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Sabalo Lodge, Costa Rica


Name of Lodge or Ecotourism Project: Sabalo Lodge.

Location: Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica - access by boat from the town of Sierpe.

Website: www.sabalolodge.com

Year Established: 1999

Tourism activities: Activities range from adventurous to educational and cultural. Tours to Corcovado National Park can be made, while nearby Cano Island offers excellent diving and snorkeling. Dolphin & whale watching tours (season dependent), horseback riding tours, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching and fishing. Nearby Playa Blanco offers a day at the beach. Mountain biking can be arranged in addition to mangrove tours and local fruit farm tours.

Ecolodge / Accommodation details: Sabalo Lodge accommodations are sustainable in design. All facilities are open air and made from tropical hardwood with screened windows. The ecolodge grounds are located on eight open acres of grass and shade trees surrounded by rainforest and mangroves. The main lodge has two guests rooms with separate bathroom and shower facilities just steps away. The Deluxe Rainforest Cabin is isolated against the rainforest for the ultimate in privacy and has itís own bathroom and shower facilities. This cabin is spacious and private accommodating up to 4 people. There is also a front and back porch. The rainforest cabin is also set against the rainforest but closer to the main lodge. The bathrooms and shower facilities are shared and just steps away. This cabin also comes with a front porch. There is a 400 square foot rancho near our stream and a smaller rancho as well for guests to enjoy.

Responsible tourism practices. How is impact upon Costa Rica's local environment minimized?: Sabalo Lodge runs off a robust solar power system for electrical needs. The ecolodge has installed 100% low voltage florescent bulbs, a timer switch for the refrigerator and biodegradable soaps are used. A grey water system is in development. This area will have raised sides with banana plants and sweet potatoes growing. These two plants help filter the water and the grey water helps us grow food. The ecolodge has special recycling waste baskets in each room. They separate the recycled trash and bring it into the nearest recycling center in the town of Sierpe. Sabalo Lodge does a lot more and a comprehensive overview of ecotourism policies can be found on their website.

How is the local community involved?: Sabalo Lodge donates 5% of itís profits from tourism to the local school in the local community of Sabalo. The lodge sources out fresh produce and fish within a 25 mile radius of the lodge to help give back to the community. They have developed and continue to look for interesting tours that involve the community as well. We use local tour guides and local boat taxis.

Does the presence of ecotourism leave a positive impact upon Costa Rica's local environment and community? If so, how?: Yes. Sabalo Lodge only allows 12 guests at a time to minimize the impact on Osa Peninsula's environment and the local community. Guests are given ecotourism guidelines on how to respect the local community and interact with them. The community of Sabalo has no real commerce so they hope to help a few familyís with new opportunities brought about by tourism. There are no other lodges in this part of the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.

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

Further information: Sabalo Lodge has been instrumental in protecting the environment around the ecolodge. They brought in the health department at our own expense to shut down an illegal foreigner owned pig and chicken farm that was polluting part of the Osa Peninsula. They also reported another foreigner that illegally cut some trees down in the Osa Peninsula.


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