Ecolodges in Costa Rica: Isla Chiquita, Finca Bellavista, Casa Corcovado
A leading contributor to ecotourism growth in Costa Rica is the ecolodge. The luxury to be able to disconnect and enjoy sounds other than the ring of a cellphone or the loud voices coming from the television is answered by experiencing ecolodges in Costa Rica. The Howler sought out luxury ecolodges in Costa Rica: Isla Chiquita, Finca Bellavista and Casa Corcovado.
Throughout the country, there are many ecolodge offerings of sustainable accommodations that cater to a wide variety of travelers fitting personal interests and thrills, but only some are actually off the beaten path.
Located in natural environments and relatively small — typically fewer than 20 rooms — an ecolodge tend to be in remote areas. Ecolodges emphasize environmental responsibility while minimizing negative impact by using renewable resources, eco-friendly supplies and locally grown food.
The number and range of choices for eco-adventurous tourists throughout Costa Rica speaks to the ways in which small luxury comforts can still be enjoyed while remaining unplugged and environmentally conscious. The Howler has reviewed several off-the-grid sanctuaries with a view to individualistic appeal and sustainable integrity.
An island adventure
Isla Chiquita is a “glamping” ecolodge located on a small island off the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. Developed in unity with the idyllic surroundings, the island retreat embodies an unwavering commitment to cultural authenticity and environmental protection through green-friendly initiatives. Existing rustic structures were refurbished during the lodge’s construction to house the reception office, Donde Tía Nora Restaurant and Harry’s Bar. Water is heated by solar panels, tents are cooled by natural ocean breezes aided by ceiling fans, and dining options highlight the best of regional seafood and agricultural goods. Local employment and engagement with nearby communities are a priority.
Osa’s off-the-grid beauties
Roughly 400 kilometers south lies the Osa Peninsula, which offers a different range of ecotourism activities and sustainable accommodations.
Within the AMISTOSA wildlife migration corridor that connects the Talamanca mountains and the Osa Peninsula, Finca Bellavista is a charming and modern yet off-the-grid treehouse community.
This rain forest canopy anchorage has an adventurous allure for ecotourists seeking wellness immersion at a high level, from waterfall hikes and swimming to ziplines.
Finca Bellavista’s farm harvests organic produce available year-round, creating a localized, farm-to-table food culture at its restaurant. The future goal of having a 5-mile food “radius” is to better support local farmers and continue on-site food production.
Unlike conventional home construction, the building process at Finca Bellavista never starts with “breaking ground.” Instead, a fundamental aspect of site preparation is the creation of access points such as trails, bridges, and other unique features. Home bio-digesters are installed to convert decomposed table scraps and other waste matter to renewable energy. Other equipment provides water storage capacity for this treehouse haven.
Wifi at Finca Bellavista? Yes, but be sure to bring your hiking boots, as it is only available in the chic community base camp.
Tucked away among the palms bordering Corcovado National Park is Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge, a 170-acre private reserve comprising beach and rain forest. There are no roads to the lodge, only access by boat. This enhances the in-depth jungle experience visitors enjoy in harmony with nature.
Eco-consciousness is reflected in the hotel’s approach to acquisition and use of materials, including biodegradable liquids and solid substances. On-site treatment of all waste waters with septic systems ensures the environment remains uncontaminated.