The Central American country is among the 15 finalists of the National Geographic World Legacy Awards. NatGeo gives these to honor the companies, organizations and destinations that lead the way in the best practices on tourism.

The Cayuga Collection destination is the place selected for both Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Currently, it has eight award-winning eco-friendly hotels and lodges. These places are fully committed to preserving the communities and ecosystems in the country. The award winners will be announced at ITB Berlin on March 8, 2017.

In Costa Rica, the Caguya Collection has up to seven properties that include: Kura Design Villas in Bahia Ballena; Arenas del Mar in Manuel Antonio; Finca Rosa Blanca in Santa Barbara, Heredia; Lapa Rios in Osa Peninsula; Latitud 10 in Santa Teresa, Puntarenas; Grano de Oro in San Jose; and the Harmony Hotel in Guiones Beach, Nosara, Guanacaste.

The collection has a final goal of not using fresh water for irrigation. Through the use of treatment plants that reuse waste water to keep green areas irrigated. Another environmental innovation is water heating using solar panels as a power source. Plastic bottles and straws were replaced with reusable glass bottles and recyclable bamboo straws.

Cayuga, aided by Osa Conservation also aids scientific research at Lapa Rios. Together they protect wild feline populations, considered highly endangered species. Additionally, they even have their own NGO in Earth Equilibrium, the initiative provides environmental education to the community children.

Other initiatives include the “plant-a-tree” program, electric go-karts and promotion of biogas use to reduce propane. There’s also the “Dock-to-dish” plan that’s in initial stages. Its objective is to connect the local fishermen with restaurant chefs to preserve marine species.

The Cayuga Way

At the Caguya Collection, they have developed a philosophy on a new form of living. By doing things right, doing them clean and making it enjoyable for each one of their visitors along the way. Because of this, the tourism operator is leading the pack in sustainable alternatives in the Americas.

“The Caguya Way is to do things right, experience, learn, connect and relax are the pillars of a great vacation. You can expect to have elements of those four things at any of the Caguya Collection Hotels” says Hans Pfister, president of Cayuga Collection.

With the use of Caguya Sustainable Hospitality, the owners of the facility Andrea Bonilla and Hans Pfister are both graduates in eco-tourism at the Hotel School of Ithaca, Cornell. They have dedicated themselves to make small, sustainable hotels, resorts and lodges that respond to both luxury and ecology.

Green Luxury Vacation

“Sustainability isn’t easy because if it were easy, anybody would do it.” Says Pfister, that’s why it wouldn’t work if weren’t the company’s philosophy.  Therefore, his and Bonilla’s idea of being environmentally friendly is a perfect match with Costa Rica’s eco-friendly way of life. The “Pura Vida” kind of living has attracted the right people to take the country to the next level of human society.

To the company’s VP, Andrea Bonilla, there’s no point in treating the guests as kings and queens if they’re not doing their part to the environment. People at the resorts teach the visitors about Costa Rican culture, community and preserving nature. They’re hoping that returning visitors make a difference at their home countries later.

The Different Places of Costa Rica’s Paradise

At the Manuel Antonio area, people won’t have to choose between the view and the beach. Every room has the best of both worlds, in other words, at Manuel Antonio the choice seems to be how to be happy or happier.

The Finca Rosa Blanca is just a short drive away after you land in Costa Rica, the place offers you beautiful gardens and a plethora of places to feel like home. They also offer the how-to’s on making gourmet coffee at their own plantation, there you can experience coffee cupping and taste the best beverages the nation can give.

Latitude 10 creators originally built it as a hangout for the summer. Its beaches are blessed by nature places you’ll want to share stories with other visitors. As a result, it’s the sort of place that welcomes you to be a local with its beaches, cantinas and wonderful town.

At the heart of San Jose, Hotel Grano de Oro is a natural splendor within the city. Formerly a Tropical Victorian mansion, it still has the coziness of a private home along with everything that a top hotel has to offer.

Just beside the pristine beaches of Costa Rica, people can surf away their worries at the Harmony Hotel premises. Due to its tropical beauty, green inspires green at Nosara, the surfer town that welcomes tourists to be part of the deep relaxation experience.

As a National Geographic Unique Lodge, Lapa Rios brings one of the most comfortable places to be, its sustainability makes it a pioneer in its kind as a renowned model for eco-tourism. Above all, Lapa Rios gathers thousands of species, it can be a true adventure and unforgettable experience.