Esquinas Rainforest Lodge

An Austrian Development Aid project
Seeing their future threatened by restrictions set up by the Park Service, a group of local farmers and former loggers in the village of La Gamba decided to turn to nature tourism as an alternative to the exploitation of the Esquinas rainforest. However, a  lack of funds made it necessary to find a financial backer. In 1993, the Republic of Austria, recognizing the importance of sustainable alternatives as opposed to the destruction of tropical forests, decided to finance the project as part of its Development Aid Program. Rainforest of the Austrians was appointed to oversee and direct the project, and the construction of Esquinas Rainforest Lodge was completed in 1994. The regional office of the Austrian Embassy in Managua remained in charge of development aid programs in La Gamba until 2005.

The largest employer in La Gamba
The Austrian government donated the lodge to Rainforest of the Austrians in 1998, and in 2005 it was privatized but remains in Austrian hands.  The ultimate goal is to prove that a small, ecologically safe nature lodge, accomodating no more than 40 guests, can generate enough income to raise the living standard of a whole community of 70 families. Esquinas is the largest employer in La Gamba, offering at least 15 permanent jobs. Except for management and office personell, all employees at the lodge are from the local town. The lodge has assumed an active role in the financing and implementation of community projects.  Activities include hiking on 10 miles of trails in Piedras Blancas National Park, horseback tours to Valle Bonito and the Chorro waterfall, boat excursions to the Rio Coto Mangroves and Casa Orquideas Botanical Garden, visiting the biological station and the village of La Gamba, and a full-day Rainforest Adventure Tour. The lodge has 14 rooms, a pool, a  bar and an excellent restaurant. An exclusive Jungle Villa with two additional rooms and kitchen can be rented by families.
Visit the website of Esquinas Rainforest Lodge: