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Costa Rica Blue Flags Flying

Blue Flag Designation For Costa Rica

Costa Rica Beaches Blue FlagThe Blue Flag designation of Costa Rica’s beaches is a serious honour and despite over one hundred beaches throughout the country applying for the designation, only 80 beaches received the coveted flag this year. The Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) pulled out all this stops this year with a special ceremony held for the beach category to honour the work that is being done with respect to the beaches in Costa Rica.

The award ceremony, which was held at the Presidential House saw 80 awards presented to various regions of Costa Rica. The North Guanacaste region received 25 awards, the Central Pacific 13, South Guanacaste 12, Puntareans 11, South Pacific 10 and South Caribbean a total of 9.

Evaluation of the beaches included the following categories; quality of seawater, quality of water for human consumption, sanitary quality of the coast including garbage, domestic sewage, industrial sewage, safety and administration and environmental education. Based on the results, each beach was evaluated with a designation of one to five stars. From the results, only two beaches received the full five stars, Punta Madero in Guanacaste and Punta Blanca in the Puntarenas region of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Beach Report Card

The grading of the various beaches by the Ecological Blue Flag Program (PBAE) has seen not only the addition of beaches to the prestige honor but also beaches taken off the program as a result of a variety of factors. Those who were removed from the PBAE included Manzanillo, Tambor, Dominical and Ventaras. These beaches were unable to maintain the established requirements of the program. It is hoped that the demoted beaches will somehow rise again to their blue flag status.

The ICT of Costa Rica is focused to ensure that the Blue Flag program is in synch with the sustainability initiatives of its organization. The goal for the ICT is to develop and ensure sustainable tourism locations in Costa Rica. For the ICT the maintenance and governance of the program is a serious responsibility that involves careful consideration of the evaluation of the program’s criteria. The grading of the designation’s is outlined as follows:

One Star – is awaded for a score between 90-100%,

Two Stars – are designated for a score of 100% and includes warning signs for tourists, surveillance and first aid during the weekends and high season.

Three Stars – includes the two star criteria and includes public showers, bathrooms, a tourist information center, safe access for disabled individuals.

Four Stars – expands upon the three star designation to include recycling waste separation, permanent surveillance and first aid facilities, cleaning guidelines to prevent vector-borne diseases and an emergency committee.

Five Stars – expands upon the three star designation to include; designated parking for disabilities, including ramp access to the beach, tourist police services, participation in AyA’s Sanitary Quality Stamp program.

So the next time you are enjoying the Costa Rica beach life and happen to see a Blue Flag flying, know that you are basking on a beach that is governed by some of the most stringent guidelines there are in Costa Rica. A Blue Flag Costa Rica beach is a spot for enjoyment, knowing that someone is taking care of it for your pleasure!

 

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About the Author: Tee is Senior Editor of CostaRicaCLOSEUP.com and NBC's adventure dating series fans magazine LoveInTheWildFansMag.com, as well ascontributing editor to QRCodesUSA.org

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