W2 – Ecotourism

Lapa Rios Context

I am studying an eco lodge for nature-conscious tourists such that we can understand how an accommodation for tourists can remain sensitive to nature and be operated sustainably.

Eco lodge is a type of accomodation option for tourists which emphasises on environmental responsibility and try to minimise their negative impact to the environment. Eco lodges are usually active in nature and wildlife conservation, engage local communities as well as practice responsible energy and waste management.

Lapa Rios is one such eco lodge. It is located in Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, which boasts a high level of biodiversity and percentage of protected land. Some of their sustainable practices include the use of solar water heating, vegetable garden and biogas-producing pigs to provide gas for their kitchen. It has 17 units of accomodations which are spaced apart and connected by a wooden pathway. This wooden pathway follows the contour line. The units are propagated mostly in pairs. This ensures that each unit has unobstructed view towards the lush greeneries and the sea. The thatched roofs are made using locally-sourced suiita palm leaves weaved using a technique from the Boruca people of the Osa region.

Eco lodges are commonly located in the midst of natural environment. A critic to such practice is whether doing so is actually doing more harm to the environment which might be better off if left undisturbed. There has also been cases where eco lodges are not truly sustainable and instead simply employed greenwashing as part of their branding strategy. For a truly responsible eco lodge, the end-to-end process from designing to management of the property has to have the environment in mind.

Lapa Rios Plan
Lapa Rios Eco Lodge Circulation
Ecotourism Diagram

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