Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, Costa Rica
- Light saving bulbs, and being now replaced by LEDs.
- Guests are urged to turn off the lights and fans upon leaving the rooms.
- If weather allows it, all laundry is dried outside.
- Once all guests are asleep, the night watchman is responsible for putting off all unnecessary lights and leaving on only those required for security.
- Project: Getting Solar Panels depending of the Costa Rican Credit Project, replacing old appliances by new low consumption new ones.
- Biodegradable waste go to compost.
- Recyclable garbage is separated in plastic, glass and aluminum bottles, cans and containers, as well as cartons and paper. All of these is brought to a recycling plan in Pital and San José.
- No beer or canned soft drinks are sold or served in the lodge to maintain the surroundings clean of waste.
- The cleaning personnel must separate the contains of the rooms waste paper basket.
- Organic Fertilizers are used for the garden area (from Biodyne Company based in California).
- Verify constantly that all water faucets are closed.
- After cleaning the rooms, maids have to check that there are no leaks in the bathrooms.
- The water cistern are controlled so that there is no excessive use of the liquid and if so, check for leaks and/or excessive use.
- Water is pumped from two wells and from a local spring.
- Grey water are going to bacterial septic tanks.
- Restaurant served family-style meals with Costa Rican typical food with as much local produced fruits and vegetables as possible.
- Up-to-date inventory control is maintained in order to save waste and losses
- Worked exclusively with local labor.
- Used local and renewable material when possible, and try to make it as neutral as possible to comply with the natural surrounding.
- Use of the owner’s Rotary International Club relationships to bring help to the community. Specially helping for example: the local five schools, providing free dental cares, building a dinning hall, giving scholarships to two children to continue high school education, repairing and painting the village schools, helping funding a women association to develop work opportunities (production of eggs for example), helped one person in the community to finance a chirurgical operation.
- Received a grant from the German Embassy in San José to build a water cistern to supply running water the nearby hamlet of Santa Rita and another one from Rotary Club in the USA for Boca Tapada.
- Always on the look for volunteers and invite both local and foreigner professional biologists to come at the lodge to help identify plants and animals, as well as teach the local people to protect the environment.
- The lodge employees are all local people, even the General Manager since 2009. They are provided with extensive training and opportunities to get also off-property courses and experiences (through the national INA program for example). For example, 3 employees were sent to San Jose for English training, an ex-Assistant Manager went 3 times to the USA, and the cook went to Germany and Guatemala.
- Participation to the improvement of the surrounding roads, and supply in electricity and telephone line.
- Participation in the community activities in order to raise funds for their numerous needs. For example: helping a local boatman to start his own business of fluvial transportation, collaborating by giving transfers of tourists to a local member of the community.
- “Adopt a Tree” Conservation Program: In order to encourage reforestation, guests are invited to make a 15$ donation to adopt a recently planted native tree. The tree is then registered to the “Millennium Tree Planters Book” and guests who participate receive a certificate with the commitment that the tree will be preserved forest.
- Guests are encouraged to appreciate and respect Nature, especially when walking the paths and gardens of the lodge, as well as the rain forest and lagoons.
- Guests are informed about the impact the lodge has made in the community and how it contributed to improve it.
- Present the guests with a wide range of activities and tours to promote local heritage and biodiversity.
- The hotel owns 100 hectares of prime rain forest, but also 80 hectares of secondary growth under the Government Protection Plan and reforested 40 hectares. 76% of the property is natural protected area.
- Hiking tracks, horse back riding and canoe are at disposal of the guests.
- Make purchase orders at the same time than two other neighbor hotels in order to reduce transportation cost.
- Hospitality Tour 2014 : Florie has been there in October 2014 to carry out the missions mentioned below and to list the hopinnovations implemented.
- Mission : Niche Market Strategy “How to better attract Bird-Watchers?“
With almost 400 different bird species identified, 100 hectares of primary rainforest and 169 hectares of reforested secondary growth forest, Laguna del Lagarto Lodge is a paradise for birdwatchers, wildlife and nature lovers in general!
Kurt’s dad is originally from Germany and acquired this piece of jungle north of Costa Rica in 1974. At this times the word “eco-tourism” did not exist, and he first thought (as it was the main trend at this time) to develop an agriculture business with it. For several reasons, it did work out, and had this crazy idea to try developing an eco-lodge to welcome tourists looking for experiencing wild tropical rainforest. He built the first four bungalows in 1981.
He has then to implement sustainable practices as a necessity. Kurt’s answer to his vision of sustainability: “Sustainability is about living in harmony between human and nature. At Laguna del Lagarto Lodge we aim to be a leading eco-lodge in Costa Rica practicing sustainable tourism and to demonstrate that a standing rain forest is more valuable than a deforested one.”
The village of Boca Tapaca was not linked to any electricity, water of phone system. Then he developed this great pioneer eco-tourism project in closed collaboration with the local community. Laguna del Lagarto has now 22 rooms, and does not plan to increase too much more (maybe 2 or 3 extra rooms, no more).
Are you looking of an off-the-beaten-track experience in Costa Rica? This is the place to go!
Read the article about Florie experience on her personal blog:
Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, Tropical Birdwatchers Paradise
The Hospitality Tour