Key to Costa Rica helps people plan adventurous, enjoyable, and educational trips to sustainable, safe and friendly ecotourism destinations throughout Costa Rica, encouraging a harmonious relationship between conservation, community development and tourism. Founder Beatrice Blake started in the industry by publishing the first ever guidebook for Costa Rica, called The New Key to Costa Rica. As time went on, Key to Costa Rica Travel Serviceswas created to help people plan customized vacations to Costa Rica. Guests who plan their Costa Rica vacation through Key to Costa Rica benefit from the knowledge of the language, culture, landscape, wildlife, and history that Beatrice gained over 28 years of writing the guidebook. Beatrice works personally with guests to design customized, once-in-a-lifetime green Costa Rican vacations.
Beatrice Blake Beatrice Blake inherited the New Key to Costa Rica from her mother, Jean Wallace, who wrote the first guidebook to Costa Rica in 1976. Beatrice and co-author Ann Becher included information about not only where to stay, what to do and how to get around, but in-depth details about the fascinating ecosystems of Costa Rica, and the interface between conservation, community development, and tourism, while constantly developing their working knowledge. Soon, the New Key to Costa Ricahad gained first place on the Publisher's Weekly list of guidebooks to warm weather destinations. Beatrice and Ann also developed the Sustainable Tourism survey which encouraged the development of the Costa Rican Tourism Board's Certification.
Connect with an expert naturalist guide who can help you experience ‘hidden Costa Rica’ and will act as a window into the people and the culture
Learn about Costa Rica's history of environmental protection and progressive social values
Meet real people living in beautiful natural places. Have adventures that are good for people and the planet
Find activities that match your specific interests
Beatrice Blake utilizes her extensive knowledge of Costa Rica to help individual travelers plan their Costa Rica vacations. The benefits of using Key to Costa Rica travel consultation services are significant.
Customized Ecotourism Itineraries Key to Costa Rica can also create customized ecotours for families, couples, and small groups that include accommodation in community-owned lodges as well as in the privately-owned ecolodges that made Costa Rica famous.
Guided Birding Tours: Cover at least three altitudes to guarantee seeing a variety of species
Active Family Adventures: Families and groups with kids 10 and older
Kid Friendly Ecotours: Minimize time on the road, maximize fun, and give your kids a chance to experience village life in Costa Rica
Nature and Wildlife Tours: Maximize your chances for seeing wildlife
Slow Travel: Go at your own pace, with special emphasis on food, organic farming and culture
Student Travel and Voluntourism: Immerse in the nature and culture while protecting sea turtles, or helping with needed village projects.
The New Key to Costa Rica From its beginnings as the first guidebook to the country, the New Key to Costa Rica has become known for its thoroughness, down-to-earth style, and its unique perspective, born of many years of reporting on the challenges and promise of tourism and conservation in this tiny, forward-looking country. The New Key to Costa Rica is famous for highlighting locally-owned community-based ecotourism experiences as well as the ecolodges that made Costa Rica famous. “Thanks so much, Beatrice.I've told everyone I know that The New Key to Costa Rica is by far the best travel guide for Costa Rica. Because of you, I hired guide John Koger, and he's added immeasurably to the magic of exploring this beautiful country.” With gratitude, Karon Goren
Community-Based Ecotourism All customized tours that are organized through Key to Costa Rica Travel Servicesguarantee an integration of sustainability and the rural environment developed by community-based organizations. Beatrice Blake’s partnership with ACTUAR makes this all possible. While visiting local communities, guests will gain a true understanding of Costa Rican culture and will also help local economies to flourish by spending tourism dollars there.
ACTUAR:The Association of Costa Rican Rural Tourism. Created in 2001 by over 20 community-based rural tourism enterprises in Costa Rica. Traveling with ACTUAR will allow people to feel like guests rather than tourists.
CONSERVacations: Designed by Beatrice Blake, combining the best of community-based ecotourism, adventure, wildlife observation, and relaxation.
Social and Environmental Responsibility On Key to Costa Rica'sCONSERVacations tours, guests will gain intimate knowledge of the cultural diversity of Costa Rica, while interacting with indigenous, Afro-Caribbean and campesino cultures. The local people provide visitors with truly memorable and life-changing experiences. A CONSERVacation means that adventures take place in destinations where tourism preserves the local culture rather than destroying it. This type of tourism also encourages local residents to be entrepreneurs on their own land. Trip Samples
Travel in dugout canoes to the indigenous community of Yorkin and see how they process fruit from their sacred tree to make chocolate
Hike to a hidden valley at Cerro Escondido Lodge on the Nicoya Peninsula
Trek into the ancient oak forests of La Amistad International Park to see the unforgettable Resplendent Quetzal
Guides Guests can experience the most enchanting and fascinating parts of Costa Rica with a private, bilingual naturalist guide/driver. Each expert naturalist guide is passionate about sharing the real Costa Rica with guests. All guides provide each group with a private vehicle and are able to maneuver in some of Costa Rica’s most “off the beaten path” destinations. Bilingual naturalist guides receive extensive training in plant, animal, and bird identification, and have specialized knowledge about Costa Rica’s diverse ecosystems. The naturalist guides/drivers are also experts at keeping everyone in the group happy and entertained and are excellent translators.
Voluntourism and Student Travel Guests can choose to voluntour in Costa Rica and experience its beauty and culture while “giving back”. Voluntours are a great way to practice Spanish while staying in sustainable agricultural communities with their own lodges. Guests can mix volunteering and travel with customized trips through the Key to Costa Rica Travel Services. They can stay in a safe, community-based village and: • Construct a playground out of discarded materials and hike in the remote forests of La Amistad International Park • Help build an aqueduct, and later go snorkeling at Isla del Caño. • Protect leatherback turtles on the Caribbean in Gandoca and visit isolated indigenous villages.