I have traveled around Central America over the past few years and have found that when it comes to eco travel, Costa Rica and Nicaragua have the best bang for your buck.
(From guest blogger Scott Zest)
Eco travel has got a lot of press lately and with Central America being so close to the US, a 4-6 hour flight is all, if you want to experience this fulfilling and adventuresome travel this is the place to do it!
Costa Rica has an abundance of plentiful rainforests and eco-friendly resorts that have yet to be discovered and yearn for the out of the way traveler to enter.
From the surf rich shores of the Liberia and Jaco Beach to the Caribbean, rasta coastal town of Limon, you will find more than enough eco friendly places to satisfy your need for adventure and being green.
Backpacking is probably your best bet as it gives you the advantage of packing light, inexpensive lodging costs, and the ability to jump from one place to another on a whim. (No equipment? We love the Teton Sports Internal Frame Backpack)
Check the web for a wide array of hostels, rainforest and beach eco resorts, and travel options. (And we also recommend the Lonely Planet Costa Rica guidebook)
From Costa Rica, you can jump on a bus and head north to Nicaragua. Bus trips are offered from San Jose, Costa Rica to Managua, Nicaragua daily. While the bus ride can be an adventure in itself, getting off the bus and knowing you are in Nicaragua is the real adventure!
This country is just now getting it’s reputation as a tourist destination and more specifically, an eco hot spot and adventure tourist destination. Getting around can be a hassle but buses and taxis are the best option. (You can also grab some great resources here before you go).
You will find lots of eco resorts on the Pacific coast from San Juan Del Sur in the south to Leon in the north. Going inland the untapped rainforest and volcano regions offer many eco friendly options.
If going to the Caribbean coast, be sure to check out the Corn Islands and Bluefields. These two places are truly untapped by Western culture and offer a different feel from the rest of the country. This is where the famous Moskito coast lies. Don’t forget to sample the amazing Creole cuisine in this region.
I would recommend going to Nicaragua over Costa Rica as I am a firm believer in going off the beaten path. While Costa Rica is beautiful and the people are great, it is a bit too Westernized for my tastes. Nicaragua for me, offers the best bang for my buck, the most adventure, and the best eco spots on the planet. Choose wisely and get exploring!
Scott Zest writes for Briefcases Direct, a website that offers luxury briefcases direct from the manufacturer. He is a travel writer with a special interest in cross-cultural understanding and off the beaten-path adventures. He has traveled around the world to locales in Europe, Asia, North America, and Central America and focuses most of his travels in adventure areas such as Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Scott currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Gwen and three dogs.
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