ECOTOURISM: Fostering Environmental Responsibility and Reaping Health Benefits

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In Canada, January and the cold of winter, always conjure up ocean side sandy beaches and long days of warm sunshine in tropical locations. The list of available ‘fun in the sun’ destinations is limitless. You may want to take a vacation to costa rica or other tropical destination.

Time away from your own busy life or ‘soap opera’ can provide many ‘feel goods’ and subsequently health benefits. Maybe that is all that you are looking for. If you are in search of adding something extra to your travel this year, ecotourism can provide you with a life changing experience. Giving through ecotourism opportunities can add an extra dose of health promoting benefits for you while helping others. Why not take a vacation to costa rica and have a fabulous ecotourism experience?


When planning your next holiday get away, why not consider ‘ecotourism’.

What is ecotourism?

According to Wikipedia:

“Ecotourism is a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial (mass) tourism. Its purpose may be to educate the traveler, to provide funds for ecological conservation, to directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities, or to foster respect for different cultures and for human rights.”

Costa Rico is a one of many ecotourism destinations. Pura Vida, translated to ‘pure life’, is a word that identifies Costa Rico and its people. Costa Rico was the first country in the modern world to constitutionally abolish its standing army in 1948, giving it the designation of one of the oldest and most stable democracies in Central America. Costa Rico’s President Oscar Arias Sanchez was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. His “Peace with Nature” policy provides more trees per capita and per square kilometer than any other country in the world. You may become inspired to join the country’s enthusiastic tree planters. ‘Take a vacation to costa rica’ should definitely be on your tropical destination travel wish list.

Most of the Costa Rican population is of European decent, with approximately 1% of the indigenous population living in the southeast near the border of Panama. Nicaraguans make up 10 – 15% of the populations, a recent addition to the mix of warm hearted, proud people.

Are you ready to take a vacation to costa rica now? I think it would be a great destination. I’ve added it to my list. If you have decided that this is a great destination for sun, relaxation and health; it is time to consider where to stay in Costa Rica and what ecotourism initiative takes your fancy. Here are a few to get you started from THE INTERNATIONAL ECOTOURISM SOCIETY.


ACTUAR is an association of rural community tourism initiatives established in 2001. “Rural community tourism consists of planned touristic experiences which are integrated sustainably with the rural environment and developed by local citizen organizations for the benefit of the community.” – Costa Rican Tourism Board, UNDP and the Alliance for Rural Community Tourism, 2005.

Certification in Sustainable Tourism (CST), provided by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), aims to differentiate tourism businesses based on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management. CST is regulated by the Costa Rican National Accreditation Commission and consists of a scale of 5 levels, indicated by green leaves, of sustainable tourism achievement. Find certified properties

Eco-Index Sustainable Tourism by Rainforest Alliance features businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean that have been deemed environmentally and socially friendly by reputable environmental organizations and/or ecotourism certification programs. View Costa Rican companies recognized in the Eco-Index

Enjoy your travel experiences! Take a vacation to costa rica! Remember to bring your SUN PROTECTION: A Life Saving Measure. Enjoy safe ‘fun in the sun’!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner,,

Copyright © 2013, Elisabeth Hines

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