Lonely Planet Writer

Toxic spill contaminates Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast

A hotel resort on the coast of Puntarenas.
A hotel resort on the coast of Puntarenas. Image by nateClicks / CC BY 2.0

A ship carrying toxic chemicals has sunk off the northwest Pacific Coast of eco-tourism bastion Costa Rica, sparking an emergency environmental alert. The vessel went down close to the tourist town of Puntarenas, carrying 200 tons of ammonium nitrate – a highly soluble fertiliser. Costa Rican authorities hope the chemical will be quickly dissolved and taken out to sea, but a 72-hour fishing ban was enforced in the area and people were asked to avoid swimming in the affected zone, stretching for about 100km along the coastline. Read more: bbc.com