Project: GAIA Hotel & Reserve

Manuel Antonio - Costa Rica

Jardín Gaia
Gaia Hotel & Reserve sits on a vast tract of lowland coastal forest that was the original site of Jardin Gaia, a botanical garden center for native orchid conservation and endangered wildlife rehabilitation founded by Dario Castelfranco and Cynthia Pensa. The foundation of Jardín Gaia came from the realization that, though legally protected, there are many threats to Costa Rica's endangered species and environment, and we must work to conserve and protect our precious natural resources of the area.  

Hotel & Reserve Project
The Jardin Gaia project left a legacy of environmental research, conservation, and protection. It is with this focus in mind that the project for Gaia Hotel & Reserve began to take shape.
Today, The Gaia Hotel & Reserve project has as its foundation the preservation of the natural reserve for generations to come. It is our goal to provide a safe haven for the beautiful local flora and fauna that is being squeezed out by local developers. 
Of 14.1 total acres, only 2.0 will be inhabited, leaving 12.1 in its natural habitat that remains set aside as a refuge for these many precious species. It is here that the privileged guest may take in the sights and sounds of Costa Rica’s lush and exotic natural gift
The Scarlet Macaws
Gaia Hotel & Reserve is proud to be partnering with the Association of Friends of the Ara Macao (ASOMACAO) to give the territory back to the Scarlet Macaws. This species was present in Manuel Antonio over 40 years ago but disappeared because of poaching and deforestation for agriculture expansion.

Gaia Hotel & Reserve generously provides habitat, food, and professional veterinary care for birds that have been rescued or bred as part of the program. The hotel’s seven hectare nature reserve, adjacent to Manuel Antonio National Park, is an ideal host site for the breeding and releasing of scarlet macaws.
Since 2014, more than 40 young Scarlet Macaws have been released into the wild through the efforts of ASOMACAO at Hotel Gaia.

In addition, dozens of scarlet macaws have been rescued or surrendered and brought to Gaia to live on the reserve. Those that cannot survive in the wild are cared for and given a home in their natural habitat for the rest of their lives.  

Key facts about the Scarlet Macaw Project at GAIA Hotel & Reserve

  • The Project was launched in 2013, is licensed and government-supervised.

  • 40 birds have been released successfully since the start of the program.

  • 7 chicks born within the program span.

  • Project facilities cover one breeding-flocking cage, one pre-liberation cage and a quarantine area.

  • The project is professional staffed with one biologist, one veterinarian, on bird keeper and one naturalist guide.

ASOMACAO and Hotel Gaia ask for your help in protecting and preserving Manuel Antonio’s growing population of Wild Scarlet Macaws. Here is how you can help: 

  • Do not feed any wild animal. 

  • If a Scarlet Macaw (or any wild animal) comes close to you, please ignore it or shoo it away.  We understand it is tempting to talk to it and encourage its interaction with you; however, animals that become accustomed to humans have a lower survival rate. Please help us to keep wild animals wild. 

  • Learn more about these majestic creatures and their importance to the local ecosystem on a free, guided tour of the Gaia Reserve. Most days at 3pm. Please call the hotel front desk for scheduling. 

  • Make a donation to ASOMACAO. Specific funding needs include costs of artificial nests, costs of laboratory tests for rescued/surrendered birds, and funding for increased community outreach and education.    


Asomacao Costa Rica


Manuel Antonio, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos, Costa Rica

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