Authorities Are Killing the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs

1,523Views 0Comments Posted 08/07/2024

This story is about a place that I had heard about when I was looking for a place to retire to from North America.  There had been a number of retirement companies who visited our cities and towns and the most popular of the groups were the ones from Costa Rica.  The Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica, located in Quepos, is one of the most visited places by national and international tourists, and I can attest to that. Its natural beauty makes it a favorite vacation spot for many throughout the year.  

However, the tour guides who take their groups to visit Manuel Antonio during this mid-year vacation claim that authorities are “killing the goose that lays the golden eggs,” mostly due to their inaction.  According to the tour guides, it is chaos inside and outside the park; at the entrance there are people aggressively stopping tourists, there is no water available, and the bathrooms are in poor condition. The guides also denounced that there are too many crowds gathering outside the park, too many visitors, and no one is doing their part to better the service. 

One of the main issues they highlighted is the lack of good conditions at the entrance, since it’s very small, and during the high season, it collapses. Another problem is the lack of adequate infrastructure for the bathrooms.  They pointed out that currently, there are too many problems in the National Park. They believe the government must intervene, as no one is working for the common good of the area and the tourists. “In the end, it is the tourist who suffers. Something must be done,” one of the guides stated.  The guides also asked the tourism authorities for an urgent intervention, as Manuel Antonio represents an important source of income for many locals.

“They must intervene; nobody wants to do things there, everyone is throwing the ball around,” they mentioned.  In North America we call that 'passing the buck'.  In previous years, especially during the mid-year vacation, tourists reported that they were unable to obtain tickets and that they could only be purchased through resale. The most serious problem, according to many users, was that resellers charged up to $50 for a ticket for a Costa Rican tourist, when the fare was around $3.37.  “For years this park has been neglected and it is one of the most important parks we have in Costa Rica,” they claimed.