According to National Geographic´s Center for Sustainable Destinations, “geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents. Geotourism incorporates the concept of sustainable tourism—that destinations should remain unspoiled for future generations—while allowing for ways to protect a place’s character. Geotourism also takes a principle from its ecotourism cousin,—that tourism revenue should promote conservation—and extends it to culture and history as well, that is, all distinctive assets of a place.”
Over the years, Lapa Rios Ecolodge has worked diligently to become a geotourism destination by participating in the following activities:
Luckily, enviornmentally and socially conscious customers who visit Costa Rica have a great tool for assuring that their money is spent in a way that will truly make a positive contribution: the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) administered by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT). This complete, and rigorous, certification system, which is the only certification endorsed by the Costa Rican government, awards hotels “leaves” on a scale of one to five based on their sustainability achievements (much like the Mobile star rating which evaluate hotel services). The CST bases its judgements on four factors:
- Protecting 1,000 acres of lowland tropical rainforest.
- Supporting environmental education efforts in the Osa Peninsula.
- Hosting nightly informational “chats” with guests about the natural and cultural heritage of the Osa Peninsula, thereby communicating a sense of place.
- Working with local biologists and scientific groups to increase knowledge of the biological diversity of the Osa Peninsula Promoting and encouraging manifestations of local culture, including:
- Hosting traditional artisans in the lodge to sell their work to tourists.
- Sponsoring a group of local children who form part a traditional dance troupe.
- Incorporating local dishes, flavors and ingredients into its menu offerings.
- Building the nearby Carbonera School and supporting primary and secondary education in the Osa Peninsula.
- Maintaining architectural integrity by using local, renewable resources and traditional, indigenous designs.
- Striving to achieve the highest levels of sustainability in its operations by installing technologies such as solar panels, biodigestors and more.
- Working with Costa Rica´s prestigious Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST).
- And much more!
To learn more about the concept of geotourism, click here.