programs. They contribute vast amounts to charities throughout Central America such as Naru and Wings, which provides quality reproductive health education and services to underserved, primarily rural youths, women and men. The company has its own foundation, with the purpose of “giving back” to local communities by supporting grass-roots NGOs throughout the region.

It is one of our priorities to ensure that all of the accommodation providers we use have proven track records of treating staff well and fairly, along with ensuring they uphold their commitments to the communities in which they operate. For example the Esquinas Rainforest Lodge owners are very dedicated to open and honest relationships with the local communities, including supporting local craftsmen and indigenous people by buying or selling their products, and supporting local activities such as dances, fiestas, children’s day or exhibitions. They also purchase all agricultural products, soaps, shampoos and souvenirs from locals, and have donated more than $200,000 towards community projects in the town of La Gamba. On top of this they have financed a new potable water system for 70 houses, renovated the school and the community meeting hall, donated materials to the school, constructed a health center and have helped to fix local roads and bridges. With the exception of the office staff, all employees come from the local village.

You will find this level of commitment to the communities throughout every place you stay in, including the Selva Verde Lodge who have created the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center which is a non-profit organisation with the mission to link communities and conservation through education and ecotourism in order to help form future environmental leaders, raise the organisational capacity of local communities, promote sustainable land use, and connect tourists to the local community. Likewise, at the Casa Luna Hotel the owners are dedicated to their social support responsibilities, hiring local people specifically from La Fortuna and its surroundings, providing economic benefits that are a source of improved quality of life of the community. They also work actively with local and national organisations in the promotion and practice of sustainable tourism, preference is given to purchase from local suppliers, they donate school supplies to low-income families and support the Foundation for the Palliative Care Unit at the Children’s Hospital. Hotel Bougainvillea in San Jose are also heavily involved in ensuring ongoing support for their local communities, founding the DEBRA foundation, helping families with children affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa. They also have a fantastic employee scheme and offer incentives such as saving programs where employees save 10% of their salaries, and the hotel matches this amount. That way, they have been able to finance housing for most of their employees during the last 50 years. The hotel organises monthly fundraising events where proceeds are donated to numerous local organisations that support disabled adults, high social risk and abandoned children and elderly members of the local community.

Solely using local agencies and providers means we have up to date local information and can therefore provide the most relevant information in our pre-departure literature. This includes information on on-going initiatives and community efforts that we actively encourage our customers to become involved in, including schemes to provide school children with equipment, cultural etiquette and advice on how to engage with and help the local communities. We offer first-hand advice on creating meaningful and respectful relationships between tourists and residents and suggest local areas and communities to visit gaining cultural insights along the way, along with advice on where to buy souvenirs (to ensure the proceeds are going directly to the vendors), where to eat & where to drink.

As a company we are proud of our principle based values which our community can always depend on. We support several home and overseas charities, organisations and campaigns including AfriCat, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Save the Albatross, South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project, Wader Trust, Wildlife SOS India and sponsorship of individual and underprivileged children in many countries. We are committed to ethically working with overseas partners who employ and support local communities and local guides who know and love their region like no other, delighted to share knowledge and are dedicated to looking after our valued passengers.

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