Costa Rica Seeks to Encourage Alternative Tourism Through “Orchids” Observation

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    The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) invited national and foreign visitors to discover the more than 1,400 species of orchids in the country, of which 20% are endemic. Through the initiative “Sabías Que?” (Did you know) ICT seeks to encourage tourists to know the essence of the country, its people, stories, nature and destinations, which have been affected by the Pandemic.

    In this first report, the authorities highlighted that the town of Monteverde, a community within a cloud forest, located in the central Pacific. It is the place in the world where there is the most diversity of orchids per square meter. In this area there are more than 525 species registered, including Platystele jungermannioide, one of the smallest in the world.

    “We are in a privileged position to be located in the mountain range where the continental divide is and we receive wind from the north and south. All orchid seeds travel with the wind and there is a large agglomeration of seeds germinating exactly in Monteverde and this is one of the reasons why there are so many species and some are endemic”, explained the orchid expert Álvaro Salazar.

    Costa Ricans and international visitors can observe this variety of plants in the Monteverde Orchid Garden. According to the authorities, this is an alternative for tourism in Costa Rica, complying with the health protocols developed between the ICT and the private sector, respecting social distancing, wearing a mask and rediscovering the country.

    Monteverde stands out for its cloud forest, its wide diversity of flora and fauna and for the great variety of birds it presents. On the site you can go hiking, trekking, canopy and adventure tourism, as well as ecotourism and rural tourism.

    Around the world there are some 50,000 different species of orchids, of which at least 1,400 are found in Costa Rica. Costa Rica, a country of 5 million inhabitants, is home to about 4.7% of the planet’s biodiversity, which is one of its main attractions. The tourism sector generates for the country some 400,000 direct and indirect jobs, however, it has been highly affected by the closure of borders due to the COVID-19 health crisis.

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