Eco-Sustainable Osa

Eco-Sustainable Osa and C.S.T. (Certification for Sustainable Tourism).

Sustainability, as a model for development, suggests the need to satisfy society’s current requirements, without compromising the right of future generations to satisfy theirs” (Definition of Tourism Sustainability, CST 1997).


The Osa region including: The Osa Peninsula, Golfo Dulce, Corcovado Nat. Park and Piedras Blancas Nat. Park, has become a worldwide renowned example of sustainable synergy between luscious Rainforest and eco-friendly tourism industry. Due to this, the Osa area received a special honorable mention in the 2016’s 100 TOP Sustainable Destinations list.

Ever since I arrived to this magical place, back in 2011, my perspective on hotels (and life) management completely changed. This place has been the best school for eco-sustainable practices and consciousness about the huge responsibility that we have towards the environment and our planet. This has been a blessing in my life and for those who surround me, since I’ve had the chance to spread around this newly acquired perspective with my loved ones and I’m proud to say that the results have been fantastic and quite rewarding.

Most touristic businesses in the Osa Peninsula have also committed to proper eco-sustainable practices, thanks to the many NGO’s that work side by side with little and big companies in order to mitigate the industry’s impact in this beautiful paradise. Osa has even become an example for the rest of the country, becoming the first area to declare itself free of one-time use plastics (shopping bags, straws, etc.) and the construction of the first school made from bamboo materials (located in Dos Brazos de Río Tigre) in the south side of Golfo Dulce, across Playa Cativo Lodge .

A big incentive for the touristic companies that commit to eco-sustainable practices is the CST (Certification for Sustainable Tourism), with its main purpose being “to turn the concept of sustainability into something real, practical, and necessary in the context of tourism competitiveness in the country, trying to improve the way in which natural and social resources are used, promote an active participation of local communities, and provide a new support for the competitiveness of the entrepreneurial sector” (Definition of Tourism Sustainability, CST 1997).

The level of commitment is represented by leaves (1 to 5 leaves, 5 leaves being the highest rate) and it is a Certification with a lot of national and international recognition. For many national and international eco-tourists, the level of CST of a tourism company can be more important than the number of stars, so it can be a powerful and effective marketing tool.

So, most of the tourism companies in the Osa Peninsula have become eco-conscious, and with it they have support from NGO’s and they receive marketing tools and incentives by the Ministry of Tourism, a combination of factors that have made this initiative very successful and a clear example for the rest of the country and the world. All of this makes me very proud of working and living in the marvelous Osa Region.

Felipe Cruz
Operations at Playa Cativo Lodge