Arriving to Playas Del Coco

Authored by:
Patrick Williams

Our travels have taken the group to Playas Del Coco, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. Our surroundings changed dramatically once we left Isla Chira; we went from feeling like the only people on the island to a tourist destination lined with hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops. The purpose of this leg of the trip was to question whether tourism is always the best answer to develop areas that struggle economically. A particular focus was on the water management and the effect mass tourism has on the local water supply, incluidng aquifers, reservoirs, water desalinziation, and waste water management. Students visited Nascacolo beach within the massive Papagayo tourism development, home to the most luxurious hotels worthy of a Kardashian visit (but actually, the Kardashians were the most recent in a string of well known guests to the area). Our stay in Playas Del Coco was punctuated by class in the pool, picnics on the beach, and an urban planning competition!

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