Posted by: ecodestination | March 19, 2009

Sustainable Costa Rica at the Lapa Rios

Nap on your hammock at Lapa Rios

Nap on your hammock at Lapa Rios

As you might already know, Costa Rica has amazingly lush rainforests, waterfalls, an incredibly rich range of flora and fauna, heavenly beaches, and on and on-essentially, it’s one of those places you can go, look around, spread your arms wide and exclaim, “I am lucky to be alive and love life!”

Enter Lapa Rios.  Not only do you get to enjoy the amazingness of CR’s rainforests, but when staying at LR, you do so within 1,000 acres of private nature reserve. Talk about spoiled. Actually, this area comprises the only lowland tropical rainforest left in Central America.

So, wait a minute-CR is trusting its last remaining stretch of rainforest to tourism? (I don’t care whether it’s eco or not, ultimately tourism is tourism, right?) The fact, or purported fact, that the American owners of LR have good intentions makes me want to hear them out and, to some extent, hope you will choose them over the Hilton if you decide to check out CR.

Something that makes LR outshine other rainforest lodges is that no trees have been cut down to make room for its construction. *Applause* Read about its sustainability practices.  It was awarded Costa Rica’s highest sustainable tourism certification (CST). LR has won awards from around the globe celebrating its social and environmental choices. If only more eco hotels did, eh?

Makes me wonder about all the supposedly eco hotels who lack official certifications to prove it. (Thoughts?)

LR’s laudable practices: no AC, no hair dryers allowed (they have a minimal-capacity 24/7 generator), lowered water and energy consumption, educated community and staff about various green issues, support to local businesses and community, water is heated by the sun, manure created from food scraps creates the methane gas used to heat the (staff) kitchen stove, the wood used to build LR was obtained from sustainable forests, etc. Read more here.

The rates at seem exorbitantly high, but they do include guided tours, meals, and other items. Worth a second thought, in any case.

I am not into the fact that LR is in a private reserve. However, the thumbs up appear to offset the thumbs down. You be the judge.



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