The southwest region of Costa Rica is best known for the famously biodiverse Corcovado National Park, which teems with flora, fauna and the hikers who want to look at them. The park is a financial boon for the country, but has left behind the rural communities surrounding it. Around 48,000 people entered the park in 2015, but the money travellers spend is often funneled to tour operators, hotels and restaurants owned by outsiders. The ambitious goal of the new Caminos de Osa project is to build a human-centric tourism economy in a place where plants and animals rule.
Caminos de Osa offers adventurers three new trails that pass through the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve. Following these routes, tourists visit rural community tourism businesses and support a model of development that allows for socioeconomic development that incentivizes long-term conservation. Tourists will enjoy the biodiversity and nature that traditionally has attracted visitors to the region, and will be given access to the local history, culture, and traditional knowledge that adds incredible depth to the experience.
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