Hacienda Guachipelin and sustainable tourism done the right way!


Hacienda Guachipelin is showing the world how sustainable tourism is done the right way!  Located in Guanacaste where white sand beaches and pristine, blue waters are the front runners,  this traditional hacienda-style hotel nestled into the tropical dry forest is a unique, luxury experience in nature.  Hacienda Guachipelin´s sustainable tourism practices definitely stand out as much as the adventure and well-being focused experiences. Let´s see how Hacienda Guachipelin and sustainable tourism done the right way shines through.

This unique hotel destination is very special for many reasons. Its location within the endangered dry, tropical forest brings added responsibility to ensure it remains alive and healthy for future generations. While not as popular as its rainforest cousin, the tropical dry forest is vibrant and sets the scene for a wonderful time in nature. And Hacienda Guachipelin has ensured that guests and adventure-seekers enjoy every aspect of the forest, whether it is the tree-top canopy, the rivers that cut through it, the trails to walk within it, or the room and restaurants that look out onto it.

Hacienda Guachipelin, a member of the exclusive collection of boutique hotels, Enchanting Hotels,  is part of the natural ecosystem that it inhabits but is also an active member of the local community to which it belongs. As a working farm passed down from one generation to another, Hacienda Guachipelin continues to exemplify the rich Guanacaste ranching and cowboy culture that has existed for centuries.

The local culture is felt enjoying the vast landscapes and farming fields but also in the Hacienda Guachipelin team, many from the surrounding towns and communities. They are an integral part of sustainable tourism practices and the guardians of the local culture too.

Let´s understand more about sustainable tourism and how Hacienda Guachipelin does it so well!

Suites at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin.

 What is sustainable tourism?

Many people understand sustainable tourism to be focused on conserving and preserving the environment, and that is definitely right, but there is more to it! Not only does sustainable tourism look for ways to minimize the impact it has on the environment, but it also looks to involve the local community in its practices to ensure its welfare and to ensure the local culture is upheld and included in its experiences. In short, it is about conserving the environment, preserving the host culture, and generating economic stability in the local community. No small feat, but definitely attainable.

The UN World Tourism Organization defines Sustainable Tourism in the following way:

Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities.

Hacienda Guachipelin was founded on the basis of sustainable tourism with additional motivation. It sits on the slopes of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, which is part of the Guanacaste Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its relationship and connection with the volcano and this designation are one of respect and responsibility that Hacienda Guachipelin upholds in every aspect of its operation.

Farm-to-table Dining is part of the Hacienda´s experience

What is the Sustainable Tourism Certificate or CST?

Costa Rica has been at the forefront of sustainable tourism and the fight against climate change for decades, with a clear understanding of its importance and the need to create affirmative processes for companies and travelers to adhere to. With some visionary game-changers and the support of the Costa Rica Tourism Board, the Sustainable Tourism Certificate, or CST for its name in Spanish, was born.

The CST is a technical instrument that measures the sustainable practices that tourism companies implement and maintain. It looks to recognize those Costa Rican companies doing their part in mitigating the negative effects of their operations and potentializes the strengthening of social, cultural, environmental, economic, and development work in tourism destinations.

Hacienda Guachipelin received the highest distinction that the CST has, obtaining elite-level certification, which is a reason to celebrate.  This means that when you stay at Hacienda Guachipelin, you enjoy the hotel and all its exceptional services that have been considered within the certification. It also means that as a guest, you are part of the sustainable initiatives to conserve the environment, the cultural traditions and support the local community.

Hacienda Guachipelin’s famous team of white oxen pulling a traditional Costa Rican oxcart.

What sustainable tourism initiatives does Hacienda Guachipelin have?

Hacienda Guachipelin has made concerted efforts to implement sustainable practices in all aspects of the hotel and the adventure center. This is a true sign of its commitment to conserving the forest and culture and supporting the local community´s well-being in every possible way. As the company says, “Think Global, Act Local.”

Let´s see how Hacienda Guachipelin does sustainable tourism so well:

  • Reforestation and conservation of native species in the Guachipelin Nature Reserve and its dry, tropical forests. This means more native birds and animals can settle and live in the area as they have available food sources.
  • Solar-powered heaters make sure your room receives hot water on demand. After a day exploring the forest or at the mud baths, a hot shower is delicious!
  • Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin employs only local staff, which translates to 130 community members who benefit from your visit to the hotel. The hotel can only be as prosperous as the community it belongs to, which is one of the hotel´s greatest motivations as a community member.
  • Organic waste is used to feed our farm animals and as a natural fertilizer for herb and vegetable gardens.
  • A recycling program with recycling bins all over the property. We invite you to join the movement and recycle too!
  • Our restaurants are “farm-to-table” based, and you can taste it in every dish you try during your stay. This philosophy includes free-range eggs, fresh milk, homemade cheese, and desserts courtesy of the dairy cows and farm-raised tilapia, cattle, pigs, and turkeys. Fruits, vegetables, and herbs grow in the hydroponic greenhouse too.

Thanks to its members’ continued efforts, Hacienda Guachipelin is proud to have been awarded this prestigious elite status. It reflects the hard work to obtain elite status and the hotel´s commitment to continue to implement sustainable practices, however small. When you come and stay at the hotel, you are inevitably part of these efforts that can be achieved without jeopardizing the quality of your experience. Hacienda Guachipelin believes that sustainable tourism enhances it. Why don´t you come and see for yourself!

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