I had the distinct pleasure of running a digital marketing session in the rainforests of the Osa Peninsula. I met the pioneer of Costa Rica eco travel, and owner of Lapa Rios at the Eco-tourism and sustainable tourism conference or ESTC. Karen Lewis invited me to present digital marketing concepts to her staff…in the rainforest.
How could I refuse?
Arriving at Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula, I was greeted by Lapa Rios staff and a slice of much appreciated home made banana bread since I was at the airport before I could grab breakfast! The 18 kilometre trek into the remote Osa Peninsula resort means fording creeks, dodging potholes and motorcycles with passengers who I hope were attached with bungy cords for the amount of bouncing around that they do.
And then I arrived and immediately put my feet up. The Osa Peninsula accomodations and rainforest bungalows are completely private; private garden, private deck, your own hammock, outdoor shower, and did I mention, how private it is? Lapa Rios is total decompression from urban life to the tunes of macaws, monkeys and crickets. Located in the middle of its own rainforest reserve near Corcovado National Park, Lapa Rios offers a variety of in-house and community provided nature tours in the Osa Peninsula. I did the self guided tour and when I did the same trail at night with guide, Edwin, I was a little dismayed to realize how much I had missed on my own ! Thanks to Edwin for helping me see the details!
A not to be missed activity is the sustainability tour called Pigs, Twigs and Garbage. Lapa Rios is an authentic eco-lodge where nothing is wasted and no opportunity to reduce their footprint is left unexploited. The kitchen compost is fed to the pigs, the pig feces are collected to create methane and the gas is used to fuel the staff kitchen stove. A word to the wise, if it rained the night before, be sure to poke the water out of the tarp over the truck bed before the truck moves. I learned that lesson the hard way! My clothes dried quickly though.
If you haven’t had a chance to experience a tropical rainstorm, green season in Costa Rica is the place to be. I loved the sound of the pounding rain and thunder plus the camaraderie in the restaurant while we all pretended to be calm during the sky shattering booms! Only one person was reduced to tears, but he was nine years old and was running around by the salt water pool the next day – so no permanent damage done.
And finally, I got to run my digital marketing session in just about the best office in the world! My hair was frizzy from the humidity, I chattered in a bizarre mixture of Portuguese, bad Spanish and English and had one of the best interactive sessions I have every had with the Lapa Rios staff.
While Lapa Rios is an amazing place, I enjoyed travelling there just as much as staying there. The 45 minute flight on Nature Air, the world’s first carbon neutral airline from Tobias Bolaños airport in San Jose started with a safety briefing video narrated by children from the airlines airline’s educational foundation NatureKids. NatureKids provides English language instruction to children from the remote Osa Peninsula town of Drake Bay, a stop on the way to Lapa Rios and Puerto Jimenez. The view on route to the Osa Peninsula was remarkable that most of the photos from this trip are from inside the plane!
The Tartan Group is a tourism PR and marketing communications firm in Canada with offices in Victoria, and Vancouver, BC and New York. The Tartan Group specializes in tourism, sustainable and conservation travel.