Costa Rica Ecotourism

Ecotourism in Costa Rica started several decades ago with the creation of the National Park System and the establishing of the infrastructure which would provide eco lodging to guests visiting the country.

Costa Rica ecotourism has achieved world wide leadership, and is respected as a visionary economic activity which brings guests to protected areas with the intention of helping its conservation, both of flora and fauna, while allowing and contributing to economic and social development and growth of the local population.

Ecotourism Costa Rica is the most relevant economic activity in the country, which has in recent years developed into a broader trend, called sustainable tourism, allowing for bigger developments, that, however, stay focused on sustainable principles based on Costa Rica Ecotourism, where it finds its origin.

Ecotourism in Costa Rica is well exemplified by Selva Bananito Ecolodge, located in the upper Bananito River Watershed, in the Province of Limon, Costa Rica. The Ecolodge Selva Bananito has been conceived from its origins as a way of protecting the natural resources it set aside to guarantee the drinking water supply to the Harbor City of Limon (100.000 inhabitants) while "harvesting" these resources through the added value of different nature and adventure activities.

What makes Selva Bananito Eco Lodge such a good example of ecotourism Costa Rica?

Quite simply, we have been visionaries in how we operate minimizing the impact on the environment, not only during the construction of the lodge by using over 80% of all precious woods obtained from waste woods or salvaged woods, but also during its operation by for example heating the water with solar energy, recycling, not using noisy and polluting generators etc. Additionally, we have over the last years been taking action to make our operation not only environmentally sound, but also climate friendly.

Ecotourism in Costa Rica has a new leading concept in sustainability: Costa Rica Ecotourism is being redefined by practices implemented at Selva Bananito Ecolodge since 2006. We are taking into consideration and know about the impact of international air travel to our destination and have assumed the responsibility of mitigating your flight emissions to Costa Rica, when you book your stay at the Ecolodge Selva Bananito directly with us.

Costa Rica Ecotourism has today a valid and responsible example of how to compensate your flight emissions to Costa Rica, which in average represent 2 tons per person when you visit from North America and approximately 6 tons per person when you fly from Europe.

The best example of Ecotourism in Costa Rica is Selva Bananito Lode & Reserve. Let us help the climate together: let us mitigate you flight emissions hand in hand.


Many tourist resorts in Costa Rica bring visitors in touch with the exquisite beauty of the country, but we are among the very few who have also taken an active stand in environmental protection.

Redefining Eco Tourism: Taking a stand against global warming caused by travel! Selva Bananito Lodge & Reserve is concerned with the impact of carbon emissions caused by "your" air travel to "our" destination. Let us take a stand against climatic change together and make eco tourism truly environmentally friendly. We can mitigate carbon emissions caused by your air travel to our destination hand in hand. To find out how we can offset the carbon emissions caused by air travel while visiting our lodge and reserve together.

Reserva Selva Bananito: The lodge is built on our family farm which our father purchased in 1974 for farming and wood exploitation. Despite a logging permit, our family decided to declare the untouched part of the farm a private, biological reserve ( 850 hectares or 2000 acres ). The lodge was built as an alternative source of income. This was a moral, not economical decision, since it is unlikely that the income generated by the lodge will ever approximate the commercial value of the protected wood.

Fundación Cuencas de Limón: We established a non-profit foundation, Fundación Cuencas de Limón, which has become a regional leader on watershed protection and educational programs. The foundation obtains funding from income generated by Selva Bananito Lodge and private donations.

Socially responsible: All employees at Selva Bananito Lodge are from nearby communities and our bi-lingual guides are from rural areas in the Province of Limón. A substantial part of our shopping is done at local stores. Since our establishment, Selva Bananito Lodge has regularly supported local schools and communal activities.

"Recycling": Of second hand hardwood for the construction 80% of the hardwood used to built the cabins was obtained from "second hand" wood discarded by loggers from trees already cut for other purposes. As much as 20% of a tree is classified as "second hand" and is normally left to waste. We wish to set an example for how to maximize the use of a tree once it is cut down. Using trees efficiently is one way to reduce deforestation.

Environmentally safe operation of the lodge: We operate the lodge in an environmentally friendly way. We heat our water with solar energy, use bio-degradable soaps, compost our bio-degradable waste, purify our waste water with bacteria, enzymes, and water lilies, and recycle plastic bottles, aluminum and glass.

Limited impact on the forest: Rather than building the cabins closer to, or in the rain forest, we purposefully erected them in an area that had already been altered by human activity. We keep the number of visitors that enter the Preserve within strict limits at any given time.

By choosing to come to Selva Bananito Lodge: you become an integral and active part of the conservation process. What you sell and what you consume in North America and Europe has a direct impact on the environment in the tropics.

Please support responsible tourism.