The Rainforest Blog
Being a yoga instructor and a massage therapist at Playa Nicuesa
is one in a life time experience… One of our Costarican yoga instructors, Nati Soto, shared with
us her side of the story…
Living and working at Nicuesa Lodge changed
my perspective on life. My expectations for this opportunity were really high,
and no doubt I had the time of my life. The knowledge and the fun that I experienced there is owed to the awesome people I was so lucky to spend the time with; guests,
co-workers, and the coolest managers you could ask for.
|Melo, boat captain|
has been seven weeks since a captain with a beautiful smile, Melo, picked me
up for a wonderful 30 minute boat ride from Puerto Jimenez to Playa Nicuesa. A ride that I was able to take many other
times, and to Golfito and around the gulf as well; sometimes to pick up new guests,
to help with errands, to represent the lodge on recycling campaigns,
or just for the fun and pleasure of being there. Those boat rides made me realize all the amazing secrets that this water holds, and the different
sensations that you get just by staring at it.
Looking calm and still like if the surface of
the water was a mirror, it can suddenly be disturbed by a jump of a dolphin -or
many dolphins-, the bright yellow skin of a sea snake only seen in the Golfo Dulce, or
by a turtle trying to swim unnoticed beside your boat.
|Sea Snake (Pelamis platurus)|
pier you get involved in the magical feeling of becoming part of the rainforest
and the mountain. The lodge and cabins are very
beautiful and cozy structures, but my favourite place of all with no doubt is
the yoga deck. It is placed in between the beach and the lagoon, so that on one side
you have a very strong energy from the waves striking on the shore, and on the
other side you have the peaceful water moving very slowly and very wisely from the lagoon, to the river and finally into the sea.
|Sunset at Yoga Deck|
The yoga deck was my every day sanctuary,
the place where we practice yoga and massage. Every day at least twice a day I did the most
beautiful walk from the lodge to the deck on a wooden path over the lagoon,
always taking the time to see all the humming birds flying around the flowers, animals walking on the side or swimming
underneath the bridge. Nature fills up the
platform with the purest energy.
The only problems I had to deal with, while I was there, was the fact that you needed to speak a louder during the
yoga class because the macaws are being louder than you; being distracted on
meditation by an ant eater sliding down of a palm tree next to you; the
strength you needed to hold your body into an Asana (posture) while the rain got you; to
get astonished by a big cruise ship going by while practicing balancing postures; getting lost during a massage distracted by a group of dolphins doing
360 jumps in front of you; or get your breath stolen every time a lightning strike illuminating the dark platform during a evening massage. All of these moments made me feel so small in
front of that big infinity that is the
ocean, but made me feel one of the pieces that completes the puzzle.
|Dancing with the staff|
Working here you really get to relate to the guests, we share every meal with them but you actually end up sharing more
than that, lots of good talking, music, laughs, drinks and even some dancing.
People come here from all over the world and for that reason I got the chance
to hear stories from very different situations and very diverse points of
learned a lot from everybody that I spent time with. I learned
a lot from Verónica, our Sustainability Coordinator. Sustainability is very strong in Nicuesa, and from her I learned the importance of it. I also learned from her and the
rest of the staff a lot about the flora and fauna of the Golfo Dulce and the Osa region.
refreshing experience, but LIVING at Playa Nicuesa… that’s a life time
experience. There are so many things to do in your free time: running in the trails, swimming in the calm sea, and discovering the incredible biodiversity of the area. The food
is awesome, healthy and fresh, both of the cooks are excellent!! But, the greatest of all is the people that you
live with, the regular staff of the lodge, people that showed me their hearts,
taught me to see live from an angle I never saw before, they laughed with me
all the time and got to my very soul.
snorkeling with Joe, Vero and Sandra; and ended it hiking very
early in the morning with Vero, one hour before leaving Nicuesa. But, in between I did so many amazing things in this magical place… I went running on the trails with
Amelia, started practicing acroyoga with Sandra and Kattia, fishing with the
boys, hiking to the waterfall with Cuy, tracking puma with Felipe,
dancing lessons with the staff -different types of dancing: cumbia, salsa, bachata, reggaeton, and even belly dancing!
|Jumping from a palm tree during high tide|
I had so much fun jumping off the dock on low tide with everybody
and jumping off the fallen palm tree at high tide, took couple of cooking lessons, swam to see the bioluminiscent planckton at night, visited the Old farm house, went kayaking the river, did
the loop trail, visited the wild life refuge and botanical garden
with guests, went to cheer for my Nicuesa boys at the soccer games, watched a
movie at the neighbour’s, watched the stars laying at the dock, relaxed at the hammocks. I loved to hear the
stories from the local staff, incredible people that have been living in this jungle since they were little.
This morning Juan Pablo brought me to Puerto
Jiménez to take my flight back home. I already know that I’m going back being a
more open person, willing to become a better human being and to give my best to
|Flying back home|
Since the moment the idea of Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge was conceived, sustainability has always been one of our primary goals. This wilderness lodge was sensitively designed with the environment in mind, and constructed from naturally fallen trees, recycled materials and harnesses the natural energy from the sun to provide electricity. Since the hotel opened in 2003, our strong efforts dedicated to operate in peace with nature and the local communities have been constant. Our daily operations focus on environmental education to guests, employees and communities, as well as improving our every day practices through experimentation of new sustainable techniques. In conjunction with the community outreach projects that Playa Nicuesa promotes continuously, we know that year after year the sustainability experience in our hotel is exceptional and inspiring.
2012 has proven to be an outstanding year with regard to sustainability at Playa Nicuesa!
Certificate of Sustainability Highest Level
We are VERY proud to share our biggest achievement of this year: Playa Nicuesa has been awarded the highest level of the Certificate of Sustainable Tourism (CST) – five out of five leafs! The Costa Rica Tourism Board has recognized all of our hard work on, and dedication to sustainability. This certificate is given to businesses of the tourism sector, based on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management. CST consists of a scale of 5 “levels” of sustainable tourism achievement and is regulated by the Costa Rican National Accreditation Commission. Up until 2011, Playa Nicuesa had been awarded 4 levels of sustainability. And, last year, after an exhaustive evaluation performed by members of the Costa Rica Tourism Board, we were honored to receive the 5th and highest level! Learn more about the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) Program.
Ecological Blue Flag
Another award which we are also proud to announce that we have been awarded each year since 2009 is the Ecological Blue Flag for our beach front. This National award recognizes Nicuesa’s efforts towards environmental education of our Nicuesa employee family and communities nearby, as well for maintaining our beach clean and safe for visitors.
This past year we experimented with organic agriculture. Thanks to our improved composting system, and organic supplements, the fruit garden surrounding the solar drying room is thriving and providing Nicuesa guests organically homegrown, cassava, star fruit, sour guava, lime, sugar cane, pineapples, Brazilian guava, passion fruit and papaya! In addition to our regular compost, we now have worm-compost, also known as the ‘gourmet’ of composting. In this very unique composting system, the worms eat the organic waste and transform it into very rich and nutritious fertilizer. Learn more about our Sustainability Programs.
Donations and Social Programs
Every year Playa Nicuesa feels grateful for our guests that kindly make donations towards the conservation and social programs that Nicuesa supports. As a result of donations received and matching of funds by Nicuesa, in 2012 we contributed to several different NGO’s and community programs as such as PRETOMA, MarViva, ASCONA, Osa Conservación, Yaguara, and Ministry of Environment. Click here for more information about these NGO’s.
Thank YOU for all your past and continued support of Playa Nicuesa’s Sustainability efforts!! We wish you a very sustainable 2013!!!