With the implementation of several projects that are aimed at conserving Nosara’s environment, culture, and economy, Hotel Lagarta Lodge has become an important source of the country’s sustainable tourism. The community of Nosara, in Guanacaste, has felt the benefits of these actions.
The hotel reopened recently with a more modern image, but they have been working on their environmentally friendly practices since 2003. In 2015 there were awarded five leaves for the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST), which is the highest level.
“Since the beginning, Lagarta Lodge has been committed to fulfilling the rigorous certification process to ensure that its operation has the smallest negative impact on the environment possible,” said Allan Ortega, the hotel’s manager.
Lagarta Lodge’s model of environmental sustainability includes a wide range of practices that seek to create harmony between nature and humans.
Within the hotel programs have been developed to separate wastes and recycling, as well as a program to save water, use highly biodegradable products, treat swimming pools with salt (a friendlier practice), and use returnable bottles.
Several sustainable elements stand out on the hotel’s grounds include: solar-heated water, LED light bulbs, sensors and photocells, systems that turn off electricity in rooms and save water, as well as two cutting-edge treatment plants that allow the hotel to reuse water for the gardens.
On the community level, Lagarta Lodge heads the Local Playa Nosara Ecological Blue Flag Committee. They also help to keep the beaches clean and support the Barri-Guiones reforestation project.
In an alliance with the Ecovida Foundation, the hotel strategically protects its own biological reserve, where it focuses on conservation, ecotourism, research, and social support through environmental education in the community.
These efforts are complemented by many actions that guarantee good working condition conditions for employees, support workshops for workplace training, and encourage regional culture and customs by giving local artists a platform to exhibit their wares.
“Our vision as a hotel is not just for our guests to have a high-quality experience, but also to reach a balance among economic benefits, social equality, and environmental sustainability,” said Ortega.