‘Pura Vida’ simply translated from Spanish means “simple life”, but in Costa Rica, this is more than just a phrase—it is a way of life where nature is valued, peace is abundant and simplicity is key.
In this time where lots of travel stories are causing anxiety, it feels good to stop and reflect on how many good news stories originate from Costa Rica - the YouTube video made by a tourist of a of a sloth giving birth is a personal favourite (find this here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFp4PMNGeA0&feature=youtu.be).
For several years, stories of how orange peel has been used to regenerate parts of destroyed rainforest have been circulating on social media. In the mid-1990s, 1,000 truckloads of orange peel and pulp were purposefully unloaded onto a barren pasture in a Costa Rican National Park and today, that same area is now covered in lush, vine-laden forest once again. Costa Rica’s government has ambitious plans to ban fossil fuels from the economy by 2021 in an effort to become world’s fist ‘decarbonised’ society. What’s more, in 2016 , the whole country ran for 122 days on renewable energy.
Costa Rica’s ultimate draw, the most overwhelming reason to travel there, must be the amazing wildlife and natural environment on offer to be experienced. Enter into Costa Rica’s spirit of ‘Pura Vida’ for yourself and support sustainable travel as you go;
- With a skilled and knowledgeable guide, you will be sure not to disturb the wildlife and learn more about the local environmental issues. Maintain a proper distance at all times, try to be quiet as you observe and soak up all there is to see,
- Don’t pick up and take home natural resources such as shells, plants, animal bones, etc.
- Use water sparingly. Many communities face water shortages and water usage costs money. One small gesture you can make is to take quick showers, or bring along your own good quality water bottle that has a filter to remove any pathogens and impurities from the tap water to be able to drink that instead.
- Minimise your use of resources. Save electricity and turn off lights, air conditioners, and heaters when you are not in the room. Travelling as a group is a more efficient way to travel, saving on fossil fuels involved in transportation.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Always try to use less – reduce. Recycle everything you can. In Costa Rica you can find recycling baskets at hotels, National Parks and many other places.
- Don’t litter! Even if you notice the locals doing so, try to find a container to dispose of your litter. You can always pass on things you cannot carry to your Tour Director for proper disposal.
- Buy Local. Buy locally-made souvenirs, directly benefitting the craftspeople who live in the communities you visit. Don’t buy products made from endangered species or valuable, historical, or cultural artefacts. Rather than heading to a chain grocery or department store (where more energy is used to ship food further distances), stop by a local market or a street stand, eat local food made by local people and put your cash into the local economy.
- Use companies with a good reputation for being sustainable. The activities included in Big Journey Company itineraries are carefully chosen and provided by trusted local suppliers to ensure they don’t disturb the environment or adversely affect local communities.
Costa Rica is a nature-lover’s paradise. Explore some of the top experiences Costa Rica has to offer with the Big Journey Company and accompanied by a well-experienced Tour Director. Travel the canals of Tortuguero National Park by boat and enjoy the Arenal Volcano National Park and its hot springs. Adventure through nature at the unique Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and immerse yourself in the vast diversity of tropical plants and wildlife to found within Manuel Antonio National Park.
The Big Journey Company’s Costa Rica Adventure full itinerary can be seen here;
COSTA RICA ITINERARY