Sustainable living at Costa Rica’s premier green hotel

Finca Exotica is a sustainable eco lodge, built on the foundations of land preservation, organic food production, sustainable building, community outreach, and education programs for guests and locals. The environmental impact of this farm is constantly under review by experts and the local staff to minimize our footprint.

As a responsible green lodge and current caretakers of this land, we aim to craft our consumption patterns and use of mother earth wisely. Sustainable development for us means enjoying the fruits of our labor in ecotourism, education, organic agriculture and research while protecting 125 acres of pristine rain forest and regenerating 90 acres of former cattle pasture.

Finca Exotica eco lodge started with the vision of a permaculture farm, and with sustainability in mind we have written and follow policies related to staff duties, clean energy, low impact construction, product selection, and responsible waste management.

Edible Garden & Farm Design

After 10 years of planning, planting and pampering the grounds, we started giving the plants a boost, laying out a schedule of planting and landscaping to revitalize the farm. The organic garden soil is primed to receive a mixture of plants. We are creating an edible hill right in front of the kitchen, planting a larger variety of fruit trees, various wild native greens, native tubers full of protein and minerals and ornamentals that frame the rejuvenated landscape.
We welcome collaboration from professors, students or experts in agriculture or landscaping. If you are interested please Contact Us

Sustainable Architecture

All constructions are designed to leave the smallest possible footprint, built in a way so that they will be returned to mother earth when no longer being used. As we began constructing the green hotel, we focused on using bamboo and thatch to the extent possible. Minimal amounts of wood were utilized and cement was poured only in the kitchens for hygiene reasons. The wood that was employed in the constructions is sustainably sourced – the end cuts and other scraps that are considered collateral damage in the whole logging process are still from the same excellent hard woods, but the market does not promote their exploitation for reasons of aesthetics and efficiency. We contacted the loggers directly and created a market – telling them that we are exclusively interested in these cuts that are typically thrown aside.

Constructions are spread throughout the farm to lessen the impact and maintain a corridor for wildlife. Tucked into the palms, heliconias and mango trees, here you become immersed in the most authentic experience with nature.

Markus’ Sustainable Construction Guidelines for Jungle Building:

1) Keep the footprint small
2) Don’t pour concrete unless absolutely necessary
3) Use as little hardwood as absolutely necessary
4) Build as much as possible with bamboo
5) Never build inaccessible cavities in the jungle
6) And all of Christopher Alexander’s pattern language applies

Bamboo Architecture

Bamboo has long been used as a building material but is just starting to infiltrate western building styles as an alternative to wood. As bamboo is a grass it grows fast and can be easily managed and harvested. We planted a large variety of bamboo species in the first years on the farm with the intention of creating an on-hand supply of sustainable building materials. Now we draw from this abundant source when new constructions are being designed.

Renewable Energy

Finca Exotica eco lodge runs 100% on renewable energies. We utilize a combination system of water turbines and solar panels to adapt to nature’s rhythms of the seasons. We depend primarily on our 25 solar panels in the summer season, diminishing withdrawal of water from the natural spring to eliminate potential impacts on the ecosystem. In the rainy season, when the cloud cover is extensive, we rely on the abundant volume of water to power the Stream Engine water turbines.

All clothes are dried using solar energy in our covered drying room. We plan to be producing methane gas to cook with, from our pigs and using a biodigestor.

Education

Interested in seeing permaculture in action, or even getting your hands dirty alongside us? We love to share our knowledge and get people involved first hand. At Finca Exotica eco lodge you can enjoy tours of the farm, volunteer in current projects or read from our extensive library on permaculture, botanical plants and health to build up your knowledge of sustainable living. We are currently developing workshops and a more extensive education program for you to learn sustainable practices that apply here and in your own home.

If you want to learn more about how we are applying the principles of permaculture, join us on a sustainability/farm tour where Markus offers anecdotes about the trials and tribulations of the first years on the farm and presents you with the possibility to try exotic new flavors that come in all shapes and sizes.

We also invite professors and students studying organic agriculture or ecology to come and apply their skills here on the farm or in the jungle. Our green farm includes a large variety of ornamentals and edible plants and we love to share and exchange knowledge about this amazing sustainable life system. Finca Exotica eco lodge offers 7 hikes covering over 14km, providing easy access to some of the most diverse old-growth rainforest in Central America the perfect laboratory to engage in biological research.

For details or more information please Contact Us