Our Commitment to Sustainability

Born in a Mixed Wildlife Refuge, Maquenque Eco Lodge starts its operation with a strong commitment to protect and preserve the resources of the area. The conviction of sustainable tourism as a development alternative for the region, promotes the creation of the Lodge and starts a process that seeks to permeate on the community, generating employment sources, business opportunities, protection of natural and scenic resources and welfare social community. Sustainable tourism is emerging as a comprehensive solution to situations that threaten our balance as a community and ecosystem. It is an engine that drives development and far from competing with community resources, enhances and protects the primary objective, where the welfare of these allows the existence of a sustainable tourism development. For Maquenque Eco Lodge, the commitment to sustainability is the basis of our development and daily operation is oriented to economic, environmental and social balance. With your visit, you can enjoy a wonderful experience contact with nature, while contributing to the protection of these ecosystems.


Live Footprint program (Social – Environmental Commitment)

  • Maquenque Eco Lodge finances permanently free environmental education for elementary schools and high schools neighbors to Maquenque Wildlife Refuge, in order to increase knowledge, love and care of young people towards the environment.
  • Through the Plant a tree program, the customer is given the opportunity compensate CO2 emissions, help strengthen local ecosystems and directly get involved in the fight against climate change.
  • Programs for saving water, energy and responsible waste management, ensure responsible and seek to inculcate our visiting customers to everyday practical actions such as recycling, turning off taps and lights.
  • Through Maquenque Eco Lodge you can visit the elementary School of Boca Tapada and enrich the visit with a genuine contact with the community and its rising generations, supporting them and if you want participating in environmental education programs.
  • As part of the Maquenque experience, it offers a guided forest visit, to enjoy the richness and exuberance of the tropical rainforest and learn the importance of conservation.
  • Maquenque Eco Lodge supports and promotes community development projects, social welfare, health promotion and education of neighboring communities.
    Looking for the customer to be part of this comprehensive development and enjoy cultural events of the region.

If you want to offset the carbon footprint of your visit, you can do so by donating $12 to the international program for environmental education and conservation projects Sonati, planting a native tree in Maquenque and your commitment to save water and energy on your trip!

Your visit to Maquenque Eco-Lodge contributes to social and environmental development of the area . Thank you!


Rules to visit Conservation Areas

  • Pay admission fee and enter using authorized access.
  • Respect the rules, working hours and specific restrictions of the visited area.
  • No littering of any kind , remove it from the site or place it in the trash.
  • Move only in areas of public use, not to invade unauthorized areas.
  • No smoking in conservation areas.
  • Care for facilities and infrastructure areas.
  • Avoid any kind of damage to vegetation, animals and resources.
  • Do not feed wild animals.
  • Campfires and firewood extraction is prohibited.
  • Avoid making a lot of noise, which can upset the natural balance.
  • No drugs or alcohol or enter under the influence of them in the area.
  • It is not allowed to enter with weapons of any kind.
  • Entry is not permitted to areas with pets
  •  Hunting and archaeological materials extraction is prohibited.
  • Fishing is not allowed (exceptions in Article 10 of Law 6084)
  • Maintain a respectful and consistent with the moral behavior.
  • No commercial activities within the area are allowed.
  • Follow park rangers instructions

Climate change

The atmosphere of our planet has the ability to provide us an optimal environment for our survival, its greenhouse effect keep us warm, preventing the temperature drops to intolerable levels for our way of life. This greenhouse effect occurs thanks to the ability of certain gases to retain heat and let in light. Under natural balance, this phenomenon generates positive effects, however, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased significantly due to human activities that generate uncontrolled emissions. A higher concentration of greenhouse gases, greater retention heat, which implies an imbalance in the natural balance, which we are witnessing through a process of global warming and alarming climate changes.

Let’s plant a tree

We invite you to join our fight to offset GHG gas emissions and their impact on global warming and contribute to the preservation of our resources, planting a tree of native species in our property. Ask our receptionist!
The footprint you leave will be the beginning of a new life!

Protecting our children

In the same destination can not coexist Sex Tourism and Sustainable Tourism …
… both are mutually exclusive so one end up dismissing the other. UNWTO
We declare zero tolerance for prostitution and sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, as well as the sale of drugs and actions contrary to morality.

Sustainable travel

Dear guest, you are within the National Wildlife Refuge Maquenque, where conservation and protection of our natural resources is a pillar for sustainable development of our community of Boca Tapada, at this small town we give a warm welcome and invite you to join our efforts following these recommendations for your trip:

  • Add an extra tree to our refuge, participating in our reforestation project.
  • Use only the water you need, you can take short showers and close the faucet while brushing and shaving.
  • If your towels and sheets are clean, request they are not changed
  • Turn off the lights and fan when not in the room and unplug appliances when not in use.
  • Take advantage of natural lighting and ventilation whenever possible.
  • Use the trash cans outside the restaurant to separate waste properly, in the room the maid will do the separation process.
  • Discard the paper and hygiene products in the trash can only because our drainage systems are not designed to process these wastes.
  • Do not dispose of chemicals or drugs products in drainage systems , as these affect the biological control system of our drains.
  • Help us protect, report any situation of sexual exploitation or harassment detected.
  • Visit Boca Tapada the School and enjoy an authentic experience while working with community development .
  • Visit the protected areas of our country and be amazed by nature.
  • Get local handicrafts , which have not been made ??with endangered species.
  • Protect natural resources , do not remove or damage the flora and fauna.
  • Do not feed wild animals because it affects the natural balance.
  • Take the opportunity to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of the community.
  • When possible, participate in cultural activities that occur in the region.


At Maquenque Eco Lodge we appreciate your contribution to our sustainability programs and invite you to learn more about our Sustainable Tourism Certification.

Local crafts

A souvenir for you and an opportunity for this family.

Tania and Mauricio, along with their two sons, are a family of our community for several years already, motivated by their desire to succeed and taking advantage of their skills, started a small craft project.

With a lot of effort and dedication they have been learning and have let their creativity combine with the resources available in the area, to create beautiful crafts inspired by the nature that has seen their family grow.

Taking advantage of leftover wood from local sawmills, which were previously trash, today thanks to them they are beautiful souvenirs for our visitors.

Maquenque Eco Lodge is proud to highlight the quality of work done by this exemplary family and offer our visitors souvenirs made from local hands.

San Carlos history

The lands of what is now San Carlos, began the process of colonization in the mid twentieth century, when the agricultural frontier expanded and migrants from other regions of the country and from other countries in Latin America and Europe arrived to the region.
This cultural diversity has enriched the Sancarleño, according to the writer and professor Adriano Corrales, could be described as hardworking, entrepreneurial, cooperative, supportive, cheerful, very conservative and individualistic.

The name of San Carlos is due to a protective structure erected on the Rio San Juan during the time of the colony, which was given the name of Castillo de San Carlos de Austria. The building is gone, but the name stuck and spread.

San Carlos has traditionally been an agricultural and farming region, which has been commercially developed and now, thanks to its natural wealth and the warmth of its people, is one of the main tourist areas of Costa Rica.

Land of forests, rivers, streams, waterfalls, vast plains, abundant rainfall, complex ecosystems, hot springs and home of the majestic Arenal Volcano. A Costa Rican Canton that holds great treasures, in which even small towns can be seen in rural areas, where cultivating the land and milking a cow are part of the day.

Celebrations and cultural activities

It is common to celebrate every year the town Patron saint festival in different towns, where the food, the reigns of girls, dancing and bullfights are very typical.
Los “Turnos” are also communal feasts, usually organized for the benefit of the community, for projects to improve infrastructure and streets.
On November 4th is celebrated the day of San Carlos Borromeo, patron of our county.
Easter celebrations (full moon date between March and April) are also very traditional in the region, processions, masses and vigils are held.
The “Quinceaños” or girls 15 years parties, the Wedding of neighbor and the uncle “media teja” (50 years birdthday) celebration, are cause of joy, the whole town celebrates.
In schools and high schools cultural activities are promoted such as typical dances, theatre plays and singing.

Meals you should try

  • Picadillo de raiz de papaya (chopped papaya root)
  • Tamal mudo (Corn Tamal with refried beans inside)
  • Picadillo de arracache (Chopped Arracacia xanthorriza)
  • Olla de carne (beef soup)
  • Picadillo de flor de itabo.  (chopped Itabo flower)
  • Miel de papaya verde  (green papaya sweet)
  • Miel de ayote (Ayote sweet)
  • Miel de yuca (Yuca sweet)
  • Chorreadas de maíz (corn tortilla like)
  • Miel de fruta de pan (bread fruit sweet)
  • Tortillas con queso (torillas with cheese)
  • Fresco de naranja agria y tapa de dulce (sour orange drink with sugar cane)
  • Arroz con leche (rice pudding)

Fresh products from our garden

Every day Don Eduardo gets up very early to work on our garden, to “chinear” (take care) of the plants that produce the most fresh and healthy fruits, leaves, stems and tubers, you enjoy on your meals at Maquenque restaurant.
We do not use chemicals, the secret lies on the dedication and love, so the soil produces Healthy and delicious food!

To view or download:

  • The list of Costa Rican protected areas click here.
  • The list of the different indigenous groups in Costa Rica click here.
  • Our carbon management plan  click here.