The Certificate for Sustainable Tourism is a globally recognized program sponsored by the Costa Rica Tourism Board that seeks to categorize and certify tourism companies on a scale from one to five leaves according to the degree to which its operations contribute to a model of sustainability (five being the most sustainable). Its main purpose is to improve the way in which the natural and social resources are managed, to motivate the active participation of the local communities, and to support the competitiveness of the business sector.
As the phenomenon of “green washing” becomes more prevalent, more and more discerning travelers are turning to certification programs like this to be able to recognize hotels that are truly commited to contributing to the social and natural well-being of the communities where they operate. CST, being one of the oldest, most rigorous and comprehensive sustainability certifications in the world, has gained more and more support worldwide.
Originally certified with one leaf in 2002 (the first one in the area to join the program), Hotel Belmar led the way for other hotels in Monteverde, finally being awarded five leaves in 2011. Hotel Belmar is currently the only one in Monteverde to lay claim to level 5 CST certification.