Welcome, Talula and Yasmin!

The Refugio has recently welcomed two new volunteers, Talula and Yasmin, both second year students from St. John’s College, University of Oxford. 

Yasmin studies Biology and is enjoying discovering more about the unique adaptations and medicinal properties of the native plants. She is also interested in learning more about sustainable living and permaculture at the Refugio.

Talula studies Spanish and Arabic and, as well as honing her Spanish skills, has a keen interest in wildlife photography. Keep a look out for her pictures of birds, dragonflies, amphibians, mammals and more on the Instagram page @RefugioTinti.

Together they have been weeding the vegetable gardens, cooking evening meals and searching for species new to the Refugio.

Welcome, Talula and Yasmin!

At the Refugio, we constantly strive to connect researchers and practitioners from diverse fields related to ecosystem restoration. We have been particularly honored to host Dr. Jenella Loye and Dr. Scott Carroll, two entomologists and evolutionary ecologists at the University of California, Davis. 

During a tour of the Refugio, conversations revolved around the overlapping interests of the researchers and Alexander. Dr. Loye and Dr. Carroll pioneered the scientific testing and development of organic, natural and low-toxicity pesticides, fertilizers and soil amendments, which is why the successful application of permacultural methods at the Refugio found an echo with them.

We are proud that our proposal for the diversification of palm oil monocultures into food forests was of particular interest to our guests, not least because they own land in Southern Costa Rica themselves. We hope to build a productive and mutually enriching relationship on this basis!

UC Davis researchers visit the Refugio

Following a series of enriching conversations between Geoffrey Holland of Stanford University’s Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB) and Alexander, the interview “Refugio Tinti: Reflections of Nature’s Design” has now been published. You can read it here to learn more about the Refugio’s path from wasteland to sanctuary, Alexander’s views of the challenges posed by modern industrial agriculture and possible remedies inspired by nature’s ingenuity.

The MAHB describes itself as “a meeting place for global civil society” and aims to unite “citizens concerned with the interconnections among the greatest threats to human well-being”. We believe in the importance of this goal and are proud to be featured in this medium.

Read the interview here.

Read Alexander’s interview with Stanford University’s MAHB

The Refugio Tinti is a wildlife reserve and conservation project next to Piedras Blancas National Park in Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse areas on earth. By offering to stay at our guesthouse, we want to share the experience of how we reconcile wilderness with humanity at the Refugio.

Our guesthouse is a spacious and open 50m² (540ft²) bungalow facing a calm pond, offering scenic views and maximum privacy. It features a king-size bed, a living area, an ensuite bathroom, a walk-in closet, a small kitchen, WiFi and electricity. However, we abstain from electric lights, noise, smoking and pets to ensure that the wildlife is disturbed as little as possible. If you really love and respect nature, this place is for you!

The Refugio is built on 24 hectares of wetland which was restored over the last five years. The premises feature a large common house (the “Casa Grande”) with a kitchen, dining area, living area, and library as well as vegetable and herb gardens, a food forest, animal barns, and beautiful hiking paths throughout the sanctuary and the rainforest. The Casa Grande is a gathering point for all guests to engage in conversations or to enjoy nature’s creativity.

Nearby the Refugio, there is the village La Gamba (around 700 inhabitants), entry into the national park, and 10 minutes by bicycle to a beautiful waterfall. The closest town is Golfito, which is around 20 minutes by car.

The majority of the proceeds from renting out the guesthouse are used for conservation projects led by the Refugio Tinti.

How to book the guesthouse

Please contact us via our contact form here and choose “Visit us” as the category. Tell us your preferred date, the number of people who would like to come, and any questions you have. We will then reach out to you imminently. The founder of the Refugio, Alexander Tinti, would like to call prospective guests prior to their arrival to get to know them and introduce the Refugio personally.

The price for the guesthouse is $95 per night. This includes breakfast for two people, biodegradable hygiene products, and a parking lot for your car. We can arrange dinner as well, if required and also guided tours on horses through the national park. We look forward to welcoming you!

Please keep in mind that nature has priority

Please remember that the Refugio Tinti is a wildlife sanctuary and thus, the wildlife always has priority. The systemic design of the sanctuary aims to reintegrate all humans into the cycles of nature. This allows us to experience the flora and fauna in a unique way, but requires respect and some openness to blend in.

Below you can find some photos of the guesthouse and its quaint surroundings.

Staying at the Refugio’s idyllic guesthouse

Mario comes from Vienna and joined the Refugio Tinti team in March 2020 during a three-month stay in Costa Rica. He currently studies Statistics and works in Neuroscience research at ETH Zurich. Previously he graduated from the University of Oxford in Economics and Management. He is responsible for public relations, fundraising, and supports the development of new projects at the Refugio.