Costa Rica – a small country in Central America – is famous for ecotourism. In this article, we will explore all about ecotourism in Costa Rica: why it is well-known, what destinations you should choose, and what are the best eco-lodges to stay in.

Why Is Costa Rica Famous For Ecotourism?

With its rich biodiversity, stunning landscapes, and friendly people, Costa Rica is the most biodiverse region in the world. It attracts millions of visitors every year who want to enjoy nature and culture in a sustainable way. 

Speaking of the benefits of ecotourism in Costa Rica, this country earned $3.4 billion from tourist spending in 2019, about 5% of its GDP. 

Costa Rica has protected 25% of its territory in national parks and reserves, which host 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Their government is fair and peaceful. Most people here can read and write and get the healthcare they deserve.

Why Ecotourism in Costa Rica?

Scientists and nature lovers call Costa Rica “the living Eden” because it’s incredible. It has 28 national parks, 58 wildlife refuges, and many protected areas. 

In Costa Rica, you can find over 10,000 types of plants and trees, over 850 different birds, more than 200 kinds of mammals, many insects, frogs, reptiles, and more than 1,000 types of fish. It’s a giant treasure trove of nature and animals, and that’s why Costa Rica is famous for ecotourism.

Best Ecotourism In Costa Rica

Costa Rica has dozens of places and activities for sustainable travel. To celebrate World Tourism Day 2023, it’s a good idea to choose one of these ecotourism destinations and start your eco-friendly trip:

1. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is among the most famous ecotourism attractions in Costa Rica. It is a 26,000-acre private reserve that protects one of the last remaining cloud forests in the world.  

Enjoy ecotourism in Costa Rica with cloud forest

A cloud forest is a type of rainforest covered by mist or clouds most of the time, creating a unique and diverse ecosystem. 

Inside this forest is a diverse flora and fauna system with over 2,500 different types of plants, 400 types of birds, 100 types of mammals, and countless insects and reptiles.

The best part? You can explore this fantastic place by walking on trails through the forest, crossing cool hanging bridges, or even flying through the trees on zip lines. It’s like stepping into a real-life jungle book!

2. Osa Peninsula

The Osa Peninsula is this far-off and untamed place in the southern part of Costa Rica. National Geographic considers it one of the most biologically intense places on earth.

This peninsula encompasses Corcovado National Park, the largest and most diverse park in Costa Rica. The park covers 164 square miles of lowland rainforest, mangroves, beaches, and rivers. It is home to more than 500 tree species, 140 mammal species, 400 bird species, and 100 reptile species. Some rare and endangered animals you can see there are jaguars, tapirs, scarlet macaws, harpy eagles, and sea turtles. 

Osa Peninsula

Travelers can explore the park by hiking on trails, camping in ranger stations, or taking boat tours. All of these traits make the Osa Peninsula one of the best eco tours in Costa Rica.

3. Caño Island

Just off the Osa Peninsula’s coast is a fantastic place called Caño Island. It was declared a biological reserve back in 1978. 

Among tall green trees, there are mysterious stone spheres that the Diquís tribe carved by hand a long time ago. These unique stones have puzzled scientists for many years.

But that’s not all! Caño Island is also known as one of the best places in the world for scuba diving. It’s an underwater paradise that you shouldn’t dismiss! 

There are five extensive coral reef areas all around the island. When diving there, you will have a chance to see eels, lobsters, sharks, sea turtles, and maybe even whales in the winter.

See more: Ecotourism In The Amazon

4. Arenal Volcano National Park

Used to be one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the Arenal Volcano dominates the landscape of northwestern Costa Rica. Located near the small town of La Fortuna, the volcano has been dormant for years. It’s about 5,480 feet tall and was a real showstopper until 2010. 

Arenal Volcano National Park

Nearby, there’s Lake Arenal – a big, beautiful lake and a stunning waterfall called La Fortuna Waterfall. Moreover, this ecotourism In Costa Rica has several hot springs where you can chill and enjoy warm, soothing water.

Even though the volcano isn’t making a fuss anymore, it’s still this giant, peaceful presence in the lush landscape. As a result, people love to visit this place for all the natural beauty and exciting things to do.

5. Ballena Marine National Park

Ballena Marine National Park in Costa Rica is one of the newest in the national park system. It’s famous for being the perfect spot in the Americas to see whales. The reason? Well, both Northern and Southern Humpback Whales migrate through this site. 

Ballena Marine National Park

Also, this park has about 8.69 miles of beautiful beaches. There’s even a tiny estuary and Central America’s biggest coral reef in the Pacific Ocean. It is a fantastic place to enjoy the beach, see unique wildlife, and have underwater fun!

But that’s not all! Costa Rica even has Manuel Antonio National Park, Rincón De La Vieja,Tabacón Hot Springs, and more. 

Start your ecotourism trip today by browsing on TripAdvisor. Here are active Tripadvisor coupons that help you travel on a budget

Best Eco Lodge In Costa Rica

When experiencing sustainable trips in Costa Rica, you must find a place to stay that matches your expectations and values. Here are some of the top-notch eco-lodges in Costa Rica that offer comfortable and eco-friendly accommodations in natural settings:

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort is a luxury eco-lodge near Arenal Volcano National Park. It is favored for its natural hot springs, which are heated by the volcano and flow through the resort’s gardens and pools. 

The resort also offers a spa, a restaurant, and a bar, with various rooms and suites to satisfy everyone’s needs. Check it out because this place has been certified by the Rainforest Alliance and the Costa Rican Tourism Board for its environmental and social practices.

Leaves And Lizards Retreat

Leaves And Lizards Retreat

Leaves And Lizards Retreat is a cozy eco-lodge near Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. It is a family-owned and operated business that offers comfortable cabins, spacious villas, and the one-of-a-kind Hobbit House, all featuring quaint, eco-friendly decor. 

In this lodge, visitors can enjoy full amenities with stunning views of the forest and the volcano. Further, visit its farm, restaurant, pool, and yoga studio to feel at home. 

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

This lodge might bring you the feel of a real-life adventure because there are no roads, no airport, and the closest town is two hours away. That means it is remote and far from all the hustle and bustle, so you can relish the peace here.

Being a part of the Osa Peninsula, the eco-lodge is the closest place to stay near Corcovado without having to camp in a tent. 

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

What we love about Casa Corcovado Lodge is that it is truly eco-friendly. This place is one of the few hotels rewarded “Five Leaves” for sustainability by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.

Hotel Parque del Lago 

Just a short 20-minute drive from the airport, there’s a small and cozy hotel that’s perfect for starting your adventure in San Jose. It has earned a 3-Leaf rating for sustainability and owns the well-known ICONOS Restaurant.

Here’s the best part: This hotel is right next to Parque Metropolitano La Sabana – the city’s  “Central Park,” a big 72-acre forest with a lake. 

So, you can stay at the hotel, eat yummy food, and then explore this natural place nearby. It’s a great way to start your eco-friendly journey in Costa Rica!

Travel Time!

It’s time to enjoy ecotourism In Costa Rica – where you can explore nature and culture and relax sustainably. Begin your adventure today to experience Costa Rica’s incredible flora and fauna, beautiful scenery, friendly folks, and comfy places to stay, all while supporting its conservation efforts.


Hanni covers topics including travel, pets, and entertainment. These topics have nurtured her love for the environment. She didn't pursue this path academically, but her enthusiasm for green living and forest conservation has found a perfect home at Tenereteam. In her articles, Hanni focuses on practical tips for sustainable living, drawing from her experiences and research. In her free time, Hanni loves exploring farmer’s markets and, of course, traveling.

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