Rainforest Reserve

Carbon Neutral: Let's Plant Your Tree!

Rios Tropicales is Carbon Neutral

Rios Tropicales is carbon neutral, thanks to our private rainforest reserve of over 2500 acres of native Costa Rican hardwood tree species. We have protected over 1700 acres of primary rainforest from logging (and poaching!) and are reforesting another 300+ acres. Together, annually our mature trees and new seedlings mitigate over 17,00 tons of carbon annually.  Our total in-country operations, including vehicle transportation, lodge operations, and operations center and main office energy uses have been estimated at 4000 tons of carbon per year.  Formal third party certification for carbon neutrality is expensive, time-consuming, and often riddled with green-washing. We have not pursued formal certification at this time because of how costly the process is. Our rainforest reserve mitigates between four and five times the amount of our carbon footprint of our total country operations. Learn more about our sustainable practices.

2500 Acres Protected and Over 30,000 Trees Planted To Date


Today we have over 2,500 acres in our private rainforest reserve, which encompasses land from the river right bank of the Pacuare River where our Rios Tropicales Ecolodge is, up to the top of the Pacuare Gorge and extending along acreage high above the river next to the community of El Tigre.   We are proud participants in the original United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) worldwide tree planting campaign, begun in 2006 and continued annually until 2011. In 2011, after more than 12 billion trees had been planted world-wide, UNEP formally handed over management of the annual tree planting program to Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation, based in Germany.


Our original goal was to plant 5,000 trees in 2008; we surpassed that in May 2008 and upped our goal to 10,000 that summer. We reached 8,000 trees planted by late 2008 and increased our goal for the third time to 15,000 trees for the Planet. At present time we have continued tree-planting year-round, and are now up to over 20,000 new Costa Rican native hardwood trees planted at our reserve. Our big planting date during the Rafting World Championships in October 2011 was a total success. This was a huge boost  for the World Championship to become Carbon neutral. We have doubled our goal to plant more trees in 2011, thanks to E.A.R.T.H. University, clients, local communities, volunteers, participants at the World Rafting Championship, public and private entities to everyone that is helping us make up areas that had been deforested.

How the Rios Tropicales Reforestation Program Began


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, whose large family had cut down significant tracts of rainforest to create farmland. We then turned around and hired the same Obando family to reforest most of their deforested former subsistence farm and grazing land, in alignment with our mission to collaborate with local community and to educate them, not just our guests, about the importance of environmental protection and reforestation.  That year we planted over five hundred trees as part of our reforestation program. We used all local species of seeds that had been previously collected on the same land. Our reforestation efforts have continued since 1989 on our expanded reserve property, purchased slowly over the years using company earnings. Reforestation projects have been a combined effort of seedlings purchases through funds from Rios Tropicales operations and outside donations.  Volunteer participants in tree-planting have included local communities, Rios staff, Costa Rica guests, and international guests.

Plant A Tree in Costa Rica!

You can plant a tree when you come to Costa Rica and make a difference for the planet. If every visitor to Costa Rica planted a tree, imagine the difference it could make! In 2013, San Jose’s Tico Times reported a record 2.4 million visitors came to Costa Rica.

Here are the adventure trips for ecotravelers, where you can plant a tree in the Costa Rican rainforest.

Costa Rica Mountain Biking: Turrialba Rainforest Ride

Costa Rica Mountain Biking: Turrialba Rainforest Ride   Go on a fun 4-hour ride through the countryside outside the town of Turrialba, one of the most beautiful regions in the country. Our experienced guides share their knowledge of Costa Rican culture and wildlife along the...

Tortuguero Tour & Pacuare River Rafting – 5-Day

Tortuguero Tour & Pacuare River Rafting - 5-Day Explore Tortuguero National Park and its canals by boat and then raft the Pacuare River, one of Costa Rica’s most famous and beautiful rivers. Mawamba Lodge in Tortuguero and our award-winning Rios Tropicales Lodge teamed up for...

Pacuare Rafting & Eco Lodge – 4 Day

Overnights on Pacuare River & Rafting 4-Day Adventure The Pacuare 4-Day Adventure & Ecolodge offers all the white water action of the famous Pacuare rafting adventure, with three nights and two complete days at our unique, remote Rios Tropicales Lodge, overlooking the river. From our ecolodge’s...

Pacuare Rafting & Eco Lodge – 3 Day

Overnights on Pacuare River  & Rafting - 3-Day Adventure The Pacuare 3-Day Adventure & Ecolodge offers all the white water action of the famous Pacuare rafting adventure, with two nights and an a full day at our unique, remote Rios Tropicales Lodge, overlooking the river....

Open chat
Hello, can we help you?