Not all trails in national parks are equal. In some, the physical requirement may be higher, to the point of needing mountaineering equipment . In others, the infrastructure allows the entry of wheelchairs or walkers .
For that reason, the Ministry of Environment in Costa Rica ( Minae ) issued a guideline that will classify the paths into five categories according to criteria of accessibility, physical requirements and facilities for visitors.
“In the Minae we were convinced that we must further differentiate the quality of the services offered by Costa Rica ecotourism ” , justified the Environment Minister René Castro.
In this way , and from tomorrow , this guideline applies to nine national parks : Tapantí , Santa Rosa , Cape Blanco, Braulio Carrillo National Monument Guava and Tenorio volcanoes , Poas , Irazu and Rincon de la Vieja, all in Costa Rica.
In this sense , if you visit the Rincon de la Vieja volcano can choose between three types of paths : Gaff is in the category while Pailas Challenge is intermediate and the road to the crater holds the highest category (Expert ) involving accompanying professional guides and equipment.
Meanwhile, Carara National Park is the only class with a path opportunities , as this facilitates access to wheelchairs and walkers .
According to Castro, in the medium term , it will create universal trails in Manuel Antonio and the Tenorio volcano .
Ecotourism in Costa Rica . In total , we classified 29 trails. To do this, we took into account criteria such as distance and topography , facilities such as stairs , railings and lighting , as well as access to toilets and drinking water intakes .
Natural factors were also considered , including rainfall, temperature and volcanic gases . Also , were aspects of services such as provision of equipment ( coats , canes and lights ), availability of tour guides, lodging or camping areas and signage .
Based on these criteria , five categories were established which will be reflected in the regulations for public use.
The first category , called Opportunity , brings universal access trails .
For Family category , these are high traffic trails . Have facilities for all age groups , the physical requirement to scroll through them is low and have vigilance.
At the intermediate level trails are designed to be in contact with nature . They have little infrastructure and the physical requirement to scroll through them is medium.
The fourth category is Challenge , these are the paths for those who like to hike a certain technical level and thus prove their fitness . To scan , you must have the appropriate clothing and safety equipment .
The last category is expert , which provides trails for adventurers and hence their journey involves a level of risk. May be traveled in the company of a professional guide , it also requires proper equipment and tools mountaineering.
” This will be supplemented later , with a change of rates and times according to the type of trail ,” said Castro .
Minae This guideline is part of a project to improve the management and infrastructure of 10 national parks in Costa Rica, which finances the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB ) with $ 20 million.