Photo: Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge - Costa Rica
Hoteliers in Costa Rica are no longer satisfied with offering visitors clear waters and endless green forests, and are increasingly focusing on operating environmentally sustainable properties that offer guests a green experience.
New hotels are being built with certified wood, systems that recycle all waste, solar panels to generate electricity cleanly and highly energy efficient lighting and appliances.
Some properties grow some of the food consumed by guests, use completely biodegradable products and dry linen in the sun in Central America’s most-visited country.
Costa Rican officials support the hospitality industry’s sustainability strategy and created the Sustainable Tourism Certificate, or CST, program to rate the environmental and social contributions of tourism businesses.
The CST measures the environmental friendliness of a company, awarding a rating of 1 to 5, but granting leaves instead of the traditional stars used in the hospitality industry.
Currently, 29 hotels have received “five-leaf” ratings in Costa Rica for their sustainability programs, meaning that their operations have nearly no environmental impact and are socially responsible.
One of the hotels earning the highest rating is the Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge on the country’s south Pacific coast.
The lodge is located on the calm waters of Dulce Gulf amid a lush tropical forest.