Home to the most varied and dense biosphere on the planet, Costa Rica is the best place in the world to enjoy an ecotourism vacation. Indeed, over a quarter of Costa Rica’s territory is in the form of national parks, wildlife reserves, and protected conservation areas, so there is a lot of wild, pristine nature to explore in this amazing country.
For more than 50 years, the government of Costa Rica has been singularly dedicated to promoting ecotourism, realizing that protecting the environment and sustainable economic growth can be achieved simultaneously. Along with a coterie of domestic and international NGOs and conservation groups, the government of Costa Rica is a world leader in promoting sustainable ecotourism practices.
One of the leading examples of Costa Rica’s commitment to sustainable, ecotourism practices is the Manuel Antonio National Park in Puntarenas Province on the Pacific Coast. Despite being one of the smallest national parks in terms of overall size, Manuel Antonio is a vibrant, diverse ecosystem that is home to an incredible richness of plant, bird, and animal species. Visitor activity in Manuel Antonio National Park is strictly regulated to ensure the long-term health of this vital biosphere.
More than 350 species of birds thrive in the Manuel Antonio National Park, including motmots, toucans, scarlet macaws, parakeets, tanagers, and hawks. There are also more than 100 different species of mammals that call Manuel Antonio National Park home, including howler, capuchin, and spider monkeys.
Popular ecotourism activities include stand-up paddling and kayaking along the estuaries and coastal regions, horseback riding, bird watching, hiking, and swimming and playing at the base of tropical waterfalls. Costa Rica is also a world-famous destination for surfing thanks to its clear, warm waters, beautiful locations, and abundance of big swells that provide excellent challenges to both first-time and experienced surfers. All of these activities eschew the use of gas-powered machines and other polluting forms of transportation, ensuring that the only thing left behind by visitors are their footprints.
If you’re interested in enjoying an amazing ecotourism experience in Costa Rica that includes surfing and nature tours, be sure to book your vacation with the Manuel Antonio Surf School and Camp (MASS), the premier surf school in the country. MASS is located in Dominical on the Pacific Coast near the Manuel Antonio National Park and specializes in holistic activities, tours of the surrounding nature, and expert coaching for surfers of all ability levels.