Conservation

Pacuare Costa rica ecosystem

Conservation in action

Rios Lodge has a three decades long legacy of prioritizing conservation through rainforest reforestation, biodiversity species protection, and Pacuare River protection from damming. Rios Lodge is the revitalized former Rios Tropicales Lodge, founded in 1989 by award winning adventure company Rios Tropicales. The lodge won numerous awards over the decades for many conservation projects here at the Pacuare River location and surrounding region.   

Rios Lodge exists because both original and current owners recognized the need for continued conservation and protection of the Pacuare River ecosystem. Now led by a group of committed paddlers, conservationists, and adventure tourism leaders, we believe in the power of community and conservation – at the local, national, and international level. We are committed to furthering the legacy of Rios Tropicales co-founder Rafael “Rafa” Gallo and are privileged to be working closely with the Gallo Family on conservation initiatives that include their extensive Gallo-Jimenez private rainforest reserve. Together, the lodge property and family reserve property total 1,000 hectares. Read about our Mission and Values.

Child holding a tree sapling that will be planted soon - Costa Rica
  • Rainforest reforestation.
  • Biodiversity mapping & reconnecting wildlife corridors to protect and enhance biodiversity in the Pacuare watershed.
  • Collaborating with and supporting Costa Rican conservation partners with in-kind and financial support to protect the greater Pacuare River watershed and ecosystem.
  • Collaborating with local ecotourism partners to boost sustainable community economic development.
  • Collaborating with indigenous communities to support their goals.
In 1989, Rios Tropicales purchased 90 acres along the Pacuare River near a small subsistence farming community. Rios bought the land from local community member Anibal Obando and his wife, Dina Fuentes. The Obandos had cut down significant tracts of rainforest to create farmland so they could scrape out a subsistence living for their family of 11 children. Visionary Rios Tropicales co-founder Rafael Gallo then turned around and hired the same Obando family to manage the land for a new mission, creating a river camp for paddlers and reforesting most of their deforested farm and grazing land.
Rafters holding a sign that says "Salvemos El Pacuare!" on the Pacure River in Costa Rica

SUSTAINABILITY & Rios Lodge

Authentic Ecotourism Requires Measurable Sustainability

Sustainability is so much more than a buzzword at the Rios Lodge; it has been the cornerstone of all lodge development and operations since the lodge was first started in 1989. Rios Lodge is the former award-winning Rios Tropicales Lodge. It was founded by Rios Tropicales, whose adventure +conservation mission won environmental and ecotourism awards. Rios Tropicales was an internationally recognized sustainability leader and role model.

While our revitalized rainforest lodge on the Pacuare River has a new name, the conservation legacy of the lodge continues full steam ahead. We are expanding with new facilities upgrades and investments in biodiversity and carbon mitigation projects. 

The lodge currently has ten solar panels (more to come) that are situated over our kitchen facilities. These solar panels power our kitchen and dining facilities.

The lodge has always been off-the-grid, and it runs on clean hydroelectric power. The hydropower system is being upgraded for more power and consistency in 2022 – keeping all the same clean energy principles.

The building of the lodge was done with sustainability first and foremost driving construction decisions. The first lodge facilities were built in the 80s and 90s using reclaimed lumber by local indigenous Cabecars. They continue to be upgraded and expanded with reclaimed materials and an emphasis on low carbon footprint construction processes.

In our lodge operations, including the restaurant to accommodations and activities, we recycle and compost everything possible, we have eliminated all single use plastics, and we source as much of our restaurant produce and meats from local community resources. We practice Leave No Trace principles at the lodge and on all our activities.

You can feel good about staying in a place that invests in sustainability and takes it to the next level with regenerative tourism and conservation of the greater Pacuare River ecosystem environment and local communities. All our staff, from chefs to housekeeping to grounds staff to rainforest reserve manager and guides, work hard to protect, restore, and safeguard land in our lodge private reserve, and adjacent Gallo Family private rainforest reserve.

Conservation & EcoTourism Partners

Our conservation work would not be successful without the collaboration and continued hard work of the following organizations, businesses, and groups. Each one of these partners embodies the principles of conservation, stewardship, and sustainability. We are pleased to partner with them for the greater good of the Pacuare Region.

AWARDS & Press

Rios Lodge is in the news! We are thrilled to be featured in Forbes and USA Today Outdoors Wire for places to travel responsibly in 2023 and best zipline courses in the world.