Posts Tagged ‘costa rica’

Costa Rica’s Parador Resort and Spa in the Heart of Manuel Antonio


Nestled high above Costa Rica’s scenic Pacific coastline, on acres upon acres of teeming-with-wildlife rainforests and adjacent to stunning Manuel Antonio Park, sits Parador Resort and Spa in Punta Quepos. It’s a sustainable jewel of a resort you must visit.

I stayed at Parador for nearly four unforgettable days a few weeks ago. It far surpassed my every expectation with its impeccable service, commitment to sustainability, and raw beauty. The resort was honored as a worldwide leader in sustainable tourism by receiving the Platinum Level “Leader in Sustainable Tourism” Adrian Award from National Geographic traveler, as well as having been recognized by TripAdvisor as one of the “Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Central America” just this year.

It was a first-time trip for me to the beautiful country; sincere thanks to Costa Rica’s tourism board. I had heard so many wonderful things about Costa Rica, and I received more advice than I could take on where I should visit, things I should do, and what I should eat. But there’s nothing better than letting moments overcome you when traveling. Rather than carefully plotting out and orchestrating my every move in Costa Rica, I decided I’d go for the ride and experience the country and its people. I wanted this trip to be as authentic as possible.


One of many richly beautiful views from our room


The World’s Best Ethical Destinations for 2012: “Travel is a Powerful Communicating Tool”

ethicaltraveller is a nonprofit that takes an unbiased look at the status of socially and environmentally responsible programs in developing nations. I was incredibly curious to see which countries they designate as being the ‘best’ to travel to, because I believe in not only seeing the world, but supporting companies, countries, programs and incentives that actively work to protect indigenous people, give good jobs, protect the environment, and support human rights.

As they state: “There are many ways to deliver a message and take a stand for human rights and the health of our planet. Social networks are critical—but travel is also a powerful communicating tool. Travel and tourism are among the planet’s driving economic forces, and every journey we take makes a statement about our priorities and commitment to change.”

And The Winners Are:

Ethical Traveler congratulates the countries on our 2012 list of The Developing World’s 10 Best Ethical Destinations. The winners, in alphabetical order (not in order of merit), are:

Argentina *
The Bahamas
Chile *
Costa Rica *
Dominica *
Latvia *
Palau *
Uruguay *
( * = also appeared on our 2011 list).

Check out all the considerations that went into putting this list together on the Ethical Traveller site, but the short list is below:

“Every year, Ethical Traveler reviews the policies and practices of all the nations in the developing world. We then select the ten that are doing the best job of promoting human rights, preserving their environment, and creating a sustainable, community-based tourism industry. By visiting these destinations, we use our economic power—our travel dollars—to support these countries.”

So far, of countries on the list, I’ve gotten to visit Costa Rica and the Bahamas, and Chile and Argentina are high on my list of places I’d like to see in 2012. Where have you been and where do you want to go? (PS – I’m going to have to do some reading about Mauritius and Palau…have to admit I don’t know much about them!)

Costa Rica’s Tourism Board Gave Me a Green Gift of Happiness!


After a long day last week, and a green event to cap off the night, I checked my mail right before I entered the subway and one particular email caught me off guard. It seemed way too good to be true. So I re-read it, and even walked back up to Columbus Circle to get better reception (to read it again).  Here’s an excerpt:


Because of the large readership of the Brown Loves Green blog, your influence through, and your involvement in other eco-friendly blogs across the web, Costa Rica’s Tourism Board would like to give you a free trip to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is sending out a select number of these Gifts of Happiness in the form of customized trips, and because your values align with Costa Rica’s belief in Pura Vida, you’ve been hand-selected to receive a trip for two.

Say what? I had that whole “if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is” internal dialogue going on.

But as it turns out, I was not delirious from exhaustion.  Nor had I sniffed too many naturally scented eco-friendly products at the event that eve. And it wasn’t too good to be true.

Costa Rica’s tourism board really has so graciously given me a gift of complete and utter happiness: an all-expense-paid trip for two for eight days to their beautifully green country! But that’s not all …

My boyfriend Dan (whose arm needed no twisting on this one) and I were able to choose from five uniquely themed trips, all of which are absolutely incredible in every way imaginable! They each include top CST-rated (Certification for Sustainable Tourism) hotels (an honor reserved for the most ecologically friendly hotels), exotic excursions, and organic opportunities to truly experience Costa Rica — the happiest place on earth.

Costa Rica’s generous gift, which made me the happiest girl on earth, is all a part of their “Million Dollar Gift of Happiness”campaign which aims to spread good energy and happiness with a million dollars’ worth of free trips to the country. “Like” the Visit Costa Rica Facebook page, and you could win yourself a trip! And on Anderson Cooper’s daytime show today, he’ll present a Gift of Happiness to the couple in this viral video, making them the happiest couple on earth!


I met up with Costa Rica’s PR team while they were in NYC this past weekend, and they assured me that their email wasn’t a big hoax on me, and even made it official by hand-delivering a beautiful certificate, made using responsibly sourced wood.


When I shared the news with Starre she excitedly declared, “It’s PHENOMENAL! It’s really one of my fave places in the entire world! Literally every single person I know who has traveled there, has shared the very same sentiments with me.

But I decided to do my own pre-trip research and look into what exactly makes Costa Rica so green and so good. Here are a just few fun facts I found and adore (for obvious reasons!). I think you will too:

  • It’s considered one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world (they have 5% of the earth’s biodiversity)
  • Costa Rica is an ecological pioneer. The country aims to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021
  • Costa Rica ranked third in the world, and first among the Americas, in terms of the 2010 Environmental Performance Index
  • Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index. Here’s a great  NY Times piece on the country,”The Happiest People” by one of my favorite columnists, Nicholas D. Kristof
  • The National Park of Corcovado has been called “the most biologically intense place on earth” by the National Geographic Society
  • Costa Rica has a female President! Laura Chinchilla is the first woman to lead the nation. Would love to interview Laura for Heroines for the Planet one day!
But seeing is believing after all. What could be better than actually exploring all of the green goodness for myself? My trip promises to be well-documented, here of course, and I can’t wait to share my authentic adventures in the greenest and happiest place on earth!


Have you been to Costa Rica? If so, post a comment and share your favorite thing about the country! I’d love to hear about your experiences and any recommendations you could offer up too!