Is travel to Costa Rica ethical?

December 13, 2010

Costa Rica regained its spot on the list of top ethical travel destinations in 2011, after being left off last year due to its booming sex tourism industry.

According to the organization that drafts the list, San Francisco-based Earth Island Institute, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla has taken important steps to curtail human trafficking, thus addressing a contributing factor to sex tourism.

“While there remains a great deal of work to be done, particularly to stem the country’s sex tourism industry, we applaud the progress,” the organization wrote in its annual report. “Costa Rica should see this as an encouragement to step up efforts to combat human trafficking.”

The list is compiled each year by considering a number of factors, including a country’s level of environmental protection, social welfare and other human rights issues. The institute reviews World Bank and Millennium Challenge Corporation databases to identify top performers, and then conducts a more focused investigation on actions governments have taken to improve.

“No country, anywhere, is perfect,” report co-author Natalie Lefevre said in a statement. “This report showcases the most ethical developing countries, based on dozens of sources and extensive research. But no place gets perfect marks in all aspects.”

Other countries to make the list include Argentina, Barbados, Chile, Dominica, Latvia, Lithuania, Palau, Poland and Uruguay.

Ethical Traveler’s executive director, Jeff Greenwald, said his organization creates the list to inspire travel to countries “that care about human rights and the environment.”

“We sincerely hope that travelers will take this list into account while planning their 2011 travels,” he said.

You may be interested

Victorious Champions coach celebrates Costa Rica-style: ‘This is pura vida’
Keylor Navas
69 views
Keylor Navas
69 views

Victorious Champions coach celebrates Costa Rica-style: ‘This is pura vida’

Katherine Stanley - May 27, 2018

Costa Rican superstar goalie Keylor Navas has made his mark on the field for Real Madrid, but also on the…

5 questions for Costa Rican artist Rossella Matamoros
Weekend Arts Spotlight
69 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
69 views

5 questions for Costa Rican artist Rossella Matamoros

Elizabeth Lang - May 27, 2018

Using art in all its possible expressions has motivated Rossella Matamoros for more than two decades. At home in Costa Rica…

Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Real Madrid nab third consecutive Champions title
Keylor Navas
163 views
Keylor Navas
163 views

Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Real Madrid nab third consecutive Champions title

Katherine Stanley - May 26, 2018

Costa Rica's star goalie, Keylor Navas, continued his historic march through world football as his club team, Real Madrid, won…