Black Sheep Inn Retreat & Learning Center

September 1, 2011 – Chugchilán, Cotopaxi, Ecuador – Black Sheep Inn, an internationally acclaimed award winning ecolodge, is converting into a Retreat Center hosting workshops and events. The lodge will no longer be operating as a hotel with daily check-ins and check-outs, but instead will specialize in group events, offering the entire facility for 5 days or more.

Groups enjoy Black Sheep Inn’s globally recognized services:
• Worlds Best Hotels – South America STAY LIST – National Geographic Traveler 2011
• Top 10 Eco-Resort – Delta SKY Magazine 2009
• Top 50 Eco-Lodges – National Geographic Adventure Magazine 2009
• Winner – ECOCLUB.com Ecotourism Awards 2006 & 2008
• Skål International Ecotourism Award 2006
• Smithsonian Magazine/Tourism Cares for Tomorrow Sustainable Tourism Award 2005
• Finalist for Tourism for Tomorrow Award – World Travel & Tourism Council 2005
• Highly Commended – Best Mountain Environment – Responsible Tourism Awards 2005
• Short-Listed – Responsible Traveler Award 2004
• Top 10 Ecolodges in the World – Outside Magazine 2003
• Eco-Certified – Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism & Ecuadorian Ecotourism Society 2003
• Best Website – Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism 2002

Suggested themes for Retreats include: Yoga or Meditation Retreats; Creative Workshops for Artists or Writers; Eco-Living or Green Building Trainings; Family Reunions, Weddings, Birthdays; Volunteer Vacations with Community-Aid Work; Corporate Team Building and Empowerment or other weeklong events.

Black Sheep Inn’s rural Andean location offers world renowned day hiking, horseback riding and excursions to: Laguna Quilotoa, Rio Toachi Canyon, cloud forest in the Iliniza Ecological Reserve, indigenous markets, and local cooperative workshops producing handcrafted furniture and Swiss-style cheeses.

Eco Permaculture Features include: solar panels, adobe construction, composting toilets, recycling, roof water collectors, gray water systems, organic gardens, community education & aid work, reforestation, erosion control and more.

If you are organizing a vacation, event or workshop please send an inquiry to: info@blacksheepinn.com or blacksheepinn@yahoo.com

6 Eco Lodges get perfect scores in the Eco Rating at Eco Tropical Resorts

I am thrilled to post 6 eco lodges that have scored 5 out of 5 on our Eco Rating. I’ve even added a link in the menu because these 6 lodges deserve recognition! Two are in Costa Rica, two are in Fiji, and one in Honduras and the other in Dominica.
They are:
Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica
Eco Rating 5 out of 5
Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge

Finca Exotica in Costa Rica
Eco Rating 5 out of 5
Finca Exotica Ecolodge

Mango Creek Lodge in Honduras
Eco Rating 5 out of 5
MangoCreek Lodge

Matava in Fiji
Eco Rating 5 out of 5
Matava

Nakia Resort and Dive in Fiji
Eco Rating 5 out of 5
Nakia
Resort and Dive Fiji

Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge/3 Rivers Dominica
Eco Rating 5 out of 5
Rosalie
Forest Eco Lodge

All of these lodges are awesome!

The Gina Cronin story: American Woman Prevails Against Odds, Realizes, Shares Dream of Green Living

Coming from a Cleveland, Ohio area suburb, I had been dreaming of a more sustainable, green lifestyle for years. I wanted to enjoy a comfortable life style while being environmentally responsible, self sufficient and energy independent – determined to find a way to make it a reality.

After much soul searching and researching, with the help of Google and the Internet, I eventually found a piece of suitable land, but it was in Panama, a central American country I knew little about – nor did I speak the language or have experience at the time. But I was determined not to let that stop me.

On my first visit to the property that is now known as the Rancho de Caldera eco-project, I knew right away that I was home; the fact that I was in another country, didn’t speak the language, or know anyone didn’t seem to matter.
It felt right to be here then – as it does now. I felt an immediate connection to the natural green environment and the awesome beauty there. With invaluable help from Chris McCall and the construction team, we endeavored to create a beautiful, serene and comfortable eco-resort for nature lovers, horse back riders, Yoga fans and bird watchers, while being environmentally and socially responsible and mindful.

True to our values and vision of sustainability, we have arranged to operate the entire project (eco hotel, restaurant, orchards, gardens, horse ranch and agriculture) off the grid all year, thanks to a combination of solar panels, hydro-electric generators and wind generators that provide all our electrical power needs. We’re also implementing strict ‘green’ policies and continue to focus on sustainability. And I was convinced that luxury and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. I wanted to offer people an oasis, a retreat, a tropical getaway where they can come and enjoy a truly relaxing ‘siesta for their soul’.

Meanwhile, our innovative approach to luxurious yet sustainable hospitality has received international recognition. We’ve been certified by Green Globe International, one of the world’s premier green certification institutions. Accolades, awards and endorsements from other international green travel and conservation groups followed, including from Sustainable Travel International, TripAdvisor and Rainforest Alliance.

Thus, today I have realized my dream to create a beautiful oasis of serenity where visitors and guests can immerse themselves in a natural environment that nurtures the soul, energizes the body and almost overwhelms the senses with its abundant natural beauty. When people ask about my personal philosophy and key to a happy life, I tell them I believe that it is the simple things in life that bring the greatest
pleasure: great food, natural living, communion with family and friends, comfortable living quarters and beds and gentle, responsible interaction with our natural surroundings.

Those interested in learning more about Rancho de Caldera and Madre Tierra – our restaurant – are invited to contact us with any question, visit our website and/or visit our Rancho de Caldera project in person, in the beautiful green hills of Boquete, western Panama, near the Costa Rica border. Panama City, the countries main airport, is less than three hours flight time from Miami, FL.

For more information: Rancho de Caldera. The link has been removed because they closed.

Small Hotel of the Year goes to Table Rock Jungle Lodge in Belize

BTB Honors Key Pioneers at its 11th Annual Tourism Awards Ceremony

Belize City, Belize – June 8th, 2011 — The evening of Wednesday, June 8th, 2011, was witness to the spectacular as the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), with a gathering of distinguished guests such as the Prime Minister of Belize, Honorable Dean Barrow; the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr.; and a host of tourism stakeholders, took the time to honor the Belize Tourism Industry’s top performers and leaders at the 11th Annual Tourism Awards Ceremony.

The Tourism Awards Ceremony recognizes and honors those organizations, industry partners, and individuals who have all made outstanding contributions to the industry. These awardees are those who have taken the time to mold Belize’s natural tourism product into outstanding experiences that serves to draw millions to our shores.

Table Rock Jungle Lodge, located on the Macal River in the Cayo District, was awarded this year’s prestigious Small Hotel of the Year Award. This category recognizes a licensed hotel with 20 rooms or less that captures the true essence of local hospitality at its very best, represents cultural and/or natural heritage authenticity, and achieves consistent customer service excellence across the board. The bulk of Belize’s 700 hotels fall into the Small Hotel category.

In addition to being selected Belize’s Small Hotel of the Year, Table Rock Jungle Lodge has also been honored with receiving this year’s Belize Green Business Award, 2011 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, and 2010 Travelers’ Choice Award (Trip Advisor).
For more information about this lodge: Table Rock Jungle Lodge

About Belize
As one of the last unspoiled places on earth, Belize offers travelers the richly rewarding authenticity they seek in a Caribbean getaway. With direct flights from the U.S. and Canada, this tropical paradise is nestled between Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. For generations, the English-speaking people of Belize have demonstrated a commitment to preserving the country’s unique charms. Belize offers a land rich in natural beauty and steeped in the history and culture of its Maya past. Renowned for having the second largest barrier reef in the world, Belize’s pristine waters, exotic marine and wildlife, lush unspoiled landscapes and superb diving truly make it Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret. For more information on how you can Be One With Belize, visit www.travelbelize.org.

See video and photos of Belize’s 11th Annual Tourism Awards here:

http://www.ambergristoday.com/content/stories/2011/june/09/san-pedro-receives-top-honors-tourism-awards
http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/55772
http://www.sanpedrosun.com/news/btb-honors-pioneers-at-11th-annual-tourism-awards/
http://www.guardian.bz/all-politics/3367-11th-annual-tourism-awards-ceremony

Whether you’re looking for Caribbean extend stays or Antigua vacation hotels from sandals, let Eco-Tropical help!

Girls just wanna have fun… in Costa Rica and Nicaragua

May 18, 2011, San José, Costa Rica – This summer and fall, leave work and life stresses at home and round up your favourite gal-pal for a Central American girlfriend getaway.

From now through Nov. 15, 2011, Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality is offering new Girlfriend Getaway Packages at all six of its Costa Rican and Nicaraguan properties. Known around the world for their highly sustainable and Earth-friendly ways, the hotels offer a range of outdoor activities for girls on-the-go with on-site amenities for ladies in need of relaxation including: surf lessons, ziplining over a rainforest canopy, rebalancing the sprit with private yoga, learning to make authentic tortillas, and more.

“Our studies show that the dream Girlfriend Getaway often includes an international destination, a long weekend, a pool or beach location, and plenty of fun things to do in the company of their inspirational female buddies,” said Managing Director of Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, Andrea Bonilla. “We’ve created our new Girlfriend Getaway Packages specifically around these interests. We set the stage for a fabulous getaway during a time when we can offer great value.”

Perks of the Girlfriend Getaway Packages vary at each of the Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality properties:

Lapa Rios Ecolodge
Costa Rica’s Lapa Rios Ecolodge is set on a private nature reserve spread over 1,000-acres of Central America’s last remaining lowland tropical rainforest. This property’s Girlfriend Getaway Package includes five nights accommodation for the price of four, three gourmet meals per day, transfers to and from the Puerto Jimenez airport, a sustainability tour of the Lapa Rios property (includes participating in your own Plant a Tree program) and an on-site, guided tour (choices include bird watching at sunrise, a local medicine walk and exploring the rainforest). The five-night Girlfriend Getaway Package starts at $2,175 US.

Finca Rosa Blanca Plantation
Come stay at the first certified sustainable hotel in Costa Rica, and the only property to achieve a perfect score on the Sustainable Tourism Certification program. This property’s Girlfriend Getaway Package includes three nights accommodation, three gourmet meals per day, transfers to and from the airport, a tour of the inn’s organic coffee plantation, a rainforest massage and a head-to-toe massage. The three-night Girlfriend Getaway Package starts at $1,843 US.

Arenas Del Mar Beach and Nature Resort
Set on two private white sand beaches in Costa Rica, Playa Espadilla and Playitas, the resort is safe, close to a range of nightlife activities and offers a number of activities, tours and adventures. This property’s Girlfriend Getaway Package includes five nights accommodation for the price of four, transfers to and from the airport, breakfast each day, two 50-minute massages (one per guest), a tortilla-making class, a sustainability tour, 25 per cent discount at the gift shop and a choice of tour (explore Manuel Antonio National Park, go bird watching, hike the Biezans Beach, go horseback riding, white water raft or take a surfing lesson). The five-night Girlfriend Getaway Package starts at $1,590 US.

Latitued 10 Resort
Stay in one of the private casitas at this private beachfront resort in Costa Rica for the ultimate in gal pal relaxation and fun. This property’s Girlfriend Getaway Package includes five nights accommodation for the price of four, gourmet breakfasts, transfers to and from the airport, a surf lesson, dinner prepared by a private chef with a complimentary bottle of wine and the choice of one of four tours (hike the Montezuma Waterfalls, explore the Malpais canopy, go horseback riding or discover local turtles). The five-night Girlfriend Getaway Package starts at $1,587 US.

Jicaro Island Ecolodge
Girlfriends will feel good staying on their own private island at Jicaro Island Ecolodge, Nicaragua, a lodge built with minimum impact to the island and with careful planning in terms of water supply, wastewater treatment and electricity usage. This property’s Girlfriend Getaway Package includes three nights accommodation for the price of two, transfers to and from the airport, three gourmet meals per day, two 50-minute massages (one per guest) and a sunrise or sunset kayaking tour. The three-night Girlfriend Getaway Package starts at $1,970 US.

For more information or to book, contact us at info@cayugaonline.com.

Table Rock Wins Green Business Competition

The University of Belize (UB) in partnership with the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), and the Belize Hotel Association (BHA) has announced Table Rock Jungle Lodge as the winner of Belize’s 2011 Green Business Award!
The Faculty of Science and Technology (FS&T) of UB conducted the Green Business Competition. All Belizean businesses, such as banks, media houses, hotels, agro-industries, field stations, etc. were encouraged to apply for the award.

Table Rock Jungle Lodge was recognized as a leader in the use or promotion of green practices and technologies, as well as for its sustainable and responsible practices for the benefit of the environment, the people of Belize, and the overall development that contributes to the conservation of our natural resources.

Lecturer in the Faculty of Science and Technology, Mr. Eden Garcia, says that “UB envisions that this Green Business Competition will act as a powerful catalyst to sensitize businesses about the importance of being environmentally friendly and to inspire other businesses to take the initiative in adopting new practices that can make them future leaders as Green Businesses in Belize.”
Table Rock thanks the outstanding work of our dedicated staff in helping us achieve this great honor. We will continue our efforts to reduce our footprint in this beautiful land and to improve our eco-friendly practices in the coming years.

Gecko Villa, Thailand: Interview Under a Traveller’s Palm

Up in the countryside of Northeast Thailand, in Udon Thani province, we recently sat down with Khun Ten, one of the owners of Gecko Villa, to discuss his unusual Thailand holiday villa, Isan itself (or the Northeast of the kingdom), and the property’s support for responsible, eco-friendly tourism.

Gecko Villa is a rural Thai holiday villa offering fully catered vacations of two nights or more, for anywhere between one and six guests. The villa enjoys a unique and tranquil rural setting among rice paddies and plantations stretching from the property’s private swimming pool.

What made you choose Isan as home for your holiday villa?
In fact, Isan chose us! I was born and raised near Khon Kaen and my wife is from this village here in Udon Thani province, so we are both locals.

The region is one of Thailand’s least developed, and employment is difficult to secure here, with the exception of working one’s own rice farm smallholding: this is always precarious, as a successful crop always depends on the weather patterns, and incomes are very low.

It was a friend who was in the hotel business who created the impetus to launch Gecko Villa – to create local employment and prevent the migration of parents to Bangkok or elsewhere to seek work. Traditionally parents, like my wife and I, have migrated to seek work whilst leaving children in the villages with grandparents, and we wanted to avoid such a split of our family.

How did you go about the construction of the villa?
From the inception of Gecko Villa, both I and the villagers involved were keen to ensure that the villa be designed, constructed and finished using only local skills and labour – and then be operated by local villagers, who would maximize the use of local produce and encourage the preservation of indigenous traditions.

And when I say local, I mean local! All of the builders and craftsmen who worked on the construction were from the three small villages nearest to the property. In decorating it, we used traditional Isan silks, cottons, cushions and Isan-heritage Ban Chiang pottery.

What makes Gecko Villa eco-friendly?
It’s a number of things we do, all of which add up.

In fact, villagers in Isan are very close to the land and have been for centuries, so tradition and necessity also play a major role. As an example, harvesting rainwater and minimizing water usage is automatic in a location where there is no mains water supply – you’ll see every house around Isan has big earthenware jars beside them. These collect rainwater from the roof and store it for later use.

Using salt water chlorination in the swimming pool (as opposed to chlorine) makes sense here, an area where salt is abundant in the ground. Growing vegetables organically is a local tradition in villages whose inhabitants do not want to waste scant funds on fertilizers.

From the outset, the property was constructed on disused rice paddies so no negative economic impact occurred. The wood used is local “Pradoo”. It is heavier than teak and twice as hard and is resistant to termites, grows rapidly, and is well suited to the soil of the Northeast. Most importantly, it is a local and sustainable tree that has the advantages of teak without the environmental implications.

At Gecko Villa we have reforested several acres of disused rice paddies with indigenous species, to help restore the local ecosystems.

We practice recycling and waste disposal programs. Again, these are in fact things that have happened in Thailand for a long time, practiced by people referred to as Saleng.

The villa uses power efficient, energy and water saving fittings and equipment. If one thing upsets us it is the high cost of solar power devices in Thailand: it seems absurd in a country where sunshine is almost always guaranteed and we would love to be able to deploy this!

I understand you are a keen cook. Can you tell me about Isan food?

We cook all meals for our guests during their holidays with us – and I’m always happy when guests learn how to make something special and can then recreate these dishes at home! Isan food is famous for its spiciness and complex depth of flavor – blending the spicy, sour, sweet and salty. Some local dishes include Larb – a spicy beef salad with fresh herbs; Som Tam – a zingy and crunchy green papaya salad, and of course sticky rice – the staple accompaniment to Isan meals.

We also cook traditional Thai food, and I suppose the greatest differences between the two are the extra spiciness of Isan food, and the fact that Isan cuisine rarely uses the “curry paste and coconut milk” formula of central Thai dishes. For us, the fresher the better!

The locals here have traditionally lived off the land, rather than simply on it, and we are always happy to show guests traditional hunting and food gathering techniques, and how these can be preserved only if the natural balance is maintained – and pollution avoided. For the more adventurous, there are local specialties including a golden array of crunchy, deep fried insects…or the kick of red ant eggs!

All produce is sourced locally, and we run our own organic herb and fruit orchards, growing limes, chilies, lemongrass, basil, pea eggplant, banana, mango, passion fruit, dragon fruit, mint, spring onions, jackfruit and more! The rice we serve is quite literally from our doorstep, from our own paddies.

How do you provide more enjoyable experiences for visitors and meaningful connections with local people?
Gecko Villa is deliberately limited to accept only a maximum of six guests at a time. They are directly welcomed by the local villagers involved in the property (including me!), with whom they have frequent daily interactions. We will involve guests in daily Thai village life and rituals (if they want!) and show them the area, explaining facets of life that may not be evident to visitors.
We also make sure that visits are generally made in ways that minimize the impact on the environment and maximize direct contact with the locals (ie visits by bicycle or boat rather than by minibus!)
Stays at Gecko Villa are tailored for each guest. Visitors may wish to relax in the privacy of the villa, or to be fully integrated into the local ways of life by the families that run the property – participating in rice farming, in temple or local village school visits, museum tours, Thai cooking classes, and so on. These activities are free of charge: additional services such as traditional Thai massage are sourced locally by experienced villagers to whom payment is made at cost, directly. We specifically aim to attract visitors who are interested in experiencing the ‘real’ Thailand, away from the major tourist centers. Those involved in the project thus understand the need to preserve and promote traditional local culture and ways of life. These are explained to guests at the property, but also on our website.
We also accompany guests to important ecological sites such as the listed wetlands of Nong Han, to museums such as Ban Chiang, and to a variety of local households to witness and experience life here at first hand.
In fact, it is the very local-specific things that interest guests the most often so we want to preserve and promote local Isan traditions – khit weaving, silk making, morlam music, Isan food, and Isan ceremonies such as Phuk Xieow. Most people will remember things that are unusual or special to them, such as visits to the local lotus lake, helping out with a rice harvest, learning to drive a tuk-tuk, negotiating local wet markets or giving alms to monks from rural temples, or discovering how silk is woven on old-fashioned wooden looms…

How successful has Gecko Villa been?
We have just had our tenth birthday!

I must say though, at the beginning, things were difficult. Very few people had ever heard of Isan, and the idea of a fully catered pool villa here, with local interaction, was a new one.

But I think time was on our side. The internet changed travel planning, allowing small, individual properties such as ours to gain a foothold. The, as we started to welcome back repeat visitors, word of mouth became a great ally. And finally, I think our concept came of age, as more people now want a genuine, authentic experience – they want to meet the locals and make a difference – and they are less tempted by a simple hotel or resort room where they are just a room number.

After ten years, we were also able to launch our second Thai holiday villa, Green Gecko. We aim to carry on what we do best, but ultimately think that two villas is enough: we want to keep the personal touch!

If I may, I’d like to thank all of the guests we have had the opportunity to meet over the years. The families here would not be here today were it not for them, and when guests come back, it really is as friends. I’d also like to thank the team at Thailand Holiday Villas who have given us so much support. We are so thankful to all of them!

For more information on Gecko Villa: Gecko Villa

Red Mangrove Aventura lodge is operative now!

Red Mangrove Galapagos & Ecuador Lodges, is happy to announce that our Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge, located in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, which had suspended operations since March 12, has been reopened since Monday 18th of April.

We are committed to offer the best possible experiences to our guests therefore closing the Aventura lodge was not an option, but a must. Since March 12th, we had decided to stay closed for several weeks to make all repairs without any kind of disruption to our guests.

We apologize once again to all our Guests and Partners, for the considerable inconvenience and concern caused by the temporary closure. We had been working very hard to bring back our Aventura Lodge in the fashion it is known for.

At this time, we want to extend a formal -Thankful Note- to all the staff that worked long exhausting shifts to accomplish the goal and of course we want to Thank Our Guests and Partners for their understanding and outpouring of support.
Red Mangrove Aventura lodge is operative now!

Contact Us: salesteam@redgalapagos.com
Website: Red Mangrove.com

Lapathon Jungle Run Costa Rica 2011

April 19th 2011, Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica – Lace up those sneakers and head down to Costa Rica for the third-annual Lapathon Jungle Run, a fundraising event that supports the needs of local schools in the Osa Peninsula.

As a project of the highly sustainable Lapa Rios Rainforest Ecolodge, this year’s 18-km run is limited to 300 participants and will take place on May 1, 2011 in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Cost to register is $20, with all funds raised going to fulfill infrastructure needs of local schools. Winners (first to finish and most pledges earned) will receive free nights and meals at one of the six Earth-friendly Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality resorts in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

“This is the third time we’ve held this wildly-successful event,” said Hans Pfister, CEO and principle of Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality. “In 2009, funds raised went towards equipping the region’s only ambulance with supplies and, in 2010, we helped to build a classroom for children with learning disabilities. All our resorts participate in programs like the Lapathon to help our environment, community and people – we like to think we’re doing our bit to make our corner of the Earth just a little better.”

Created in the ’90s under the philosophy that “a rainforest left standing was worth more than cut down,” Lapa Rios is set on a private nature reserve, spread over 1,000-acres of Central America’s last remaining lowland tropical rainforest. Over the years, Lapa Rios has been recognized for its Earth-saving ways by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, TripAdvisor, National Geographic and many more.

Donations or support to the runners are also accepted. For more information please contact Hans Pfister at hans@cayugaonline.com.

Cayuga Hospitality Discounts During Green Season

April 14th 2011, San José, Costa Rica – Budget-minded and adventure-seeking travellers who don’t mind a little rain are clicking their gumboot heels this month as a collection of award winning Central American ecolodges prepare to launch into “Green Season”.

The nickname comes from the increase in precipitation that Central America experiences from May through October – while regional rainforests return to their signature lush, green color, visitors benefit by getting to keep a few more greenbacks in their wallets.

During Green Season, discounted rates and packages can be had at any of the six Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality-managed resorts, hotels and ecolodges in Costa Rica or Nicaragua: Latitued 10 Resort , Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Finca Rosa Blanca Plantation, Arenas Del Mar Beach and Nature Resort, The Harmony Hotel and Jicaro Island Ecolodge. The high-end hotels, known around the world for their uber-sustainable and Earth-saving ways, are perfect for that dream family vacation and offer a number of kid-friendly activities, like white water rafting, nature hikes, zip lining adventures and snorkelling escapades.

“It’s a great time to visit Central America: temperatures remain high and it hardly ever rains the whole day through. Plus, there’s great surfing, outrageous wildlife-viewing opportunities and fewer guests at the resorts,” said Hans Pfister, CEO and principle of Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality. “And with summer vacation right around the corner, now’s the time for families to take advantage of these great Green Season rates. For the same price, where would you rather take your kids: Costa Rica or Disneyland?”

As an added bonus during Green Season, Costa Rica’s domestic airline, Nature Air, is offering free round trip tickets for two children accompanying two adults on flights within the country from May 1 through Dec. 15, 2011 (restrictions may apply).

Discounted hotel rates are in effect at each of the sustainable hotels from May 1 through Oct. 31, 2011. In addition, a number of other special promos are available to make the family vacation just a little bit easier on the wallet:

• Stay for five nights and pay for only four: this enticing offer is available from April 25 through Aug. 25, 2011 at Latitude 10 Beach Resort, Lapa Rios Ecolodge and The Harmony Hotel; and from April 25 through June. 30, 2011 at Arenas Del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort.

• Stay for three nights and pay for only two: this offer is available from April 25 through Aug. 25, 2011 at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn and Jicaro Island Ecolodge; and from Aug. 26 though Nov. 20, 2011 at Latitude 10 Beach Resort, Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Arenas Del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort and The Harmony Hotel.

• Stay for two nights and pay for only one: from Aug. 26 through Nov. 20, 2011, stay at Jicaro Island Ecolodge or Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn and take advantage of this whale of a deal.

• Kids stay and eat for free: looking for an eye-opening family vay-cay? This offer is available June 15 through Sept. 15, 2011 at Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn, Arenas Del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort and The Harmony Hotel.

For more information please contact Hans Pfister at hans@cayugaonline.com.