Kayaking in Costa Rica in the “sweet gulf” of Golfo Dulce by the Osa Peninsula – one of only four tropical fjords in the world – it is like paddling across a giant mirror to the sky. Close to shore, the clear water’s blues and grays turn to liquid jade, reflecting endless shades of green palm trees and jungle that crowd the water’s edge. Look down and you’ll probably see colorful fish swimming below your kayak. Dense green rainforest and mountains fill the horizon.
All of the dedication to positive environmental practices and community social responsibility by the staff at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge were rewarded last month when the Costa Rica eco-hotel received the highest level rating of the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) program.
This is the second consecutive year that the Costa Rica rainforest lodge has received the highest rating of 5 Leaves in the CST Program by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT). Playa Nicuesa Lodge is one of only 41 hotels in Costa Rica that have a 5-Leaf certification.
The CST program rates and certifies tourism businesses based on their compliance with natural, cultural and social resource management. CST consists of five levels, called “Leaves”; Level 5, or 5 Leaves, signifies that the company is considered “outstanding in terms of sustainability.” The rating process is very detailed and involves frequent inspections and evaluations; the highest levels are very difficult to obtain.
Golfo Dulce in Costa Rica is a critical habitat for marine life on Earth. The “Sweet Gulf” in southern Costa Rica gets a lot of attention for being a refuge for migrating endangered Pacific humpback whales. Not only the birthplace for whales but also for dolphins and endangered hammerhead sharks, the 31-mile-long (50 km) Pacific gulf is essentially a big watery “cradle”.
The Costa Rican environmental organization Misión Tiburón (Shark Mission) is lobbying the Costa Rican government to protect Golfo Dulce as the first sanctuary for hammerhead sharks in the world.
Great news for our country and Latin American forests: Costa Rica joins six countries in pledging to reforest 20 million hectares of Latin America.
Costa Rica continues to make news around the world. What a best way to start the year with such great news, not only for our beautiful country but for all of Latin America.
It turns out that Costa Rica among other 6 Latin American countries (Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador and Chile) have commited themselves, and according to AFP reports, in pledging to reforest 20 million hectares – about the size of Uruguay – of degraded land by the year 2020. This statement was made during the 12-day talks amongst the world’s nations taking place in Peru under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC).
It is of great importance for all of these nations to commit themselves into such a responsibility that will make the whole world become even more aware of the actual climate changes and damage it has been resulting due mainly because of deforestation.
This group, now known as the “20×20 Initiative, has come to the following hectare amounts each:
Costa Rica and Chile: 50.000 hectares each.
Mexico 8.5 million hectares
Peru 3 .2 million hectares
Guatemala 1.2 million hectares
Colombia 1 million hectares
The Ecuadorian Minister of Environment, Lorena Tapia, expressed that “with funding and support from the national government we will succeed in restoring 500,000 hectares by 2017” during the meeting in Lima, Peru.
As for Costa Rica interests, according to Mr. José Joaquín Campos director of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (Catie), its main priority is to reestablish the lands of Puriscal, Turrialba and some of Guanacaste´s zones. In order to achieve this, Mr. Campos mentions that it will be necessary to have a joined work with the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae).
It is hoped that all this effort doesn´t stay only on paper and that the people involved will accept the challenge and assume their responsibility. In this way, not only our most important natural resources will benefit but also our next generations for years to come.
Green tourism, also called eco-tourism and sustainable travel, is what Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica is all about. The Costa Rica eco-lodge by the Osa Peninsula is one of only three dozen hotels in Costa Rica that have received the highest rating in the Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program (CST). Created by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT), the CST program rates and certifies tourism businesses based on their compliance with natural, cultural and social resource management.
Playa Nicuesa sustainability highlights:
- Lodge buildings are located on less than 2% of property – 98% is a private protected area.
- Used recycled construction materials, such as: roof tiles on the lodge and cabins made from recycled plastics, including banana bags.
- Wood came from naturally fallen trees, permitted by the government to be pulled out of the forest by oxen, or from farmed trees.
- Electricity is provided by solar energy. Panels are located on main lodge structure. Back-up generator runs on recycled vegetable oil.
- Solar drying room used to dry all of the lodge wash.
- Hot water is provided by on-demand propane which means that the propane is used only when the hot water faucet is turned on.
- Received the Ecological Blue Flag Award for clean beaches.
Article by Gabriela Serrano.
The mango house is great for all types of travelers. Especially a good choice for friends or families that want to be close, but also have the privacy of your own room with private bathroom. Also great for single travelers or those who are a bit nervous about staying in the jungle, as the mango rooms are more in an open area then the private cabins that are tucked into the rainforest. Also great for parties of approximately 6-10 that want to rent all 4 rooms at once.
2 storey, 3 bedroom house surrounded by lush jungle. First floor has a living room, bedroom and full bath with beautiful open air shower. Loft-like second storey with master bedroom, 2nd bedroom , full bath and large open terrace. Let the crashing of the waves lull you to sleep!