The countries that have contributed to climate change the least are often among the ones that will feel the impact the most. They also often lead the charge in sustainability efforts. At the top of that list is Costa Rica, the first modern carbon neutral country in the world.
According to the Green Business Bureau, Costa Rica is 98 percent free of deforestation. Access to nature — importantly, prioritized for citizens as well as for tourists — is paramount. Protected ecosystems, local-led sustainability programs that improve the economy while protecting the environment, high-efficiency standards in buildings and transportation, and an investment in renewable energy (nearly all of Costa Rica’s power comes from hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, and solar power) make the country not just a sustainability leader in Central America, but around the world.
Costa Rica also makes it easy for travelers to participate in the local push toward a more sustainable future. There are ecolodges, farm tours where travelers can learn about working with the natural environment, and an abundance of national parks (nearly 30 percent of the country is a park or reserve). Importantly, Costa Rica prioritizes the wellbeing of locals as much as the environment — there’s good reason the country has one of the five blue zones in the world. And thanks to a new digital nomad visa, it’s easier than ever for travelers to experience Pura Vida long term.