How Costa Rica Became a Green Global Travel Destination

Costa Rica is often lauded as a global leader in sustainable tourism. Here’s how the Central American country became a top destination for eco-conscious travelers.

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In recent years, Costa Rica has become known as a green global travel destination. The country is committed to sustainable tourism practices and is home to a number of eco-friendly resorts and hotels. In this article, we’ll explore how Costa Rica became a green destination and what makes it so popular with environmentally-conscious travelers.

The Pura Vida Spirit

Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty, friendly people, and commitment to sustainable tourism. Costa Ricans often greet each other with the phrase “pura vida,” which means “pure life” or “simple life.” This philosophy extends to all aspects of Costa Rican culture, including the way they approach tourism.

Costa Rica was one of the first countries to adopt sustainable tourism practices, and they have been a leader in green tourism initiatives ever since. In 1995, Costa Rica established the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), which is responsible for protecting the country’s natural resources and promoting sustainable development.

Under MINAE’s guidance, Costa Rica has implemented a number of policies and programs to make tourism more sustainable. For example, all hotels and tour operators must adhere to strict environmental standards, and the government has set aside nearly 25% of the country’s land as protected national parks and reserves.

In addition to its commitment to environmental protection, Costa Rica is also committed to social responsibility. The government has programs in place to help local communities benefit from tourism, such as training hotel staff in customer service or providing financial assistance to small businesses.

Thanks to its dedication to sustainable tourism, Costa Rica has become a popular destination for eco-conscious travelers from all over the world. If you’re looking for a green vacation destination, Costa Rica should be at the top of your list!

Costa Rica’s Green Initiatives

Costa Rica is often lauded for its green initiatives, and rightly so. The country has been working hard to become a leader in sustainable tourism, and its efforts are paying off. In 2017, Costa Rica was named the most environmentally friendly country in the world by the Environmental Performance Index (EPI).

So, how did Costa Rica become such a green global travel destination? It all started with a few key initiatives…

-In 1989, Costa Rica created the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINE), becoming one of the first countries in the world to have a government ministry dedicated to environmental issues.
-In 1996, Costa Rica launched its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which aimed to conserve the country’s valuable biodiversity.
-In 1997, Costa Rica signed the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that commits signatory countries to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
-In 1999, Costa Rica established the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), which oversees the country’s protected areas.
-In 2003, Costa Rica launched its National Eco-labeling Program, which awards certificates to businesses that meet certain environmental standards.
-In 2010, Costa Rica hosted the World Congress on Climate Change. This event brought together world leaders and scientists to discuss solutions to climate change.
-In 2015, Costa Rica became the first country in the world to run entirely on renewable energy for a full calendar year. These are just some of the initiatives that have helped put Costa Rica on the map as a leading destination for sustainable travel.

Costa Rica’s Eco-Tourism

Costa Rica has long been a renowned travel destination for its natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and friendly people. In recent years, the country has seen a surge in popularity as a green destination for eco-conscious travelers.

Costa Rica is now one of the world’s leading destinations for sustainable tourism, with an economy that is largely dependent on the ecotourism industry. The country has put forth a concerted effort to protect its natural resources and promote sustainable practices.

Costa Rica’s commitment to environmental conservation can be seen in its many national parks and reserves, which make up nearly a quarter of the country’s land area. These protected areas are home to an incredible variety of plant and animal life, including several endangered species.

In addition to its parks and reserves, Costa Rica has implemented a number of other initiatives to promote sustainable tourism. For example, the country has created a network of “Eco-lodges” that are certified by the Costa Rican government to meet high standards for environmental sustainability.

Costa Rica’s efforts to become a green global travel destination are paying off. In 2019, the country was ranked as the #1 destination for sustainable tourism by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. And in 2020, it was named one of the “20 Best Places to Go in 2020” by National Geographic magazine.

The Costa Rican Government’s Role

In the 1970s, the Costa Rican government made a pledge to move away from reliance on harmful pesticides and chemicals in order to protect its citizens and wildlife. It was a risky move, as many other countries were still using these methods to produce coffee, bananas, and other crops. But Costa Rica’s gamble paid off.

As word of the country’s commitment to environmentalism spread, visitors began flock to Costa Rica to see its natural wonders for themselves. Eco-tourism became a major industry, and Costa Rica soon became known as a green global travel destination.

Today, Costa Rica is a world leader in sustainable agriculture, with over a third of its land devoted to national parks and reserves. It is also one of the few countries in the world with a carbon-neutral footprint. Thanks to the Costa Rican government’s early commitment to protecting its environment, today its citizens and wildlife alike enjoy a healthy and prosperous future.

The Private Sector’s Role

The private sector’s role in developing Costa Rica as a green global travel destination cannot be understated. In order to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly vacations, Costa Rican businesses have had to make substantial investments in sustainable practices. From small, family-owned hotels to large tour operators, the private sector has played a key role in making Costa Rica a world leader in sustainable tourism.

Of course, the government has also played a role in supporting the growth of sustainable tourism. In 1996, the Costa Rican government established the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEE) and tasked it with promoting sustainable development. The MEE’s efforts have helped put Costa Rica on the map as a top destination for eco-friendly travel. Thanks to the efforts of both the public and private sectors, Costa Rica has become a model for other countries looking to develop their own sustainable tourism industries.

The People of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a Central American country that is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. The country has a population of about 4.9 million people, and the capital and largest city is San Jose. Costa Rica is a democracy that functions under a presidential republic. The government system is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicative. The President of Costa Rica is Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera, and he has been in office since May 8th, 2014.

Costa Rica is known for its lush rainforests, its abundance of tropical plants and animals, and its beaches. The country also boasts volcanoes, mountains, rivers, and waterfalls. In 1971, Costa Rica established 26% of its land as national parks – this was the first country in the world to do so. Currently, about 51% of Costa Ricans live in urban areas (compared to 80% in North America), allowing for much of the country’s natural beauty to remain unpolluted.

One contributing factor to Costa Rica’s abundant biodiversity is that there are no armies or military bases present in the country – Costa Rica has been at peace since 1948. Instead of allocating funds towards military spending, Costa Rica’s government focuses on education, healthcare, and environmental conservation. For instance, 99% of primary school-aged children are enrolled in school (the highest rate in Latin America), 97% of homes have access to clean drinking water, and forest cover has increased from 21% in 1987 to 52% in 2016. These developments have helped put Costa Rica on the map as a global leader in sustainability – something that has only grown more important in recent years as climate change becomes an increasingly pressing issue.

Why Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is often lauded as a model for sustainable living and is frequently top of mind as a global eco-travel destination. So, what makes Costa Rica so special?

Well, for starters, the country aims to be carbon-neutral by 2021. It gets 99 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, with hydropower accounting for about 80 percent of the total. In comparison, renewable sources make up about 17 percent of the electricity generated in the United States.

What’s more, Costa Rica has some of the most robust environmental protection laws in the world. More than 25 percent of the country is protected land, and there are more than 200 national parks and reserves. These preservation efforts help preserve not only the country’s natural beauty but also its incredible biodiversity. In fact, Costa Rica is home to 5 percent of the world’s known biodiversity, even though it only comprises 0.03 percent of the planet’s surface area.

Costa Rica’s dedication to sustainable living doesn’t stop there. The country has also pioneered sustainable agriculture initiatives, including agroforestry, which involves integrating trees into traditional farmland. This type of farming not only helps combating deforestation but also supports farmers by providing an extra source of income from timber production.

In recent years, ecotourism has become increasingly popular in Costa Rica as travelers seek out responsible ways to explore and appreciate natural environments without damaging them in the process. This form of tourism often provides much-needed economic opportunities to local communities while promoting conservation efforts.

From its renewable energy sources and protected lands to its sustainable agriculture practices, it’s no wonder Costa Rica is setting a precedent for other countries looking to green their economies and become more environmentally friendly destinations for global travelers.

The Future of Costa Rica

As the world increasingly looks for sustainable travel options, Costa Rica has positioned itself as a leader in eco-tourism.

The country has worked to preserve its natural beauty and implement green practices in tourism, agriculture, and energy production. As a result, Costa Rica has become a top global destination for sustainable travel.

Eco-tourism is a major driver of the Costa Rican economy, and the country has taken steps to ensure that its tourism sector is sustainable. For example, Costa Rica requires that all hotels meet certain environmental standards. The country also promotes green transportation options such as biking and public transportation.

In addition to its commitment to eco-tourism, Costa Rica has also worked to become a leader in sustainable agriculture. The country has implemented practices such as agroforestry, which integrates trees into traditional farms. This helps to conserve resources and improve soil quality. Costa Rica also produces a large amount of organic coffee, which is exported around the world.

Finally, Costa Rica has made significant progress in developing renewable energy sources. The country gets more than 99% of its electricity from hydroelectric dams, wind farms, and geothermal power plants. As a result, Costa Rica emits very little greenhouse gases relative to other countries.

Costa Rica’s efforts to become a sustainable travel destination have had positive effects both domestically and internationally. The country’s commitment to green practices helps to preserve its natural beauty and improve the quality of life for its citizens. In addition, Costa Rica’s leadership in sustainable tourism provides an example for other countries looking to develop their own eco-tourism industries.


While Costa Rica may have started off as a deforestation hot spot, it has since turned things around and become a model for sustainable development. Through a combination of government regulation and grassroots initiatives, Costa Rica has managed to protect its forests and water resources, while also becoming a popular global travel destination. Thanks to these efforts, Costa Rica is now well on its way to becoming a completely green country.

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