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George Duffy

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Posted on: Thursday May 03, 2018
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Arenas del Mar, Costa Rica

The region of Puntarenas in Costa Rica is home to Costa Rica's first national park, Manuel Antonio National Park. The park is well visited and famous for its capuchin monkeys, three towed sloths and some of the prettiest beaches in the country. It is in this dramatic and wild environment we find one of the most beautiful high end boutique hotels in Costa Rica. But it's much more than just a pretty place. The hotel is operated according to the highest standards of sustainability.

Here is what they report.

All transportation on property is run on clean-burning, electric-fueled golf carts. These golf carts help us to drastically reduce our carbon dioxide emissions and also help us to maintain a quiet atmosphere so that guests can enjoy the pristine natural areas surrounding the property.

We also have:

    Solar panels to heat hot water coupled with energy saving auxiliary water heaters.
    Energy efficient lighting and illumination throughout the entire property.
    Chlorine free ionization systems to clean pool water.
    Low-flow toilets.
    Non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products.

At Arenas Del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, we have installed extensive recycling facilities to reduce the amount of waste that we produce on property. Additionally, all organic waste is reused in our onsite composting station to produce a natural fertilizer that we can use to maintain our native plant garden.

We also have:

    A state of the art treatment plant so water leaving our properties will not affect the surrounding water sources.
    An advanced vermiculture-based compost system to recycle organic waste.
    Bamboo Straws

From the initial construction of Arenas del Mar in 2006 to our day-to-day operations today, we have taken strict measures to ensure that all of our practices meet the highest possible sustainability standards in all facets of our operations. Below are some examples of our pioneering initiatives:

Underground electricity systems that do not interfere with surrounding wildlife as well as other environmentally friendly construction practices. Several roofs have trees penetrating their eaves to avoid cutting any trees during the construction process. Moreover, the restaurant and spa were built around the configuration of the trees so it almost disappears into the canopy where it is integrated. The materials in the construction are used for seismic security, and no tractors of any kind to refrain from negative construction impact.

Roof tiles made from discarded plastic bags from the banana industry. Due to the coloration of these tiles, coupled with the integration of the flora of the area, it is almost impossible to see our hotel from the beach or even overhead from the air coloration and the integration of the flora of the area. We utilize three different colored roofing shingles and recycled plastic tiles designed and fabricated to blend in with the local coloration of flora of the area. Recycled materials are used throughout the property.

Cultural Activities
Hiring staff from the local community and supporting local artists and businesses throughout the gift shop and spa.
Adhering to national, legal codes of conduct.

Biodiversity

All plants on the Arenas Del Mar property are native to Costa Rica and can be found growing naturally in this area of the country. Native plant landscaping eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and drastically cuts down on water consumption (as exotic species often tend to consume more water).


Private reserve and reforestation

Arenas Del Mar owns 11 acres of land and the total construction covers less than 25% of the property itself; the rest, over 8 acres, has become a private nature reserve that acts as an ecological corridor to expand the area surrounding Manuel Antonio National Park (one of Costa Rica’s most popular national parks and home to monkeys, sloths, rare birds and other creatures of the rainforest).

Arenas Del Mar was built on what used to be a plantain farm which had a lot of early growth secondary forest springing up around the farmed areas. Over the last 20 years, we have planted 7,000 species of native trees and thousands of endemic plants that would have been found in the area before it was converted to agriculture.

Annually, international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and to include hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens. The trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them (i.e. food, leather, musical instruments, timber, tourist souvenirs, medicines, etc).

Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are so high that, together with habitat loss and other factors, their populations could be depleted to bring them to extinction. The trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries, thus the importance of international cooperation.

CITES accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs. Not one species protected by CITES has become extinct as a result of trade since the Convention entered into force.

Like what you read about this amazing resort? Would you like to know more and other ecoresorts? Contact me.


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