107 beaches of Costa Rica are awarded the Blue Flag status for 2018
The prestigious title recognises the country's pledge to sustainable tourism
Bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, with its pristine coastlines and crystal-clear oceans, it will come as no surprise that sustainability is of paramount importance to popular travel destination Costa Rica. And now its eco-friendly efforts have been recognised by The Costa Rica Tourism Board. An impressive 107 of its beaches have been awarded prestigious Blue Flag status, commending the cleanest beaches in the country as part of the region’s reputable Blue Flag Ecology Programme.
Four Costa Rican beaches, all situated on the Pacific Coast, have been given five stars in this year’s list – Matapalo in Osa Peninsula, Punta El Madero on North Guanacaste, Blanca in the central Pacific and, new for 2018, Playitas in Manuel Antonio. The total is an increase of three since last year, further cementing the area's commitment to conserving its landscape.
Beaches encompassed within the Blue Flag Ecology Programme meet strict criteria such as clean sands, excellent sea water quality, waste disposal programmes, accessibility to showers and toilets and availability of lifeguards and emergency staff.
Established in 2004, the Blue Flag Ecology Programme is a joint project between several sustainable Costa Rican authorities, including the aforementioned Costa Rica Tourism Board, the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers, and recognises the country’s blue flag beaches, rating them from one to five stars dependant on three evaluations carried out annually.
It's flawless beaches cater to every type of traveller – with Matapalo Beach and Santa Teresa Beach hugely popular with surfers due to their consistent swell, and quiet and serene Conchal Beach, backed by palms and a turquoise bay, a haven for relaxation. Located within the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Gandoca Beach is one of the country’s best snorkel and diving spots on the Caribbean Coast, due to its myriad of coral reefs, bays and inlets that house over 400 different types of fish and crustaceans.