Our hotel is set in eleven acres of nature with private nature trails filled with wildlife and access to two beautiful beaches. Inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds us, we at Arenas del Mar are committed to demonstrating that a world class resort can successfully combine the highest levels of sustainability, rigorous standards in environmental stewardship and social responsibility, all while operating completely carbon neutral. Learn more about our other programs below and be sure to take our complimentary Easy Being Green Tour when you visit. Arenas del Mar is a member of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges – learn more about sustainable practices and policies of this group of hotels here.


turismo_sostenibleWe are proud to share that our years of dedication to sustainable practices have been recognized beyond the property: the Costa Rican Tourism Board’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) Program recently evaluated our practices based on a set of four rigorous evaluation criteria on “sustainable models of natural, cultural and social resource management” and awarded us with Five (out of a possible five) Leaves for our pioneering initiatives in sustainable hospitality. For more information on this renowned program, please click here.

Saving Enery

Saving EnergyAll transportation on property is run on clean-burning, electric-fueled golf carts. These golf carts help us to drastically reduce our carbon dioxide emissions and also help us to maintain a quiet atmosphere so that guests can enjoy the pristine natural areas surrounding the property.

We also have:

  • Solar panels to heat hot water coupled with energy saving auxiliary water heaters.
  • Energy efficient lighting and illumination throughout the entire property.

Water Management and Conservation

Water Management and ConservationWe use:

  • Chlorine free ionization systems to clean pool water.
  • Low-flow toilets.
  • Non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products.

Waste Management

Waste ManagementAt Arenas Del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, we have installed extensive recycling facilities to reduce the amount of waste that we produce on property. Additionally, all organic waste is reused in our onsite composting station to produce a natural fertilizer that we can use to maintain our native plant garden.

We also have:

Other Operations & Construction

OperationsFrom the initial construction of Arenas del Mar in 2006 to our day-to-day operations today, we have taken strict measures to ensure that all of our practices meet the highest possible sustainability standards in all facets of our operations. Below are some examples of our pioneering initiatives:

  • Underground electricity systems that do not interfere with surrounding wildlife as well as other environmentally friendly construction practices. Several roofs have trees penetrating their eaves to avoid cutting any trees during the construction process. Moreover, the restaurant and spa were built around the configuration of the trees so it almost disappears into the canopy where it is integrated. The materials in the construction are used for seismic security, and no tractors of any kind to refrain from negative construction impact.
  • Roof tiles made from discarded plastic bags from the banana industry. Due to the coloration of these tiles, coupled with the integration of the flora of the area, it is almost impossible to see our hotel from the beach or even overhead from the air coloration and the integration of the flora of the area. We utilize three different colored roofing shingles and recycled plastic tiles designed and fabricated to blend in with the local coloration of flora of the area.
  • Recycled materials used throughout the property.
  • The Sustainability Tour – “Easy Being Green”
  • Cultural Activities
  • Hiring staff from the local community and supporting local artists and businesses throughout the gift shop and spa.
  • Adhering to national, legal codes of conduct.

Conservation of Biodiversity

Conservation of Biodiversity

All plants on the Arenas Del Mar property are native to Costa Rica and can be found growing naturally in this area of the country. Native plant landscaping eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and drastically cuts down on water consumption (as exotic species often tend to consume more water). We also have:

Private reserve and reforestation

Arenas Del Mar owns 11 acres of land and the total construction covers less than 25% of the property itself; the rest, over 8 acres, has become a private nature reserve that acts as an ecological corridor to expand the area surrounding Manuel Antonio National Park (one of Costa Rica’s most popular national parks and home to monkeys, sloths, rare birds and other creatures of the rainforest).

Arenas Del Mar was built on what used to be a plantain farm which had a lot of early growth secondary forest springing up around the farmed areas. Over the last 20 years, we have planted 7,000 species of native trees and thousands of endemic plants that would have been found in the area before it was converted to agriculture.


Annually, international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and to include hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens. The trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them (i.e. food, leather, musical instruments, timber, tourist souvenirs, medicines, etc).


Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are so high that, together with habitat loss and other factors, their populations could be depleted to bring them to extinction. The trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries, thus the importance of international cooperation.


CITES accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs. Not one species protected by CITES has become extinct as a result of trade since the Convention entered into force.


  • Do not buy products derived from endangered flora or fauna species (i.e. fur, turtle eggs, turtle products, leather, ornamental plants, medicinal plants, etc).
  • Do not extract any products from any forest.
  • Protect nature, and report it to the proper authorities if you notice any illegal poaching (of flora or fauna).
  • Do not buy live flora or fauna that are endangered.

When visiting natural areas in general, always remember:

  • Arenas Del Mar prohibits the feeding of any animal. As cute as an animal can appear, please do not feed them, this will interrupt their natural habitat and habits and can infect them with viruses or bacteria. Moreover, it will cause these animals to become dependent on humans.
  • It is prohibited at Arenas Del Mar to hunt any wild animals. Please report any illegal or strange activity you might see along the trails, around the hotel or in its surrounding areas.
  • Remember to leave natural areas pristine and beautiful. Do not leave any trash behind during your visit.
  • Arenas Del Mar prohibits the extraction of any flora out of protected areas or nearby beaches. Please do not take any samples of plants, branches, flowers or seashells that you might find in our paths, nature trails or along the sand, no matter how beautiful they may appear.
  • Keep your eyes down while walking. Be mindful of your step.
  • When you want to look at something, stop moving! Look before touching.

For more detailed information on regulations or endangered species visit the CITES website at Thank you for choosing to stay with us. Your visit contributes with our sustainable efforts and with this you are making a difference!

Community Development: Giving Back

Community Development: Giving BackWe believe that the well-being of our local communities is integral to forming a
successful plan for sustainable tourism and development. We currently help our communities
through the following two principal programs: “Building for the Future” and “Natural Curiosity.” Building for the Future focuses on providing schools with needed infrastructure and supplies. Schools in the area are marginalized and poor, lacking adequate infrastructure, essential classroom supplies such as pencils, papers, chalk, and crayons, and even basic music, art, and physical education programs. Among the local community schools, we are working with the Sabalo School. Meanwhile, “Natural Curiosity” supports the environmental education efforts of the Titi Conservation Alliance, a local organization working on the protection and conservation of the Titi (squirrel) monkey. Their environmental education program works with five local schools and teaches children about conservation and sustainability. We support these programs by working with the 501c3 nonprofit Earth Equilibrium. You can donate towards any package below and are tax deductible. When at Arenas Del Mar donations can be made directly at our front desk. To learn more about Earth Equilibrium’s work please visit

Building for the Future

Solid Waste Management

Community Development: Solid Waste ManagementManagement of solid waste reduces or eliminates adverse impacts on the
environment, human health, and improves quality of life. At Sabalo School we are a
building a small recycling storage facility for the community. The school, as part of a larger community solid waste management initiative, will manage it.Fundraising goal: $3,500 (for construction materials and basic equipment to store and label recyclables)


The majority of children at Sabalo School come from very impoverished households. Many families can only afford one solid meal a day, so purchasing the school uniform, which is a requirement for attending public school, is a real stretch for most families that want to send their children to school.

Fundraising goal: $1,640

$82 per uniform package

(3 shirts, 2 pants or 1 pant/ one skirt, 3 pairs of socks, 1 pair of shoes)


Affording textbooks is also a luxury and the absence of them makes teaching
and learning the basics quite challenging. We provide each child a set of grade
appropriate, Ministry of Education approved, textbooks to stimulate imagination
and develop curiosity for learning.

One contribution of $400 will allow us to get all the textbooks for the children of Sabalo School.


A library can provide space for learning and building knowledge and confidence
in seeking and processing information. Most rural schools do not have access to
anything that would resemble a small library. Our goal is to assemble a collection of classic books for children in first through sixth grade.

Fundraising goal: $700

Environmental Education Program

Innovative and dynamic environmental education program where creativity is
central to learning about the natural world.

Fundraising goal: $1,000

20 children, $50 per child.

Natural Curiosity

Community Development: Natural CuriositySupporting the environmental education efforts of the Titi Consevation Alliance, protecting and conserving Squirrel Monkey.

Fundraising goal: $6,000; 120 children, $50 per child.

Help us reach the Goal

Send Checks to: Donate Online:
Earth Equilibrium Inc.
1061 Mountainview
Duxbury, Vermont 05676
Go to: Earth Equlibrium Donations
Select Geography: Manuel Antonio, Quepos

Climate Change

How We Are Keeping the Planet Cool!

How We Are Keeping the Planet Cool

At Arenas Del Mar we wanted to know just how much we were contributing towards global warming, we wanted to know the size of our carbon footprint, or how much green-house gases we were emitting so that we could take the necessary steps to minimize that contribution and do our small part to keep the planet cool.

We did our due dilligence and using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol methodology we calculated our footprint. It turns out that every year we put out about 190 tons of carbondioxide per year. This includes the gasoline, diesel, and gas that we use; plus the refrigerant gases associated with our airconditioners and refrigerators, plus all the electricity we consume. In Costa Rica, we’re lucky. About 93% of our electricity is generated from water, a clean energy source that does not produce greenhouse gases. This simple fact helps keep our overall footprint down significantly.

190 tons of carbon is the equivalent of what 32 average size automobiles produce in a year. An average size car (Toyota Camry) produces about 6 tons of carbon dioxide in a year, assuming it is a recent year model, is in good shape, tires are always properly inflated, and the driver keeps to the speed limit consistently!

Easy Things You Can Do At Home to Keep the Planet Cool

  • Change all your regular incandescent light bulbs with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl) or better yet, to LEDs (light-emitting diodes). It will save you money on your energy bill and help keep the planet cool!
  • Drive a little less! Just 10 miles a week makes a huge difference. Walk a little more!
  • Keep your car tuned up and your tires inflated to proper pressure. You’ll pollute less and get better gas mileage out of your car.
  • Buy locally grown and produced foods – it takes less energy to get that food to your table!
  • Watch the “Story of Stuff”: look for it on youtube and share it with your friends.
  • Always, if you can, plant a tree, a native species, wherever you are!
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle….reduce, reuse, recycle… reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Purchase the book “You can prevent Global Warming (and save money): 51 easy ways” and begin to be the change!