Costa Rica has invested more than 50 years in rural development, as well as the rural communities have struggled more than 500 years in order to defend their identity and claim the right to development and equity. All these years of efforts are capitalized today into new initiatives for the endogenous enhancement of the local economies.
Community Rural Tourism is one of the initiatives that, little by little, has represented an important means of development for those rural communities potentially capable of competing with other high quality attraction sites. The rural world is therefore kaleidoscopically unique as for assets, history, nature, talents, and hopes. This is the meaning of community rural tourism, an authentic tourist product impossible to imitate, an important tool for the development of the communities and the enhancement of the Costa Rican identity.
Tourist destinations are often packaged so that everything is a photo opportunity, and tourists are shown only one side of a country, the part that sells well. It is not always easy to get off the tourist trail and see how life is lived every day. Costa Rica has not escaped this tendency. It is promoted as a natural paradise, and more than a million tourists arrive every year to visit its forests, volcanoes and beaches. However, not many have the chance to get to know ticos and ticas during their stay. In contrast, people who choose rural community tourism get to participate in everyday life, and feel more like guests than like tourists.
Community-based rural tourism offers the opportunity to access without barriers the essence of rural life, and to explore natural landscapes and the least visited natural areas, hand in hand with excellent campesino hosts, while learning from the traditions and way of life of the local population.
The community-based rural tourism initiatives are run by community associations that own private ecological reserves, or are close to areas of environmental and cultural interest. These communities offer new experiences, combining tourism services such as accomodation, tours and handicrafts, with the incredible natural landscapes y and the lively campesino, indigenous or afrocaribbean culture of their community. This allow our visitors to discover the real Costa Rica, explore paradisiac places, benefit and share with comunities involved in the conservation of natural resources, enjoy and relax in a healthy and creative way.