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Eco-Tourism to be Explored in Remote ACG northeast sectors


While tourism is undoubtedly Costa Rica's number one source of GDP it is unevenly distributed and most of the tourism in Guanacaste province is directed towards the beaches of the Pacific coast. The Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) is rich in ecosystem diversity including marine ecosystems. But it is generally agreed that ecotourism in this region is underdeveloped relative to other parts of the country especially in the north and east sides of the protected areas. In January, GDFCF in partnership with government staff at the ACG and Fundacion Neotropica, a leading conservation organization based in San Jose, received a grant through the U.S.-Costa Rican Debt for Nature Swap mechanism to explore the development of community based ecotourism in the northeast region of ACG. This area is predominantly Caribbean rainforest and contains lands that have been acquired only within the last ten years and therefore not very well known or used. Fundacion Neotropica will be working with rural community leaders to explore the potential for touristic enterprises linked to existing research stations in the park, while GDFCF will focus on improving basic infrastructure within the protected area such as the development of trails, nature interpretation, maps, access roads, and facilities.