The trailblazers

The trailblazers

What does rural tourism in Costa Rica look, feel, smell, taste, and sound like? What does it mean to be a rural tourism entrepreneur in one of the most diverse destinations in the world? How has COVID-19 affected rural tourism in Costa Rica? Can the Costa Rican government save the sector… or can rural entrepreneurs save themselves? We asked ourselves all these questions, and in a very ambitious edition—with seven in-depth articles, four opinion columns, and nine articles written by members of our Directory 506—we tried to answer them.

April 2021.

‘My advice is to hang on tight’

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Costa Rica lost an iconic figure in conservation and rural ecotourism on March 23, when Rafael Gallo Palomo died after a long illness. We...

A night in the life of sea turtle protectors

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Our new series "A Day in the Life" is part of our joint storytelling efforts with the members of Directory 506, our national directory...

The wisdom of a life on the river

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"Forward hard!" yelled the guide. And I, with all the energy and emotion of a 16-year-old, rowed with all my heart. In the split...

For the love of the soil

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Why do they love the soil? Because it gives them freedom. So many people in this world don’t even have a place to plant...

Women, nature, and development

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When I think of the link between women and nature, I think of Gladys, María Luisa, and María Elena. They represent many women I’ve...

El Camino de Costa Rica

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From river ziplines in the Caribbean to breathtaking Pacific views, from long days on the trail to a night at the frog pond... photojournalist...

One step at a time

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Part two in our April series on rural community tourism in Costa Rica. Read Part One here. Birdsong and warm mountain sunlight flood the small...

For the love of the air

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Who makes the air we breathe?  Trees, of course. But who keeps the trees from being cut down? Do we recognize those people? Do they...

Virtual travel experiences: opportunities for travelers and tourism enterprises

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I have devoted much of the past 15 years to creating travel experiences, predominantly in Costa Rica and neighboring countries, anchored by meaningful human...

A day in the life of a master chocolatier

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In the early hours of the morning, the noise of an ATV fills the hills of Turrubares and announces that Yorleny Cubillo, the chocolatier...

When gold is green

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Third in our April series on rural community tourism in Costa Rica. Read Part One, “The wisdom that comes with a life on the...

For the love of water

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It’s a miracle that rivers exist at all. That’s what don Hernán Ramírez Alfaro has to say, with the song of running water behind his...

Online sales in Latin America: the challenges behind the opportunity

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You have a great product that you’re certain will sell in the thousands if it only were available to all those international buyers. You...

The power of the observer

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When we go on a trip, a walk, a little getaway, we always have a reason. It can be knowing a new place, revisiting...

The pebbles in their shoes

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Text by Mónica Quesada Cordero and Katherine Stanley Obando, with additional reporting by Mayela López and Thomas Enderlin. Fourth part in our April series...

For the love of fire

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Heat explodes in the mouth: he laughs as understanding dawns over a visitor's face when she recognizes that what she is tasting is a...

For Costa Rica, there’s no time to lose

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I'm an introvert. When I travel, I like to hide away with a book. But despite all that, every so often, sometime extraordinary happens...

Orchids, mysterious plants.

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    Orchids inevitably arouse curiosity and admiration. They used to be unusual, but today it is common to see them in homes and even for...

What would Costa Rica be like without rural tourism?

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Text by Mónica Quesada Cordero and Katherine Stanley Obando, with additional reporting by Mayela López and Thomas Enderlin. Part Five in our April series...

Can the government of Costa Rica rescue rural tourism?

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Text by Mónica Quesada Cordero and Katherine Stanley Obando, with additional reporting by Mayela López and Thomas Enderlin. Sixth part in our series on...

Forward hard!

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Series by Katherine Stanley Obando and Mónica Quesada Cordero, with additional reporting by Mayela López and Thomas Enderlin. Seventh part in our series on...