Authorities of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) and the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) inaugurated this Tuesday 200 meters of elevated path in the Barra Honda National Park, in addition to the improvements promoted by the institution to diversify the offer of facilities and services for visitors to this protected area.
In the activity carried out in the national park – under all sanitary protocols – the director of SINAC, Rafael Gutiérrez, the administrator of the protected wild area, Dorian Méndez, as well as representatives of the Costa Rica Forever Association were present.
The project -whose total investment was of ₡ 67 million- included the conditioning of the trails that lead to the Caverna Terciopelo and the Mirador Nacaome, through the construction of these 200 linear meters of overpasses and the fitting out of 4 rest bays , in charge of the Tropical Science Center.
The works were financed with funds from the Second Debt-for-Nature Swap between the governments of the United States and Costa Rica, which is administered by the Costa Rica Forever Association (ACRXS).
The Minister of Environment and Energy, Andrea Meza, reported that since its inception the Barra Honda National Park has focused an important part of its efforts on the development of participatory strategies, through tourism, “in such a way as to enable the generation and socialization. of the ecosystem benefits ”, she indicated.
For his part, the director of SINAC, Rafael Gutiérrez, commented that with this new infrastructure, the Environmental Administration intends greater income and financial sustainability for SINAC and in particular, for Protected Wild Areas (ASP), through investments for the sustainable development of tourism in these areas and their surroundings.
“In addition, we will maintain a natural area under a conservation scheme, it is also to turn it into a value, and at the same time an attraction. It is also creating an opportunity for the development of the region, “said the executive director of the National System of Conservation Areas.
This new tour adds to an extensive network of hiking trails, which provide travelers the opportunity to explore the tropical dry forest. On this journey you can appreciate the different states of the forest and all its ecosystems. In addition, the walk to the viewpoint allows the visitor to enjoy a panoramic view of the Costa Rican North Pacific.
Tourism activity is fundamental for the economy of the province of Guanacaste, one of the work axes of the territorial dialogue carried out in the last five weeks. «Tourism is key to reactivate the Guanacaste economy, landscapes and experiences like those offered by Barra Honda make the Chorotega Region one of the favorite destinations. The Government and institutions continue to invest and work to further empower Guanacaste as a destination, “said the First Lady and coordinator of the Chorotega Region, Claudia Dobles.
Chains and tourist attractions. Dorian Méndez, administrator of the Barra Honda National Park, said that an important part of these efforts has consisted in generating linkages that maximize the benefits for entrepreneurs in the communities in the area of influence.
“One of the priorities in the development of the strategies consists of the incorporation and empowerment of women entrepreneurs and businesswomen in order to contribute to gender equality in productive activities in the region. For this reason, this new work promotes visits to the National Park and will allow the management of sustainable tourism by the community surrounding this protected area ”, he added.
The materialization of these 200 meters of elevated sections in the Barra Honda National Park means a huge step to optimize the tourist offer in this area of Guanacaste, where visitors will be able to enjoy very varied and particular activities: the cavern tour, walks in the forest, visit to the viewpoint and the waterfalls, tasting of local Guanacaste cuisine, lodging in nearby rural inns.
“In the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting our protected wild areas and local enterprises is of great importance within the economic reactivation and the consolidation of sustainable and low-impact tourism,” said Zdenka Piskulich, Executive Director of the Costa Rica Forever Association.
“Protected wild areas, in their tourist offer, must provide the basic infrastructure for the attention of visitors, among them, parking spaces, sanitary batteries, visitor center and trails suitable for the enjoyment of natural spaces. The General Management Plans reflect the urgent need to organize these tourist services and improve the conditions for users ”, mentioned Leonardo García, Program Officer of the Forever Costa Rica Association.