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  • Writer's pictureJuan Antonio Chavarria

Impact of Hiking in the Rural Communities of Costa Rica

After the Covid-19 pandemic, we have observed how thousands of people in our country join various hiking activities during the weekends, whether in groups, with friends or individually. Costa Ricans have ventured to explore their land on foot. This trend has led us to discover numerous towns that were previously outside the traditional Costa Rican tourist radar.

The persistent search by guides and trail coordinators, driven by the desire to discover new waterfalls, unknown peaks and innovative tourist destinations, has catalyzed the creation of a great number of microenterprises throughout the country.

A notable example of this phenomenon is Bajos del Toro. A decade ago, accessing its waterfalls meant crossing pasture fields or negotiating mountains. Today, witnessing the development of trails, the proliferation of restaurants and even the creation of theme parks in the area is a true privilege from an economic point of view.

A phenomenon that I have personally had the opportunity to experience is the Costa Rica Camino. Hiking has had a considerable social and economic impact, effectively redistributing tourism income. Within hours, money flows to the towns that benefit from this activity, significantly reducing the time it takes to reach supermarkets and other services compared to an economy based on monthly income.

This is just one of the benefits derived from regular hiking. The food in small local sodas, the payment to the cowboys, the purchase of snacks in the grocery stores in the area and all the expenses related to the activity are direct support for thousands of Costa Ricans who reside in the rural areas of our country.< /span>This support helps hundreds of young people and families to remain in their communities, avoiding the need to emigrate to the capital in search of greater opportunities.

When we hike in rural communities, we not only enjoy the impressive landscapes, rivers and beaches, but we also contribute to building a more prosperous country and to conservation of nature in every corner of Costa Rica.I want to take this opportunity to heartily congratulate all those hiking operators who enter our towns. Their efforts not only enrich our hiking experiences, but also create opportunities for so many local families who appreciate the additional income they provide on the weekends. Their dedication and contribution to the well-being of these rural communities deserve sincere recognition and appreciation. Let's continue exploring together and building a better future for everyone!

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