14 Most Sustainable Eco Lodges in Costa Rica

14 Most Sustainable Eco Lodges in Costa Rica

Enriched with culture and biodiversity, Costa Rica is more than just your average country. This central American country is a land of rugged terrains, rich mountains, and a huge rainforest that spans roughly across a quarter of the country, teeming with wildlife. For eco-tourists, Costa Rica is nothing short of heaven.

But when a country is so diverse and in touch with nature, nothing matters more than keeping its relationship with mother nature intact. This is why Costa Rica is a pioneer in ecotourism. The origin of eco-lodges also stems from Costa Rica. The first-ever eco-lodge, Rara Avis (also on this list) was established in the 1980s.

And you’ll find that in addition to these eco-lodges, most Costa Rican hotels are also going eco-friendly, which only proves how great the country is in its effort to preserve the environment. So, here is a list of some of the best and most unique eco-lodges in Costa Rica not in order. For even more inspiration, browse our directory for Costa Rica.

What are eco-lodges?

Eco-lodges are accommodations in undisturbed, remote natural areas where both construction and operation have the lowest impact possible on the environment. They are not only part of the local community but they are active participants in protecting nature and culturally sensitive areas.

BROWSE THROUGH our directory for the most sustainable eco-lodges around the world if you want to experience something unique, authentic, and exciting.

Arenas Del Mar

Photo Credit: Arenas Del Mar

Arenas Del Mar in Manuel Antonio in the Puntarenas region is close to several of the best waterfalls in Costa Rica. It is a rainforest private reserve that delivers luxury and sustainability in one go. It has been awarded the highest 5-leaf rating by the ICT and continues to serve guests in a way that won’t harm the environment. This sustainable eco-lodge gives you breath-taking views of the rainforest, where you can spend your time trekking between trees and taking snaps of the spider monkeys and sloths.

Nature Observatorio

Photo credit: Nature Observatorio

If you’re looking for an experience that’s more in touch with nature, head over to the Nature Observatorio in Limon, where you can stay in secluded treehouses. One of the few lodges that reside within the thick Limon rainforest, the Nature Observatorio Treehouses are made from sustainable material: woodwork from the locals and provide visitors beautiful views from their isolated location. The lodges make active efforts to maintain the ecosystem since they’re directly on the forest grounds and trust us, you’ll have no complaints.

Esquinas Rainforest Lodge 

Photo credit: Esquinas Rainforest Lodge

In the Puntarenas region lies a secluded portion of the Caribbean rainforest, and it is there that you will find Esquinas Rainforest Lodge. A hidden retreat for naturalists, the eco-lodge lies deep within the trees, overlooking the gorgeous Piedras Blancas National Park. The Esquinas Rainforest Lodge is an expert on sustainability. It produces its own organic vegetables and fruit, completely discourages plastic use, and has its own wastewater treatment plant. From powering itself through hydroelectricity and solar panels to offering eco-friendly tours so its guests know how to conserve, this eco-lodge comes as a luxurious stay.

El Remanso Lodge

Image copyright Andres Garcia Lachner – www.garcialachner.com

Another secluded eco-lodge in the Osa Peninsula, the El Remanso Lodge lies just beyond the soothing shores of Golfo Dulce. This eco-lodge has also received the highest rating for sustainability; the level 5 eco-lodge is probably one of the rare ones that are a hundred percent eco-friendly. The lodges employ recycled materials and encourage eco-friendly electricity by hydro-powering itself and using solar panels. And, to ensure that its friendship with nature doesn’t die off, the eco-lodge introduces its guest to sustainability tours and community projects, where guests can learn about the environment and how to protect it.

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

Photo credit: Arenal Observatory Lodge

In La Fortuna, a region also famous for its zip-lining parks, just a little distance from the Arenal volcanic mountain lies the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, which offers breathtaking views and promising sustainable tourism.

Because it is located so close to the Arenal Lake and Volcano, the lodge tries its best to maintain a healthy vibe. From planting their own gardens, using mountain spring water, using natural and biodegradable products for garden maintenance to installing a natural sewer treatment plant to ward off any pollution, the Arenal Observatory has thought it all. You’ll also find that the Lodge uses minimal electricity and cook from organic materials, a naturalist’s delight!

Selva Bananito Lodge

Photo credit: Selva Bananito Lodge

For nature lovers who like to live on the edge, the Selva Bananito Lodge in the Talamanca Mountains is the perfect retreat. Residing on the foothills of the mountains, Selva Bananito Lodge lies south of Limón, and presents visitors with direct access to the rainforest just below.

It introduces adventurous activities like rappelling, hiking, climbing tall trees, and horseback riding, so if you like to combine your stay with some fun, you know where to go. Limon, more specifically Tortuguero, is a region also known for being the best tarpon fishing location in Costa Rica. And, if that doesn’t convince you, maybe this lodge’s sustainability record will.

The eco-lodge does not use electricity, powers itself naturally, and uses ingredients grown on its own farms. That’s not all, the eco-lodge built itself in an area that had already been disrupted by human activity, so as to avoid further damage to the biological reserve. All of the wood used in its construction came from wood leftovers from foresters and to ward off insects, the eco-lodge uses synthetic or thick tar paper roofing to avoid using pesticides and insecticides. Talk about dedication!

Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge

Photo credit: Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge

Nestled deep in the rainforest, the Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge goes beyond expectations when it comes to sustainability. The luxurious resort is situated on the foothills of the local mountains, which makes it pretty secluded, but the true champion is its devotion to ecotourism. The water at the lodge comes from gravity, and is heated by solar panels, requiring no use of electricity. Natural bacteria are used to remove any organic waste and compost is regularly produced. They’re so dedicated to eco-friendliness; they even use sugarcane residue in their natural ethanol!

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

Photo credit: Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

Near the Corcovado National Park and the Corcovado Jungle, you’ll find a private eco-lodge called the Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge. The secluded eco-lodge promises an environmentally friendly stay among the residents of the jungle, which means you’ll be completely in sync with nature. In fact, you might have a hard time spotting some of its lodges because they’re completely in disguise under the shades of trees by the Pacific Ocean.

The lodge offers a rustic ambiance and participates in ecotourism. By using sustainable materials, introducing waste management and water and energy-saving systems, and completely organic and biodegradable products, the Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge is determined to protect the national heritage. And, if you’re looking for an immersive experience, you’ll love the lodge’s animal-friendly tours.

Lapa Rios Rainforest Lodge

Photo credit: Lapa Rios Lodge

The Lapa Rios Lodge is a destination fitted with luxury. From strong ecotourism to offering lush services, this rainforest lodge is a place where you can let loose and enjoy a soothing stay. Tucked in the rainforest at Osa Peninsula, the center of Costa Rican bird watching, this is one place that gives you direct access to nature.

The hotel uses local products and makes use of ecological solutions. It was the first hotel to be awarded the Certification for Sustainability Tourism. It treats its wastewater through natural bacteria and limits water wastage by collecting water directly from a rainwater harvesting system. You’ll find alternative energy sources used here like solar panels and photocells, and many nature-friendly programs.

Rancho Margot

Photo credit: Rancho Margot

Rancho Margot is a sustainable eco-lodge that is completely off the grid. While you may give one look at the ranch and think it’s too good to be true, Rancho Margot truly devotes itself to the cause. From growing its own organic food, using organic oil to composting food waste, each and every action by the ranch ensures maximum sustainability. They have their own biodigester to conserve energy and produce electricity through private hydroelectric generators. For every nature and animal lover, Rancho Margot is a true delight!

La Leona Eco Lodge

Photo credit: La Leona Eco Lodge

The La Leona Eco Lodge is completely submerged by trees and vegetation and remains in a hidden portion of the Corcovado trail. It encourages ecotourism and has even been extremely careful in adapting to nature. This ecolodge is regularly involved in recycling, conservation and makes effort to keep its natural resources preserved.

Los Pinos Cabins and Gardens

Photo credit: Los Pinos Cabins and Gardens

Situated between the Santa Elena and Monteverde Cloud-forest, Los Pinos Cabins and Gardens have devoted themselves to sustainability. While you may like these gorgeous cabins for their private location, wait to discover how caring they are to mother nature. They effectively take social responsibility to reduce pollution and environmental hazards and have started investing in a sustainable policy to reduce their carbon footprint.

Rara Avis

Photo credit: Rara Avis

Did you know Rara Avis was one of the first eco-lodges in the world? That’s how strong their game is. It is the first-ever eco-lodges that has been established in the world in 1983. They have completely devoted themselves to delivering a sustainable environment.

Nearby an onsite biological station, the Rara Avis is truly one of the most beautiful eco-lodges to be at. Built from ambition, Rara Avis runs without electricity and was built by the wood from the rainforest itself. And, to ensure that there’s no harm to the rainforest, the staff at Rara Avis frequently look after their reserve and advise their guests to do the same. 

Nayara Tented Camps

Small houses with brown roof within the rainforest and a volcano is in the background
Photo credit: Nayara Resort

When you take a glance at the Nayara Tented Camp, you won’t really think it’s real because it presents itself as a magnificent building. But, as beautiful as the Nayara Tented Camp are, you will be pleasantly surprised to know they are trying their best to give back to nature. They provide protection to local animals like sloths and implement a healthy lifestyle. For anyone who’s looking for an unrealistic luxury and the simplicity of nature, the Nayara Tented Camp is a true booking. Not to mention it is close to several of the best waterfalls in Costa Rica.

Map of these 14 Costa Rican Eco-lodges

As you can see there are plenty of unique and beautiful eco-lodges in Costa Rica, and you will be spoilt for choice if you are searching for a sustainable holiday. Be sure to check out our article on the best time to visit Costa Rica. The best season might not be the one you think of first.

BROWSE THROUGH our directory for the most sustainable eco-lodges around the world if you want to experience something unique, authentic, and exciting.

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