Frommer's and Fodor's Praise Nicuesa Eco-Adventure Lodge in Costa Rica

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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge (http://www.nicuesalodge.com) in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica earns special mentions for its mix of conservation with adventure and unique lodging facilities, considering it an outstanding example of what ecotourism has now become. The article elaborates on the trend for eco-friendly lodge offerings not only having the expected commitment to conservation and community support, but also their focus on developing "jungle chic" nature-inmersive vacation experiences.

Best Ecolodges & Wilderness Resorts

“Gone are the simplistic days of ecotourism.” With this stern remark, Fodor’s world renown guidebook opened its 2006 edition as they introduced their section for ecolodges, and awarded Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge (http://www.nicuesalodge.com) a star for considering it “one of the best in Costa Rica”. Similarly, Frommer’s new Costa Rica guidebook touted Nicuesa Lodge as one of the “Best Ecolodges & Wilderness Resorts” in the country, considering it an outstanding example of what ecotourism has now become. The trend being pointed out by the two guidebooks makes reference to new vacation-lodge offerings which not only have the expected commitment to conservation of the ecosystems and support of the communities to which they relate, but also focus on the development of unique vacation experiences which permit the visitor to be immersed in and enjoy the adventure of being in direct contact with nature. In the words of Michael and Donna Butler, owner/operators of Nicuesa Lodge: “We are serious about promoting conservation and learning about the environment, making sure our guests have a great time doing so. People come here to have active adventures in a beautiful and pristine place, and they can do this while also learning a great deal about the rainforest and marine environment. This way they have a great time and leave understanding why it is important to conserve natural places.”

Just as importantly, Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is part of the new generation of ecotourism lodges which offer unique and comfortable “jungle chic” accommodations and great food. Gone are the days where ecotourism meant roughing it or staying in a summer camp cabin, indeed. Butler notes: “we have many guests that can go to a luxury beach resort if they want, but they are really looking for a special and more authentic experience. I think most of our guests have found this here.” Nevertheless, after a day of activities in the wild, guests also appreciate a hot shower in the lodge’s open air garden showers and a great Latin cuisine meal prepared with freshly caught fish, tropical fruits and other local ingredients.

This unusual Lodge, located in the Golfo Dulce (“Sweet Gulf”) of the Osa Peninsula region of Costa Rica, provides a secluded playground with 165-acres of preserved rain forest within the Piedras Blancas National Park; where guests can enjoy many trails of varying difficulty and abundant doses of waterfalls, exotic birds, flowers, and wildlife. On the front-door beach side, its black pebbled beach displays the sparkling Golfo Dulce, with its 80°F waters. Additionally, the fleet of kayaks, snorkeling gear, and fishing & touring and sailing boats, provide limitless discovery of the nearby mangroves and the gulf’s own scenic beauty; including the chance of encountering arcing dolphins and experiencing one of the best fishing spots in the world. (Special themed adventure packages can be viewed here http://www.nicuesalodge.com/specials.html)

The Lodge itself also reflects the new trend towards incorporating the lodging experience with the enjoyment of nature. All buildings were designed to co-exist with nature, while creating a seamless and enjoyable transition from indoors to outdoors. Sustainable development principles were incorporated to the design and operation of the lodge and include features such as roofing tiles made from recycled plastics including bags used in the banana plantations, and electricity service provided by a modern solar system designed especially for the lodge. The main lodge is like a palatial tree house, where guests lounge about and take in the sight of the surrounding exotic gardens, as well as enjoy the imaginative meals elaborated with fresh local produce. Private cabins and a 4-room guesthouse are scattered and hidden within the rainforest, and powered service is friendly yet professionally executed by the owners and their staff -comprised in large part by locals such as Tomás: a local hunter turned guide/fisherman and Carlos a locally born and fluent English speaking nature-guide.

By providing a perfect blend of comfort and environmental preservation, complemented by a lodging facility which offers guests luxurious amenities and the enjoyment of Costa Rica’s nature sports options, it is not surprising then that Fodor’s would consider Nicuesa Lodge to be a “hands down” winner and forerunner for a new generation of ecolodges to come.

Travel Writers: Nicuesa Lodge encourages travel writers to submit proposals to visit the lodge; offering coverage of lodging, meals, and activities at the lodge. Please submit proposals with updated curriculum and detailed intention to contact info enclosed (or visit http://www.nicuesalodge.com/contact.asp).

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is an environmentally sensitive lodge set on a 165-acre private preserve in the undeveloped Pacific Coast of Southern Costa Rica. The lodge embraces conservation and harmony with the natural environment and caters to travelers interested in ecotourism, nature, adventure and sports. It is located within the Piedras Blancas National Park, and fronts the coastline of the Golfo Dulce. For information and reservations contact toll-free: 1-866-348-7610 or visit their website at http://www.nicuesalodge.com.

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Daniel Chavarria
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