Cuba & Costa Rica Blog
About this blog
Written by Cuba and Costa Rica expert Christopher P. Baker, this blog will update readers on life in these two diverse and exciting countries.
- Last blog post on Costa Rica and Cuba
- First-ever group motorcycle tours of Cuba successful
- Cuba’s Mariel port readying for Panama Canal expansion
- Musings on wildlife encounters on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
- Cuba’s Steam Trains puffing their last gasp
- My top five thrilling activities in Costa Rica
- Cuba’s fun February festivals include Harleys, Books, Cigars
- Five top volcano viewing experiences in Costa Rica
- New road along Costa Rica / Nicaraguan border mired
- Cuba’s Hotel Campoamor at Cojímar to be restored?
- Cuban revolutionary Celia Sánchez honored in new book
- Christmas challenge for Costa Rica’s sexually abused girls
- Costa Rica opens Chinatown in downtown San José
- David Soul films Hemingway’s car restoration in Cuba
- National Geographic Expeditions receives license for Cuba tours
Costa Rica hotels face closure following environmental report
Costa Rica's Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo has named almost 50 properties, including eight hotels, on the Corcovado peninsula as being in default of environmental regulations following a recent investigation.
The properties in question are "Corcovado Lodge" (Corcovado Tent Camp) and La Leona Lodge, near Carate; Águila de Osa Inn, Hotel Jinetes de Osa, Hotel Pirate Cove, and La Paloma Lodge, all in Drake Bay; and Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge and Proyecto Campanario, between Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park.
The tribunal claims that several of the hotels have been built illegally within 50 meters for the mean high tide mark. As such, the properties could face demolition. Other hotels are accused of invasion of water sources with construction, inappropriate disposal of garbage, and mishandling of waste water.
If the hotels can prove that they were built before the Maritime Law went into effect in 1977, they can appeal for a court stay, although the laws do not allow for an automatic grandfather clause for buildings erected in the 50-meter zone prior to 1977.
The Aguila de Osa Inn, owned by my friend Brad Johnson, is named as one of the most problematic properties, as in addition to multiple constructions in the 50-meter zone it also encroaches on the estuary of the Río Agujas, where the boat and dive shops overhanging the rivermouth are named as a potential source of pollution. Manager Olman Brenes denies the charges and from my own experience, I can vouch for the conscientiousness of Brad and his staff when it comes to environmental issues. In fact, Aguila de Osa is a member of Greentique Hotels, dedicated to sustainable tourism.
Meanwhile, Costa Rica Expedition's Corcovado Tent Lodge (called "Corcovado Lodge" in the tribunal’s report), near Carate, has been closed since August 2008 to make way for a new and far more deluxe hotel inland, on a forest-swathed hill. I'm excited by what owner Michael Kaye will produce, as I'm a huge fan of his Monteverde Lodge (Monteverde) and Tortuga Lodge (Tortuguero) , which set a standard for environmentally sustainable hotels.
Meanwhile, Brian Chaves, owner of Jinetes de Osa, appears sanguine about events and is already planning to rebuild further inland of Drake Bay.
The investigation is ongoing.
For further information about travel in Costa Rica, buy Moon Costa Rica
Copyright © Christopher P. Baker