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Travel Ethical Destinations Costa Rica

3. Costa Rica

The waters of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans lap against the shores of Costa Rica – literally, the Coast of Riches. That’s a lot of coastline for a small Central American nation, but you can drive from coast to coast in three hours or air-hop between them in under an hour. The beaches – of white and black sands – are a lodestone for tourists, particularly surfers looking for the perfect wave. A peaceful and democratic nation that has not maintained an army since 1949, Costa Rica thrives on tourism and is one of the world’s most visited destinations. Biodiversity is Costa Rica’s mainstay – the tiny country supports 4 percent of the world’s wildlife and plant species. Not surprisingly Costa Rica, which recently supported a ban on shark-finning, scored highest in environmental protection among the Ethical Destinations. The nation has also reported a dramatic plunge in crime rates thanks to increased focus on citizen security; it was the Happiest Country out of 151 chosen by the Happy Planet Index, an initiative of the New Economics Foundation.

Costa Rica recently opened an embassy in New Delhi (Address: 2/15, 3rd Floor, Shanti Niketan, New Delhi 110021. Phone: 91-11-4108-0810)

Official tourism website

Top ethical tourism destinations, 2013

Every year, Ethical Traveler reviews the policies and practices of hundreds of nations in the developing world. It then selects ten that are doing the most impressive job of promoting human rights, preserving environment, and upholding civil society while creating a sustainable, community-based tourism industry.

By visiting these countries, Ethical Traveler asserts, we can use our economic power to support best practices.

Each country selected as a Best Ethical Destination offers the opportunity to experience unspoiled natural beauty, and to interact with local people and cultures in a meaningful, mutually enriching way. The countries on this list are actively improving the state of their people, government and environment. They are the destinations most worth your money and your leisure time.

Ethical Traveler is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, and a project of the Earth Island Institute. No money or donations of any kind are solicited or accepted from any nations, governments, travel bureaus or individuals in the creation of its annual list.