• Wildlife Conservation

The Gilded Iguana: A Sanctuary of Biodiversity in Costa Rica

Article by Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah

Posted: May 6, 2023

Nestled in the picturesque town of Nosara, Costa Rica, lies the Gilded Iguana, an eco-resort that is much more than just a place to stay. With a commitment to sustainability and conservation, the Gilded Iguana is a sanctuary for biodiversity, protecting the natural world that surrounds it. In this article, we will delve into the history, biodiversity, and conservation efforts of the Gilded Iguana, highlighting the importance of this unique eco-resort in the preservation of Costa Rica’s natural wonders.

Location and Setting

Nosara, Costa Rica, is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, a region famous for its biodiversity and rich ecosystem. The area is home to several different types of forests, including dry tropical forest, wetlands, and mangrove swamps. The location of the Gilded Iguana in Nosara is significant, as it provides the perfect setting for a sanctuary of biodiversity. The resort is situated on five acres of land, surrounded by lush vegetation and a variety of wildlife, including howler monkeys, iguanas, and over 250 species of birds.

History and Evolution of the Gilded Iguana

The Gilded Iguana started as a simple surf hotel in the 1980s, catering to the surfers who came to Nosara seeking the perfect wave. However, over time, the property’s owner, Jonathon Paskowitz, realised the importance of the region’s natural beauty and decided to transform the hotel into an eco-resort. Today, the Gilded Iguana is a leader in sustainable tourism, promoting conservation and ecological responsibility.

Biodiversity of the Gilded Iguana

The Gilded Iguana is a paradise for nature lovers, with over 100 species of plants and trees, and a wide variety of animals. Some of the most notable species found on the property include the giant green iguana, the white-faced capuchin monkey, and the long-tailed manakin, a small bird famous for its elaborate mating dance. The Gilded Iguana is also home to several species of endangered sea turtles that come to nest on the nearby beaches. The resort takes great care to protect the turtles and their nests, ensuring that they have a safe place to lay their eggs.

Conservation Efforts and Sustainability

The Gilded Iguana is committed to sustainable tourism, implementing various initiatives to reduce its environmental impact. The resort’s buildings are constructed using locally sourced materials, and the property is powered by renewable energy. The resort also uses a wastewater treatment system that recycles greywater, reducing the amount of freshwater needed for irrigation. The Gilded Iguana works closely with local communities and organisations to protect the natural environment, collaborating with the Nosara Civic Association to preserve the region’s biodiversity.

Future of the Gilded Iguana

The Gilded Iguana has ambitious plans for the future, with a focus on expanding its conservation efforts and promoting sustainable tourism. The resort is developing a wildlife sanctuary that will provide a home for rescued animals, as well as a research facility that will allow scientists to study the region’s biodiversity. The Gilded Iguana also plans to work with local farmers to promote sustainable agriculture and provide organic produce for the resort’s guests.

Volunteering with GVI: A Way to Support Conservation Efforts in Costa Rica

If the Gilded Iguana in Costa Rica sounds appealing to you, then volunteering with GVI could also be of interest. GVI offers a range of conservation and community development programs in several countries around the world, including Costa Rica. By volunteering with GVI, you can support conservation efforts in the region, gain valuable skills and knowledge, and contribute to sustainable tourism practices, just like the Gilded Iguana.

In Costa Rica, GVI offers several programs that focus on environmental conservation, including sea turtle conservation, biodiversity research, and sustainable agriculture. Volunteers have the opportunity to work alongside local experts and researchers, learning about the region’s biodiversity and conservation efforts firsthand. By participating in these programs, volunteers can help protect endangered species, monitor wildlife populations, and promote sustainable farming practices, just like the Gilded Iguana’s efforts to support the local community and the environment.

In conclusion, if you are interested in supporting conservation efforts and sustainable tourism practices in Costa Rica, volunteering with GVI is an excellent way to make a positive impact, just like the Gilded Iguana. Whether you choose to work on sea turtle conservation or community development projects, your contribution can help protect the region’s natural resources and promote sustainable practices, furthering the efforts of responsible travel and environmental stewardship in Costa Rica.

By Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah is a freelance writer from New Zealand with a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainable travel. She has been writing about travel for more than five years and her work has appeared in print and digital publications including National Geographic Travel, Conde Nast Travel, Business Insider, Atlas Obscura and more. You can see more of her work at petrinadarrah.com.
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