Community Based Ecolodges

At many of the small, community-owned lodges highlighted in this section, organic agriculture, appropriate energy technology, and preservation of forests and rivers are combined with tourism in a way that holds great promise for the future.

By visiting these communities, you will not only meet some lovely people, but you will be inspired by their ability to put innovative principles into practice.

You will also see the results of the intelligent, dedicated work of the United Nations Development Program, COOPRENA and ACTUAR who, in a time of worldwide chaos, are faithfully sowing the seeds of peace.

Nacientes Palmichal and El Encanto

The hillsides surrounding the Central Valley are full of tradition. You can: see how sugarcane juice is pressed and boiled to make delicious tapa de dulce, the hard brown sugar that is molded into a flower-pot shape. try on the gigantic papier maché masks that local dancers wear for fiestas learn how the Quitirrisí indians weave baskets and hats from...

El Copal Reserve

A Paradise for Birdwatchers El Copal Reserve, a paradise for birdwatchers, is about an hour southwest of the town of Turrialba, famous for rafting on the Pacuare river. The isolated Reserve is at a mid-level altitude where you can see bird species that you won't find in the higher cloud forest and at lower elevations. It is part of a...

Casa Calatéas

Casa Calatéas is a spacious, attractive ecolodge in the lush hills above Cahuita National Park. Their observation platform has a stunning view of the Talamanca mountain range that extends into Panamá. Casa Calatéas is in the village of Carbón Dos, a pristine rural community that cares about conservation. Hike in their 60-hectare rainforest reserve, or visit Don Ramón's cacao farm....

Casa de las Mujeres, Yorkin

To the riverside village of Yorkín by dugout canoe! One of the most exciting adventures in Caribbean Costa Rica is the trip in a motorized dugout canoe to the village of Yorkín. The trip up the Yorkín River, which borders Panama, goes against the current, and the boatmen strain every muscle in their bodies to maneuver the boat away from...

Juanilama Lodge

Rainforest Reserve The 60-acre Juanilama Rainforest Reserve is an oasis the midst of pineapple plantations in this area, just off the road to Los Chiles and Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. It is about an hour northeast of Arenal Volcano. Things to Do Hike about half an hour in the reserve to La Leona waterfall, where you can go for a...

Cerro Escondido Lodge

The Karen Mogensen Reserve, protecting the rivers of the Nicoya Peninsula Cerro Escondido Lodge is at the end of a hour or so hike into the Karen Mogenson Reserve on the Nicoya Peninsula on the west coast of Costa Rica. The views from the dining pavilion and the lodge decks let you take in the full sense of this tropical...

La Amistad Lodge at Isla de Chira

How an island community banded together to save marine life Isla de Chira is a large island in the Gulf of Nicoya. The story of the community and the way they took conservation into their own hands with bravery and determination is inspiring to hear. Traditionally, both men and women here made their living fishing from small boats, but due...

Los Campesinos Reserve

Reserva Los Campesinos is in an isolated community about an hour and a half inland from the beaches of Manuel Antonio. Just beyond Londres, about 45 minutes from Manuel Antonio, there's an incredibly beautiful but unpaved road that will take you to the village of Quebrada Arroyo and Reserva Los Campesinos in another 45 minutes. Exploring the rainforest Once you're...

Cerro Biolley Lodge de Asomobi 

La Amistad International Park Cerro Biolley de ASOMOBI is a gateway to La Amistad International Park, which extends from the Cordillera de Talamanca in Costa Rica to the western mountains of Panamá. The park has a great variety of ecosystems: oak forests, páramo, savannahs, peat bogs, rivers and streams. There are 250 species of amphibians and reptiles out of the...

La Amistad Lodge de ASOPROLA

Asoprola is a friendly lodge 10 minutes by jeep from the entrance to La Amistad International Park. You know you are in for a treat when you see the bus stop at the entrance, a Gaudiesque structure with round windows, every inch of which is decorated in with delightful mosaics. Their Restaurante Arco Iris glows with more mosaics, including mosaic...

BriBri Pa Kaneblo

Learn About Indigenous Culture BriBri Pa Kaneblo, located in the BriBri Salitre Indigenous Territory near Buenos Aires in Costa Rica's southern zone, is a great place to learn about Costa Rican indigenous culture. When we visited there in February 2010, the elders greeted us in their native language and took us on a walk through their rainforest reserve, telling us...

El Descanso Lodge

El Baile del Toro y de la Mula From December 24 to January 2 each year, the village of Térraba devotes itself to the Dance of the Bull and the Mule. This traditional festival fell out of favor about 25 years ago, but for the last ten years, indigenous leaders have found that reviving the dance brings young people in...

Tesoro Verde Lodge

Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park Located in Los Planes, 4 kilometers inland from Drake Bay, surrounded by tropical rainforests, Tesoro Verde welcomes visitors into its active community. Multi-day tours to Tesoro Verde include trips by boat to Corcovado and snorkeling at Isla del Caño. Tesoro Verde's Rainforest Reserve has its own zip-line canopy tour. Tesoro Verde Lodge Housed in...
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