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Ecotourism in Latin America Directory

Arco Iris Lodge, Costa Rica

Name of Lodge or Ecotourism Project: Arco Iris Lodge.

Location: Monteverde cloudforest in Costa Rica, just a few hours from the capital San Jose. The area is excellent for rainforest tours, wildlife viewing and birdwatching.


Year Established: 1995

Tourism activities: Butterfly garden, animal watching tours (frogs, bats, insects and snakes), hiking the cloudforests, unique vegetation, natural history tours, canopy tours, hanging bridges, bird watching, horseback riding, sugar mill and coffee tours.

Ecolodge / Accommodation details: lodging is in comfortable cabins built by local craftsmen using materials from the surrounding rainforest of Montverde. Some budget rooms, while standard rooms have a double and a single bed, one fully equipped house and one luxury honeymoon cabin.

Responsible tourism practices. How is impact upon the local environment minimized?: the ecolodge uses biodegradable washing and cleaning detergents, organic waste is composted and and they do not use any chemical fertilizers or insecticides. The ecolodge does not by and sell cans or drinks in plastic bottles, biodegradable plastic bags are used for guest rooms. They have invested lots of money in energy and water saving light fixtures and water heaters.

How is the local community involved?: The ecolodge teaches employees about environmental values and they give donations to locals schools and projects. Part of the hotels property is reforested. Arco Iris lodge buys local products from farmers and small projects (coffee, cheese, fruits, bread, vegetables).

Does the presence of ecotourism leave a positive impact upon the local environment and community? If so, how?: many people become more conscious about the environment, school kids receive a better education with regards to Costa Rica's environmental issues, single women get jobs in hotels and restaurants and become more independent and have better job possibilities in general. Lots of private forests and other properties are protected by their owners and used for rainforest tours in Monteverde cloudforest.

Who owns the lodging facilities (ecolodge)? Is it communally, or individually owned?: Family owned.

Further information: Arco Iris Lodge tries to integrate guests more in conservation issues.

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