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8 of the greatest eco-friendly beaches in the world

By: Julie Knapp on June 18, 2010, 11:45 a.m.
Playa Matapalo, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Photo: Lapa Rios Ecolodge

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Playa Matapalo, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Known as the lungs of the Earth, the Osa Peninsula is blessed with a dense forest and a conservation-minded government. Half of the 500,000 species of flora and fauna located in Costa Rica can be found here. The area is also home to beautiful Playa Matapalo, a gray-sand beach popular with surfers that leads into the Portalon National Wildlife Refuge complete with a marine turtle protection project.