Sustainable tourism certification - CST

The sustainable tourism certificate – CST – is a program by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), designed to categorize and differentiate tourism companies that comply to a certain degree to which their company operates according to a sustainability model, of which the management of their natural, cultural and social resources.

It is a program that aims at the categorization and certification of tourism companies on to which degree they comply to a sustainability model with their operations. For this qualification they evaluate four fundamental areas:

1. Physical-Biological Environment
Evaluates the interaction between the company and the surrounding natural environment, focussing on the implementation of policies and sustainable programs and the protection of the environment among others.

2. Service Managment
Understanding the process by which the company considers all exogenous and endogenous elements, designing a tourism product according to the market trends and characteristics of their own country as well as their own area where they opérate their tourism product.

3. Client
Evaluates the actions taken by management to invite the client to participate in the implementation of the sustainable policies of the company.

4. Social-Economical Environment
Evaluates the identification and interaction of the company with the adjecent communities, analizing for example, the degree to which the tourism companies resond to the growth and development of the region through generation of employment or the achievement of benefits for the local community. 

To measure or locate these levels, the CST has established a scale of 0 to 5 and each number indicates the relative position of the company and their sustainablity terms.

We are very proud that our company Terraventuras Travel & Expeditions has obtained a level 5 in 2017, which confirms our objective to be the first sustainable options for the visitors of the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.

What do we do at Terraventuras to be the first truly sustainable agency in the Southern Caribbean?

We protect a natural area of 44 hectares and contribute to the reforestation by creating a “plant a tree” Project in which we have involved our guests to plant,so far approximately 150 native trees.
We support monthly beach clean-ups.
We have implemented the “zero paper in the office” campaign, for which we have eliminated a good part of the printing we do, as well as create a working platform online.
We encourage our clients to bring their own bottle during the tours to fill them at our office and at the operations base.
We divide our garbage and work together with the Talamancan Municipality for recycle campaigns that are executed every month.
We use sustainable cleaning products and reusable glasses, cups and cutlery to offer snacks, coffee and wáter to our visitors and employees.
We support local sports and social activities.
The great majority of our employees are locals and we do not discriminate based on gender or ethnicity.
We make regular donations towards the local recycling project as well as to sports and social events in the area.
We save water and electricity and insist our visitors and employees to do the same.