Costa Rica is first and foremost known for its rich diversity of flora and fauna. No other country on the planet offers such a variety of species (615) and nowhere else so many types of habitats are found on such a small land area. This simple fact alone makes Costa Rica the premier destination for nature lovers from all over the world. If you are an active traveller, you can choose from excellent surfing, snorkelling and/or hiking, but also canopy zip lining and rafting are recommended before relaxing on one of the beautiful beaches either at the Pacific or Atlantic coasts. Combine this with friendly inhabitants and the fact that the country can be explored easily by car, makes it a top travel destination.
Costa Rica is unique. While sharing with its neighbours the experiences of colonial exploitation and commodity-export dependency, Costa Rica managed to do better in recent years. Instead of recurring cycles of dictatorship and poverty, Costa Rica boasts an enduring, unarmed democracy and the highest standards of living in Central America resulting in its nickname the ‘Switzerland’ of Central America.
As Spanish conquistadors hacked their way into Costa Rica, the dense rain forest was an obstacle to the quest for gold. Five hundred years later, the rain forest itself is Costa Rica’s greatest treasure. In 1963, the Reserva Natural Absoluta Cabo Blanco became the first federally protected conservation area. Nowadays about 28% of the entire country is now under some form of environmental protection and labelled as national parks, forest preserves and wildlife reserves. Success encouraged private landholders to build reserves as well and the ecotourism boom was on: the rain forest was essentially paying for itself.
Currently, the success of the development of eco-tourism or the so-called ‘green revolution’ calls for a somewhat different approach; sustainable tourism. The increasing number of visitors to Costa Rica leads to more hotels, more transportation and more infrastructure upgrades. This tourist-driven encroachment into the rain forest inevitably places stress on its fragile ecosystem.
The Green Circle hotel owners want to share their passion with you about living in Costa Rica, a true paradise in the natural sense of the word, but also want to guarantee that your stay is sustainable. All hotels in one way or the other contribute to the sustainable development of its natural and social surroundings. Tour operator Edventure works with Mapache, the one and only CO2 neutral car rental in the country to ensure your footprint in paradise in contributing to maintaining the country’s natural beauty.