Hotels and Restaurants in Costa Rica That Are Leading the Way in Sustainability

Go green! | © Rie H. / Flickr
Go green! | © Rie H. / Flickr
Photo of Jenn Parker
31 January 2018

Costa Rica is one of the world’s leaders in sustainable ecotourism. There are close to 400 tourism services with a Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) available in this impressive little country. This is a prestigious ranking that is awarded to hotels, restaurants, and businesses who are upholding the highest standards of eco-tourism. Here are some of the leaders.

Almonds and Corals Hotel, Manzanillo

Almonds & Corals
Courtesy of Almonds and Corals / Expedia

Almonds and Corals is a family-owned boutique glamping hotel perfectly placed in the Gandoca-Manazanillo Wildlife Refuge, and it has earned the highest Certification of Sustainable Tourism award. The open-air concept of the accommodations allows you to truly connect with nature, while being incredibly comfortable. Almonds and Corals is also involved with the Blue Flag Ecological Program.

Selva Bananito Lodge, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Lodge, Boutique Hotel, Eco Hotel
Get out there and connect with nature
Get out there and connect with nature | Courtesy of Selva Bananito Lodge
Selva Bananito Lodge is located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. It is one of the top eco-lodges in the country and has a Certification of Sustainable Tourism. This eco-friendly and sustainable lodge takes great measures to ensure that its carbon footprint is light, the surrounding environment isn’t negatively affected, and their guests have the most positive and memorable experience in this special part of Costa Rica. The birdwatching and wildlife here are spectacular, and there are a number of ways to experience the unique ecology.

Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel & Nature Reserve, San Ramón

Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel sits in the midst of a private cloud forest nature reserve. It provides guests with a unique blend of luxurious boutique accommodations and an immersive experience in the mystical cloud forest. Villa Blanca is dedicated to maintaining harmony with nature and upholding eco-conscious practices on all fronts of its operations and services.

Aguila de Osa

Aguila de Osa is a rainforest and marine adventure lodge on the biologically rich Osa Peninsula. This magnificent lodge is nestled up in the densely verdant hills overlooking Drake Bay. It is the ideal destination for those interested in exploring the Corcovado National Park and Caño Island Biological Marine Reserve. Aguila de Osa is adamant about protecting the environment, while also providing exceptional service to its guests.

Si Como No

Si Como No, like Villa Blanca and Aguila de Osa, is a Greentique Hotel, which means that they are recognized leaders in sustainable hospitality. Reducing their carbon footprint is one of their key objectives at Si Como No, while also providing guests with an extraordinary experience. Si Como No is located on top of a lush hillside that overlooks the world-famous Manuel Antonio National Park. There are several different types of room to choose from, but all are cozy. The location couldn’t be better for embarking on a number of eco-tours, including exploring the park.

El Mirador Restaurant

Restaurant with Rooms, Central American, Fusion, Healthy, Seafood, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica | © Rauldmo / WikiCommons

El Mirador is one of two restaurants at the beachfront and rainforest resort Arenas Del Mar in Manuel Antonio, and has been awarded the Certificate of Sustainable Tourism. The view of the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park from this exquisite eco-friendly restaurant was listed in 1000 Places to See Before You Die. The menu features locally inspired dishes made with sustainably sourced ingredients.

El Tigre Vestido Restaurant

Restaurant, Puerto Rican, 0
Central Valley views
Central Valley views | Courtesy of Cayuga Collection

El Tigre Vesido Restaurant is part of the eco-friendly green hotel Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort, which has been recognized by National Geographic as one of the “Unique Lodges of the World.” El Tigre Vestido’s chef collects the freshest and finest ingredients from the organic garden, orchards, and working farm on the Finca Rosa Blanca property. It is a truly farm-to-table experience.

El Búho Vegetariano

Restaurant, Vegetarian, $$$
El Búho bowl
El Búho bowl | Courtesy of El Búho Vegetariano

El Búho Vegetariano is a deletable vegetarian restaurant in the capital city of San Jose that is dedicated to sourcing, preparing, and serving satisfying meals that are also eco-friendly. Their fresh and organic ingredients are locally grown by Costa Rican farmers. Their menu changes based on seasonal ingredients, but features an exciting variety of salads, cold pastas, and homemade tortilla dishes, and there is always a special soup, plate, and drink of the day.


Bistro, Restaurant, Central American, Fusion, Healthy, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
Finest fish tacos in town
Finest fish tacos in town | Courtesy of Sprout

Sprout is a family-owned restaurant in Playa Tamarindo. The eclectic menu features scrumptious dishes like fish tacos, giant salad bowls, a grilled vegetable wrap, and a honey chipotle chicken sandwich. All of the ingredients used in the preparation of the dishes are fresh, organic, and sustainably sourced. The menu changes based on what produce is available from the local farmers and fishers. Sprout is committed to maintaining the perfect balance of quality and sustainability.

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