Why Costa Rica Is an Ecotourism Destination

There are few better places in the world for a luxury ecotourism trip than Costa Rica. In fact, it was one of the movers globally on the sustainable tourism and wildlife conservation front. It was the first country in the Americas to ban hunting back in 2012 and is today one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet. What’s more, as much as 26% of the country’s land area is devoted to national parks, protected lands, and wildlife reserves.

Somewhat unique among its Central America neighbors, it’s a wholly stable, peaceful country with outstanding infrastructure and a high standard of living. You’ll be hard-pressed to do better than Costa Rica for luxury stays in nature’s lap.

Here are some unmissable spots for ecotourism adventures in Costa Rica. If you happen to be a guest at Casa Teresa, we can facilitate a number of these experiences and private expeditions at any point during your stay:

1. Monteverde Cloud Forests

The cloud forests or bosque nuboso of Monteverde are a true marvel. They’re named so because of the low-hanging clouds that often hover around the top canopy of the forest. It’s also a destination for ecotourism in Costa Rica given that the forests are home to over 3,200 species of plants, 425 species of birds, and 280 species of animals.

The main trail through the forest takes about an hour and a half to complete on foot, or you can simply take a canopy tour along a suspension bridge above the forest!

2. Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula in the west of the country is best known for its idyllic beaches and numerous nature reserves. While you’re here, you can take in the dramatic coastal scenery dotted with charming villages and interesting hotspots. Water sports such as surfing and snorkeling are very popular among expats and locals alike.

It’s also an excellent spot for ecotourism during your luxury stay in Costa Rica with its maritime riches and the natural splendor of the Palo Verde National Park, Montezuma waterfalls, and the tropical forests of Bajos de Ario.

3. Isla Tortuga

It’s practically a crime to be an ecotourism traveler in Costa Rica and not visit the Tortuguero National Park. Isla Tortuga, on the country’s Caribbean coast, is accessible by plane or by boat. It’s a pristine 77,000-acre protected reserve that boasts 11 different habitats in its area.

The island is famous for its sea turtle nesting beaches and bird watching. The best way to explore its lagoons and inlets is by boat on a guided expedition. At night, you can watch Green Leatherback, Hawksbill, and Loggerhead turtles lay their eggs. If you time it just right, you can also watch the baby turtles hatch and make their way across the beach to the ocean.

4. Manuel Antonio National Park

The Manuel Antonio National Park on the country’s western coast is a poster child for luxury ecotourism stays in Costa Rica. It’s frequently ranked among the best national parks in the world and is known for its lush rainforests, coral reefs, and world-class beaches.

There are nearly 300 species of birds and animals to admire in this park alone. Take a guided tour of the park, a canopy tour of the forest cover, hire a private catamaran to view the dolphins, or indulge your adventurous side with ATV rides and water rafting.

5. Corcovado National Park

National Geographic once described Corcovado as “the most biologically intense place” on the planet. It’s home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity and is also the largest national park in Costa Rica, ideal for an ecotourism extravaganza.

The potential for wildlife experiences here is immense, with more than 350 species of birds and marine animals and 25 species of cetacean. Much of the community is involved in conservation and ecotourism efforts. Know that when you visit Corcovado, not only are your guides all locals with extensive knowledge of the region, you’re also supporting local livelihoods, making it a truly sustainable tourism experience.

6. Arenal Volcano

Arenal volcano ecotourism destination in Costa Rica

Arenal was one of the most active volcanoes in the world until around 2010. Today, the massive mountain is a dominant presence on the country’s northwestern landscape. Its volcanic soil supports the lush tropical vegetation and fauna around it, making it a hotbed of ecotourism in Costa Rica and an all-round unique travel experience.

The 29,600-acre national park protects some 16 biological reserves and is home to an incredible amount of biological and geologic complexity. Spend your time wandering its many hiking trails while watching for deer, tapir, and howler monkeys. Visit the picture-perfect lagoon that occupies a volcanic crater at the center of the park or the charming town of La Fortuna on its eastern boundary.

While you’re there, don’t miss out on visiting the Tabacon hot springs. Indulge in some truly decadent luxury during your stay in Costa Rica with a dip in the soothing waters here. Rejuvenate yourself with their healthful properties while receiving the most wonderfully intense hydraulic shoulder massage.

7. Caño Island

The Cano Biological Reserve was set up in 1978 as a way to protect the surrounding coastal areas and coral reefs as well as the local heritage and artifacts. Located off the coast of the Osa Peninsula in the west, it’s a must-visit for maritime ecotourism in Costa Rica.

It’s also hands-down one of the best places for snorkeling, scuba diving, and undersea exploration in the world. Take in the breathtaking underwater diversity with everything from manta rays to white-tipped sharks, moray eels, marlin, sailfish, and over 20 species of corals to discover.

Rest and Recoup at Casa Teresa

Need a convenient spot to base your ecotourism trip in Costa Rica? Stay at Casa Teresa, a set of luxury villas in Santa Teresa. Frequented by Hollywood A-listers, it’s perfect for an exclusive getaway, tailored to your desires.

Relax and let your personal chef and masseurs take care of you at the villa. Let your concierge know which adventures you’d like to experience while you’re there and they’ll be happy to arrange a private trip or help you arrange a car rental if further afield. Reach out to us today for more information.