Eco-friendly Eco-lodges

The Central American nation is something of an expert when it comes to sustainability. With 99% of their electricity now coming from renewable sources, and a quarter of the country’s land protected by conservation status, you can expect to find an ever-growing array of eco-lodges when booking accommodation in Costa Rica. From boho-style beach huts and jungle hideaways to hot spring retreats and traditional fincas (ranches), these eco-minded boltholes can cater to every kind of adventure and budget. A stylish eco-lodge is the ultimate place to live out your Pura Vida dreams, as per the country’s slogan, where stress fades away and a laid-back, peaceful way of holidaying can begin. For remote eco-luxury, head for Origins in the far northwest corner of the country. If you’re willing to make the journey, you’ll be met with panoramic views of vertiginous volcanoes, dense emerald jungle and the glistening Lake Nicaragua in the distance; all of which can be enjoyed from the simmering water of a fire-heated hot tub. The lodge’s ingenious system of bioclimatology – where the buildings are in tune with the environment to regulate temperature – reduces the need for non-renewable energy. Lapa Rios is an equally inviting option on the Osa Peninsula and the place for wildlife encounters, taking its name from the vibrant scarlet macaws that soar overhead. As the first of Costa Rica’s eco-lodges, the reserve proudly upholds its sustainable status by working to protect the surrounding biodiversity and resident wildlife.

Luxury Hotels & Resorts

With so much biodiversity to boast about, it’s no wonder that the accommodation in Costa Rica is part of the ecotourism puzzle. Doing good for the planet doesn’t mean that you have to skimp on luxury, however, and it’s ever so uplifting knowing that your luxe hotel is also thinking about their environmental impact. Combine opulence and comfort with eco-friendly living at Kura, situated in the southern town of Uvita de Osa. The retreat is all sleek lines and modern design (think open-plan villas with floating beds and infinity pools), backed by sustainable practices, including reducing waste, reusing, repurposing and recycling. Waste reduction isn’t difficult given that the hotel’s menu features melt-in-the-mouth ceviche, perfectly crunchy vegan tacos and delectable fresh fish dishes (marinated in all sorts of spices). If your idea of indulgence revolves around pampering, then Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa is just the ticket. Located near the famed Arenal Volcano, its garden has been skilfully designed so that volcanically-heated water flows through it, gathering in discreet pools where you can bathe to your heart’s content.

Boutique Accommodation

One thing that Costa Rica has always done well is carving its own path. This applies to its position as an ecotourism world-leader, but also to some of its boutique inns that offer distinct experiences found in few other places on the planet. If you too like to forge your own trail while travelling, there are a handful of options for accommodation in Costa Rica that sit decidedly off the well-trodden tourist track. Finca Rosa Blanca, in the highlands above San José, is positioned next to an agriculturally sustainable coffee plantation, where coffee-tasting tours are hosted daily and the farm-to-table menu provides a tasty way of practising sustainability. Nayara Tented Camp – near Arenal – is another nature-loving choice. Flora and fauna stand front and centre here, and guests stay in individual canvas-draped cabins dotted across the rainforest landscape. Perched next to Playa Guiones on the Nicoya Peninsula, Olas Verdes is the best bet for beach-bums (who still want luxury), with easy access to the sand and surf. Following the region’s destruction for farming, the boutique eco-hotel worked with local residents to reforest and restore it to its former glory.

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