Want to change the world and still have a vacation? Meet voluntourism, the intersection of volunteerism and tourism. But where to go? Razoo.com features five resorts that protect the environment and support local communities. Here are just two:
The Lodge at Pico Bonito is tucked into the country’s largest rainforest and national park, with modern amenities like a restaurant and a pool, and 16 elegant but rustic cabins. Through Adelante Foundation , you can book a day trip from the resort to a rural village where the women are using microfinance loans to start their own businesses and escape poverty. During your visit, you’ll attend an assembly of between 30 and 50 women and provide supportive words of wisdom while listening to their stories. Being invited is like entering their private homes and gaining a glimpse into their dreams.
As a guest at this eco-lodge, surrounded by the 930-acre Lapa Rios Reserve where the Golfo Dulce meets the Pacific Ocean, you can choose from several ways to practice sustainability with the nearby community. It can be as loose as playing a soccer match with locals on Thursday afternoon or chatting with children at The Carbonera School. Or you can help transplant seedlings into an area of second growth. Owners John and Karen Lewis, originally from Minnesota, created a land trust to protect a tract of Peninsula Osa primary forest, which is partially funded by guests’ payments. At night, relax in your bungalow which has locally made bamboo furniture and a private deck, or dine at the lodge’s on-site restaurant, Brisa Azul—the menu with Tico and Costa Rican influences includes mole, ceviche, baked fish and tres leches cake. There are 16 bungalows on the property.
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