First Luxury Guesthouse Opens in Calibishie, Dominica

Visitors to Calibishie, Dominica’s popular northeastern tourism destination, now have a waterfront luxury lodging option. Calibishie Cove is a large villa with four private suites which rent individually for prices from USD $120 to $240. Half of the accommodations feature kitchens in-suite.

 

Nestled above the sea, with views of the magnificent red rocks and greenery that make the northeast coast of Dominica so captivating, Calibishie Cove recently opened its doors to enthusiastic customer response.

 

Exemplifying the establishment’s Eco-Luxurious™ concept, all units feature hardwood and stone finishes and luxury touches like locally-made natural soaps and moisturizers. The guesthouse’s ‘green’ features include solar heated hot water, exceptional natural ventilation (the building was designed specifically for this site’s breezes and sun angles), rainwater catchment, and grey water reuse on site. The Paradise Penthouse unit features a private plunge pool with saline instead of chlorine.

 

The four suites integrate wonderfully with the lush natural surroundings. French doors in every room and large wraparound balconies make for an unforgettable indoor/outdoor living experience. Custom-built local hardwood furnishings and unique artwork complete the experience. Wireless Internet access and 110/220V electrical outlets are provided throughout.  

 

A short walk down backyard steps leads to a pair of comfortable benches that overlook the sea and Treasure Island, just off the coast.  The shaded spot is suited to quiet contemplation or a lively chat. Exemplifying the thoughtful touches found throughout, the owners have installed a bottle opener on one of the benches, so that guests may enjoy a toast of fresh local Kubuli beer from this forest perch.

 

Another short walk leads to a beautiful beach where a fresh, crystal clear river empties into the ocean.  The cove features calm waters thanks to Treasure Island at its entrance. Good snorkeling is found between the beach and Treasure Island, which can be hiked in sturdy shoes. Kayaks are also available to rent from Calibishie Cove’s manager, for exploring the river, Treasure Island, and coast. 

 

Discounts are available for stays of seven nights, or full-villa bookings: www.calibishiecove.com

Casa Del Caballo Blanco in Belize is Green Deal Certified

We are pleased and proud to inform you that we were notified mid-day yesterday (Dec. 5, 2008) by Saul Antonio Blanco Sosa, President of Alianza Verde, Guatemala that Casa del Caballo Blanco has been certified as a Sustainable Tourism Destination by Green Deal, the auditing and certifying authority of Alianza Verde.

We are the first lodge to be certified by Green Deal in Belize, and we believe the first lodge in Belize to receive this accredidation. Our audit score, is the highest achieved by a hotel using the newly conceived and rigorous diagnostic Green Deal system, placing us as a ‘4’ in a five tier ranking system as of this date no hotel has achieved a ranking of five in this system.

Certification for fiscal 2009 will be announced at the Alianza Verde meeting in Guatemala City on December 10, 2008, which will be attended by Ms Shenny Manzanero, Administrative Manager of Casa del Caballo Blanco. Ms Manzanero will receive the certification at the ceremonies on behalf of Casa del Caballo Blanco.

We are proud to be affiliated with your organization, and recognizing your contribution to the operation of Casa del Caballo Blanco, wish for you to share in the recognition of this accomplishment. Thank you for your kind support and assistance while Casa del Caballo Blanco has engaged in its sustainable development through the adoption of Best Management Practices.
Vance and Jodi Bente
Casa del Caballo Blanco, LLC
Home of Casa Avian support Alliance LLC, NGO
Casa del Caballo Blanco

Birds are the Farmers of the World, Help us to Help Them Sow Their Seeds

Hotel Mocking Bird Hill in Jamaica Launches Carbon Offsetting Programme

As part of its ongoing commitment to operating an environmentally friendly business, Hotel Mocking Bird Hill is working towards becoming a climate neutral eco-boutique hotel not only by enabling its guests to offset the carbon emissions produced by their flights to Jamaica, but also by offsetting its own carbon emissions and making continued efforts to reduce them thus reducing its environmental footprint.

Their approach is fourfold: firstly, by paying into an accredited carbon offsetting programme (STI’s My Climate) to offset their carbon emissions; secondly by improving their environmental performance they reduce their carbon emissions; thirdly by seeking their guests’ involvement and fourthly by contributing to a local programme which is trying to mitigate some of the environmental problems faced in Jamaica.

They have a link to Sustainable Tourism International’s carbon calculator on their website making it easy for guests to be responsible for carbon emissions resulting from their trip. Guests can also support a Jamaican environmental programme.

The contribution towards a Jamaican project is important. The Jamaica Conservation Development Trust is a non-governmental organisation promoting sustainable resource management, helping to increase local awareness of environmental issues, training park rangers and developing and promoting community based tourism in the John Crow and Blue Mountains. The JCDT’s programme is particularly important as they plant in areas that have been identified as high priority areas for rehabilitation using mainly native Jamaican forest trees, particularly those that are fast growing and have little value for lumber but which are excellent for biodiversity and includes the Hernandia catalpifolia – Water Mahoe, the tree that the endangered Giant Swallowtail Butterfly lays its eggs on and the only plant the caterpillars will eat.

The decision to make these contributions is not about easing conscience, but is part of the hotel’s strategy to operate in environmentally sound manner. The operators of Hotel Mocking Bird Hill are taking responsibility for the emissions generated through their business as well as those produced by their clients’ trips to Jamaica. This initiative is about investing up front to conserve for the future without sacrificing on the comforts associated with an eco-chic hotel.

STI has recently calculated the hotel’s emissions at 68.78 VERs (verified emission reductions, ton of CO2 equivalent) annually.

For information about Hotel Mocking Bird Hill’s environmental commitment:
http://www.hotelmockingbirdhill.com/english/environment/sustainabletourism.php
Further information:
http://www.hotelmockingbirdhill.com
Contact: Shireen Aga
Email: shireen@hotelmockingbirdhill.com
Telephone: +1 876993734
Skype: mockingbirdees

Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality in Costa Rica

Who Are We?
Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality is a Costa Rica based hospitality management company that develops and manages ecolodges, sustainable resorts and green hotels in Latin American and the Caribbean. All Cayuga properties are certified or in the process of being certified for their sustainable practices, nature conservation and the improvement of the local communities where they are located.

Cayuga Properties

Lapa Rios Ecolodge
Lapa Rios is an upscale 16-bungalow ecolodge protecting over 1,000 acres of preserved rain forest on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, an area prized for its biodiversity and soon to be named World Heritage Site. The 60-plus staff members are from the local isolated area, and environmental education is fundamental to the employees and international guests’ experiences. The development of the local primary school is mostly funded by the lodge’s Travelers Philanthropic outreach. Lapa Rios is certified by the country’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) program and has received the highest level of 5 leaves. This model Ecolodge has been consistently voted as one of Latin American’s top resorts by Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure and Andrew Harper.
www.laparios.com • info@laparios.com

Arenas Del Mar Beach & Nature Resort
Arenas del Mar is a stunning, luxury and sustainable 38 room upscale beach and nature resort with spectacular views of the Manuel Antonio National Park on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, nestled in eleven acres of rainforest with private trails and two tree-shaded sandy beaches. Guest rooms, apartments and suites offer spectacular ocean views, upscale dining in two hotel restaurants with a focus on fresh local ingredients, pools with views of the rainforest and the beach, a spectacular Spa and personalized service that exceeds guest expectations. Arenas del Mar is a model project for sustainable development strictly following the guidelines laid out by the Costa Rican Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST).
www.arenasdelmar.com • info@arenasdelmar.com

Harmony Hotel
The Harmony Hotel is the perfect combination of low-key luxury, nature, wellness and sustainability. Situated on Guiones Beach in Nosara, Costa Rica, a spot well renowned for its beautiful surroundings and impressive surf, this is an excellent place to unwind, relax and get in tune with your natural rhythm. The Harmony is a 25 room hotel with a strong focus on sustainability striving to show an alternative development model by taking into consideration the local community and the surrounding natural wonders. It caters to upscale surfers, yoga enthusiasts, honeymooners and families with older children looking for an authentic and relaxed experience. The Harmony Hotel restaurant features mostly vegetarian dishes, a raw food juice bar and a Healing Center, a place of restoration, nurturing and peace.
www.harmonynosara.com • info@harmonynosara.com

Why Are We Unique?
Our management style at Cayuga is driven by our core values. We like to differentiate ourselves from other management companies by focusing on our Standars of Excellence:

• We are committed to quality in everything we do: the hiring and training of our staff, the work environment provided and the employees’ and guests’ experiences offered.
• We are committed to sustainability which means the environment, culture and the local communities within which we operate.
• We follow the highest ethical standards and are proud of all our actions.
• We are a learning organization. We want to learn every day and give everybody opportunities to grow professionally.
• We are always one step ahead of the game. We don’t just react, we are proactive.
• We are all about attitude. We smile. We are enthusiastic. We hire people with a positive attitude. We work for people with a positive attitude. We empower them to get things done.
• We always find a way to get things done. We are about finding solutions. We always try to make it happen. We never give up.
• We are professional and efficient. We take responsibility for all actions and decisions. We are consistent and reliable.
• We strive for 100 percent satisfaction with our clients, our employees and our guests.
• We create unique and authentic experiences for our guests that allow them to connect experience, learn and relax.
• We are a team of eagles flying in formation.

How We Can Help You
Cayuga is a seal of quality. By booking Cayuga managed properties, you can be assured that your clients will have a high quality authentic Costa Rican vacation experience. In case you might have a special request or need, feel free to contact us at info@cayugaonline.com.

Cayuga Travel

We will be happy to help you with the planning of the rest of your trip to Costa Rica and can set up a nice itinerary including different areas of the country. Please complete contact us at travel@cayugaonline.com in order to be able to suggest the best option for you.

The History and Evolution of Chaa Creek in Belize

 

The story of Chaa Creek began in 1977 when two young travelers stumbled upon what would later become their adopted home.  In those days most business was conducted around bar room tables in Belize City and it was there that Mick and Lucy Fleming ran into the owner of an overgrown 140 acre farm on the Macal River in the Cayo District.

 

They soon moved out to the jungle property and within a short while the land was producing home grown vegetables.  In those days the farm had no road access so the Flemings transported their produce by dugout canoe to the ready markets of  San Ignacio Town, much as the Maya had done 1,000 years before.

 

The little farm was soon producing milk, yoghurt, cheese and eggs; as well as two baby Flemings.  When other travelers heard about the farm they would often trek out to visit, sometimes staying to lend a hand.  As more visitors came, the Fleming’s one room farmhouse became smaller and smaller and the idea was launched to build a guest cottage from materials found on the land.

 

Chaa Creek Cottages, the first jungle lodge in Belize, opened its doors in 1981 and over the next decade growth has kept pace with the ever increasing number of visitors.

 

The Chaa Creek road was built by the British Army Corps of Engineers in 1983 and was accompanied by the addition of a dining room to cater to the six existing cottage rooms.  Two years later indoor plumbing was installed and a further six cottage rooms, a 6,000 gallon water tower, staff quarters and a gift shop were built. 

 

The year 1987 brought the electrification of Chaa Creek which meant that washing machines replaced scrub boards, a deep freezer saw the end of salted block of ice and a submersible water pump retired the gasoline engine relay pumping system.  A batch of new canoes took guests on excursions down the Macal River.

 

The luxury of a hot water shower was introduced in 1988 while an ice machine helped make the perfect margarita for guests who relaxed on the deck of the bar.  The cottage rooms had grown by four to a total of 16.  To round off the year an office was built and outdoor lighting was installed in the gardens.

 

All of the cottages were upgraded in 1990 and a new business office was established in nearby San Ignacio Town.  In order to accommodate horseback riding and hiking, nature trails were cut through the forested property which had by now expanded to 330.  The property was officially designated a private nature reserve.

 

In 1991 the Flemings noticed that their original thatched house was falling down around them.  This prompted construction of a new house for themselves and their two children.  In addition, a manager’s house was built atop the hill.

 

By 1992 there were 26 members of staff in residence at Chaa Creek.  Infrastructure was upgraded and a new horse coral was built for the increasing number of horses.  Chaa Creek also played host to a team of archaeologist who were invited to investigate the ancient Maya sites that dotted the property.  Their reconnaissance mapped out over 70 ancient sites.

 

The Chaa Creek Natural History Centre was established in 1995 to become the first one of its kind in Belize.  The Centre houses interpretive displays of the local flora, fauna, ecosystems and geology of Belize.   Maya archaeology exhibits display ancient artifacts recovered from within the reserve and offer interpretive views of the life and culture of this early civilization.  There are also anthropology exhibits depicting the life and culture of the modern Maya.  Natural resource conservation and ecology exhibits offer educational information to the hundreds of local and international students that visit the facility.  The Centre also showcases the work of the numerous scientific research and environmental conservation projects that are sponsored by Chaa Creek.  An extensive research library has been established which houses an on-going collection of scientific reports, studies, books and other educational materials.  This library is utilized by our visitors as well as local and international students and scientific researchers.  The Chaa Creek Butterfly Farm where the iridescent Blue Morpho butterfly is propagated and exhibited is also located on the grounds of the Centre.  Most recently, Chaa Creek has acquired and reopened the adjoining Rainforest Medicine Trail which showcases the many medicinal plants of the surrounding forest.  The Chaa Creek Natural History Centre and Nature Reserve has evolved into a premier education and research field station that is utilized by hundreds of local and international students and conservation organizations each year.

 

In 1997 the Macal River Camp was constructed along the banks of the Macal River just downstream from the Lodge.  This facility is totally solar powered and consists of ten raised platform screened cabins with its own kitchen and dining area.  The camp was built to accommodate student groups and provide an option for the more budget conscious traveler.

 

Further building and renovations in 1997 resulted in a total of 21 cottages at Chaa Creek including a Luxury Suite and a Jacuzzi Suite.  1998 saw the addition of electric lighting to replace kerosene lamps and fans in each room for added guest comfort.

 

The Spa at Chaa Creek was constructed in 1999 and offers our guests a complete line of professional and refreshing spa services while enjoying a panoramic view of the majestic Macal River valley and the Maya Mountains beyond.  Next in 2000 came the opening of The Conference Centre at Chaa Creek.  This beautifully designed structure was put in place to provide a facility for both local and international conferences, meetings and social functions.

 

Two spectacular Tree Top Jacuzzi Suites overlooking the pristine Macal River were constructed in 2002 to replace two of the older cottages which were taken out of service.  2003 saw the addition of the expansive Orchard Villa and the Sky Room with its enchanting view of the river valley.  This expanded the accommodations inventory at Chaa Creek to a total of 23 outstanding cottages, suites and villas.

 

The construction of a fully equipped carpentry shop was completed in 2003.  This provided Chaa Creek with the ability to design and manufacture our own furniture and other items of wood construction that are found throughout the property.  Expansion and improvement of the trail system within the now 365 acre Chaa Creek Nature Reserve was completed in 2004.  With over 10 miles of well maintained trails, the Nature Reserve offers our guests exceptional opportunities for naturalist hiking and birding as well as horse and mountain bike riding.  Next to come was the Chaa Creek Stables.  Just recently opened in April of this year, this functionally designed structure houses our equestrian centre and provides our guests with an enhanced and professional riding experience.

 

What’s next?   Chaa Creek continually strives to offer our guests the highest quality services, facilities and accommodations while remaining true to our original mission statement and environmentally sound management and operational practices.  We are dedicated to these principals and will not waiver from this goal.

 

To visit their website: http://www.chaacreek.com

The Lodge at Chaa Creek – GREEN GLOBE BENCHMARKED

22 September 2008, BelizeThe Lodge at Chaa Creek has achieved the prestigious Green Globe Benchmarked Bronze status under the globally recognised Benchmarking programme. This programme recognises The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s commitment to operating to the world’s highest environmental standard. 

 

In achieving Benchmarked Bronze status, The Lodge at Chaa Creek committed to benchmarking its energy and water consumption, total waste production and community commitment; along with implementing an integrated environmental and social policy. These measures will ensure efficient practices and large cost savings, ensuring The Lodge at Chaa Creek is on the path to securing a sustainable future for the environment. 

About Green Globe

Green Globe is the worldwide Benchmarking, Certification and performance improvement system assisting international organisations to attain sustainability.  Green Globe provides a certification system that responds directly to the major environmental problems facing the planet, including climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management. 

About The Lodge at Chaa Creek

The award-winning Belize Resort employs 120 Belizean nationals, supports 12 local students in their scholarship program, and extends outreach opportunities for many Belizean students on the job training. Hundreds of school children arrive annually to receive hands on knowledge through utilization of the Natural History Centre, Butterfly Farm, and Maya Medicinal Trail, all set within Chaa Creek’s 365 acre nature reserve. Mac Morpho, Chaa Creek’s mascot and illustrious blue morpho emissary, works as the reserve’s winged ambassador by teaching the young and the old alike about the world’s most precious treasures and Chaa Creek’s stewardship of sound conservation ethics. A respect for the environment and the nation’s number one asset, the Belizean children who will inherit it, combine to form a winning ticket for the future, a future that Chaa Creek is honored and proud to be part of.

 

For more information please contact:

 

The Lodge at Chaa Creek

P.O. Box 53

San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize

Tel:   +501-824-2037

Fax:  +501-824-2501

Email:  <reservations@chaacreek.com>

Web:  www.chaacreek.com

 

        Green Globe

ClairClaire Hendrie

         Relationship Manager

         Tel:   +61 7 32381931

         Fax:  +61 7 3211 4734

         Email:  claire.hendrie@ec3global.com

         Web : www.greenglobe.ec3global.com

 

EcoFest 2009 in Dominica

Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, Dominica
PROUDLY PRESENTS

EcoFest 2009

A celebration of the world’s progress on saving our beautiful planet.
May 1st – May 8th 2009
Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, Commonwealth of Dominica, West Indies.

Come spend a week celebrating the advances we have made towards preserving the planet for generations to come.  Learn about the latest renewable energy technology, and how it is being put into practice on both local and nationwide scales on the Nature Isle of the World.

See how local crafts and traditions are being integrated into tourism for all to benefit – participate in village life.  Try our village homestay and get a true taste of real life in Dominica.   Visiting some of the world’s most spectacular nature and diving sites.   Hike our highest peaks, trek to the boiling lake, relax in hot springs.

Explore the Dominica nature, culture and cuisine.
Listen to the variety of Dominica music.

As the world begins to realise that something must be done now to rescue this earth, come and experience Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge and Dominica’s solutions to preserving our beautiful green island and the planet.  Come experience living sustainability, and then take some action back home.

We hope that this event will bring green minds together from around the world.

ACTIVE PARTICIPATION / ECO TRADE SHOW
If you have something eco you would like to display, and want to participate actively in the event, please Contact us for more information.

SPONSORS
We also welcome eco sponsors for the event from all fields, and you or your business will be showcased throughout the festival. Contact us for more details.
All the best
Jem Winston
Managing Director,
Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge,
P.O.Box 1292,
Newfoundland estate,
Rosalie, Dominica, West Indies
web: www.rosalieforest.com
E-mail: info@rosalieforest.com
Tel : +1 767 446 1886 / 275 1886

Mango Trees, Carbon Dioxide, and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Ginger Brown Vanderveer of Northside Valley in St. Croix, Virgin Islands just sent me an email about mango trees.  She decided that since mango trees are one of the best trees for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, she would do her bit.Â

“I have always had mango trees on my estate but now I have planted two more trees and will continue to add trees as I can.  I am also promoting the idea among the people of St. Croix and working with the legislature to come up with a way to get even more mango trees on our island.”

It’s such a simple idea and yet so beneficial.   She ended her email with….pass the word on.  And so I am!

To see a picture of the tree planting and to learn more about staying at North side: http://www.northsidevalley.com/

Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, computers, and the local schools

Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, Dominica, is delighted to announce that following the success of our computer for schools programme last year, we will be repeating the process next month.This year 4 schools in the UK including the Bromsgrove School and Uppingham School, have donated nearly 300 computers, which are now sailing to Dominica for distribution amongst the primary schools on the island.The project is made possible through a collaborative partnership between Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, NS Optimum in the UK, the donor schools in the UK, Geest Line shipping, Lifeline Ministries, and The ministry of education of the governement of the commonwealth of Dominica, and our registered NGO The Sustainable Living Initiative Centre, Dominica, SLIC.The computers will be installed at each school during one day workshops held by SLIC, Rosalie Forest, and assisted by two technicians from NS optimum in the UK.

This year we are also hoping to assist a number of local NGOs to get computers into their organizations.

For more information please visit www.rosalieforest.com or email Jem Winston at jem@rosalieforest.com.
Contact information:
Jem Winston, Managing Director.
PO Box 1292,
Dominica,
West Indies
tel: 1 767 446 1886cell: 1 767 275 1886
e-fax: 1 510 578 6578

A few words about Cozumel, Mexico

I spent last winter here (in Cozumel, Mexico) and I’m with the same folks in a nice apartment. I’ve been diving once and got to see my first Black Tip Shark here ever. They are common in the Caribbean and this is the time of year for them to migrate. I’ve seen them elsewhere, but there are so many divers here that sharks, except for Nurse Sharks, are uncommon.

Cozumel is, for unknown reasons, a major stop for all the cruise ship lines. Some days there are as many as nine cruise ships in all at once. The ‘Cruzeros’ walk aimlessly up and down the Esplanade getting sunburned and going from one T-Shirt Shop to the next Tanzanite Store. The International Diamond Exchange is now in its fourteenth consecutive year of a ‘Grand Opening’ and you can buy ‘authentic’ Cuban cigars. Actually there is a guy who goes to Cuba once a month and buys real Cuban cigars, but what do I know? They all smell like burning tires to me.

If you walk a couple of blocks off the Esplanade into town you’ll find the typical Mexican town of San Miguel. The cruise ships actually tell people not to go more than two blocks off the Esplanade because ‘it’s dangerous!’ The fact is they have an agreement with the T-Shirt Shops and Tanzanite Stores to keep people in close. About two blocks in the prices drop in half. The most dangerous thing by far for tourists is the rental of motor-scooters; that accounts for the majority of injuries here.

Cozumel is generally considered the best dive location in the Caribbean, and that is good and bad. Since it is the best, it tends to be pretty busy all year round. But the diving is outrageous and I love the town, the food, and the people. I’ll probably end up living here in a few years when I get tired of traveling all the time.

With permission from a personal email received from Steve Bissell.