Eco Lodge Drake Bay, Pirate Cove Hotel

Friendly Environmental Practices in Drake Bay

Pirate Cove strives to implement environmentally friendly practices, and you can contribute as well, by saving water and electricity during your stay. You can also make a donation to Corcovado Foundation. Click on either the Corcovado Foundation or the Green Your Trip links on our home page for more information.


Pirate Cove supports sustainable tourism and at the same time our mission is to protect the environment and implement a rational management of resources in our daily operation to lessen any negative impact.

Water Usage  

Our water comes directly from mountain streams and is very high quality. In addition, all drinking water is filtered and we provide a large water dispenser in the dining room. We encourage our guests to replenish any personal water bottles they may have and avoid using disposable containers.

Our rooms do not have bathtubs or Jacuzzis, and our showers have low flow shower heads to conserve water. We also have changed to liquid soap dispensers which eliminates the inherent wastefulness of individually wrapped bars of soap. Also, our toilets are adjusted to use less water than normal.

One of the most important water savings measures we practice at Pirate Cove is to change the bedding and towels every second day during our guests’ stay with us and not every day as was the norm before. Some guests help us even more by requesting bedding and towels be changed fewer times during their stay. All of our laundry is washed using natural bio-degradable detergents and we do not use bleach.

The garden areas at Pirate Cove have been created specifically using local plants that do not need much if any irrigation. Any irrigation we do use comes from water recovered from rain gutters installed on the roofs of the main building.

Energy Usage  

Electricity in the past was only available using solar panels and diesel for auxiliary generators. Our ancient refrigerators used burning kerosene, which was expensive and rather evil smelling, and not efficient at all.

However, a few years ago the national electricity grid as supplied by Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad arrived in Drake Bay. In many ways this electricity is cheaper and cleaner than our previous supply, so we somewhat reluctantly connected to the grid.

To conserve energy, Pirate Cove uses energy saving light bulbs and ceiling fans. We do not have televisions, hair dryers or any other type of energy consuming appliances in the rooms.

We have recently converted the wasteful hot water heaters for our showers to “on-demand” electric types. We ask that our guests help us as well by not leaving the lights and fans on when they are not in their rooms. We have sola panels for the radio -comunications and sometimes for the dining area.

In 2000, we were the first hotel in Drake Bay to switch all of our boat engines to four stroke motors. This brought about a major reduction in water pollution when compared to two stroke motors.


Drake Bay is still isolated from more developed areas of Costa Rica and for that reason it is vital that recycling and wise use of resources is practiced. The solid inorganic waste products (i.e. bottles, cans and plastic packaging material) have been separated and sent to the Recycling Center in Sierpe on regularly scheduled boat trips. We have installed several bins so that our customers can also help us with recycling.

All organic material is recycled in our worm composting bins and then added to our gardens as fertilizer. We also maintain a small garden which produces organic vegetables for the hotel.

Organic Materials

Pirate Cove has worm composting bins. We recycle all fruit and vegetable peels. These are converted into compost which is used for the hotel gardens and the production of organic vegetables in Susanne Pagano´s (she is the manager of the hotel and one of the owners). These vegetables are then consumed by the guests of the hotel.

All other vegetable wastes are donated to local farmers for pigs because they are a good food source for these animals and represent a substantial financial savings for the farmers since they don´t need to buy so much commercial feed.

Leftover food from the hotel is donated to local farms for their chickens, and the eggs produced by the hens are purchased by the hotel.

All non-food wastes are classified in colored bags for recycling. Each week the Municipality takes plastic bottles, cans, glass bottles,cartons and tetra packs for delivery in the recycling center in Palmar Norte.

Blue Flag Program

The program Bandera Azul (Blue Flag) was create by the need to protect the beaches in Costa Rica, in the programa no only participated Goverment institutions like Costa Rica Turism Institute, Departmen of Enviroment, Acueduct institute, it allows the participation of the comunity. Pirate Cove is part of the comunity and take the iniciative to work in the beach close to the Hotel in order to get the category to this beach. Our staff clean the beach, we have donated a number of waste containers and signs about the beach. Also we do training about the program to our staff and to the comunity

The beach in front of Pirate Cove was awarded with The Ecological Blue Flag Program. It is because the efforts and commitment of the Hotel to keep the beach in a healthy enviroment and in harmony with nature.

In June 8 We hosted The Ecological Blue Flag in Playa Drake (Colorada) in frotn of Pirate Cove. The activity counted with members of CATUOSA, Pirate's Cove Staff, and representatives of the community (school, college and deveploment association). Each year we received the award according to the work that we did. In April 2016, we have received the blue flag for work in the year 2015. In 2013 Hotel Pirate Cove received the award Blue Flag "Accions to confront climate change". The Hotel had received this award for the years 2014 and 2015.

Relationship With Drake Bay Community

We hire local people when possible, and use local guides for our tours and never use illegal workers. We pay all social benefits as mandated by law but in addition we offer training programs so that our employees can improve their education and future prospects. We also buy as many vegetables and fruits as possible from the local farm community and fish from local fisherman.

We do not allow any form of discrimination at Pirate Cove, nor do we permit exploitation or sexual abuse of minors.

Pirate Cove Hotel actively supports groups organized for the benefit of the community and protecting the local environment. We have made donations of books and cash to local schools.

We are members of Corcovado Foundation and support them in their projects. There is a link on our website so that interested guests know their work and make a donation directly to them.

We belong to the Chamber of Tourism of Osa and support tourism promotion activities, conferences on safety, and sustainability, among others.

Commitment to our Employees

For us it is very important to have good relations and commitment with our employees. Moth of them are from Bahia Drake.

We have health and safety measures in order to protect the health e integrity of them. Also we comply with all the obligations of the Costarican law. All the employess are insured with the insurance of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros and the medical insurance of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

Every three months is rewarded the best worker with a economic remuneration and a day off.

You can help us to choose the best worker too.

Did you know that you are in an area rich in biological and cultural diversity?

We invite you to visit the protected areas, national parks and indigenous reserves in the Osa Peninsula.

Yes, you are very close to the Corcovado National Park just 40 minutes by boat from the hotel. There you can enjoy a day at the beach and wildlife observation.

We are also an hour by boat from Caño Island Biological Reserve, where you can enjoy snorkeling and hiking on the island, also if you are certified diver you can do this activity, in the trip you may see dolphins or whales. Also in the Caño Island you will find an archaeological site with stone spheres.

When you visit our protected areas, national parks and gardens of the Hotel Pirate Cove, follow the following recommendations:

  • Do not feed wild animals as this will alter their behavior and can affect your health.
  • Do not remove plants or animals. Just enjoy watching.
  • Avoid touching the animals (it can damage them and affect their interactions)
  • Never buy crafts or objects that are made of parts of wild animals (if you buy them, that promotes capture and kill wild animals)
  • If you visit a place with wild animals in captivity, show their discontent.
  • Do not introduce exotic species into natural areas. These alter the balance of ecosystems.

We have a bird guide which makes birding tour and we have plates illustrative of amphibians and reptiles! Ask the staff if you need to identify the species seen.

To have a happy stay, follow these safety precautions

  • Please do not smoke in buildings or natural areas of the Hotel Pirate Cove) If you must smoke, an area was fitted for this purpose. Ask the staff.
  • Wear closed shoes hiking type shoes (those avoid being bitten by ants, snakes and protect your feet).
  • Always stay on the trails and stick to them (you might stand on a snake).
  • If you go at night, always use a flashlight and note where you put your feet.
  • Do not "grip" of branches, vines or trees (might have thorns, or you may be surprised by ants).
  • Use insect repellent! Many diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes.
  • Do not forget the sunscreen use is in a tropical area.
  • Remember to drink plenty of water (it is in an area of high temperature and humidity will probably lose a lot of liquid).
  • If going to the beach or other place of high visitation. Do not leave your belongings! Do not leave unattended could disappear!
  • And enjoy the culture!

Archaeological site Farm 6

From the National Museum of Costa Rica

The archaeological site of Farm 6 is part of the project "Research and enhancement of areas pre-Columbian archaeological sites, Diquís Delta, South east of Costa Rica" by the National Museum of Costa Rica. This project has aimed to promote the conservation, protection; research and enhancement of pre-Columbian settlements, the museum has stone spheres.

This site is relevant in situ by the presence of two alignments of stone spheres. Alignments near archaeological research activities carried out during 2005 and 2007 by the National Museum of Costa Rica, helped to determine an area of two mounds with diameters between 20 and 30 meters.

On these were placed at the homes of key individuals in the settlement. Were located near areas with concentrations of ceramic and stone. One of the most notable was the presence of two stone spheres at both ends of the ramp of the mound 1 as possible to strengthen the hypothesis that these functioned as symbols of rank. It is also one of the best documented cases of association of spheres with complex structures.

Cultural Landscape of the Area of Delta Diquis

From the National Museum of Costa Rica

The Diquís Delta area in southeastern Costa Rica, has a history of occupation dating from about 1500 BC to the present day and shows some of the most important aspects of economic, social and cultural development of Costa Rica, like that:

  • It was one of the centers most important pre-Columbian occupation, with a distinctive culture that produced the famous stone spheres.
  • The use of areas in the delta for the extensive planting of bananas produced radical changes in the landscape, and for example existing communities, amalgams of immigrants and locals.

The canton of Osa, which houses the Delta was declared a national archaeological Canton through Executive Decree 23387-C, published in the Official Gazette on June 22, 1994, in order to recognize the great importance of the archaeological heritage area and to promote research, conservation and preservation.

Indian Community Museum Boruca: Weaving History

From the National Museum of Costa Rica

When you have the opportunity to visit the Museum Boruca Indian Community, will have the fortune of seeing a group of artisans weave very hard every day and love their products, traditional handicrafts, as well as the living history of a dream museum itself.

The history of this community museum got its start 13 years ago and since then have been held among various issues important achievements are encouraged to continue their museum project. Now, weeks after completing two years of the reopening of the center museum, the Association of Craftsmen and Artisans Flower remain working for their museum space to grow and increase the cushion between the threads of the past, present and future of their community in which they hope to keep their cultural heritage and natural heritage and to defend their way of life, knowledge, identity and values in pursuit of integral development.

The Indian Community Museum is an example Boruca national and international museums of this type. The artisans work together looking new solutions for changes in the range of museums. Advised by the Program for Regional and Community Museums are working on a redesign with its own vision of a new museum, in extending their horizons to integrate all the physical space of the community including cultural and natural values, to introduce new topics not yet integrated , to have its own collection, to collect and investigate their own local history and technologically improved with the acquisition of computer equipment.

They are in pursuit of development of new projects to diversify the services they want to offer the visitor on a type of community-based tourism, where you can taste traditional foods, live in a local Indian family home, participate in craft activities and enjoy footpaths in the lifestyle of the indigenous community itself Boruca.

Boruca Museum has adapted to the times, therefore, in compliance with Law 7600, has conditioned their access for people with special needs also have a space to sell their crafts with which they finance their projects, maintain building and manage the payment of the person attending to visitors. Income has not cost but are helpful voluntary contributions.


  • Read and learn about the conditions to visit these sites, each with its regulations.
  • It is important to respect indigenous communities and archaeological sites.
  • It is important to maintain good behavior and respect for these sites.
  • Respect the customs, rights and traditions of these communities.
  • Go dress properly, we suggest not to go swimwear.