Today in Costa Rica includes views from Misticos Hanging Bridges Park and a lecture on ecotourism from Alberto Rico Urones as a welcome to the town of Arenal.
The trip through Misticos Hanging Bridges Park had beautiful scenery and numerous animal/plant sightings. Parts of the hike today had similarities to the Cloud Rainforest in Monteverde. For example, many animals and plants found on the hike today were also visible in Monteverde. On both tours, we got to see things such as tarantulas, monkeys, birds, insects, flowers, and trees. However, the hike through Misticos Hanging Bridges Park did have features different from the Cloud Rainforest. For instance, the temperature and humidity in Arenal are higher than they are in Monteverde. This results from differences in landscape and elevation between the two places. The effects of these differences were the appearance and disappearance of plant and animal species from area to area.
Tourism is also a very important part of Arenal. I think tourism is very popular here because of the location. Arenal has many features including mountain ranges, a giant lake, hot springs, and places to see plants and animals. Not only that, but the town is within driving distance of the coast. Due to this, tourism and many eco-touristic businesses have grown in the area. However, recent problems have made the logistical and sustainable side of these companies difficult. A few challenges facing adventure tours include climate change and increases in demand. Climate change could possibly destroy the environment that eco-tourism is dependent on. To combat this, companies are investing in conservation and are employing sustainable practices to reduce waste and increase the health of the ecosystem. Also, increases in demand and customers have made it difficult to preserve the natural feel of many adventure tours. To try to preserve this, companies have set limits on the number of participants able to do things and have worked to expand nature areas to allow for more visitors.
Overall, walking through Misticos Hanging Bridges Park and the lecture on eco-tourism were a great welcome to the popular Arenal area of Costa Rica. Experiencing a new part of the country is always fun, and the lecture on eco-tourism shined light on the industry and the role that these businesses play in preserving/improving the environment.