ACTUAR, the Costa Rican Rural Tourism Association, was created in 2001 by grassroots conservation organizations in many parts of Costa Rica that had been funded by the UN Development Program to create their own community-owned ecolodges, forest reserves and adventure attractions.
This means that finally rural communities are entering into the thriving ecotourism industry, using tourism to supplement rather than replace their farming incomes, and protecting their natural resources in order to make their farming activities sustainable.
Rural tourism means that local residents can be entrepreneurs on their own land rather than being pressured sell it. People who previously would have only been gardeners or maids in an ecolodge now are the owners of their own tourism destinations, providing visitors with memorable experiences of nature and local culture.
ACTUAR members are often conservation activists, so they have many interesting experiences to share, and are a source of inspiration for visitors. To the right are pictures of some people who will be your hosts at ACTUAR destinations.
ACTUAR member organizations preserve over 25.000 acres of forest, thus creating and augmenting biological corridors throughout the country.
The communities that formed ACTUAR also created a travel agency called ACTUAR Rural Adventures. It has evolved into a full service travel agency that serves as an interface between the rural communities that created it, and the tourists who want to experience its destinations and ecotourism destinations all over Costa Rica.
ACTUAR Rural Adventures has won the highest rating for a travel agency on the Costa Rican Tourism Board's Certification of Sustainable Tourism