Cuba & Costa Rica Blog
About this blog
Written by Cuba and Costa Rica expert Christopher P. Baker, this blog will update readers on life in these two diverse and exciting countries.
- Last blog post on Costa Rica and Cuba
- First-ever group motorcycle tours of Cuba successful
- Cuba’s Mariel port readying for Panama Canal expansion
- Musings on wildlife encounters on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
- Cuba’s Steam Trains puffing their last gasp
- My top five thrilling activities in Costa Rica
- Cuba’s fun February festivals include Harleys, Books, Cigars
- Five top volcano viewing experiences in Costa Rica
- New road along Costa Rica / Nicaraguan border mired
- Cuba’s Hotel Campoamor at Cojímar to be restored?
- Cuban revolutionary Celia Sánchez honored in new book
- Christmas challenge for Costa Rica’s sexually abused girls
- Costa Rica opens Chinatown in downtown San José
- David Soul films Hemingway’s car restoration in Cuba
- National Geographic Expeditions receives license for Cuba tours
Animals dance to save Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
Last week my friend Hans Pfister sent me a link to a clever conservation program that aims to draw attention to the threats facing Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula—home to Central America’s largest stand of virgin rainforest and dubbed famously by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on earth.”
One of the hotels is Lapa Rios, a world-renowned ecolodge at the gateway to Corcovado National Park. Not least for this reason, Cayuga—the “Small Hotel Chain” 2010 Conde Nast World Saver Award winner—is sponsoring the unique conservation effort.
Concerned about the negative effects that mass tourism has brought to other parts of Costa Rica, dedicated travelers Marco Bollinger and Eytan Elterman created iSeeiTravel—a “boutique travel media company” dedicated to conscientious travel.
Focusing first on Costa Rica, the duo turned to the crowdfunding website Indiegogo to solicit funds for their documentary movie and photojournalism project called “2.5%: Conscious Travel in the World’s Most Biologically Intense Rainforest”.
See my blog post of August 30, 2011—“Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula to get International Airport”—for a sense of the potential threats to the Osa Peninsula, which most prominently include the Costa Rican government’s decision to build an international airport in the region.
To help raise awareness (and $25,000), Marco transformed into a Scarlet macaw and Eytan into a Green sea turtle, performing dancing skits across North America with the promise: “We’re not leaving the dance floor until our campaign is funded!”
The 2.5% documentary will highlight Costa Rica’s ecotourism successes while also profiling negatives associated with resort-based development (which I outline in my August 30, 2011, blog post) and teaching viewers how travelers can contribute by traveling conscientiously. See my blog post of April 19, 2010, “Think Eco-sensitive for your next Costa Rica Vacation”, for examples of what traveling conscientiously means.
Marco and Eytan promise to make their documentary available for use by such conservation groups as Center for Responsible Travel, the Corcovado Foundation, and Rainforest Alliance to assist their efforts in advocating for responsible tourism development.
Because the Osa Peninsula is home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity.
Meanwhile, Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality applies a conscientious philosophy to managing its seven superb Costa Rican hotels, all of which I’ve visited and/or stayed at recently. For example, all employ extensive recycling and composting systems, monitoring wastewater to ensure the protection of the local ecosystem, water- and energy-management to reduce use and improve efficiency, use of natural local resources in the building and maintenance of each hotel’s infrastructure, and a dedication to involving, serving, and benefitting the local communities.
Stays at any of the company’s hotels also happen to be tremendously pleasurable experiences.
On your next trip to Costa Rica, be sure to check into one or more of Cayuga’s properties.
For complete information about travel in Costa Rica, buy Moon Handbook Costa Rica
If you're traveling only to San José and the Caribbean, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast pocket guide.
If you're traveling only to the beaches of Nicoya, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula pocket guide.
If you're traveling only to Arenal and/or Monteverde, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Arenal & Monteverde pocket guide.
Disclosure: I occasionally accept free or discounted travel when it coincides with my editorial goals. However, my opinion is never for sale. The opinions you see in Cuba & Costa Rica Journal are my unbiased reflection of the good, the bad, and the ugly
Learn more about Christopher P. Baker.
Copyright © Christopher P. Baker