El Sur de Turrubares
San José Central Pacific, Costa Rica
“There is something wonderful about finding such a beautiful lodge at the end of a journey.” TripAdvisor Review
Hidden in the Costa Rican forest guests will find the Macaw Lodge, the perfect destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers.
A unique location in the transition zone between wet and dry forests - means visitors will see species of animals not found anywhere else. Over 350 different species of migratory and resident birds can be found!
Every aspect of the Macaw Lodge was designed to be in harmony with the surrounding forest and offers a place for guests to relax to the rhythm of nature. Macaw Lodge received the Blue Flag last year and is certified by CST (Certificate of Sustainable Tourism ) with three leaves, the goal for next year is five leaves.
- Learn how to identify different species of birds during an Early Morning Bird Walk.
- Walk the Lodge’s 5 hectare Eden-like botanical garden.
- Relax and bathe in the Macao Reserve Cascade.
- Listen to the sound of frogs and birds as you fall asleep.
- Yoga workshops
“From the beginning, this project was carried out with environmental protection in mind.”
being local - authentic experiences
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Rooms & Amenities
- 8 rooms and 4 cabins
All the windows in the guest rooms and cabins have special brass mesh screens to enjoy the breeze in the comfort of your own room.
- Rooms include: 2 full beds, ceiling fan, private bathroom built from local marble, solar heated hot water, therapeutic mattress, and bed spreads woven by the Maya of the Guatemalan Atitlan area.
- Cabins include: 1 queen bed and 2 single beds, a balcony surrounded by botanical gardens and wooded areas, and a fully equipped kitchen.Guests can choose a 3-meal or 2-meal package.
The Story Behind Macaw Lodge
During the 1980’s, Costa Rica was suffering from a rapid decline in forest resources. In search of a better life many locals hoped agriculture would be the way to prosperity but after many years of trying, the results were poor.
To prevent further loss of forests the Government created Forestry Incentive Certificates as an alternative for agricultural land use. It was then that Santuario de Macao Limitada – the farm where Macaw Lodge is located took its first steps to reforest the property with Teak and Melina.
The Macaw Lodge continues the protection and healing of the forest which began with Santuario de Macao Limitada. The lodge is a model for sustainable development through eco-tourism, at the heart of the lodge is the conservation of the scarlet macaw.
These changes in land use and the combination of different agroforestry products led to an increase in production and income options, at the same time that an ecological tourism and research project that seeks sustainability and harmony with the environment was initiated.
The project includes: ecotourism; an exotic, tropical, botanical garden for ex situ conservation; protection of our own forests through the Environmental Incentives Program (PSA, by its Spanish acronym); reforestation; planting of tree species that will provide nourishment year-round to the scarlet macaw and other wildlife in the area; and permaculture.
Furthermore, a philosophy of providing research assistance in support of both the national and international scientific community, as well as employment for people in surrounding communities was established.
- Energy and Water Consumption
- Sustainable Farming
- Scarlet Macaw Conservation
Macaw Lodge’s commitment to sustainability started with the construction of the lodge. All of the construction crew and materials were local.
The timber came from a plantation and was sawn and processed at the farm’s mill. Another source of timber came after the flooding of the Tarcoles River due to Tropical Storm Thomas.
To prevent further damage down stream all the trees swept away by the flood needed to be removed from the river. It has been many years since a timber structure of such caliber was built from fully sustainable wood. In total 68 m3 of wood was used in construction, an important number because 1 m3 of wood stores 1 ton of carbon.
All the bamboo used in construction was sourced from the Lodge’s own plantations. Most floors and bathrooms are made from locally extracted and polished stone. Local craftsmen built the furniture.
Energy and Water Consumption
The Macaw Lodge is off the grid! All of the Lodge’s energy needs are met through solar energy. To reduce their energy demand, LED lights and low voltage ceiling fans were installed.
All the water used in the Lodge comes from its own spring, which is treated without the use of any harmful chemicals.
To conserve water dual-flow toilets, dry urinals, and low-flow shower heads were installed. Water use at the Macaw Lodge is a closed system with sewage sent to a bio-digestor and grey water going to a water bed.
Around the Lodge a tropical botanical garden is being developed for ex situ conservation (conservation outside its natural habitat).
The 5 hectare garden has a collection of 500 plant species from around the world including ornamental, medicinal, and agricultural plants.
Garden planning has made it possible to group plants by family, and its “colorful” landscape contrasts with the multiple shades of green of the natural forest that surrounds it.
An onsite sustainable farm provides fruits and vegetables for the Lodge.
Guests can go on guided tours of the farm and learn more about composting, vermiculture, hydroponics, aquaponics, mixed crops, timber plantations, and many more, in addition to its implementation and sustainable management.
Scarlet Macaw Conservation
The Macaw Lodge is creating a sanctuary for the Scarlet Macaw. To attract the macaws the Lodge has planted a multiple species of plants to supply food all year round.