The Costa Rican Tourism Board has launched a promise to educate its visitors as to the “real meaning of responsible tourism”.

The Pura Vida Pledge is a vow to remind tourists of the actions they can take to make a difference to local communities in the destination post-Covid-19.

‘Pura vida’ is a popular mantra for Costa Ricans, meaning ‘pure life’ or ‘full of life’, symbolising the Costa Rican mind-set of energy and positivity and commitment to the environment.

The country was among the first to pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050.

To promote the message of sustainability among its visitors, it has created five Pura Vida pledges, asking tourists to make at least one when they visit.

They are:

  1. Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST): The CST awards local companies that follow thorough sustainable practices More than 400 tourism companies across Costa Rica are CST certified – including hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and tourism attractions. Visitors are encouraged to choose companies that have the CST certification when planning their holiday – travel agents or tour operator will be able to assist. The list can be found here.
  2. Carbon offsetting: The Costa Rica Tourism Board has partnered with the National Forestry Financing Fund (Fonafifo) to fight against carbon footprint. Travellers can log into an online tool to easily calculate the carbon emissions of their flight and then make a payment that Fonafifo will invest in different environmental projects throughout the country.
  3. Volunteering: Supporting local communities through rural tourism or voluntary programmes The Costa Rica Tourism Board is investing in other areas of the country to spread the opportunity and to avoid future overcrowding to protect biodiversity, meaning there will be more volunteering projects for tourists to get involved with
  4. Respecting the environment: The Pura Vida Pledge is asking visitors to make a conscious effort to respect the environment ‘before it is too late’.
  5. Quality assurance: Costa Rica was awarded the WTTC Safe Travels stamp in July, and 73 Costa Rican businesses have been given it since. Tourists are encouraged to use these businesses which have made a commitment to health and safety.