“Our mission is to provide an unforgettable destination for responsible travel while improving the well being of the local population”.We seek to demonstrate that personal wellbeing and health can be successfully combined with high standard in sustainability. Working with the Costa Rica’s Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) ,been member of the Responsible Hotel of the World and of different world wide organizations like: TIES, Sustainable Travel International and Responsible Travel, Samasati is the best Sustainable Tourism Hotel in Central America.
What is Sustainable tourism?
These few quotes from International Conservation Organizations best describe what Sustainable Tourism is:
“Sustainable tourism is an industry committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income and employment for local people. ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_tourism”
The United Nations World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. Rather than being a type of product, it is an ethos that underpins all tourism activities. ... www.visitbritain.com/en/campaigns/green/glossary.aspx
Sustainable Tourism refers to a level of tourism activity that can be maintained over the long term because it results in a net benefit for the social, economic, natural and cultural environments of the area in which it takes place. (ICOMOS, ICTC, 2002) www.picture-project.com/glossaire_list.php3Tourism that is economically, socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable. With sustainable tourism, socio-cultural and environmental impacts are neither permanent nor irreversible.
The making of a Sustainable Nature Retreat
Samasati Nature Retreat has been built without the use of heavy machinery or any major land movement. No clearing of land or cutting of trees, have been performed during the construction of the retreat.
The different buildings have been positioned so that they carry the minimal impact to the environment taking advantage of the existing clearings in the property, therefore preserving the primary and secondary rainforest in its totality.
Two different types of woods have been used in the creation of Samasati: the first type, called “Green Wood”, was obtained with the permit of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) from trees that have fallen naturally over the years around the property and that were cut to size “in situ” and pull to the building sites with Oxen, without impacting the forest with power vehicles or roads; the second type of wood used came from young harvested wood brought from the plantations in the central valley of Costa Rica.
The style of each construction follows the Afro Caribbean Sustainable Architecture and it is built so that there is a maximization of the ventilation, isolation from the heat, protection from the humid climate, and enhancement of the natural elements of the rainforest such as view, sounds, and breeze. The shape of the roofs and the materials provide isolation in each building, all of which minimize considerably the need for electrical appliances to cool them inside.
A special custom-made sewage treatment system was designed by a sanitation engineer for the hotel and a strict control of the treatment of the residual water is kept by the hotel staff and monitored by a sanitation engineer as well as the Department of Health periodically.
A large reservoir tank has been built to collect rainy waters from the roofs, to be re-used for bathrooms and showers.
Conservation of the Natural Surroundings of the Hotel
Since 1996, 80% of the entire property has been legally declared as Private Biological Reserve and all the preservation of the fauna and flora of the entire property has been one of our main goals. Absolutely no exotic species of fauna or flora have been introduced into the rainforest to avoid alterations to the ecosystem.
You can also see a large number of birds on Samasati grounds: the Natural Conservancy from Washington DC did a study and found more than 200 species of different birds: “Samasati Biological Reserve - 250 acres of primary and secondary rainforest - plays a very important role for the existing ecosystems since it protects one of the largest remaining forests in this area, housing many bird species and other living organisms.” (link it to the current article on the birding page)
Conservation and tourism that denies the rights and concerns of local communities is self-defeating. A socially responsible and environmentally viable tourism cannot be fostered without a dialogue constructed and controlled along indigenous needs. Therefore, the planning of actions under which the positive economic development benefits will also flow to local people, and which can minimize negative social and cultural impacts on local residents, has been implemented.
Samasati Nature Retreat only employs people living in the immediate vicinity of the retreat (Hone Creek/Puerto Viejo Village); Our present management team started as basic workers in the cleaning and maintenance department working their way up to top management.
Our workers at any position undergo a constant training in the following areas: Land Conservation, Human Relations, Languages, Labor Issues and Micro Enterprise.
Some of the people that have been with the company from the beginning have gone on to create their own businesses in many cases working with Samasati Nature Retreat as contractors to supply tours and other activities for the foreign visitors.
Samasati helps to supports the development and the maintenance of the local school of Carbon 1, where about 55 students are able to study in the local primary school.
Other Sustainable Practices
Been a sustainable business and having the minimal impact possible on the environment is the central part of our business policies. As further examples, we use only biological products for cleaning and personal hygiene, buy only chemical free vegetables and fruits for our cooking, have a recycling system for plastic and glass, make compost from organic wastage and use the remaining organic trash as food for an animal farm next door, only use energy efficient and low intensity light bulbs and all the staff and personell is trained to use wisely our precious water supply.
Promotion of Sustainable Tourism to Samasati’s guests
The experience of Samasati’s owners (link it to the page : about us), along with their strong values about the preservation of nature have made them important advocates of the protection of the environment and has given them knowledge on how to maintain a safe and healthy natural environment while establishing an eco-tourist destination. Hence, Samasati Nature Retreat has a strong policy regarding pollution of any kind in or outside the property.
Samasati is Nature Retreat that not only presently protects the environment around it, but it also promotes an alternative way of life and a way of construction that is comfortable, energy efficient, safe, and aesthetically in harmony with the environment and surroundings.
Samasati staff does its best to share with our guests the environmental conscience needed to preserve our planet: by having a personal experience of the rainforest while taking care of their well being, we expect to enable our guests to be future active advocates of the protection of nature.
You can help us!
• Turn the lights off every time you leave your room
• Use water wisely and do not let water run unnecesseraly
• Watch and enjoy the wildlife that surrounds you … but do not feed animals, neither touch them;
• Watch and enjoy plants and flowers without collecting them!
• Please do not leave any trash behind you
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead