Coast to Coast holiday in Costa Rica
Description of Coast to Coast holiday in Costa Rica
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Small group tour, ideal for solos & couples:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetWe support a number of organizations in Costa Rica which are dedicated to preserving the ecology. On day four we get the opportunity to visit the CATIE institute based in Turrialba, an innovative regional training and research centre providing opportunities for new professionals starting out in rural management, agriculture and conservation of natural resources. As well as helping to raise awareness of the centre and providing much needed funds there is a fine botanical garden to relax in.
On our next stop we visit the Caribbean Conservation Corps in Tortuguero National Park which contributes to conservation in the Turtle laying area of Costa Rica’s coast. Founded in 1959 the foundation seeks to survival of sea turtles through research, education and protection of the natural areas where they live including encouraging people to help clean up the beach where turtles lay their eggs.
In Monteverde proceeds from the entry fees to the cloud forest reserve help to protect the highly endangered habitat of the Resplendant Quetzal, of which only 300 pairs remain in the world. Monteverde houses 2.5% of worldwide biodiversity; income collected through visits are used directly to fund preservation, research and educational programmes to ensure this pristine environment is preserved for future generations.
On this trip we travel in small groups by bus and boat. The boat trips are a particularly good way to explore the National Parks, getting closer to the natural habitats but minimizing the environmental impact.
One of the lodges that we use is the Evergreen Lodge in Tortuguero. The Lodge was built with to provide accommodation within the rainforest without altering the existing eco system. Construction was based upon rustic cabins so as to preserve the rainforest in its perennifolio state (always green). The Lodge still undertakes practises to conserve water, to recycle and to implement training in sustainability practises to protect its environment.
As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
PeopleOur local partners in Costa Rica have been leading the way in promoting gender equality within the tourism sector; recognising that gender equality is a key element to guarantee social well-being and sustainable development, they are a vocal advocate of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) mission, which looks forward to achieve equal pay between women and men for work of equal value by 2030.
In addition our local partners were one of the first tour operators in Costa Rica with the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST), achieving five leaves (level 5) out of a maximum possible of five with all staff given regular training and support to promote environmental best practices including recycling, water and energy conservation. We employ local guides and encourage our clients to use restaurants, shops, and other local businesses along the way in order to benefit the communities we visit directly. We try to ensure that we have minimum impact on the flora and fauna that we see when we are exploring, so that their lives and surroundings are not affected.
In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.