Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge offsets carbon footprint with reforestation

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge gardensWhen you stay at eco-friendly Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica, you can reduce the ecological impact on the planet generated by your trip by offseting your carbon emissions. There are two ways for planet-conscious travelers to do this.

One is to calculate your carbon credits using the Costa Rica National Forest Financing Fund (FONAFIFO) carbon credits calculator, and then purchase carbon credits that will be used to reforest land in Costa Rica. Nicuesa Lodge supports FONAFIFO’s work to reduce people’s carbon footprint by protecting and reforesting Costa Rica’s rainforests.

The second way is to take part in Nicuesa Lodge’s reforestation program by planting a tree when you are there.

Trees - Espavel in Costa RicaPlaya Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, in the southern Costa Rica rainforest on the Golfo Dulce, protects 95 percent of their 165-acre rainforest property in an undeveloped and natural state. The Costa Rica eco-lodge began its reforestation program in 2010. The main goal is to slowly remove the cacao trees – from the former cacao plantation where the lodge is built – that were infected by the fungus Moniliophthora roreri, or “frosty pod rot”, and reforest with trees native to Costa Rica and the local area.

Planting native trees helps re-establish the biological corridor for animals between the Piedras Blancas National Park and the Golfito Wildlife Refuge that border either side of Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge.

Trees - Corteza Amarilla in Costa RicaSo far, approximately 150 trees have been planted by hotel guests and staff: species like Cortez Amarillo (Tabebuia ochracea, Gold Trumpet tree), Roble de Sabana (Tabebuia rosea, Pink Trumpet tree), Cenizaro (Samanea saman, Rain Tree), Espavel (Anacardium excelsum, Wild Cashew tree), and Gallinazo (Schizolobium parahyba, Brazilian Fire tree), among others. Trees are obtained by donations and seeds harvested naturally from the forest.

“Last year, we accepted a donation of 50 Cenizaro starter trees from the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT). We also collect seeds from the forest on our property, germinate them and grow seedlings, which we then plant in an area we set aside for reforestation,” explained Natalia Solis, Sustainability Coordinator at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge. “This project invites and involves our guests to be part of a change that helps our environment and also helps offset the carbon emissions generated during their journey and visit to the lodge.”

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Nicuesa Lodge honors Golfo Dulce on World Oceans Day

Golfo Dulce Costa Rica
The beauty and life of the world’s oceans will be celebrated June 8 on World Oceans Day. The annual event by the United Nations calls people to action around the planet to protect our oceans and the amazing life that lives in them. This year’s theme is “Healthy oceans, healthy planet” with a special focus on eradicating plastic pollution.

Here in our corner of the world in southern Costa Rica, we at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge honor and protect the beautiful calm gulf of Golfo Dulce where we are located. We recently received the Ecological Blue Flag Award for the fifth time for keeping one of the cleanest beaches in Costa Rica.


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A tale of dreams and adventure: Beginning Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica
Guests staying at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge always ask: how did the Costa Rica eco-lodge get started?

The question is a reasonable one given Nicuesa Lodge’s isolated location in southern Costa Rica. It is a wild place of dense steamy rainforest and tranquil ocean, intensely populated by thousands of species of tropical wildlife. Playa Nicuesa is a little crescent-shaped beach and small bay on the pristine Golfo Dulce – “Sweet Gulf” – a critical habitat for migrating Pacific Humpback Whales, dolphins and hammerhead sharks. The region is a giant conservation area including the world-famous Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula, the Piedras Blancas National Park and three other private reserves.

Playa Nicuesa on Golfo Dulce from the air
What keeps Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge so unique and private is that the lodge is accessible only by boat. Almost directly across the gulf from the town of Puerto Jimenez, Nicuesa Lodge’s 165-acre private preserve is backed by rugged mountains and wild jungle of the Piedras Blancas National Park. There are no roads, and there is no development.

Dolphins in Golfo Dulce
So, how did a high-end eco-lodge come to be in this pure, remote place?
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Sparkling bioluminescence in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica


Walking along a tropical beach at night or sea kayaking after dark, especially the closer you get to the equator, often you will see sparkling lights in the water. It can seem as if the ocean is a liquid sky of blue stars. This is bioluminescence.

“Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism as the result of a chemical reaction during which chemical energy is converted to light energy,” according to Science Daily.

Bioluminescent jellyfishBioluminescence occurs in a variety of marine animal species – bacteria, plankton, fish, jellyfish, squid and crustaceans. It also exists in some fungi, microorganisms and terrestrial invertebrates – think of fireflies and glow worms. Marine life depends on their bioluminescence for finding food, attracting mates and evading predators, according to Science Journal. Sometimes thousands of square miles of ocean shine with the light of bioluminescent bacteria or plankton. For instance, in Puerto Rico, there are three famous bioluminescent bays.

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