Costa Rica Eco Lodges – Introduction

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Costa Rica Eco Lodges | Comments Off on Costa Rica Eco Lodges – Introduction

Welcome to the best site for finding a great Costa Rica eco lodge. We have them all listed here, organized by area and type. One of the world’s most beautiful and eco friendly countries, Costa Rica’s travel industry has almost become synonymous with eco lodges, and you’ll find them in all areas of the country, from the beaches, to the cloud forests and mountain tops. Many are run from green-minded foreigners who fell in love with Costa Rica and never left, instead choosing to stay and build their dream. Others are run by Costa Ricans, from wealthy land owners who have built stunning adventure hotels on their family’s land. Some are small, run by Costa Rican families, with the help of their children. One thing for sure, staying in an eco lodge is guaranteed to be a much more rewarding experience than in a standard hotel. Expect far more connection with nature, people, and local culture.

The eco resort term has slowly become a rage among environmentally responsible tourists who seek to explore the beauty of a destination without damaging its natural resources. Often used ubiquitously and inserted more as misnomer for plain nature resorts, the term eco lodge in Costa Rica is at times misused and wrongly assigned. The lush tropical nature retreat boasting of a rich topography comprising thriving rainforests, pristine beaches, serene rivers, gushing waterfalls and adventure packed mountainous valleys features abundant authentic eco lodges. These resorts dexterously combine the best of Costa Rica’s blessed natural landscape and its sustainable practices. Since their inception, most genuine eco resorts in the country have been frontrunners for responsible sustainable practices such as local reforestation programs, recycling programs, energy conservation, water conservation, land conservation, toxic reduction and local community development efforts. Some of the more popular and well known resorts have also had the distinction of winning several green awards and certificates by the country’s tourism departments.

Costa Rica’s eco lodges also employ the most eco friendly techniques while building their accommodations. Most resorts construct their lodges in the form of elevated wooden structures that are created out of naturally felled trees, so that that the local environment is not damaged for accommodating tourists.

Costa Rica’s eco resorts are specifically designed for allowing guests to enjoy the true natural spirit and positive nature infused energy of the region. This can come in all forms from waking up to the sound of howler monkeys at dawn to enjoying an intimate wine and dine experience in a spectacular sunset backdrop alongside the beach. The body inspiring and soul nourishing landscape of Costa Rica provides a splendid recreational backdrop for the eco resorts. Some are located with the confines of a nature reserve, a natural park, within in a primary tropical rainforest or even on a private beach reserve.

The resorts vary considerably in their rates and encompass a wide range of budgets. Tourists can find everything from dormitory style eco lodges (where visitors can contribute to everyday maintenance duties) to quaint countryside farm lodges to intimate family owned properties (with a rich historic legacy) along with mid-range lodges and expensive eco resorts with five star amenities. They are all specifically designed keeping in mind the requirements of specific tourist groups such as nature students, researchers, birding enthusiasts, eco backpackers, families, honeymooners and other travelers. For instance backpackers prefer a more unpretentious, affordable, clean and adventure activity packed eco resort that allows them to explore the surroundings at their own pace. Similarly, birding enthusiasts will prefer a more unassuming lodge like the Rancho Naturalista which is predominately a shelter for a generous assortment of birds (over 400 species), and which also boasts of other amenities such as a large bird viewing gallery. Honeymooners and cozy couples preferring a more romantic landscape can opt for a private and exclusive property such as the Finca Exotica or Cascadas Farallas (that has elevated accommodations to face the top of waterfalls and overlook into the flourishing Baru Rainforest).

Costa Rica eco lodges can also be divided into specific activities that tourists consciously seek in their accommodations. Yoga aficionados, looking for a more holistic lifestyle vacation will feet at home at the Anamaya Yoga Retreat (that offers among others things, yoga retreats with visiting experts, organic meals and nature extrusions). Similarly spa lovers can enjoy putting up at properties that feature a chic, well appointed and exclusive spa such as Almonds and Corals (offering a huge range of holistic treatment services). Some Carribean eco resorts such as the Tortuga Lodge and the Turtle Beach Lodge are more sought after for the once in a lifetime seasonal turtle hatching tour experience. Likewise resorts that are housed in dense rainforests are more popular for their night safaris, day excursions and guided nature trips. They allow visitors an opportunity to witness the area’s rich flora (including a range of the rarest and most spectacular indigenous plants) and fauna. These resorts are also popular for their zip line or canopy tree top tours, which allow visitors to catch a glimpse of the forest from tree tops.

Most eco resorts have comfortable, airy, spacious and clean accommodations that are built out of environmentally friendly elements. Some of the more conscious ones have solar powered electricity or no electricity (oil lit lamps at night) to keep the conservation efforts alive. Still others also have strict a no television, no mobile phone, no radios policy to keep the decibel levels down and maintain a tranquil, noise free ambiance.

Some resorts offer options of organic food, vegan food, vegetarian food and other similar holistic diets. A few thoroughbred eco lodges such as Rancho Margot have their own vegetable garden, which allows visitors to sample the freshest ‘straight off the garden’ ingredients on their dinner table. The plusher and more up market beach resorts have tastefully appointed restaurants in a romantic seaside backdrop (complete with a candle light setting and other interesting trimmings). Others also have casual seaside bars that are the water holes of backpackers and tourists looking to exchange notes of their recreational pursuits and natural experiences.

Activities and Amenities

Most eco lodges in Costa Rica offer an exciting range of nature and adventure centric activities. The rich topography and impressive biodiversity of this country makes it one of the most ecologically thriving destinations on the planet. Visitors can pick and choose from a plethora of activities belonging to different settings, proficiency levels and interests. Water sports buffs can enjoy everything from scuba diving to kayaking to snorkeling along with sports fishing and motor boat rides. Rafting and surfing can also give them the mush required adrenaline rush. Boat safaris, river mangrove tours and river kayaking are other popular pursuits in predominantly water topography based regions. Hiking trips, mountain biking tours, tours of the region’s volcanoes, guided nature trips, early morning bird watching excursions with expert birding guides, horseback rides (to hilltops, mountainous valleys and rainforests), trips to local village communities, canoeing trips, guided nocturnal wildlife watching tours, ATV tours, guided jungle walks, rappelling, exciting whale and dolphin watching tours and spectacular turtle watching tours (a popular pursuit at most Caribbean eco lodges).

The more swanky and high end eco resorts boast of world class amenities that are specially designed for catering to a more exclusive clientele. They have a state of the art spa, well-equipped fitness centers, specially created yoga facilities and picturesque looking pools. Many family resorts also have an indoor games room, gardens, a children’s pool, Wi-fi services and a library (primarily stocking environment based informative literature). Some of the more chic resorts such as the Finca Exotica have a lineup of unusual and quirky activities such as playing drums or even participating in body painting, wood toy carving, bamboo building, pottery and sketching workshops. A majority of Costa Rica’s eco resorts also have a souvenir/gift shop where tourists can pick up local artifacts, locally cultivated organic products and other tropical gifts. Many eco lodges have three meals (along with hot beverages and evening snacks) included in their stay packages, while others may offer a buffet service, a la carte service or family style serving arrangement at an additional cost. The more lavish and expensive resorts have fine dine style restaurants that sport a more sophisticated ambiance (replete with white linen table cloths and candle-lit tables).

Most eco resorts in Costa Rica are fully equipped for conducting corporate outings, weddings, yoga retreats, business meetings and other group activities/celebrations. They provide the perfect backdrop for art workshops and the much needed inspiration for writers, musicians, painters and other creative professionals. The surreal fantasy like environment of these beautiful tropical eco resorts acts as a inspirational catalyst for creating ingenious works of art, which is why these properties are much sought after by people engaged in creative vocations.

Accommodations

Accommodations at eco lodges across Costa Rica vary from lodge to lodge depending on the price range the lodge caters to. The more up market eco resorts have plusher accommodations such as exclusive villas and bungalows (often equipped with state of the art amenities and plush furnishings such as king sized beds, wooden panels and tiled bathrooms) while the mid-sized lodges are more like hotels with several rooms housed on a single floor or within a single bungalow/villa. Low budget eco lodges have more practical design sporting accommodations. Most eco resorts follow strict practices of using solar heated showers and use as many environmentally friendly materials to build (and furnish) the rooms. Some resorts such as the Esquinas Rainforest has interconnecting rooms that can be merged to create a single unit for groups, while almost all Costa Rica eco lodges have a verandah or terrace (from where tourists can catch sweeping views of their lush surroundings). A few resorts like the above mentioned Esquinas are known to combine luxury and an innately rustic element to create more interesting fusions such as luxury tents (that feature thatched palm roofs).