What makes Costa Rica the most eco-friendly destination to visit?

If you are environmentally aware and are looking for a travel destination to relax in direct contact with nature, search no more–your #1 option for your next vacation is Costa Rica. Ranked as one of the most eco-friendly travel destinations worldwide

It is famous for its breathtaking natural wonders, as well as for its eco-friendly design and boutique hotels. This is largely thanks to nationwide sustainability policies, which rely heavily on abundant electricity from hydroelectric dams–a source of clean energy currently serving around 75% of the country’s energy needs. So, what better travel destination than a country leading sustainable ecotourism and taking action to save the environment? And that is, of course, in addition to having the happiest people on Earth. If this is not enough to convince you, below we share further reasons why Costa Rica is one of the most eco-friendly countries, and why a trip to Costa Rica is a trip to make the planet a little greener.

Costa Rica represents at least 5% of the world’s biodiversity.

Costa Rica represents at least 5% of the world’s biodiversity.

The World’s Most Eco-Friendly Destination

Wild Fauna

With over 500,000 different species of animals and plants, Costa Rica houses at least 5% of the world’s biodiversity. In other words, the number of wildlife per 10,000 km2 is 615. Astounding, right?
Currently, it is estimated that over 10,000 plants and trees grow across Costa Rica, hosting over 1,200 orchid species. Over 35,000 insect, 160 amphibian, 220 reptile, 850 bird, and 205 mammal species inhabit this magnificent country. You may also like: 5 Benefits of Green Areas Based on the above number of species, the large animal conservation efforts in the country might come as no surprise to you. Throughout the year, the country’s coast becomes the nesting home for four different turtle species: Leatherback, Green, Hawksbill, and Olive Ridley. People work relentlessly to ensure that beaches are a safe haven for expectant turtles and their nests.

However, biodiversity in this beautiful country–considered the ultimate eco-friendly destination–does not only include animals. The country is divided into 8 biological reserves, 20 natural parks, and a group of protected parks, all housing Costa Rica’s remarkable wildlife. The best part is probably the exuberant tropical jungles offering visitors direct contact with nature. Activities include walks in several trails and ziplining to fly among treetops–the choice is yours.

Renewable Energy

Most of the world’s countries continue to practice the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity. Costa Rica, however, has left this behind and engaged in renewable electricity generation, in which it has become a leader worldwide. Clean or renewable energies are those generated from natural sources–readily available in nature–such as wind, water, and soil. To follow a pro-environment agenda, Costa Rica has bet on the use of renewable energy since 1994.

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Between 2015 and 2016, the country ran exclusively on renewable energy for a total of 229 days. The country intends to cease carbon dependency completely by 2021; bearing in mind that in 2015 it used 99% of renewable energy sources, it is safe to say that the plan will be successful.

Ecotourism Making a Difference

Costa Rica has proven that conservation and economic growth go hand in hand. Investing in ecotourism has proven beneficial and has fostered environmental and country development.

Ecotourism ensures that the environmental impact is minimal. This contributes to protecting key natural areas, and also benefits populations by helping them to reduce their dependency on other economic activities that are potentially harmful to the environment. Activities include trips such as peaceful walks in national parks and adventure tours like hiking in the rainforest. Costa Rica simplifies being in direct contact with nature, in line with each person’s physical condition, interests, and age.

Ecotourism in the country is not limited to activities within nature. It involves the fully sustainable service provided by hotels, as well as the efforts to ensure that the local population receives the income generated. What is more, the locals are strongly committed to caring for the environment.

So these are the reasons why Costa Rica is in the spotlight when it comes to eco-friendly destinations around the world. Flora, fauna, community labor, and climate: the key elements making this nation shine a bright light–a green light. Are you adventurous enough to visit Costa Rica? We suggest your start by visiting the forests at Mistico Park.