This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Tailor made vacation
This trip is run by a company which specialises in only Central and South America vacations. It can be tailormade to create a unique vacation for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. The length of stay, standard of accommodation and even the itinerary can all be amended and tailored to suit your preferred style of travel and budget. Quality and value are the hallmark of these trips.
Responsible tourism: Costa Rica family vacation, tailor made
Costa Rica is one of the most peaceful and stable countries in the world: and the people are among the friendliest in Latin America. The comprehensive network of national parks with their extensive trails is always very accessible. In line with its love and respect for the great outdoors, Costa Rica also has been at the vanguard of responsible adventure tourism, with lots of safe activities on offer from zip-lining to white-water rafting which do not have a negative impact on the environment. This makes it an ideal destination for families; where children will experience exotic landscapes while learning about how to conserve them and their prolific wildlife.
In fact, ecotourism in Costa Rica is one of the key activities of its tourism industry. The country was a pioneer among of several in Latin America turning to ecotourism as a way of responding to the growing demand for responsible travel. Eco-friendly lodges and activities draw visitors to the many extensive national parks and protected areas around the country, and you will be impressed by the slick and professional way in which these policies have come to fruition.
Our local partners in Costa Rica, with whom we work to select accommodation and activities for you, have a declared policy of adhering to responsible attitudes toward waste and water management and energy resources. They aim to strengthen these principals through management practices of their employees. The companies seek to minimize the impact of visitors on the landscape and its wildlife, respecting the fragility of the ecosystems. They aim to respect local communities, supporting conservation and development initiatives. As part of their work, they engage in activities to promote the human development of the communities they visit.
Your accommodation virtually throughout is in lodges which are dedicated to the conservation of the natural environment and wildlife.
Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast has incredible biological variety owing to the existence of 11 different habitats, including rainforest, swamps, beaches and lagoons. It’s home to the manatees, caiman and crocodiles, which live in the channels; and endangered jaguars, three species of monkeys and three-toed sloths among a multitude of mammals thriving in the forest, along with reptiles and375 species of birds. There are more than 400 species of trees and approximately 2,200 species of plants. Tortuga Lodge is a leader in the field of environmental protection here. It’s a secluded lodge encompassing jungle trails, a private canal and an isolated beach on the Caribbean Sea. The lodge provides highly trained staff and guides, local descendants of the first settlers in the area who came from Jamaica, Costa Rica’s main Caribbean city of Limon (also of Jamaican descent) and Blue Fields, Nicaragua. Your guides will insure that you see the “hidden Tortuguero” because they live here all year round and make a constant study of the environment. The beaches are a key nesting ground for endangered sea turtles, including hawksbill, loggerheads, green and leatherbacks. Tortuga Lodge supports scientific study of these creatures and protects their breeding grounds.
You move on to the area around Arenal volcano, staying at Volcano Lodge. The hotel proprietor established a reforestation project called “Leave your mark on Costa Rica”. This ongoing project as thus far involved the planting of over 3,000 trees in the region. Your family, as hotel guests, can participate by planting a tree yourselves here: enquire at the hotel.
Your accommodation at Savegre, Rafiki Safari Lodge, is a pioneer in sustainability. The family who own it started from scratch with a bit of scrubby forest and overgrown pasture. Sustainability was the watchword from the word go: energy is provided by hydroelectricity which not only powers the lodge, but also provides the water for the waterslide, the hot tub, and the pool below. After the pool, the water flows into the lake below before it makes its way back to the river. The water comes from a mountain stream, and is returned back to the river without chemicals, so if your kids swallow a bit of water going down the slide, that’s fine. In order to minimise the impact on the environment, the tents that you will sleep in are not permanent structures, they are naturally climate controlled, and use low energy light bulbs, not only do they save electricity, but they also keep the insects at bay.
Even when you are relaxing on the coast at the end of your vacation, you are on the doorstep of the Manuel Antonio National Park, which protects its endemic wildlife. Staying at Falls Resort you are privy to a plethora of outdoor activities and natural attractions. The inn is situated adjacent to regional sites such as Finca Naturales Wildlife Refuge and Jaco Beach. The Falls Resort declares itself to be extremely committed to the environment and its ecologically impact. The hotel continually seeks sustainable, high quality products and services to help protect the environment and to further enhance your experience as guests.
The lodges and hotels we have chosen for you are active in their support of their local communities.
Tortuga Lodge on the Caribbean coast supports local organisations, donating annually to support turtle research and helping to build the museum. They also provide support for the volunteers of Global Vision International, and rebuilt the school in neighbouring San Francisco, also donating musical instruments and cost of traditional clothing fora children's dance troupe there. Tortuga Lodge regularly donates to the police force and Tortuguero village school.
A major element of Rafiki's sustainability model comes from the relationship with the community. Since there are no other sources of human resource available in the area, Rafiki recruits its employees from the village of Santo Domingo, training them from scratch. At the same time, they have worked hard to prevent the local culture from being lost. The rapid modernisation of Costa Rica has meant that towns like Santo Domingo barely have a place in the new model of success within the country. Lack of education of the current generation prevents people from being able to adapt from their former agricultural lifestyles to educated urban jobs which the country is providing. In order to "sustain" the town of Santo Domingo, the lodge has had to adapt to allow local people to find work. Whether it is helping a local family start a horseback rental service or providing a platform for a resident to start serving meals to tourists, or training river rafting guides, Rafiki is finding ways to diversify the job opportunities. The lodge currently provides opportunities to about 15% of the residents of the town.
Your hotel on the Pacific coast, Falls Resort, is working to create a new foundation which would allow hotels and other businesses to band together to raise significant funds on a regular basis for projects that strengthen local communities, the people, the flora and the fauna.