An Ecological Treasure in Southern Costa Rica surrounded by Rainforest
The Swiss owned and operated Golfo Dulce Lodge is surrounded by the undisturbed primary lowland rainforest of the Piedras Blancas National Park, an extension of the Corcovado National Park and the clear waters of the Golfo Dulce. The remote, certified eco-lodge at Playa San Josecito is only accessible by a boat ride of about 30 minutes either from Golfito or Puerto Jimenez.
The eco-lodge is listed as one of the Top Ten Costa Rican Hotels by the German Travel Guide Book Polyglott / APA Guide; for details go to www.polyglott.de/katalog/costa_rica_1369.html#top
Golfo Dulce Lodge has been upgraded to 4 green leaves within the 'Certification of Sustainable Tourism - CST', a product of the Costa Rican Tourism Institue (ICT) consisting of a scale of 5 levels for sustainable tourism achievement. This program was designed to differentiate tourism sector businesses based on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management.
The sustainable awareness and the conservation efforts of the lodge have been acknowledged also by the New York based Rainforest Alliance Organisation which included the Golfo Dulce Lodge in their valuable brochure "Certified Products in the Americas: An Exciting and Responsible Travel Choice!".
OPINION | August 10, 2011
I.H.T. Op-Ed Contributor: Sketches From Costa Rica
By CHRIS SPENCE
Esther Margrith Greter of Switzerland owns a guesthouse in 300 hectares of mostly primary jungle in the Piedras Blancas National Park, bordering the Golfo Dulce bay
Eco Tourism Resources:
A Private Biological Reserve
The Golfo Dulce Lodge consists of more than 300 hectares (750 acres) and was bought to conserve the existing virgin rainforest, and to set up a small place for nature and animal lovers to experience the magnificent world of an almost untouched environment on an individual basis, far away from tourist crowds.
The lodge offers boat tours to the mangroves of the Esquinas River and different hikes leading through the lodge property and into the Piedras Blancas National Park passing by various ecosystems such as primary and secondary rainforest, an extensive heliconia field, fruit trees and pasture. An easy accessible, safe observation platform at the rainforest edge invites for birding and nature studies. The platform can also be reached within 20 minutes on a self-guided tour with an educational description of the most interesting plants growing along the path.
So far, bird specialists have identified 340 different species of birds on the lodge property or in the adjacent Piedras Blancas National Park. A birding list in 3 languages (English/German/French) is available at the lodge site. (Ted: pse add textlink to Birdlist) It is an excellent location to spot lots of mammals either in the rainforest or even in the garden. All hikes and boat tours are guided by a local naturalist and/or by German/English speaking biology students.
From 1997 up to 2000 the Golfo Dulce Lodge supported the official Wildcat Rehabilitation Center Profelis, founded by the two German biologists Sigi Weisel and Sabine Weber, for reintroducing confiscated margays (Leopardus wiedii) and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) into their natural habitat, the tropical lowland rainforest of the Piedras Blancas National Park. On a remote part of the lodge rainforest, the first worldwide documented margay release took place in February 1998, conducted by Profelis, and was filmed by the German TV-crew VOX. Additionally, part of the documentaries on cats by the well-known broadcasting teams of BBC and Wild Things California were filmed on the lodge property.
On Playa San Josecito, there is also a release center of the privately owned Zoo Ave outside San José for hurt, rescued or formerly domesticated birds. Since 1999 groups of highly endangered scarlet macaws (ara macao), born and raised at the zoo, were released into the Piedras Blancas National Park where macaws were once present but no longer existed due to poaching and pesticide use. Those first releases are part of a long-term project to establish a third self-sustaining scarlet macaw population, to add to the two existing groups in the Corcovado National Park and the Carara Biological Reserve. However, the release center is not open to the public.
An Ecological Commitment
Our primary goal is to do as little harm as possible to the environment and to avoid unnecessary garbage. As much as possible fresh fruits and vegetables grown on the property and drinks in returnable bottles are served. The drinking water is collected from a spring in a canyon about one mile up in the mountains. The water in the bungalows is pure and unspoiled, and thus drinkable. A hydro plant generates the electricity. Various septic tanks ensure that there is no negative impact to the environment. The employees are all from nearby communities.
The Costa Rican Tourism Institute has upgraded the Golfo Dulce Lodge for Sustainable Tourism to level 4, out of maximum 5 levels.
Help us save the Piedras Blancas National Park with a donation to the Corcovado Foundation.
Member - Costa Rica Hotel Association Golfo Dulce Lodge is a member of the Adventure Hotels of Costa Rica. Find eco-friendly beach hotels, mountain lodges and unique, small hotels throughout Costa Rica.