Lapa Rios In The Community

Along with nature conservation, education and community development are the most important aspects of Lapa Rios Lodge’s commitment to sustainability. Learn about our long-time, brand new and ongoing community initiatives below.


Ways We Support Our Community
Carbonera School

Over 20 Years of Sustainable Community Development at the Foot of our Nature Reserve

In the early 1990s, Lapa Rios set about building the Carbonera School next to the nature reserve. Since then, through the generous donations of our guests, the lodge has supported the education of elementary school children in this remote part of Costa Rica for two and a half decades, including some of our very own Lapa Rios staff members.

At the time of Carbonera’s creation, most local families were illiterate and unaccustomed to the idea of their children attending school. The majority lived off the food they raised, with farmers using slash and burn techniques, depleting the rainforest for their personal survival. Very few respected or understood the rich biodiversity of the region, and the opportunity that conservation offered.

Carbonera School was one of the first sustainable development initiatives in the community. Still today, the young students and community at large continue to benefit from both formal and environmental education. Local residents have become ever more aware that a forest left standing is more valuable than one cut down, and continue to learn about alternative lifestyles.

Guests are invited to visit Carbonera School during their stay at Lapa Rios.

Annual Lapathon Race

Lapa Rios’ Osa Peninsula Rainforest Run

Lapathon is an annual fundraising rainforest race organized by Lapa Rios. Run by Lapa Rios staff, guests and local residents, it’s a highlight of the year for the community. Read more about the race here.

Lapa Rios Guide School

Inspiring a New Generation of Naturalist Guides & Conservationists on the Osa Peninsula

At Lapa Rios, our in-house guides have a cumulative experience of almost 50 years. That’s a lot of knowledge worth sharing. In 2016, Danilo – our most practiced guide – pioneered the Lapa Rios Guide School. His objective was to train up new guides from the local area to have a reserve for the hotel, and to raise the overall standards of tour quality in the area, ending the days of “importing” guides to the Osa.

Since 2016, Danilo’s weekly classes have grown. They are attended by various Lapa Rios staff members of different hotel departments as well as local tourism students. The school’s reach is potentially great: by training the guides on our philosophy of nature conservation and sustainability, we hope to inspire a new generation of advocates for the preservation of the surrounding rainforest.

Travel Responsibly, Travel Comfortably

“I loved every minute of my stay here, and was so glad to be a part of such a responsible lodge that is doing a lot of great things for the local community and staff, creating ways for everyone to develop themselves. Just go, it’s a guilt-free, sustainable and incredibly enjoyable experience without giving up your comfort. It’s the unlikely combination that just works.”

– Muna, Jordan

Questions About Sustainability At Lapa Rios?