INTO NATURE VISIONWe strive for an optimal sustainable travel through Costa Rica. A travel where the three P's: People, Planet, Profit are in balance with each other. We have created a responsible adventure program with accommodations, routes and activities that leave a small eco-footprint and support the local population. Because the INTO NATURE team knows better than anyone that sustainable eco-tourism is possible, we contribute to raising awareness and increasing the demand for sustainable products.
We have carefully selected environmentally friendly lodgings for you. This selection is not based on whether accommodations have a sustainable certificate or an eco-designation, but actually on their environmental impact. In other words, “eco” should mean “eco” and not just “tourism.”
Our routes are often off the beaten path and the overpopulated tourist 'highlights' are avoided. For example, Into Nature does not go to the National Parks Manuel Antonio or Tortuguero because sustainable is no longer justified. Nature here has long been overloaded. The 'wild' animals in Manuel Antonio do not show natural behavior. You will likely encounter and experience the lifestyle of our Indigenous groups. Traveller groups are small; maximum 7 people. The activities are guaranteed not to have a negative impact on nature and we only organize activities in which animals are not exploited.
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TIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE TRAVELAn environmentally friendly vacation starts with yourself; with booking a sustainable flight, choosing extra activities, packing the backpack / suitcase, etc. We not only offer planning and preparation tips, but also suggestions on how to reduce CO2 emissions during your travels. Inform yourself about the country, nature and how you can travel sustainably in Costa Rica.
- Plan your trip with INTO NATURE or another travel organization that works independently and truly sustainably.
- Don't choose an organization that travels with large groups, and/or only visits the highlights, and certainly not an organization that is all about profit.
- From the Netherlands, our travel behaviour, especially our flight behaviour, determines the largest part of our ecological footprint. Pay a little more for your flight and reduce your carbon footprint in the air. You can choose to fly with KLM, which offers the CO2 ZERO compensation service. CO2ZERO is a service that enables passengers to compensate for their personal share of CO2 emissions by investing in CO2 reduction projects such as the Gold Standard certificate, an initiative of WWF. Thanks to efficient fuel consumption and the calculation of actual emissions, KLM's CO2 emissions are usually lower than those of other airlines.
- If possible, book a direct flight without stopovers. KLM offers (winter season 2018-2019) a direct flight from Amsterdam to San José, Costa Rica on Tuesdays and Fridays. If a direct flight is not possible, limit the number of flight kilometers where possible.
- Do not expect and demand the same comfort as at home.
- Do not behave like a mass tourist.
- Take rechargeable batteries and a charger with you.
- Choose a charger and/or flashlight on solar energy, for example from WakaWaka.
- Do not buy souvenirs made of shells or animals.
- Do not walk off the beaten path when entering nature areas
- Choose environmentally friendly products such as shampoo, deet and sunscreen.
- Use your own water bottle. Before your trip, buy a good thermos bottle or a Dopper to fill with water or lemonade. You can refill from a jerry can instead of buying many small water bottles.
PACKINGTravel with as little luggage as possible. Choose a backpack or suitcase that is not too big. Make a good list of what you really need in Costa Rica. Your luggage requires 4% of its weight in fuel per hour of flight. Here you will find a list of what you will need to travel with INTO NATURE. Roll up clothes when packing and use hollow spaces like in shoes. Bring along clothes that you can donate, so you will come back lighter.
PLASTICFind an alternative to plastic or limit your plastic waste. In some hotels or shops you can get 'loose' (not plasticized) drinking water. If you still use plastic bottles, store them with the waste for recycling or give it as a present. For many people, plastic bottles are useful. Think before you throw something away during your trip. Take all your waste with you when you are away from the beaten path, remember that remotely located lodges or villages are not entirely geared towards recycling or waste disposal. Take your plastic with you to a larger city. You can hand in the bottles at supermarkets in the cities. Some supermarkets give one plastic bag with each product. Say no if you are offered unnecessary packaging in shops. Do not accept plastic bags (1 million bags are used per minute and often thrown away soon after. Heavier plastic bags cannot be recycled), but bring your own reusable bag. Many shops now sell eco-bags.
- During a trip with Into Nature you should drive an environmentally friendly car.
- Depart early in the morning (after dusk) if it is still cool.
- Use the air conditioning as little as possible, drive with the windows half open instead, so you can enjoy nature, its sounds and smells even more.
- When travelling to another location, take a break if it is too hot to drive, for example to have lunch.
- In Costa Rica you will often see animals crossing the road, drive as little as possible at dusk as this is the time when they are most active.
- Don't drive in the dark, you have more nocturnal animals than diurnal animals crossing the roads.
EATING AND DRINKING
- Eat locally, there are small restaurants all over the country alongside the road, called 'sodas'.
- Eat more often vegetarian or vegan and as many regional products as possible.
- Choose organically grown products, especially if you want to eat a pineapple.
- Avoid fast food restaurants.
- Do not buy ready-made meals.
- Do you get a drink at a restaurant or soda? Refuse the straws and plastic cups.
- If your iPod or phone is empty, do not place it on the charger overnight. Usually one hour of charging is enough! Only charge when your battery is really empty.
- There are also chargers for sale that work on solar energy, such as WakaWaka.
- In a hotel room, turn off the air conditioning/heating, television and lighting when you leave your room.
- Say no to the daily replacement of bed linen and towels in hotels.
- Limit prolonged baths/showers.
- Do not use the free shampoo/shower gel/soap bottles in hotels.
- Ask your hotel for a glass instead of a plastic cup.
TOURS AND WILDLIFE
- When booking a tour, choose a local guide and small-scale local tour operators.
- Choose environmentally friendly activities. Do not go out into nature with large groups.
- Do not feed animals.
- Do not lure animals with food for a selfie.
- Do not engage in activities that lure wild animals, such as shows with crocodiles, monkeys and birds.
- Did you know that the 'feeders' with sweetened water for hummingbirds are very harmful to their health?