ATEC is Puerto Viejo’s original ecotourism provider. For over 25 years, they’ve been providing ecologically and socially responsible activities throughout the Talamanca region of Costa Rica. Take a local cooking class, go for a surf lesson, trek through the rainforest, tour a local chocolate farm and much more as you explore the beautfiul and culturally rich Caribbean coast.
Speaks: English and Spanish
Community Association started in 1990| Locally Owned with 100% local staff
In 1987, a group of Talamancan residents started to meet to discuss their concerns about the rapid social, cultural, and economic changes accompanying the increase of tourism. In 1990, we became an incorporated grassroots non-profit organization and called ourselves Asociación Talamanqueña de Ecoturismo y Conservación, ATEC (/ah-tek/) for short.
By 1991, the main road into the region had been paved and made Talamanca more accessible. As new influences moved into the region, so did the new businesses to accommodate them. Private transportation, imported food, non-local guides, swimming pools, and entertainment. Noticing a loss of local culture and business opportunities, ATEC took measures to educate our neighbors about alternatives to selling off their family farms and to identify the value of the forests and our rich cultures. In 1992, ATEC developed and implemented the first program that trained sixteen local citizens to lead nature tours throughout the region, to be followed by more thereafter.