Veragua Rainforest is a new ecotourism start-up project that combines a unique offering of educational rain forest excursions, cultural experiences, and biodiversity conservation.
This sustainable ecotourism enterprise project not only supports conservation efforts in a key biodiversity area and generates conservation-oriented jobs, but also seeks to create a new type of educational experience.
Veragua Rainforest will offer an educational experience through interaction with nature in Costa Rica. The project site will include a frog station, a snake and butterfly farms, a hummingbird garden, a biodiversity research center, interpretation stations, and a series of land and canopy trails for exploration and enhanced educational experiences while immersed in a preserved natural rain forest.
Veragua Rainforest offers abundant sights and sounds of wildlife and expansive views of forest, rivers, and waterfalls, all within a unique educational atmosphere.
In October 2007, Verde Ventures provided a loan of $500,000 of critical financing needed for infrastructure development, site construction, and the purchasing of specialized equipment such as a high-wire gondola system that will provide aerial above-canopy tours
Veragua Rainforest will impact more than 1,000 hectares of forest surrounding La Amistad National Park, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site within the Mesoamerica biodiversity hotspot.
The project, sited on 77 hectares, is comprised of both secondary and primary forest, including 40 hectares of primary forest. The estate where the project is located together with neighboring properties is part of an existing logging management area. Project managers have been successful in their efforts to negotiate with neighboring landowners to halt cutting of primary forest in an area of approximately 1,000 hectares.
In addition to forest preservation, the project has a strong benefit to biodiversity research thanks to a partnership with Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, a highly recognized scientific organization that will base its first research station in the Caribbean on the project’s premises.
Neighboring La Amistad National Park provides habitat for dozens of globally threatened species, including Central American tapir, Central American squirrel monkey, bare necked umbrella bird, and three-wattled bellbird.