Villa Quetzal

Villa Quetzal

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Beach, Sun, and Beauty are waiting for you in Costa Ballena!

It is the summer time in Costa Rica, and every cell of the body screams, “let’s go to the beach."  It is that time of the year, when, it feels wonderful to have all the senses experiencing the fulfilling, purifying, and healing presence of the ocean around us.

Costa Ballena has so many beautiful beaches along the pacific coast.  Costa Ballena is the coastal region that includes the beaches in Dominical, Dominicalito, Puerto Nuevo, Hermosa, Uvita, Piñuelas, Ventanas, Tortuga, and all the area south to the Térraba River in Coronado.

This Southern Pacific region of Costa Rica features unspoiled beauty and natural charm that give its unique character to the region.

Of all the beaches in the Southern Pacific, starting with Costa Ballena, and all the way to The Border with Panama, nine beaches currently hold the Blue Flag Award.

Some of them are part of a National Park called Marino Ballena National Park.
Some others are, outside the National Park; nevertheless, they are beautiful beaches that deserve attention, and you should visit them when you are in Costa Ballena.

 The Beaches that hold the "Blue Flag" in the Southern Pacific are:
  1. Playa Hermosa       (Costa ballena)
  2. Playa Colonia         (Costa ballena)
  3. Playa Arco             (Costa ballena)
  4. Playa Ballena         (Costa ballena)
  5. Playa Piñuela         (Costa ballena)
  6. Colorada               (Drake)
  7. Blanca                   (Puerto Jiménez)
  8. Nicuesa                 (Osa)
  9. Pavones                (Osa)
Let me explain what is what the Blue Flag means.

Costa Rica’s “Blue Flag” Ecological Program was launched in 1996 by the National Water and Sewer Service (Instituto de Costariccense Acueductos y Alcantarillados, or AyA), with the support of the Ministries of Environment and Energy, Education, and Public Health, as well as the Costa Rican Tourism Institute and Costa Rica’s Tourism Business Chamber.  Under this program, all the Costarrican beaches are evaluated and assessed according to specific criteria like quality of the Ocean water and purity of the drinking water, waste disposal, and sanitary facilities, and involvement of the community in the beach maintenance.  Only beaches that score 90% are awarded for the “Blue Flag.”

The “Blue Flag” award is rated with one, two, or three stars.
One Star is given if the beach meets 90% of the environmental criteria.
Two Stars are given if the beach meets 100% of the criteria, and contributes to the reduction of pesticides in the environment.
Three Stars are given to the beaches that have met the Two Stars, and have initiated programs promoting social responsibility in schools and communities.

From the time, the beach receives the “Blue Flag” will be monitored on the monthly basis, to ensure sustained maintenance.  Every year, the Blue Flag Commission grants or revokes the award.

Believe it, or not, the program has been very successful, and every year; more coastal communities are getting involved; therefore, more beaches are awarded every year.  What does this means to you?  It means that you can go to those beaches, and feel comfortable knowing that you are in a safe and clean beach environment.

At the end of March 2012, the beaches of Costa Rica were evaluated and 13 beaches were added to the list that now includes 80 "Blue Flag" Beaches.

The 13 new beaches are:
North Guanacaste:  1-Copal, 2-Jobo, 3-Manzanillo, 4-La Cruz, 5-Rajada, 6-Morro, and 7-Coyotera.
South Guanacaste:  7-Frijolar, 8-Cocos (Marbella), 9- Buena Vista, 10-San Miguel.
South Pacific:  11-Arco, 12-Colorada (Drake) 13-Blanca (Jiménez).

Here is the complete list of all the 80 Blue Flag beaches in the whole country, provided by 

“Blue Flag” or not, you should always be aware of your physical needs and tolerances; it does not matter where you are, make sure you know your requirements to deal with the environment.  If your tolerance for the sun is very low, you need to make sure you have the protective gear that will make you feel comfortable.  Whether your skin is very sensitive or not, you should always have sunscreen with you.  Mosquitoes, and sand flies are very common on the beach, make sure you have the insect repellent that suits your needs.

Come to Costa Ballena, Costa Rica, and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer; it is a privilege.

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