The Rainforest Blog
Organized by the Costa Rica National Chamber of Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism (CANAECO), the conference will convene national and international leaders to share strategies, practices and experiences to help make tourism and businesses sustainable.
The 4th Planet, People & Peace (PPP or “P3”) Ecotourism Conference will be held November 3-6 in San Jose at the National Auditorium at the Children’s Museum, part of the Costa Rican Center of Science and Culture.
Speakers and guests from 14 countries will meet to exchange ideas on the future of sustainable tourism and how to operate businesses in an environmentally responsible way. Sustainable business, or “green business,” is defined by Wikipedia as an enterprise that has minimal negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy – a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profits.
CANAECO is a nonprofit private organization that brings together individuals and companies operating in ecotourism and sustainable tourism in Costa Rica. Established in 2003, it is the first national chamber in Central America that caters specifically to these sectors. Costa Rica has played an important role globally over the past decade in ecotourism and sustainable business. Many businesses in Costa Rica are already successfully incorporating sustainable practices, and will be on display during the PPP Conference.
Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica
One of Costa Rica’s outstanding examples of sustainable tourism is Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, an environmentally sensitive eco-lodge set on a 165-acre private preserve in the undeveloped Osa Peninsula/Golfo Dulce region of the country’s South Pacific. The Playa Nicuesa Reserve borders the lush rainforest of the Piedras Blancas National Park, and fronts the pristine Pacific coastline of the Golfo Dulce.
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge has received the highest rating for sustainability (Five Leaves) by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT). The lodge embraces conservation and harmony with the natural environment and caters to travelers interested in ecotourism, nature, adventure and sports. A member of the prestigious Enchanting Hotels of Costa Rica, Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is affiliated with the Rainforest Alliance, the International Ecotourism Society, the Costa Rican National Chamber of Ecotourism, and Sustainable Travel International, among others.
Article by Shannon Farley
It is amazing, that in this day and age, scientists are still discovering completely new species of plants and animals in the world. You would think that everything had already been discovered.
In Costa Rica, for instance, recent reports reveal that 5,000 new species of animals and plants have been discovered and classified between 2011 and 2013. The finding is part of the country’s National Biodiversity Strategy (ENB in Spanish) for 2014-2020, which follows the United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. Most of the new 5,000 species found are insects. The others include a few orchids, mushrooms, mollusks, fish, reptiles and birds.
In the world so far, scientists say they have identified between 1.5 and 1.8 million animal and plant species, about half of which are insects. Beetles are the largest group with 300,000 species. In comparison, there are only 4,500 species of mammals recognized on the planet. Costa Rica, although a tiny country occupying only 0.03% of the planet’s landmass, hosts more than 500,000 plant and animal species. Keeping with the world trend, Costa Rica has about 300,000 kinds of insects. (Anyone who has ever walked into a Costa Rican rainforest without bug repellent knows this!)
Scientists estimate there are probably roughly 8.7 million species existing on Earth, according to a 2011 study in the journal PLoS Biology, published by the Public Library of Science. The crucial point is that approximately 83% of those plant and animal species have yet to be discovered. Scientists calculate that there are probably 6.5 million species living on land, and 2.2 million in the ocean, but that 86% of land-inhabitants and 91% of ocean-dwellers are still roaming at large undiscovered, described or cataloged, reports the study.
At Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, you can see an abundance of plant and animal life. Located
on the Golfo Dulce next to the Piedras Blancas National Park, the award-winning eco-lodge features several unique ecosystems – primary and secondary rainforest, ocean and mangrove forest. Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge offers nature and adventure tours, yoga classes and retreats, family vacations, and honeymoon trips.
In southern Costa Rica, the tranquil blue waters of the Golfo Dulce stretch between the Piedras Blancas National Park and the Osa Peninsula. It is an area of pristine tropical wilderness and abundant wildlife. The Gulf’s calm jade green-blue surface makes it easy to see dolphins frolicking, sea turtles swimming, fish jumping out of the water, and marine birds diving for those fish. Starting in August, the Gulf gets even busier with visiting migrating Humpback Whales. Known as a tropical fjord, the “inner sea” of Golfo Dulce is a critical habitat for Humpback Whales and is vital to the species’ survival, according to the Center of Cetacean Investigation of Costa Rica (CEIC). Whales arrive annually to breed and give birth in the warm waters of Costa Rica’s South Pacific Coast, from the Ballena National Marine Park just south of Dominical down to the Golfo Dulce.
The annual migration of Pacific Humpback Whales is one of the most remarkable journeys by any creature on the planet. The marine mammals travel between 3,000 and 5,000 miles each way, from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, making them one of the farthest-migrating animals on Earth. Northern Hemisphere Humpbacks travel from Alaska and British Columbia to Mexico, Hawaii and Central America, for the months of December to March. Southern, Antarctic-based Humpback Whales spend their winter months near Australia and as far north as Costa Rica from June to November. They are most likely to be seen in Costa Rica between August and October.
The southern whales are more common to see in Golfo Dulce, according to research by the CEIC. Females swim into the shallow waters of the Gulf’s interior to birth their young and breastfeed them. Males concentrate in the outer area of the Gulf waiting to breed with available females. The CEIC and other environmental organizations, including Earthwatch, are working to create a Marine Protected Area within Golfo Dulce to safeguard the whales’ reproductive and feeding grounds, and to establish buffer areas surrounding these critical habitats. “(There is an) urgent need to create connectivity between different marine protected areas to maximize the effectiveness in the protection of species and resources,” note CEIC researchers.
Humpback whales are an endangered species with international government-protected status. They are easy to see since they live at the ocean’s surface. They swim slowly and are known as the “acrobats of the sea” for their aerial frolicking. Humpbacks also are known for their “songs” – long, varied, and complex sequences of squeaks, grunts and other sounds. Only males have been recorded singing and they seem to produce the complex songs only in warm waters – thought by scientists, therefore, to be mating calls. Golfo Dulce also is home to important resident and migratory communities of Bottlenose Dolphins, Spotted Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins, and the occasionally seen False Killer Whales. Visit Golfo Dulce.
Stay on Golfo Dulce at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, and see Humpback Whales and dolphins in person. The award-winning eco-lodge offers whale-watching boat tours of the Gulf to see marine life such as dolphins, sea turtles and whales. Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is located on a 165-acre private preserve bordering the Piedras Blancas National Park. A TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner, the sustainable lodge is a unique adventure travel destination for its remote, pristine wilderness location.
A unique adventure travel destination: lush, green vegetation as far as the eye can see, with leaves as big as elephant ears. Jade colored water. Toucans, monkeys, iguanas, dolphins, majestic blue butterflies – all are here at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, a unique and transformational lodge & retreat center for wellness retreats of all types, located in the pristine tropical rainforest of southern Costa Rica, recently won the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award.
The prestigious award celebrates hospitality excellence and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.com, a travel review site. Only 10 percent of businesses on TripAdvisor earn the award, placing Playa Nicuesa’s lodge & retreat-site offering in the upper echelon of hotels & retreat centers worldwide.
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, situated in a 165 acre preserve in the Golfo Dulce/Osa Region of Costa Rica, has received praise and recognition in reviews by TripAdvisor travelers; particularly by those who have organized retreats there: “I was privileged to host a wonderful Yoga Vacation here. It was all, plus more, than I could have hoped for. Nobody left untouched by the experience.”, claimed Cathy Daley, “Alive With Yoga” retreat organizer from Sarasota, Florida.
The lodge offers a unique adventure travel destination to host workshops related to yoga, meditation, and any other wellness areas. Workshop attendees are surrounded by the sounds of toucans, monkeys, and vibrant wildlife in the rainforest, along with the soft lull of the ocean’s waves: “The yoga platform is on the beach, beautifully situated, and the classes I had with our yoga teacher there touched me deeply” commented Ago; from Branford, CT who stayed on February 2013. Lodge is reachable only by boat, which assures the privacy required for a workshop to effectively inspire the spirit, creativity, and harmony of an eco-friendly and relaxed experience.
To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Reviewers rated Playa Nicuesa a 4.5 on average. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months. “A fabulous place to be in the Osa! Playa Nicuesa has it all, from lovely accommodations, gorgeous location, great food, great staff and so much to do in one of the most pristine places left on this planet! A real life changing experience. I am a yoga instructor and will be leading my 3rd yoga retreat at Nicuesa in February 2013!” MWYoga from Laguna Woods, California.
Yoga group leaders, wellness centers or other workshop intermediaries can take advantage of the exclusive special rates Nicuesa Lodge offers to host workshops & retreats; which includes Tours, use of Lodge Facilities and Preserve, recreational equipment, three fabulous daily meals, and an excellent Guest-to-Staff ratio. As TCDaley expressed: “Everything about this place was wonderful… but the staff really made the biggest impression. I came away from this experience feeling, not only relaxed, but deeply inspired.” The lodge has extensive experience supporting the execution of wellness retreats, and our staff handles all operational details so that the organizer can focus on the marketing of their retreat and achievement of their own workshop goals.
Interested retreat organizers are invited to visit the Nicuesa Lodge website for full details (http://Retreats.NicuesaLodge.com), and contact Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in order to obtain further information [call toll-free: 866-504-8116 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org].
Complimentary lodging for familiarization-trips is available for retreat organizers interested in viewing the site before scheduling their workshops at Nicuesa Lodge.