Costa Rica Sun Tours has always been committed to the preservation of our natural resources. We have fostered sustainable tourism in Costa Rica – a model of reciprocity that supports and enhances the local community and environment as it enlightens visitors. The lodges and the tour operation comply with standards set by the Ecotourism Society and every effort is made to impact the environment as little as possible, to recycle and to utilize renewable energy sources. Expert guides bring profound vision to the untrained eye and mind. It is their knowledge and insight that truly allows the mystery of nature to unfold. All guides follow strict “green ethics.” Any waste materials are packed out of the forest and collection of any kind is forbidden. Guests are asked not to remove even the tiniest seashell.
Costa Rica Sun Tours is one of the first country wide Tour Operators to be Certified in Sustainable Tourism. In 2007, with a four leaf level of a maximum of five, we completed the process of certification successfully becoming one of only seven Tour Operators to do so on the first try. The certification is established by the Tourism Institute of Costa Rica, the country´s most important authority in tourism. Having achieved the Certification in Sustainable Tourism validates our present, on going and long term commitment to conservation and the education of our guests about the importance of protecting our environment.
What is the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism
The program seeks to categorize and certify each tourism company according to the degree to which its operations comply with a model of sustainability. Four fundamental aspects are evaluated:
Evaluates the interaction between the company and its surrounding natural habitat.
Infrastructure and services
Evaluates the management policies and the operational systems within the company and its infrastructure.
Evaluates the interaction of the company with its clients in terms of how much it allows and invites the client to be an active contributor to the company’s policies of sustainability.
Evaluates the interaction of the company with the local communities and the population in general.
For every one of these items a list of specific questions was designed to help evaluate how thoroughly each Tour Operator complies with a series of standards previously established for the social, environmental and economics fields.
We also actively support other conservation organizations in different fields
Pretoma Programa Restauración de Tortugas Marinas (PRETOMA)
The Marine Turtle Restoration Program is a Costa Rican non-profit NGO founded in 1997, working in favor of marine conservation to research and protect ocean resources, also promote sustainable fisheries policies in Costa Rica and Central America.
Costa Rica has an image as a conservationist country. Indeed there are many positive laws and regulations on paper in Costa Rica for land conservations, marine conservation on the other hand, has not been as protected, the biggest challenge being the regulation and enforcement of the laws that are in place.
As a result, PRETOMA directs efforts in the following categories:
- Direct in the field conservation projects
- Research and outreach onboard commercial fishing vessels
- Public awareness and education
- Litigation and policy advocacy
- Gather and publish data on sharks and sea turtles including satellite tagging studies as well as studies on the capture of these species
- Ongoing outreach programs with the commercial fishery sector to introduce practices and devices which mitigate impacts on non-target species.
- Maintain direct conservation projects to protect sea turtles and their nests on beaches on the Pacific coast (over 170,000 sea turtle hatchlings protected).
- Conduct year round public awareness marine conservation campaigns as well as education programs in schools, high schools and universities.
- Work directly with the Ministry of Environment and the Costa Rican Congress to fight against policies that promote unsustainable exploitation of marine resources.
Tiskita Lodge Tiskita Foundation
Conservation comes from real concern and care for the environment and the people where you live.
The Tiskita Foundation is a charitable organization raises funds to purchase land for reforestation and conservation in the Punta Banco region, while also working on educational and health projects serving the local communities.
The Tiskita Foundation has contributed with the community in projects that include:
- The construction of the Punta Banco Health Care Center by donating all the lumber, and providing transport of the materials.
- The installation of an electric generator. Ten years ago there was no public power in the area.
- Guests of Tiskita Jungle Lodge periodically send school supplies for the village and the Conte-Guaymi Indian Reservations Schools. These are distributed through the Foundation to over ten schools in the area. Most of these schools can only be reached by foot or on horse. Tiskita Jungle Lodge provides both the man and horse power for the 5 to 6 hours it takes to reach the schools.
- Donation of a portable dental unit for the Health Care Center. The NGO Smiles Forever now is able to come and provide dental hygiene, free of charge, to the people of the area.
- Providing most of the maintenance of the road between Pavones and Punta Banco including several bridges.
- Donation of educational supplies to schools at Vista de Mar, Cocal Amarillo, Rio Claro, Punta Banco, La Hierba, and the schools of La Laguna, Cabeceras de Rio Claro, and Altamira in the Conte-Guaymi Indian Reservation.
- In conjunction with the Punta Banco School and the Tiskita Foundation, it supports a monthly Beach Clean Up, providing transportation for the garbage to the dumpsite as there is no municipal garbage collection in the area.