"Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal."
- Edward O. Wilson
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Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

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Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge, tucked away in the trees and cooled by the Pacific Ocean, is a 170-acre private reserve comprising beach and rainforest on the borders of Corcovado National Park. The reserve was set up by an American naturalist who first came to live in the Osa over thirty-five years ago, and who has been working to conserve and protect the area ever since.

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Since opening in 1994, we have strived to offer an example of responsible and sustainable tourism. We have made great efforts to show that alternative energy sources can be are the best and most practical option for remote locations. Our solar electric system which uses photovoltaic panels may have had higher start-up costs but it’s both more economical in the long run, and non-polluting. The micro-hydroelectric, Pelton Wheel turbine, used to produce a good part of our energy is cost-efficient and has little effect on stream flow. We use a very unusual type of Induction Generation that has an electric motor as a generator, an interesting idea for rural communities. It has worked flawlessly for over 10 years.

Some bungalows get their hot water from a hybrid solar convection and propane gas heater system, the others from propane gas heaters. Propane gas is a by-product of oil drilling and burns very cleanly. Many of our refrigerators also burn propane gas, equipment which was sourced from Brazil.

The hotel is working on new systems to compost organic material and to handle inorganic materials. Wastewater, including the gray waters released by the kitchen and laundry, is handled by nine different septic tank systems. Rather than automatically change sheets and towels every day, it is our policy to wash guest bed linens every three days and towels when our guests feel it is needed. This practice can save large quantities of detergent and literally thousands of gallons of water and energy. We have recycling points throughout the hotel to encourage the proper disposal of trash. And we financed the building of a recycling center in Sierpe, collaborating with the local high school. The center can handle all of the recyclable materials from the hotels and communities in the area, and the earnings from this project go to help the school. Currently all our aluminum and glass is being recycled.

We have worked hard to support the National Park and local communities over the years. Steven Lill, owner of Casa Corcovado, is the co-Founder and President of the non-profit Corcovado Foundation. He felt that ecotourism had to become more proactive and to take the lead in protecting our natural and cultural resources. With the support of other lodge owners, the local community and international conservation organizations, impressive results have been achieved. The Corcovado Foundation has taken a hands-on approach and is currently managing over 12 community programs in the Osa Peninsula. Much work still needs to be done to preserve the natural heritage of Corcovado for future generations.

For more information on the work of the Corcovado Foundation visit the website at corcovadofoundation.org

2013 Wildforests Awards