Skip to main content

A Sustainable travel guide to Costa Rica

Parisa Pouramn

Reviewed by:

Costa Rica, Pura Vida

Obviously we love travel here. But we only love travel when it’s done with love and respect: when it’s sustainable, because taking care of our planet and communities on the go is what MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®. That’s why we made this nifty guide for sustainable travel in Costa Rica!

Sustainable travel actively contributes to the conservation of cultural heritage and natural environments of the countries and places we travel to. It’s a form of sustainable and responsible travel which puts the onus on the tourist to take care. By travelling more sustainably, not only will you be making a difference to the world, but you’ll be leaving a better place behind for the next set of travellers.

We promise, that feeling of doing something good, will make your trip to Costa Rica 100% better! And all you’ve got to do is come along with us on Viva Costa Rica to visit some of nature’s most treasured places and enjoy the ride.

A Little on Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s reputation for being one of the most earth conscious countries in the world is not new. It’s come from years of work achieved by its community and it’s been voted the best country for sustainable travel on numerous occasions. 

Did you know that it was the first country in the Americas to ban hunting in 2012? Or that 26% of Costa Rica’s land is dedicated to national parks, wildlife reserves, and protected areas? Thanks to these supported zones, Costa Rica’s biodiversity is booming and unmatched!

By paying a visit to these lush and verdant areas, you’ll help support the local tourism in Costa Rica and contribute to future advancements in keeping our globe healthy and green! Read on for sustainable travel destinations which will knock your socks on.

Hike through Arenal Volcano National Park

This volcano dominates the landscape of northern Costa Rica and can be seen for miles! It was once one of the most active volcanoes in the world but is not dormant, so don’t worry, you can safely wander around in its vicinity, and the hiking trails here are stunning. Not only will you get to witness the might of this sleeping giant, but La Fortuna waterfall and Lake Arenal will blow you away!

Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica

Image source:Contiki

Soak in the Tobácon Hot Springs

After hiking, take a dip and relax your muscles in the Tobacon hot springs. Located at the border of Arenal Volcano National Park (another stunning water feature!), the waters are naturally-heated and surrounded by exotic greenery – it’s like bathing in your own private jungle. Book your spot on our Viva Costa Rica trip and we’ll transport you to paradise.

20 sustainable travel tips to keep in mind for your next trip

20 sustainable travel tips to keep in mind for your next trip

Dominic Oliver
by Dominic Oliver Apr 05, 2024

Enjoy local meals in Puerto Viejo de Limon

Farm-to-table meals are a sustainable solution to enjoy local food prepared by local people – and they know best! Learn how Costa Ricans eat and live sustainably at various bars in the area made entirely from reclaimed materials and natural resources. Not only that, but tha food is locally sourced and made with a full heart of love just for you.

Whale Watching in Ballena National Park

We believe in admiring wildlife from afar. We don’t want to disturb these gentle beasts in their homes, so bobbing aboard a ship on the Caribbean Coast is the perfect way to catch a glimpse of beautiful whales in their natural habitat. Ballena National Park is widely regarded as one of the best spots in the Americas to go whale watching, so it would be silly not to participate.

 Get lost in the cloud forests

One of many gorgeous locations in Costa Rica’s National Park system, Montverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a unique stopping point. Home to six different ecological zones, this forest reserve boasts incredible biodiversity and is also equipped with suspension bridges and ziplines for that adventurous flair that you and your fellow Contiki travellers will just love!

Costa Rica is living, breathing proof that sustainable living makes us happier

Costa Rica is living, breathing proof that sustainable living makes us happier

by Seth Maxwell May 19, 2017

Snorkel in Crystal Blue Waters

A short boat ride away from the Nicoya Peninsula is Tortuga Island, where you can slip below the waves and discover an underwater world filled with unique flora and fauna. Swim around manta rays, dolphins, octopuses, and sharks: it’s the perfect day trip.

girls on beach in costa rica

Image source:Contiki

Visit Tortugero National Park

Similar but different, Tortuguero National Park is a stunning protected area on the Caribbean Coast home to sea turtle nesting beaches. A visit here is a really special experience, especially if you book a guided tour at night for the chance to see turtles laying their eggs in the sand. It’s best to explore this area by boat so as not to get lost and not to disturb the natural environment.

Fancy a Turtle Trek themed trip? We’ve got you covered.

Admire nature in Tirimba Biological Reserve

If you’re an eco traveller for the educational aspect of it, Tirimba Biological Reserve is the place for you. Head over for languorous hikes through wetlands, forests, and cacao plants and learn about everyone’s favourite, chocolate! 

Book an Eco Lodge

Vacationing in Costa Rica, a world leader in sustainable travel, doesn’t make sense without the accompanying sustainable accommodation. Choose mindful lodgings, and really why wouldn’t you anyway? Surrounded by lush nature and the beauty of the world, an ‘eco lodge’ somewhere is calling your name.

Costa Rica Arenal Volcano

Gaze in awe at Corcovado National Park

Have you ever wanted to spot monkeys, sloths, jaguars and tapirs all in one trip? Well, this national park is the place for you! A true wildlife refuge, this park is a haven for photographers wanting to stun their friends and for animals who want to live in peace. It’s the best of both world right on the Osa Peninsula, and National Geographic calls it ‘the most biologically intense place on earth.’ Wow!

Up next

Recommended by us

Stop dreaming and make sh*t happen!