Monday, May 2, 2011

Costa Rica Ziplines

Costa Rica has become famous for it's many great beaches for surfing, majestic rainforest, and of course making a visit for some Costa Rica adventure tours. When you are not doing the whitewater rafting tours or the canyoneering adventure your next choice is the many different ziplines in Costa Rica. There are so many ziplines in Costa Rica that we doubt anybody really knows all of them but I can assure you that the best ones we have been on and hope to have you join us on a Costa Rica family vacation. Take a look at the list we made of some of our favorite ziplines in Costa Rica.

Zipline is the adventure that almost everyone in the family can do. It does not involve a lot of skill. This is why it is a perfect activity for a family of all ages. All the kids have to do is scream and all grandma has to do is go along for the ride.

SkyTrek (Arenal Area - Northern Zone)  -- With well over 70 different zipline tours in the country we will have to say that we think SkyTrek is still the best. When it comes to height, speed, and view this is one of a kind. The speed is around 45km each cable and your highest cable is 700ft. But the best part about this zipline is the view. It is located on the side of the Arenal Volcano which lends itself to some of the best views of the volcano you can get. Along with the seeing the volcano upclose, you a great view of Lake Arenal and then on a clear day you can actually see Nicaragua. The SkyTrek is a company that started in Monteverde where they have a similar zipline that also has excellent cables and you will not be disappointed with the views there too. 

When it comes to reputable companies with a solid safety record Skytrek has really made a name for themselves. They have done so well they are now even franchising out international and their operations can be seen in Mexico. You can also find hanging bridges and gandola rides in the Arenal operation. When we operate a Costa Rica vacation and zipline is on the itinerary in the Arenal area we pick Skytrek 90% of the time. The only time we do not operate Skytrek is when little kids under the age of eight want to zipline as Skytrek does not allow young kids. It should be mentioned that this company is owned by Costa Rican brothers who have an interest in protecting the rainforest which surrounds the operation of Skytrek.

 Osa Canopy Tour (Southern Pacific Area) -- This is a canopy tour that is like none other in the country. The things that seperate this canopy tour from many others is that it is located on a mountain ridge at 1,000ft above sea-level just 1km inland. The only place in Costa Rica where you find this type of topography is on the mid to southern Pacific area near the town of Cortez. This canopy offers a great mix of high cables, off roading to get to the cables, an amazing tarzan swing, and a tree rappel. The town of Cortez is located about one hour south from the town of Dominical and the tour will last around three hours because you have to take a 4x4 to get to the top of the ridge.

If I had to pick a Tarzan swing that gave you adrenaline rush like none other it would be the Tarzan swing here at Osa Canopy Tour. You can almost compare it to a bungee as it has a 30ft free fall. This is an amazing adventure and if you decide to put the Tarzan swing on your Costa Rica family adventure tour you better be ready for some serious adventure.

 Borinquen (Northern Area Rincon de la Vieja) --- If you are in the northern part of the country in the area of Guanacaste you might start to realize that there is not much elevation. Not much elevation on a Costa Rica adventure tour can wipe out most of the tours we might have planned for you. The whitewater rafting in this area is nothing too exciting with not many big rapids in the area. This is why it is important to drive inland and when you drive inland into the mountains there still might not be big rapids to run but you can find a great zipline which is at the resort of Borinquen. This is about a two hour drive from the beaches in Guanacaste and it is will worth it. The veiws are amazing; the zipline is a perfect taste of the rest of Costa Rica without having to go too far from the beach. You will see in the first cable as you go zipping across a canyon that has a 150ft waterfall below.

It should be said if you are in the area you should consider staying at the Borinquen Lodge for the night as it is a great place to get away from the beach, feel the cool mountain air and have perfect views of Rincon de La Vieja Volcano.

Titi-Canopy Tour (Central Pacific Manuel Antonio)  -- If we had to give a company the best name award it would go to the Titi-Canopy tour in Manuel Antonio. A smaller operation but with a perfect safety record the Titi-canopy is named after the type of small monkey that is found in the Manuel Antonio area. It is also commonly known as the Squirrel Monkey. Here you will find 12 cables and an easy half day tour from the many touristy areas of Manuel Antonio. The longest cable runs around 450ft and this place is kid friendly making it a good choice for a Costa Rica family vacation but still leaving plenty of time for the Mrs. to enjoy the Costa Rican spa.

Some of the other great activites that Titi-Canopy tours offer is the tarzan swing and a rappel. We call this the big three which you are starting to see more and more canopy tours offering.

Selvatura Canopy Tour (Monteverde) -- One of Costa Rica's top canopy tours has to be Selvatura as it is located in the beautiful area of Monteverde and really runs a close to perfect operation and is why we list them and choose to work with them on many occasions when we are doing a Costa Rica adventure tour with Monteverde in the itinerary. Along with having the cables and the hanging bridges, Selvatura offers so much more. You will spend more than the two hours of your average canopy tour. Here you can spend an entire day if you decide to immerse yourself in the many natural options they have at Selvatura. As a company we find it very important that on a Costa Rica vacation you can get into contact with nature and this is one of the best spots for it. You have the option visiting butterflies, insects, frogs, snakes, and natural history hikes as they have designed the complex into a mini show of some of Costa Rica's most sought after species while keeping them their natural settings.

Maquenque Ecolodge

Green Macaw (Ara Ambigua)
Another Costa Rican ecolodge that is the perfect spot for nature. This is an ecolodge that is located in the northern plains of Costa Rica. This is the perfect setting for an ecolodge and a great chance to visit the famous Green Macaw. Many birders that visit Costa Rica can only hope to see this very rare bird and your chances at Maquenque are very high.  The Green Macaw, Ara Ambigua, is estimated to be at a world population of just 7,000 species.

The Maquenque ecolodge is located on 60 hectare near the new Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge which measures 60.000 hectares. If you are in the mood for some serious birding tours or just want to relax on a Costa Rica family vacation than this is the spot. This is a calm area where you can float in a canoe, go horseback riding, take night hikes, and even a visit into Nicaragua can be the highlight of your stay in the Maquenque ecolodge.

Costa Rica Rafting

Costa Rica is the perfect spot to make a whitewater rafting tour part of your family vacation. We are a small company that operates our rafting tours on a small scale allowing us to have some of the most experienced guides in all of Costa Rica.

 Chirripo Atlantico -- We wanted to start off by talking to you about Chirripo Atlantico. Unfortunately this is not a commercially rafted river and it happens to be one of the most intense rivers in all of the America's. This is a trek by horseback to get to Costa Rica's most daring rapids. A 15 hour river run of constant class V's. This is just to let you know what your guides do during their free time so you can have the confidence that our guides will take good care of you in your Costa Rica river rafting trips.

Pejibaye -- If you want to get the kids wet and keep them in the raft then the whitewater rafting adventure on the Pejibaye is where we will plan on taking you. All of our guides are certified, experienced whitewater rafters but if rivers could get certified this would be the kid-friendly river. It is easy access in and out and is located in the town of Turrialba. If you happen to be staying at the Casa Turire Hotel then there is no closer river for you than the Pejibaye since the run ends at your hotel. It is surrounded by beautiful low lying foliage and crystal clear water. Another nice option about this tour is that even if you do it in one day from the San Jose area, you are still arriving back early afternoon. The time on the river is around 2 hours. This is also very close to the village of Sitio de Mata where you can experience our rural tourism activities and also where we have our Costa Rica Spanish School. Pejibaye is a class II & III.

 Pacuare River -- When it comes to Costa Rica whitewater rafting this is the river that has made the country famous. Listed as one of National Geographics top five scenic rivers on the planet, the famous Pacuare River continues to live up to its glory and fame. The river is engulfed in enormous mountains filled with primary rainforest. It is here that our company got it's start and we hope that we can share the beauty of this river that changed the way we look at our planet. It is a magical place and if Mother Nature was in a Royal Wedding, I have a feeling her dress would look something like the Pacuare River.  It is a demonstration of the heart of the tropics filled with life as you make your way down the 18 miles of pristine clear river. We operate a number of different rafting options for the Pacuare River including one and two day adventures. If you want more days on the river you do not have to convince us, just let us know and we can accomodate a Costa Rica rafting tour that will keep you surrounded by nature for a week that you will not regret. Along with our standard commercial tours we offer Costa Rica camps to get kids out into nature and teach them skills used by some of Costa Rica's top river guides.
This is a solid class IV river from start to finish although in the dry season with a good guide (one of ours) the river runs low but you will still get soaked.

 Savegre River -- This is a river for those that want just a small taste of what they might get in the famous Pacuare River. Here on the Savegre you get similar glimpse of what you experience on the entire trip of the Pacuare. If you visit the Savegre River, one of the benefits is that you will be just minutes from one of Costa Rica's most beautiful beaches and that is Manuel Antonio. And now with the new highway, you can head south to the small surfing town of Dominical where you will find some great surf and some not-so-touristy luxurious spots to stay to end your Costa Rica family vacation.
Savegre is class II & III in the dry season and some nice class IV's in the rainy season.

Sarapiqui -- This is a river that is located on the east side of the Central Valley and is nice because it is  just around 2 hours from San Jose so we can operate this tour for you from the San Jose area. The Sarapiqui depending where you decide to start your rafting tour, has some adventurous rapids but most of the river would not be big water. We often operate rafting tours here for families with small children. The best part about the Sarapiqui is that although close to towns and roads, it still has very plentiful wildlife as there are a number of reserves and rainforests in this area. This makes the river a popular spot for animals to hang out. If you are in the area of Sarapiqui it is probably worth staying the night  because there is much to be learned and it can be a very educational experience as it is popular spot for nature lovers to visit. Birding tours are a large part of the local activities and there are many different places to educate students and scientist looking to do field work in the heart of the tropics. It should also be noted that Sarapiqui River rafting tours can be an easy day trip from the Arenal Volcano area. The Sarapiqui River is class II & III in the lower section and some class IV's in the upper section.

  Balsa River -- Here is where you can wake up with a georgous view of an active volcano, sleep in and have a nice hearty breakfast and then enjoy some white water rafting just before lunch. The Balsa River is located in the perfect distance from the Arenal Volcano area if you are in the mood for some adventure but you do not feel like driving far and would like to be back in time to spend time in the many hotsprings in the Arenal area. The Balsa River is class II & III and will get everyone wet for sure and you should be able to stay in the raft for the entire trip.

Coto Brus -- This is a nice river to raft that is located very far south and one of the last possible rivers to do a rafting tour in before reaching Panama. The Coto Brus is similar to the Pejibaye but a bit larger and some bigger rapids. This is not a commercially rafted river compared to the Sarapiqui, Balsa, & Pacuare but we do operate tours here and it can be a very fun day on an isolated river. This river only makes sense if you are down in the area as it is tucked back into the southern mountains. It is a class III & IV and around four hours of river time. It is located in very rural areas and not many options for changing clothes except behind a tree or a slow moving cow.

 Guabo -- This is a river that is worth running for two reasons. The first is that it has a beautiful drop that makes the two hour run worth it. It is a class IV rapid that will leave you telling stories weeks after you get back home. The second is that it is located just above the beach town of Dominical and you actually can finish this rafting trip in the ocean. You just paddle out of the mountains into the beautiful waters of the Pacific. This is a beautiful river that many have referred to as the baby Pacuare. This beach is not runnable all year and there must be enough water to run it which is not too often. If you get the chance and the Guabo has the right water level make sure you take advantage of it and run it. Let us know as we always know the level it has and we will keep you posted and take you for an amazing Costa Rica Adventure.

Best time to Visit Costa Rica

One of the most common phrases you will hear from most nature guides in Costa Rica is: "The only thing certain about the weather in the tropics is that, the weather is uncertain". This is a very true statement and even more so now with the changes in weather that we are experiencing all over the globe. Our personal opinion as a company is that rain or shine a Costa Rica family vacation can still be a lot of fun. It turns out in the heart of the dry season the rivers are low, not as much green (still a lot though), and the animal species you see most are other tourist. We put together a few easy descriptions of the months of visiting Costa Rica to help you try and decide when might be the best time for you to plan your Costa Rica family adventure tour or a relaxing Costa Rica vacation.

January -- This is one of the most crowded months of the year as the end of the year holiday crowds usually pour over into the first week of January. It is a nice time to visit though because it is the end of the rainy season and should be dry in most parts. It is important to realize that you might hit the dry season in one area and the rainy season in another. The Costa Rican families are on summer break and January is a time when the locals enjoy visiting some of the same beautiful beaches as the tourist. A Costa Rica whitewater rafting adventure might be at low water level during this time of year which could be good if you don't want it too rough and are looking for a real scenic view of the rivers as most are running clear this time of year.

February -- The local Costa Rican crowd at the beaches has slowed down a bit from the early January days and the dry season is in full swing with a lot of sun and being 9 degrees above the equator a lot of sunburn-looking tourists. Pretty much the entire Pacific Coast is going to be without rain these days where the northern coast is blistering hot and dry down in the Southern Pacific you can still find quite a bit of green and shade. Rivers are low for rafting tours and the famous canyoneering adventures are in full go as many rivers can be rappeled now that they are low and not full of water.

March -- This is a very common time to visit Costa Rica and is what we consider one of our peak seasons that runs for a few weeks during March and April as the country gets many of families and student trips for springs break vacations. The Costa Rica families are back in school these months as their summer break runs from mid-December to late February. The locals are off for "Semana Santa" which is Holy Week and a number of processions take place during this time and no alcohol is served in the country for three days. When booking Costa Rica trips in the months of the March and April you want to make sure you plan ahead at least three months and more if possible.

April -- This is a very nice time to travel to Costa Rica as you will be coming out of the dry season and into the rainy season. It is very refreshing to get some rain after the three core months of the dry season. April is not heavy rains though as they are just starting to arrive and make for some rainforest- feel to your tropical Costa Rica family adventure and the Costa Rica whitewater rafting tours begin to get going. So if you are looking for some warm weather that hasn't arrived yet in the US yet, then a Costa Rica vacation might be the answer.

May -- A very slow month in tourism comes after the peak high season in March in April. If you have the time you can often find good prices and not a lot of touristy traffic in and around where you might be visiting. May is a beautiful month with often some rain and trees and everything is starting to get the green glow going as they begin to gulp up the rain. There is still plenty of dry time to enjoy some sun on the beach and do the zipline without a torrential down pour.

June -- The next two months of June and July are another peak high season as the schedule in North America lends itself to vacation time with kids. Ok, now for something you might not have known. June and July in Costa Rica are actually perfect months for Costa Rica vacation. They have the rains of the rainy season but they are even known to have the dry moments of the dry season. Some have even labeled it "veranillo de San Juan" which is the name for the mini-dry season that is given during this time. Although there are quite a few of tourists in the country the hotels and everyone always seem prepared and it is a matter of where you stay and who you book with that will make all the difference in your Costa Rica family adventure.

July -- This would be the month that is just as busy as June and things are moving about the same pace and the weather is often similar with spurts of rain and spurts of very dry. It is a great time to visit and the local Costa Ricans actually have a two week vacation during this time so you might have the chance to join some of the locals at the beach which is always great fun. June and July are also common times to do immersions in Costa Rica. Many Costa Rica Spanish schools have their high season during this time and it's a great opportunity to try and pick up the language in the beautiful village of Sitio de Mata. There are also a number of options of Costa Rica summer camps.

August -- This is your last chance to get in a Costa Rica family vacation without more rain than you can handle. It is also a popular time for Europeans to visit as of Spain & Italy have their main vacation time during the month of August. August is a great time to travel and you will have plenty of rain and plenty of dry time. If you visit the Northern Pacific beaches you will see a few more extended weeks of sunshine as the Southern Pacific starts to get rain earlier in the year. If you would like to do the Costa Rica whitewater rafting tours this is a great time to take on some high water.

September -- This is a month when not many tourists visit Costa Rica. It is when the heavy rain comes but if you have the time you can always find great deals and still have an amazing Costa Rica adventure tour. There is something magical about being able to experience the heavy intense rains of the tropics that give the rest of our planet life, controlling the water cycle. We often find that tourism is low but many Costa Ricans sign up for the day tour of rafting Pacuare River. They know the river has a great level which makes for some exciting adventure. The hotels and Costa Rica ecolodges all around the country have prices that get down to as low as half price.

October -- Keep the rain coming as October has been known as the hardest rains of the year. Again if you don't mind rain and you can see it for the beauty it really is, it is just beautiful driving in Costa Rica in a Land Rover on a bumpy road and reaching a Costa Rica ecolodge to relax under the heavy downpours of the tropics during your luxurious Costa Rica vacation.  This can be the perfect month for a romantic Costa Rica honeymoon. A whitewater rafting tour in October will be an amazing experience and will make you fall in love with rafting for sure.

November -- There is a small rise in tourism this month and there is some peaks of the dry season. November is still heavy on the rain in certain parts of the day and the Northern Pacific Coast of Guanacaste is starting to see longer sunny days. A great time to travel since you are getting the sunshine for moments, the prices of the rainy season still and not many tourists.

December -- The first half of December is everyone getting ready for vacation. The local Costa Rican kids go on summer vacation and most head out to the beach because the dry season has arrived around mid-December. I would like to note that this is never accurate year after year and with climate change it is just too hard to predict. As you can expect December is one of the busiest times of the year for a Costa Rica vacation and unless you plan ahead expect to have limited options of where you can stay. Also you can expect to see large crowds in the Costa Rican airports. This is the perfect time to pick some of the spots that are off the beaten path for a Costa Rica adventure tour. The Costa Rica whitewater rafting tours still have water and are not running very low or very high so a great option for all looking for some adventure.

Costa Rica Packing List

During a Costa Rica Adventure tour or just a relaxing Costa Rica vacation you want to always make sure you are packing correctly and informed about the different extremes in weather in the tropics than where you might be traveling from. There are many different activities you might be doing during your Costa Rica vacation from whitewater rafting, canyoneering, or just sitting on the beach. For the best comfort and most importantly least amount of blisters to take home as souvenirs you want to make sure you check and double check your packing list before your Costa Rica adventure tour. Take a look at a packing list that we have developed over the years of things you should bring:

Espino Blanco Lodge

My first impression when I walked into this lodge was "this is what every hotel in Costa Rica should be". It is literally surrounded by nature. It was not bull-dozed and then a gardener came in and planted pretty trees and flowers around it. It is in the rainforest and cabins, reception, and the restaurant are placed in the midst of the rainforest. There are holes in the floor of the restaurant and reception that wrap around trees so the absolute least amount of trees had to be removed. It is completely natural in all aspects and very low on energy use. You walk around the hotel holding a lantern. That is correct, no lights in your room so bringing a flash-light is a great idea. This is a perfect spot for a Costa Rica family vacation and although not a super fancy place it is decorated, clean,  and done to perfection to make you feel the jungle all around.

When describing Costa Rica ecolodges this is for the true ecotourist. Although this hotel is located in a large reserve called Espino Blanco it is only off the beaten path by 2km and is actually only 20 minutes from the town of Turrialba. Espino Blanco is part of the Wagelia hotels which has two other hotels in the Turrialba area. The other two hotels are simple but in our opinion it's a no brainer that the Espino Blanco that we describe above is the best without question of their three hotels in the area.

Being in the Turrialba area, this lodge is great access to some of the best Costa Rica adventure tours. The Costa Rica whitewater rafting tour of the Pacuare River, one of top five scenic rivers on the planet according to National Geographic, is nearby.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Luna Lodge Costa Rica

Luna Lodge Costa Rica
The idea of Luna Lodge is a true success story that nature is in all of us. If you are a dreamer and love seeing dreams come true than this is the place for you. The owner of this lodge is a lady named Lana and her dream of protecting nature is what makes this Lodge what it is. When it comes to service there is literally just that aura of peace when you are in her presence that makes you never want to leave but stay and only hope that you can look and feel the same way as Lana. She is a lover of nature, understander of ecology, understander and teacher of the great inter-relations between all of nature including us. This is shown in the design of the lodge as it simply just looks interlaced into the deep green rainforest of the Southern Pacific.

The food is amazing and the wildlife is plentiful. It is a place of total peace and relaxation and if you are into yoga than you found the perfect spot. The location gives a whole new meaning to being off the beaten path. It is located about an hour from the famous Lapa Rios Lodge which that is even off the beaten path. The Luna Lodge is very close to the Corcovado national park entrance. Because of it's distance we have operated Costa Rica family vacations here but you have to be up for an adventure or at least be able to get into a good book, relax, and maybe enjoy some bird watching.

If you get the chance to visit make sure you visit when Lana is around the lodge which is usually always. Lana actually had the chance to host Costa Rica President Oscar Arias' first visit ever to the Osa Peninsula. There is not a better person I would put in charge for this duty of interlinking politics to the most peacefully natural area of Costa Rica.

Sleep Behind a Waterfall Ecolodge

Good Morning 

We have been operating this tour for years and having worked with the Chapman family on many different adventures we consider this the full ecotourism experience. It has been here behind this waterfall that Tom Ranieri and Costa Rican Resource has led countless amount of student and family groups to experience the incredible ecolodge that the Chapman family has developed trying to educate students and families on the importance of living with respect to the environment. We still consider this one of Costa Rica's best kept secrets and it will always have a number of outfitters visiting it but because of it's access it will never become a huge tourist destination. It starts with a very long and steep hike that might not be in everyones idea of a nice relaxing Costa Rica family vacation but if you make the hike half way you are treated to a beautiful permaculture garden which is a lesson on how nature survives and supports itself. Then you keep hiking for another 30 minutes and you arrive to two beautiful waterfalls and behind these waterfalls are beds that are set up, dining area, kitchen, and bathroom. The waterfalls you sleep behind are also used for a Costa Rica waterfall rappel adventure when visiting. There are a number of different hikes in the area and one of them is to the top of the famous Diamante waterfall which is a 600ft high waterfall.
Wake up to the Sound of a Waterfall

If you are interested in Sleeping behind a waterfall for your Costa Rica Adventure Tour.

Pacuare Tent Camp

Tent Camp Showers
When it comes to Costa Rica Ecolodges it is hard to beat the simple living of the Pacuare River Tent Camp. Here you will be living simple but at the same time be treated in style by your Costa Rican Resource river guides. The Pacuare Tent Camp is located about 1 1/2 hours into your rafting trip of day one. It is a flat open area surrounded by beautiful plants and above ground tents. During your stay at the Pacuare Tent Camp you have the option to take little hikes or just relax in the hammock with beautiful views of the river downstream.

This is not a luxurious ecolodge but it is a very well kept camping area where their are numerous bathrooms done in a very natural setting and always well maintained area for the tents which are supplied by the Pacuare River Tent Camp staff. If you are interested in visiting the Pacuare Tent Camp you better have your raft ready because the easiest access is by river. Ready for spending the night in the jungle and waking up to one of the most beautiful sites in all of Costa Rica, then just let us know and sign up for our 2-Day Costa Rica whitewater rafting tour. The family will love you for this if you put it in on your Costa Rica family adventure tour.

Pacuare Tent Camp

The Pacuare River is located just outside of the town of Turrialba about two hours from the capital city of San Jose. The Pacuare River is Costa Rica's most popular and most beautiful river for whitewater rafting. Our company supports all efforts to have this river protected in any future project of hydro-electric power.

Whitewater Rafting

Costa Rica is a narrow country that gets plenty of rain and has high mountains. You put all of this together and you have amazing adventure of whitewater rafting through the rainforest. Costa Rica whitewater rafting is some of the best on the planet. when it comes to Costa Rica ecolodges some of the finest are found arriving by raft on the famous Pacuare River. It is not just the Pacaure River that can offer you Costa Rica whitewater rafting tours as the country is filled with rivers that can give you a rafting adventure for all ages. This is a perfect tour for a Costa Rica family vacation allowing you and the family to be completely surrounded by nature.

Rivers for whitewater Rafting Costa Rica

Southern Pacific
-Coto Brus

Central Pacific
-Savegre River

Central Region Caribbean
- Sarapiqui
- Pacuare River
- Pejibaye River
- Reventazon
- Orosi River

Northern Region
- Corobici
- Rio Toro
- Rio Balsa
- Tenorio

This is a list of a few of the commerically rafting rivers in Costa Rica. Most of all rafting companies operate with certified guides approved by the ICT. If you are interesting in a Costa Rica whitewater rafting adventure reserve now.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

El Sabanero Eco-Lodge

When you hear the name Tamarindo you start to think of high rise buildings and a hot and heavy real estate market. The idea of a quiet Costa Rica vacation or romantic Costa Rica honeymoon does not come to mind.  Well, with the Sabanero Eco-lodge you can be just outside of Tamarindo and feel the real essence of Costa Rica which is the beautiful sounds and sights of nature.

Tamarindo and the Guanacaste area are what have been referred to as the "gold-coast". This area is not exactly an environmentalist idea of an ideal vacation spot as many large luxurious hotel chains have made their way on the scene and construction of not-so-eco-friendly residences are going up as fast as the eye can see. This is why it is so soothing to see the "El Sabanero Eco-Lodge" which is not in walking distance to the beach but has found a way to blend the "gold-coast" with a small and quaint style of eco-friendly living and making some money doing it. The views on TripAdvisor give it a solid full five circles which is hard to find these days.

This lodge has been called the friendliest and cleanest place in all of Costa Rica or the Paradise just outside of paradise. It is set up in chalet style and one of the best parts about this ecolodge are its rates. The rates for five-star service is well below the market price. This is a Costa Rica eco-lodge that can play a positive example of venturing into the unknown land of Costa Rica eco-lodges which is the highly developed land.

Central Region

With the central region of Costa Rica being home to the Central Valley which is where the majority of the population and commerce is, you can imagine it might not be the perfect setting for a Costa Rica ecolodge. Although once you start to look a little closer, you begin to notice that the Central valley is surround by beautiful volcanos and tall steep mountains. It is on the slopes and the other side of these mountains that Costa Rica is home to some of the most beautiful ecolodges on the planet.

The central region of Costa Rica is home to the Pacuare River which National Geographic lists as one of the top five rivers on Earth. It is here that your Costa Rica whitewater rafting tours can take you to some of the finest and most remote ecolodging in all of Costa Rica; where your only access is by raft.

Finding a Costa Rica ecolodge in the central region can give you a whole new look on ecology as you will most likely find places at very different elevations as compared to the conventional coastal ecolodges. Your elevation can bring you to areas of the paramo and cloudforest to down near lowland tropical rainforest. The central region of Costa Rica is some of the oldest lands the country has as the mountains have evolved out of the sea and make for limitless views of vacant green mountains.

Tiskita Jungle Lodge

If you like fruit then this is the ecolodge for you. With a collection of 125 different fruits you can be sure to get all the vitamins you need. The Tiskita Jungle lodge can be considered one of the pioneer ecolodges in the Southern Pacific of Costa Rica. It's here you will find many exotic fruits along with the famous Mangosteen which many argue is the best tasting fruit on the planet. You will hear that mangosteen is not native but in the world of ecolodges if the human species is part of the web of life would we just not be another seed disperser that decided to carry mangosteen to the Southern Pacific and drop some seeds?

This is a lodge where your tours will be based around nature and if you want adrenaline do not expect Costa Rica whitewater rafting tours, ziplinig, or canyoneering. Bike rides and surfing is about extreme as it gets.

This place is a simple lodge and a full out Costa Rican ecolodge abiding by all of the qualities to have this title.  Tiskita is located on the southern border of Costa Rica and the northern border of Panama. There are a few different ways to arrive and a 45 minute flight from San Jose to Golfito and then a 2 hour taxi drive from Golfito. If you are familiar with Costa Rica you know that anything that is a 45 minute flight from San Jose and then another 45 minute taxi drive will put you in the middle of the ocean or in a very remote setting and that is exactly what Tiskita Jungle Lodge offers. It is a great place for a Costa Rica vacation if you want to enjoy nature to the fullest and the TripAdvisor comments of the Tiskita Lodge describe it best as a "gem of the natural world".

Rancho Mastatal

If we as a company had to pick an ecolodge that we felt most represented the ideals of what an ecolodge should be and what society as a whole will one day maybe need to be it would be the Rancho Mastatal. This is a learning environment located nearby Costa Rica's newest and in most cases unheard of national park called La Congreja which means the crab.

Any ecolodge that has a quote from Thom Hartmann on the front of their site is a friend of ours. We feel this quote is worth repeating as it is said here:

They lived a sustainable way of life, seeing the sacredness of the world and the presence of the creator and divinity in all things, and generally led fulfilling lives with far more leisure time than working class citizens of the industrialized world will ever enjoy."

Thom Hartman

This lodge is operated by Tim and Robin who have very qualified profiles on their studies of sustainability. This is a lodge of simple lodging and full on educational learning. If you are interested in a Costa Rica family vacation and you want your kids to see how societies can be living sustainable than this is a pleasant and peaceful example of how humans can survive in harmony with planet Earth.

We as a company can only hope for the best for Tim and Robin and that their rooms are full and the message is heard at Rancho Mastatal. 

The location of the lodge is 2 1/2 hours from the capital city of San Jose driving about 1 hour pass the town of Puriscal on your way to Parrita and Quepos. As most ecolodges are this place is pretty isolated.

Selva Bananito Lodge & Preserve

This is a lodge that has the five leaves from the CST which stands for Certificate for Sustainable Tourism. This all looks good and you have to work hard to get five leaves but it is what is done after you are awarded the five leaves and that is why this is a yearly evaluation. The Selva Bananito Lodge is one of those special places where there is nothing between you and nature. This is  the beauty of sometimes not staying in a super luxurous place because all of the luxuries of a place can distract you from your time with nature. This is a great place for a Costa Rica family vacation if you want to teach the kids that it is possible to live simply but still in comfort. Another nearby activity would be to visit our Costa Rica Spanish school located in the surrounding mountains of Turrialba.

One of the more interesting things about this lodge is that it was built with waste wood that was used in logging activities decades ago. This lodge is located on the Caribbean side of Limon and situated back in the rainforest near the Bananito River. This is a lodge that is not for everyone. It is off the beaten path and a simple place but with real attention to the environment. If you are visiting this area of the country we suggest breaking up the drive and maybe visiting our Sitio de Mata project or joining us on the Costa Rica rafting tours on the Pacuare River.

Lapa Rios Rainforest Ecolodge

When it comes to ecolodges there are few that live up to the standard as Lapa Rios does. This is without a doubt your complete ecolodge. The Lapa Rios ecolodge is located in the Southern Pacific peninsula of Costa Rica and makes for the perfect spot for a Costa Rica vacation or if you want a romantic Costa Rican honeymoon.

The Lapa Rios ecolodge is 1,000 acres of protected land.  Most all of their employees are from the local community and doing everything they can to educate the employees, local community, and visiting guests on the importance of living sustainably with the environment. Eco-lodges that are real ecolodges, as is Lapa Rios, are priced high because they have to keep the hotels small in order to have the full ecolodge effect. This hotel is 17 rooms and expect to climb a few stairs on your way to and from the lobby if you get one of the rooms down below. It is a fancy hotel but in a rustic ecolodge kind of way. Everything is clean and the service is great. It is located on a ridge that has outstanding views of the Pacific Ocean below.

This hotel offers a number of nature hikes and a very interesting medicinal plant tour, local community tour, and the sustainable energy tour to show you first hand how the lodge is operated. We consider it very important that our clients take at least one of these tours during their stay giving them the full feel for staying in a real ecolodge.

To get to the hotel it is best to fly or you can drive to the town of Puerto Jimenez where you will be on a bumpy road for the last hour of your trip. The road in during the rainy season can be flooded so plan on traveling light because you might have to carry your luggage over the river. This is getting out into Costa Rica's unknown when it comes to ecotourism and it is well worth the trip that we wish all our clients would venture into at least for a few days during their Costa Rica ecotourism adventure.

Green Technology

Green technology is being used across the world now as an option for clean technology or also known as greentech. This type of technology is being used so little harm is done to the environment. It is now more important than ever that we dont just stop using fossil fuels but we match sure the fossil fuels we have left are used in developing green technology. Yes, it is true at the present moment almost all forms of energy that are being developed and certain green technologies at some point in the process have needed fossil fuels. Workers, scientist, buildings, computers, whatever might go into the process of developing world changing technology at somepoint in the developing process fossil fuels are used.

This does not mean dont fly or dont drive but what it does mean that if you fly down for a  Costa Rica vacation there is know better option than an ecolodge because here you can learn about the many green technologies and make an impact on the community.

Costa Rica ecolodges can teach you about the basics of green technology as most have solar panels, use compose, some wind, hydro, and many now even store agriculture organic waste for the use of it's fermated gases. Other technologies involve gardening.


A new and upcoming type of green technology is called biomimicry which is "bio-life" and "mimicry-mimic". This is the study of seeing how nature after 4 billion years of trying to get it right on this planet makes it work in simple ideas. One example of this would be the forest floor or a bed of a river. Take for instance the bed of a river is a solid ground made up of thousands of different rocks no two of which are exactly the same. When they are all together though they make a whole which is the bed of a river. Imagine we applied this to flooring in our houses. If we had many different types of rugs in our home if a small piece needed to be replace we would not have to gut the entire house but just that piece and any piece would work to replace it which would cut down on factories having to produce, transport, and store large supplies. The whole concept of mimicking nature has been around for awhile just think what the Wright brother's were thinking as kids when they saw a bird in flight.

Biomimicry is taking nature's most successful developments and turning them into everyday use. Because we are a planet that makes our living off of producing and consuming, the most sought after idea to mimic is materials from nature (biomaterials). An example would be spider silk which can be three times stronger than steel and flexible. The importance of mimicking nature is that their products are completely biodegradable. There is even a mushroom that can harvest styrofoam which at the present moment is one of the worst man-made materials for the environment.


Unfortunately the green technology is now branching into the geo-engineering which means there is a problem that we have to fix. The word Geo means Earth and the word Engineering means, to build. This is the study of trying to figure out how we can control the climate change of the Earth from the global warming we have caused with the use of fossil fuels. There are a number of different technologies that are part of geo-engineering none of which have been put to use. They range from fertilizing algea in the ocean to grow faster in order to absorbing more CO2, to flying huge mirrors into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight. The idea of painting every building on the planet white to reflect sunlight was even brought up. My favorite though is 1400 ships that are basically robots and float around the ocean removing salt from the ocean and shooting clouds into the atmosphere in order to reflect sunlight. These are all very smart ideas that may work and may not but I can promise you they are just short time fixes until we try and get this right. Until we realize that we have to be part of nature and not try to dominate nature we will always need the next green technology to allow us to keep living the way we live.

With a visit to a Costa Rica eco-lodge on your Costa Rica vacation you can experience the true essence of living like a human being under comfortable conditions but living with nature.

Caribbean Region

The word "Caribbean" is all you need to hear to know that there must be an ecolodge nearby. In Costa Rica the Caribbean side is an area that offers a lot to a visitor in just 125 miles of Coastline. With a mixture of cultures from Afro-Caribbean to Bri-Bri Ancient Indian culture that is just the start of the mix. The topography of the Caribbean changes quite a bit also with the northern region being canals of wetlands in a very flat area known as Tortuguero which is Costa Rica most common nesting area for turtles. As you make your way south the Talamanca mountain region makes it's way inland where you find beautiful white sandy beaches at the base of the mountain range.

The little amount of developement other than the port city of Limon has made the Caribbean side of Cost Rica a perfect area for those interested in ecotourism on a Costa Rica vacation. It can begin treking back into the mountains where one of National Geographics top 5 rivers on the planet is located which is the famous Costa Rica whitewater rafting tours of the Pacuare river. The river makes its way out to the Caribbean ocean.

The Caribbean side of Costa Rica is filled with biodiversity and plenty of ecotourism activities along some of the most pristine beaches in all of Costa Rica. These are also some of the less crowded beaches making it the perfect spot for many of the Caribbean ecolodges. These Costa Rica ecolodges sit quietly in harmony with their natural surroundings and have the opportunity to involve Bri-Bri culture, Afro-Caribbean culture, and Spanish.

If you make your way to the Caribbean side for your Costa Rica adventure tour you might not even need much Spanish so don't worry about those Costa Rica Spanish schools because much of the language spoken on the Caribbean side is English although part of the ecolodges in the area is to preserve all languages of the native tribes.

South Region

The South region of Costa Rica is where the real gem of ecolodges are hidden. Costa Rica is known for having some of the best ecolodges on the planet and it is in the Southern Pacific Zone where many of them are tucked away into the deep forest of the Osa Peninsula. It is here you will find the Corcovado National Park which happens to be one of the most biodiverse places on Earth.

If you decide to visit the Southern Zone on a Costa Rica honeymoon or just a Costa Rica family tour you better get ready for some adventure. It is not the adventures of Costa Rica whitewater rafting that will give you a bumpy ride but it is getting out into the land that is virtually unknown. If Costa Rica had a wild wild west for their biodiversity, it would be down here in the Southern Zone of Costa Rica.

Most of the ecolodges in the area will suggest that you arrive by plane and/or boat, since much of the Southern Zone is part of a peninsula named Osa. It is possible to make the drive but you are looking at seven hours on paved road from San Jose and when you add in the who-knows-how-long of dirt road, you are looking at a full day of driving. It is this difficulty in getting there and remote setting that makes this area the perfect spot for an ecolodge. The communities nearby are rural allowing the ecolodges to play a very large role in the villages. The rainforests are plentiful allowing the ecolodges to play important roles in the communities of the flora and fauna. The lodges also work with many different animal protection groups such as for the famous jaguar found in the Corcovado National Park.

Costa Rica Ecolodges Contenido


Biodiversity is what has made Costa Rica famous. Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world's biodiversity. What is biodiversity? Well, it is all living things in an ecosystem and guess what, we humans are living and part of an ecosystem. There are an estimated 500,000 species in Costa Rica and more bird species in Costa Rica than all of Canada and North America combined. One reason for so much biodiversity in Costa Rica is its position around 9 degrees above the equator putting it in the tropics. Costa Rica also has 25% of its land protected which is well above the 8% average of other developing countries.

Costa Rica's ecolodges play a very important role in biodiversity because by their design nature ecolodges have a low impact on the environment. If you look closely at the role biodiversity has, you will see that the phrase "no-impact" is a misnomer. If there were really no-impact among species and different biodiversity in an ecosystem, life would not flourish the way it does and your visit to a tropical ecolodge might seem like a walk in the desert. Every animal in the web of life plays its natural role in helping biodiversity. Some forms of biodiversity are small mushrooms which help in the decaying process of dead tree trunks which then return nutrients to the soil which allow for the next growth of oxygen producing trees that give us humans air to breathe which flows through each and every cell in our body allowing us to have life. Another form of biodiversity that impacts one one another is the symbiotic relationships you see in so many places in the tropics. Symbiotic relationships are all around us and are a front row seat in the process of evolution as different parts of biodiversity try and adapt to changing environments. One you see in all parts of the tropics is the symbiotic relationship that ants have with different species of trees. Some trees produce a nectar to attract the ants that they may feed on and in return the ant protects the tree from ground predators eating its fruits. There are even opposite cases where strangler fig trees take over and kill other trees for nutrients but you will notice the forest is not full of strangler figs because nature has its way of balancing out and certain mammals eat the and fruits and seeds of these strangler figs.

It is through the study, understanding, and conservation of this amazing balance of nature that we have
seen biodiversity flourish. It is through isolation and ignorance that we have seen biodiversity also struggle to survive. The Costa Rican ecolodges serve as an example of how ecotourism can offer visitors an unforgettable Costa Rica vacation and the visitors in return can leave a positive impact on the communities of these natural paradises.

Visit a Costa Rica ecolodge and chances are you might see one of the four different types of species of monkeys, or the two different species of sloths, the 850 different species of birds, thousands of different plants, and thousands of other species of insects, amphibians, and reptiles. A Costa Rican ecolodge is a place where life is at its full form and co-existing. So many different species make for the perfect place for a Costa Rica honeymoon or just your next Costa Rica family vacation.

Ecological Construction

Construction of a Costa Rican ecolodge is where the respect to the ecology and environment begins. It is known in the ecolodge industry that when building, supplies and labor should come from nearby communities or the same property you plan to build on. This can be seen in many different Costa Rica ecolodges. One example of this is the Lapa Rios Lodge where the actual steps on the hotel grounds are old pieces of the nearby railroad. They might not be the most beautiful looking steps but it is recycled wood, from a nearby abandoned railroad, built into their project with local labor.

One way to find out how much an ecolodge followed the "Golden Rules" of ecolodge-construction is to ask how long it took to build the lodge. Real ecolodges are projects that take time to build. When all labor and supplies are local this means that creativity and thought must take place and takes a lot more time than your conventional construction. It is important when using local labor that the wages are fair and time off is important. Giving your employees proper time off and not working them like slaves is a simple reminder of "community service". The best service to a community is giving family members time to be with each other and building a community atmosphere. When people are over worked the money might come in but the principles of family and community are eventually lost. Indians of ancient times worked on food and survival just two hours a day and the rest was considered time for spiritual practice or just socialize time with family. This all goes to show that building an ecolodge should not be a rush to get finished and how long it takes is a good indication of just how eco-friendly a lodge might be.

When the building gets going and supplies come in, the main idea is to use wood as it is a complete renewable source. If you can use recycled wood from other projects that would be best and replace any trees that had to be removed to offset your constructions. The construction of a Costa Rican ecolodge should have all of the modern day technologies of operating a business in a "green" manner and this is not just pretty badges and signs on your brochures and websites. The most important modern day technology which few people seem to be able to afford because they are drowning in debt from the "Time Bank" is education on building and living eco-friendly. The construction of an ecolodge should be done by the owners. Building an ecolodge is meaningless if the owner is just writing the check and not mandating eco-friendly construction policies and following through on a lifelong commitment to the principles of eco-tourism.

With all this mentioned above you should be on your way to enjoying a real Costa Rican ecolodge, most of which, at least on this site, are what we consider real Costa Rican ecolodges and suitable for your next Costa Rica family adventure.

Carbon Emmisions

Everybody knows that we need to watch our carbon emissions but let's take a closer look at the present situation.

To put it simply we are past the point where we should to be. This is why it is such a good idea to do a vacation to a Costa Rican ecolodge. Every little bit helps and now according to NASA our planet is at 380ppm (parts per million) and our atmosphere should be at 350ppm. This rise in CO2 is due to human activity through the use of fossil fuels.

There are a number of ways to reduce our use of fossil fuels. Geo-engineering which is one of the most advanced technologies dealing with this.  Some examples would be boats that shoot salt clouds into the air to reflect sunlight and growing more and more algae to help with absorbing and storing more CO2. These are all good, but at the same time just a quick fix until we start looking at how ecolodges live and try and replicate that in our daily lives when we get back from our Costa Rica vacation.

Trees are back to being scientists' favorite source of storing oxygen and getting excess CO2 out of our atmosphere.  It is now known that trees not only take in CO2 and store large amounts in their trunks but they also dispose of it into the Earth's surface allowing less to be in the atmosphere. If you really want to offset your carbon footprint the old "let's plant a tree" moto is the best thing you can do along with being less dependent on fossil fuels. Many governments are taking very slow action in this and Copenhagen 15 in 2009 did not have the result that environmentalists hoped for. After the failure of Cop15 and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) attempt to convince the larger power nations it has been grass root movements that have led to everyday people making changes. The is a movement by Bill Mckibben, an expert scientist on climate change. It is an organization that encourages the world to come together and start realizing the need for changes. It is these changes that the Costa Rican ecolodges are good examples of, in most cases.

It should be stated that recent studies off the coast of California and in the frozen tundra are seeing methane released into the atmosphere. Methane is 20 times more dangerous as a green house gas than CO2. The methane is being released off the coast of California because cracks in the ocean floor from warming. The frozen tundras in Alaska have been storing methane for as long as it has been frozen and the problem is with slight increases in our temperature (2010 was the warmest year on record) this frozen tundra begins to melt and this trapped methane is released. With the rate that the Arctic is melting this could release very large amounts of methane. We hope you are seeing the importance of seeing Costa Rica Eco-lodges not just as a place for exotic adventure but as an example of an educational opportunity of small steps our society can make to live with nature.

This all starts with our carbon footprint. The warming of the planet, CO2 levels, extinctions, methane releases, and climate change are not the problem they are simply symptoms of the problem. The problem is our footprints on the planet. This is why Costa Rica ecolodges serve as a perfect example. You can find almost anywhere ways to cut down your carbon footprint and the bottom line is just to live a little simpler in all aspects of life. By making a Costa Rican ecolodge part of your next Costa Rica family adventure tour it is the perfect way to have low impact and become educated on learning how to live with respect to our planet.

How to Carbon Off-set your Trip to Costa Rica

If you make your trip with itineraries including Costa Rica ecotourism and visiting Costa Rica eco-lodges then you have made a good choice on making a low impact upon your arrival. What you might not have considered is your air travel to arrive to Costa Rica. Do not let this deter you from traveling because it is important that visitors experience and learn to do things in an environmental way and this includes air travel. Many eco-lodges in Costa Rica can offset air travel by making a small donation to FONAFIFO of Costa Rica which is Costa Rica's official Carbon Credit Foundation.

Along with offsetting your air travel you must also realize that little things ad up and this might include the famous not washing your sheets every night, don't take soap and shampoo from the hotel if you do not need it, walk when possible, or maybe even try not eating meat every meal, and most importantly allow yourself to be educated which will ultimately lead to a much smaller carbon foot-print in the near future.

Beach Eco-lodges

With 125 miles of Caribbean coast and a Pacific coast that measures over 700 miles giving Costa Rica over 800miles of Coastline in a country just the size of West Virginia you can imagine that there are plenty of spots for the perfect beach ecolodge. Costa Rican beach eco-lodges can be anything from a tent camp knocking at the famous Corcovado national park door or you can be in a luxurious eco-lodge for the perfect honeymoon.

A Costa Rican ecolodge is made up of a concern for the local community and environment including the waters of the nearby ocean. It is very important for beach ecolodges to do their part because they have the largest transit operator on the planet at their doorstep, the ocean. The moment a beach eco-lodge starts to make mistakes this can literally start to have its effects on the other side of the world through ocean currents that make up the water-cycle in our oceans.

The Costa Rican coastlines are all very different from each other. There's canals in Tortuguero, white sandy beaches in Cahuita, dry lowland beaches in Guancaste, and where the mountain meets the sea in Dominical. The beach ecolodges must do their part as Mother Nature has done. Just as ecolodges develop ways to protect the environement so does our planet. One example of this is through mangroves which work as nature's filter between salt and fresh water and controlling tides as waves come into shore. Mangroves are most commonly seen on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and are a perfect example of convergent evolution. This means that there are seven different species of mangroves from four very different plant families and they all look and act similar. Convergent evolution is when totally unrelated organisms have evolved into behaving and shaping their lifestyles to best suite the environment they are in as have the different species of mangroves have adapted to high salt and low oxygen levels to survive together. They are different plants but developed the same tools to survive in this type of condition.

As the mangroves adapt, it is just as important that the beach ecolodges adapt to the very different beaches of Costa Rica. If one ecolodge is running their lodge one way because the tides do not change much on the Caribbean that is fine. But on the Pacific side of Costa Rica you find much more significant changes in tides so it might be necessary for a beach eco-lodge to operate differently. Beach ecolodges, mountain ecolodges, and what should be every hotel and human habitat should be able to adapt to living conditions to co-exist with other species as the mangroves have.

A beach ecolodge can be an educational impact on the environment and the way the world looks at the living in a sustainable manner and co-existing with nature and other species. Costa Rica beach ecolodges are more common than any other type of ecolodge and they receive the largest number of clients allowing their voices on conservation to be heard by more people.  80% of all travelers decide to visit the beach during their Costa Rica vacation. It is vitally important that the beach ecolodges get it right on how to be a true ecolodge because they are often seen as the ideal place to spend a Costa Rica vacation.

Mountain Eco-lodges

Costa Rica is an ideal country for eco-lodges. Eco-lodges always involve the community and Costa Rica  is made up of very delightful, friendly local people in nice humble communities not to mention they were voted the happiest people on the planet. Along with the people Costa Rica has the natural beauties and these natural beauities inlcude two beautiful but very different coasts of beaches. In between those beaches are tall almost untouched mountain ranges. These mountain ranges start at sea-level and rise to above 13,000ft making for different types of forest and vegetation along with different types of temperature and fauna.

The Costa Rica Mountain ecolodges are a perfect escape from the city or from the hot beaches. A mountain in Costa Rica is where much of the wildlife is. It is the last frontier in many places and a place of splendid peacefulness where the rivers start their journeys winding down the mountains in search of the coast.

A mountain ecolodge can have a positive impact on the local community and environment because it is located above many other communities and ecosystems.  This means that your waters and everything you do to the environment affects everyone down the mountain which ultimately ends up in the oceans and beaches. You can see here that there is a connection of ecolodges in the mountains and ecolodges on the coast which is a smaller example of the larger connection between all living things in ecology. The Costa Rica ecolodges in the mountains are a perfect blend of mountain ecotourism in a peaceful setting and bringing peace to the environment at the same time. 

When a Costa Rica mountain lodge is very isolated it is almost forced into many characteristics of being an ecolodge. Being isolated requires a "survival" tactic to kick in which involves the community as a whole to fix a problem in a lodge. If you have lived in Costa Rica you will hear the world "Macgyver" and this is named after the famous TV show and it basically means we will fix it with what we have method as compared to calling a expert. This is a perfect example of a Costa Rican ecolodge. Many times you have to find a Macgyver method and more times than not your Macgyver method is coming from ideas in the local community that have had the problem before. This is similar to ancient survival knowledge being passed down from generation to generation just on a bit of a small scale.

Costa Rican mountain ecolodges are often known for their hiking and birding. There are often beautiful rivers in the area but high mountains bring the cold weather and it would make a Costa Rica whitewater rafting tour seem like you are in the Colorado River in December if you fall in. 

Another common characteristic about the Costa Rica mountain ecolodges is that elevation brings clouds and when you rise to around 7,000ft or higher you get into what is known as the cloud-forest. This is a part of the New World tropics where you will experience the true difference between New World Tropics of the Americas and the Old World Tropics of Africa and Asia. This difference is seen from the Costa Rica mountain ecolodges located in the cloudforest as you look all around and see different epiphytes growing on tree branches all around in the search for higher elevation to try and find sunlight. The science and learning of ecology is endless in a Costa Rica mountain ecolodge and the rest and relaxation makes for a perfect blend of Costa Rica vacation with having an positive environmental impact.

Make an Environmental Difference

The key to saving our planet through protecting our environment is sort of stated giving a little too much power to the human race. The fact of the matter is that the planet will do just fine. It might change extreme tempatures but with or without humans the planet is going to go on spinning for another 3.5 billion years it is guessed by most scientist.

Our planet is suffering from what some estimate 15,000 to 50,000 extinctions a year and this are unpresedented numbers as compared to a few hundred years ago their were only 4 specie extinctions a year. Global warming is based on scientific evidence and it is blatenly obvious that human activity could cause our extinction.  The head team of scientist including Jim Hansen of NASA has labeled our atmosphere to be safe at 350ppm (parts per million) and we have now rose above that to 380ppm which is  still on the rise and this is the reason for the heating of the planet, the melting of the polar ice caps, the melting of the frozen tundra which then realeases methane in,  the drastic weather changes, and extinctions.

Planet Earth has made extinct 99.9999% of the species that have ever lived on the planet making just .0001% alive today and of that small percentage exist humans. This is not a said thing it is because of the first 99% that we have evolved into a species with such a powerful mind that we can love and develope hope in times of need and adapt with tools that are needed to survive. But the sad part is that if we become extinct one day we will be the first species during the 4 billion year old Earth that brought extinction upon themselves while knowing it.

It is now that we a generation of literally not saving the planet but saving ourselves. There are a number of different ways to help and as long as those ways are foreign to everyone they will be "ways to help".  Yes, you can start by recycling, changing your light bulbs, and not using plastic bags at the supermarket. But the most important is knowledge of how to live and start doing it "naturally". Our suggestions as a Costa Rica educational tour company is to join us on a tour and we can help educate but this might not being the case for everyone. If you do not join us on a tour we think it is important to just read and educate yourself. If you understand global warming and the balance of the web of life you begin to naturally act in accordance to the laws of nature.

Websites of Interest:

Some of the literature we find interesting are:

Thom Hartman - Ancient Sunlight
Bill McKibben - Eaarth
David Suzuki  - Sacred Balance
Jim Hansen ----- Storms of Our Grandchildren
Janine Benyus -- Biomimicry

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blue Flag Ecological Program

Costa Rica is one of those lucky countries that has both the deep blue pacific and the clear blue waters of the caribbean sea. These two different coasts make Costa Rica a perfect area for pristine beaches that can be home to many different types of ecolodges from rustic to luxurious.

If you are visiting on a Costa Rica vacation the last thing you want to see is a beautiful beach in a brochure and then filled with trash in real life. The Costa Rica coastal communities are taking steps to try and educate the local people on ways to keep beaches beautiful. The Blue Flag beach program is what has made the biggest impact and communities and hotels have been on board making some of Costa Rica's most beautiful beaches some of the cleanest and eco-friendly in all of the Americas.

The Blue Flag Program is an incentive for Costa Rican ecolodges and hotels to take action in making the beaches clean. The blue flags for beaches are given for a number of different reasons starting with keeping the beaches clean and being alert that no contaminated waters are being let out through rivers or other sources into the ocean. The area near the water is another concern, keeping it clean and safe for those visiting. The safety starts with being able to inform visitors on the currents of the ocean and having vigilance of the beach and it's waters.

This program has been in affect since 2002 and has had a very positive impact on the coastal communities. There's been a good deal of education is the schools of the area as to the importance of keeping beaches clean and waters in and around the coastline.


This is a phrase that was developed for the consumer. It is suppose to be a guideline into products and/or places that are having a very low to no impact to the environment. Although in recent years the International Organization for Standardization which gives credabillity to words and phrases said this phrase was too vague to be meaningful when shopping for products or when planning your Costa Rica ecotoursim adventure.

The phrase eco-friendly does not just apply to ecolodges and can be used in any type of business from retail, food industry, and many different parts of Costa Rican toursim such as Costa Rica whitewater rafting tours, Costa Rica Spanish schools and almost any type of activity you can imagine.

Eco-friendly is something that all businesses in ecotourism strive to have as a label. The difference between being truly eco-friendly or just using it as a marketing phrase comes down to if the friendship you have with ecology will affect future generations to come of if your friendship with ecology will only help fill your rooms for the next couple years.

 Being a friend to the environment is a simple way of saying that you are being natural. Because anything harmful to the environment is not natural. The phrase eco-friendly is a phrase that has developed for societies detatchment from nature. There are many events in modern societies that are quite eco-enemies doing much harm to the natural world and taking for granted many of the natural resources we exploit just to fill the need of powerful corporations. The eco-lodges of Costa Rica are eco-friendly in the fact that they make their way of business in a minimal or non harmful way to the environment but the real friendship to ecology comes by making friendships with people from abroad and sharing and educating the interconnectiness of the consuming world and the developing countries where many ecolodges are located. This friendship between two human species from two lands far apart and the sharing of the importance of spreading their friendship down the ecological web of life is the true meaning of being eco-friendly.

With 99.999% of the species that have ever roamed the planet Earth now extinct, it is only fitting that we hold on to the friends we have left and the only way of doing this is to live eco-friendly. Staying at an ecolodge in for you Costa Rica family vacation can make all of the difference in our world.