Talamanca Ecotourism and Conservation Association (ATEC)

Talamanca Ecotourism and Conservation Association (ATEC)

in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

ATEC, as Puerto Viejo's pioneering ecotourism provider, has been offering environmentally and socially conscious experiences for over 25 years in the breathtaking Talamanca region of Costa Rica. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the Caribbean coast as you participate in engaging activities, such as local cooking classes, exhilarating surf lessons, invigorating rainforest treks, and a fascinating tour of a nearby chocolate farm. Explore the stunning and culturally-rich surroundings while contributing to sustainable tourism with ATEC's responsible adventures.

Right for You?


Active Adventure, Cultural Immersion, Connect with Nature and Foodie Fun


$35-99 /person
Approximate price for 1/2 day and full day tours


Small Towns/Villages, Rainforest and Beach

Connect with Talamanca Ecotourism and Conservation Association (ATEC)

Locally Owned Community Association
Talamanca Ecotourism and Conservation Association (ATEC)
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Speaks: English and Spanish

Why Lokal Recommends Talamanca Ecotourism and Conservation Association (ATEC)


Community Association started in 1990| Locally Owned with 100% local staff

A Unique Story

Established in 1987, a group of concerned Talamancan residents came together to address the rapid social, cultural, and economic transformations resulting from the influx of tourism. In 1990, we evolved into a grassroots non-profit organization, officially named Asociación Talamanqueña de Ecoturismo y Conservación, or ATEC (/ah-tek/) for short.

By 1991, the main road leading to the region was paved, making Talamanca more accessible and attracting new businesses to cater to the growing number of tourists. This influx brought private transportation, imported food, non-local guides, swimming pools, and various forms of entertainment. Recognizing the potential loss of local culture and business opportunities, ATEC proactively educated the community about alternatives to selling their family farms and emphasized the significance of preserving the forests and our rich cultural heritage.

In 1992, ATEC developed and implemented the region's first program that trained sixteen local citizens to conduct nature tours throughout the area, followed by more programs in the subsequent years. This initiative not only fostered a sense of pride in the community, but also ensured the preservation of local culture and sustainable tourism practices.

Deep Community Connections

At ATEC, 80% of what you pay for a our tours goes directly to the guides. We are a self-sustaining, non-profit, grassroots, community based organization that finances itself, its guides, and its conservation efforts through your patronage and support. With more than 50 exciting tours, classes, and activities provided by friendly, local, knowledgable guides you won't be dissapointed. Together we are suppporting the local community, the family based economy, the environment and the traditional way of life.

Exceptional Quality and Authenticity (Culture)

ATEC is dedicated to promoting ethnic pride and cultural expression among the indigenous and Afro-Caribbean residents of the Talamanca region.


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