It is only fitting that in what National Geographic said may be the most biologically intense place on the earth, Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge would be part of this success story. Conservation of the natural resources in the Golfo Dulce – Osa Peninsula has guaranteed a safe haven for about 2.5% of the world´s biodiversity. Surrounded by national parks that protect rainforests, mangroves, and other environments, staying at Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge means you will inevitably become a true believer in the sustainable tourism model without foregoing the comforts Costa Rican jungle-chic eco-resort. Why sustainable tourism? Nicuesa will show you why!
What is Sustainability?
The United Nations World Tourism Organization defines Sustainable Tourism Development 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”
This means that sustainable tourism functions under the environmental conservation flag and actively participates in the local community’s social and economic well-being. Therefore, being part of the sustainable tourism movement is looking for ways to minimize the business’s effects on the environment and being an active community member from a social and economic perspective.
This also includes upholding and respecting the local culture, which is an integral part of the social fabric of the communities, indigenous and not, that Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is part of.
Costa Rica, a leader in Sustainable Tourism
Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is located in Costa Rica, one of the world´s leaders in Sustainable Tourism. Since the early 90s, Costa Rica made the courageous decision to base its tourism model and development on sustainability and eco-tourism. The decision was bold, but the results have been beyond positive.
The Sustainable Tourism model and movement is part of a series of conservation-focused objectives that Costa Rica continues to uphold and develop. Some of these fantastic initiatives include:
- The creation of the Sustainable Tourism Certificate for the tourism industry. This certificate provides the basis for implementing key sustainable tourism practices. Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge has obtained the highest level possible consistently for many years.
- Payment of Environmental Services that provide an economic incentive to property owners to protect and conserve forest coverage and water sources. Many of these properties have now been transformed into tourist attractions.
- The National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) oversees the network of National Parks, Nature Reserves, and Biological Corridors, among other protected areas. 25% of Costa Rica is protected under this system, guaranteeing the well-being of many ecosystems and the biodiversity that inhabit them.
- Ecologic Blue Flag Program: This public and privately run program endeavors to strengthen public health and tourist activities. Its objective is to promote the organization of local committees to protect natural resources, improve sanitary conditions, and take action to deal with climate change. Nicuesa Beach has been awarded the Ecologic Blue Flag.
How does Nicuesa do Sustainability?
In every aspect of the Nicuesa Experience, sustainable practices are front and center. It is dear to the heart of the owners and their staff, and just as I did, you will inevitably feel that love and commitment in everything they do to make guests feel welcome and enjoy their stay. This has been an integral part of creating this sustainable tourism success story.
Set on a 165-acre property surrounded by the Piedras Blancas National Park and on the coastline of the Golfo Dulce, one of the world´s four tropical fiords, Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge has been environmentally sensitive from its creation. With such a privileged location comes responsibility, and this eco-friendly resort has adhered to the highest level of sustainable hospitality since.
Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is an example of how an eco-resort can be sustainable without sacrificing quality and comfort.
Let´s see how sustainable tourism has been incorporated into the Nicuesa Experience.
Regarding protecting the environment, Nicuesa has found the perfect balance. A nature lover’s sanctuary, it honors the rainforest and the ocean while remaining dedicated to the guest experience. Some of the sustainable practices, Nicuesa has incorporated into its eco-resort include:
- Environmentally friendly design features: Designed by a Costa Rican architect, the cabins receive mountain and beach ventilation and enjoy the beauty of the rainforest.
- The wood used to build the cabins, and main building comes from naturally fallen or legally permitted trees.
- The lodge covers less than 2% of the property. 98% is a protected forest.
- Passive-solar drying is used to dry all washing.
- Energy-efficient bulbs and solar lanterns for pathway lighting
- Rainwater management
- Use of organic, biodegradable cleaning products, shampoos, and soaps
While Nicuesa is in a secluded corner of the world and can only be reached by a scenic 30-minute boat transfer on the Golfo Dulce, it is an integral and dynamic member of the nearest local communities. Here are just some ways Nicuesa upholds the social-economic aspect of sustainable tourism that benefits the community and Nicuesa.
- 98% of the Nicuesa staff are from nearby communities.
- Purchase of locally sourced produce (food, hardware, etc.)
- Support local tour operators to guests.
- Sponsorship of various community initiatives, including the library, recycling collection center, and Guides and Scouts movement, among others
Costa Rican culture is rich in traditions, flavors, and colors. Despite being nestled into the rainforest where nature and adventure abound, Nicuesa has incorporated several cultural treasures into the guest experience. This includes the delicious meals you will enjoy in the open-air restaurant and bar that offer stunning views of the Golfo Dulce. During your stay, visit the Edible Garden, which also sources many ingredients creatively made into tasty and healthy meals.
- Lodge meals focused on national and regional cuisine, utilizing food from the property or growing as locally as possible.
- Display decorations and sell to guests locally produced artwork and handicrafts.
- Sponsor a folkloric dance group composed of adolescents from Puerto Jimenez.
Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, a treasured member of the Enchanting Hotels Collection is a true example of how sustainable tourism works and that it can benefit the environment and the local community and is economically viable for the company. Not only is Nicuesa a sustainable success story, but it is also a wonderful place to stay. The Nicuesa Experience is about ecotourism, nature, and adventure sports, where better than the Golf Dulce. This special place offers luxury services in an authentic, sustainable, and pristine location.
So, when will you come and live the Nicuesa Experience? You will love it!