In November, Hilton Hotels announced a new partnership with Crocodile Bay Resort in Puerto Jimenez to build a luxury resort with huge marina in the Osa Peninsula. According to the press release, the hotel will feature swimming pools, bars, fitness centers, luxury spa, conference center, restaurants, cafes and golf cart concierge service. Part of the plan is also to expand the Crocodile Bay Marina to hold 150 boats up to 200ft in length, with a marina village.
All this they say, will be constructed “harmony with its environment.”
The property is surrounded by mangrove ecosystems, which contain a huge variety of rare flora and fauna and are very sensitive to disruption. The marina will be built jutting out into the “protected” Gulfo Dulce; which is home to many marine creatures including sea turtles, whales, dolphins and rays that will be in further danger from passing boats.
In addition to this, the hotel and marina will encourage visitors to remain within the resort- contributing nothing to the local economy. They will operate their own tours in-house; have their own shops and restaurants; taking the profits with them.
The hotel is set to be completed in 2018 and we are concerned that this may result in reduced access to Corcovado National Park from Drake Bay- because there are a limited number of passes available on any given day. Booking months in advance may become necessary, taking away opportunities or budget travelers and small businesses. We encourage you to share this story with others and to support local community businesses in the Osa Peninsula by investigating a variety of tours, activities, restaurants and accommodation options. Take a look at our Drake Bay tour guide and interactive community map to get started.
We have recently learned about a petition for the executive directors of the Hilton that is trying to stop this development which you can sign here or read more about in this great post by the Corcovado Foundation
You can also watch an excellent documentary about the effects of mass-tourism and foreign development in Costa Rica, called “Cracking the Golden Egg”. Which explores similar resorts in Northern Guanacaste.