San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Inter-American Development Bank approves $20 million loan for improvements in Costa Rica's protected nature areas

Three Costa Rican national parks and a wildlife refuge will receive funds to improve tourism infrastructure with a $20 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The loan was arranged by the IDB and officials from the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) and Costa Rica’s Environment Ministry (MINAE).

The project will be carried out in Tortuguero National Park (along the northern Caribbean coast), Manuel Antonio (on the central Pacific coast), Rincón de la Vieja Volcano (in the northwest) and in the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge and Wetlands (in the north). Municipalities where these parks are located will provide an extra $5 million for the projects.

In Tortuguero National Park, $1.6 million will be used to build the first trail to access Cerro Tortuguero, a summit that offers a panoramic view of both the famous canals and the Caribbean coastline.

In Manuel Antonio, the most visited national park in the country, eight new tourist trails will be built at a cost of $1.2 million.

The main access to Rincón de la Vieja Volcano from the city of Liberia also will undergo repairs, which include improvements to the roadway surface and new ditches along seven kilometers of the road.

The Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge will get a new dock to facilitate access to its wetlands.

Part of the funds also will be used for training and accreditation of local tour guides, MINAE said in a press release.

Environment Minister René Castro said he hopes the projects will help boost ecotourism and bring benefits to nearby communities. 

Work will begin this year, and officials said it could take up to three years to complete.

Contact L. Arias at

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