Crocodile Bay Resort and Marina, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica


Costa Rica is recognized around the world as an attractive destination for ecotourism. However, since the 1990´s a large-scale coastal tourism model has been implemented in the country’s Pacific coast. This model, based on cruise ships, resorts, golf courses, residential tourism, real estate speculation and marinas, has ever since generated serious environmental and social impacts.

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Basic Data
NameCrocodile Bay Resort and Marina, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
CountryCosta Rica
SiteGolfito, Puerto Jiménez
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Tourism Recreation
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific CommoditiesWater
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe overall tourism development plan includes:

- 84 luxury villa

-gas station

-a parking lot

- “Waterfront Marina Village” that will include shops and restaurants.

-In addition Crocodile Bay wants to build two hotels: El Ceibo in a 86,000 m2 construction area, 30 buildings, 270 rooms, 6 pools and 2 tennis courts. And Las Rosas located within the maritime zone, have 10,000 m2 of construction, 26 buildings and 104 rooms.

The dimensions of the project are 750m along the coast, by 570m offshore
Level of Investment (in USD)50,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population40,000
Start Date01/08/2006
Company Names or State EnterprisesBahía Cocodrilo S. A. from United States of America - owner
Relevant government actorsCommission of Tourist Marinas (CIMAT),Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) Environment Ministry’s National Technical Secretariat (SETENA), Environmental Ministry, Energie and Telecommunications (MINAET),Procuraduría General de la República (PGR)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCentro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología de la Universidad de Costa Rica (Cimar),Frente por el Golfo Dulce, Fundación Neotrópica (FN), Frente Nacional por la Protección de los Humedales, Conservación Osa, Fundacion MarViva, Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Puerto Jiménez,
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingInformal workers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Otherdirect destruction to mangroves and marine ecosystems,noise pollution to marine species,
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Othersignificant increase in tourists that threatens local culture, direct affectation to artisanal fishermen, increases in property taxes and the cost of life produced by real estate speculation, increased in water demand.
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Project temporarily suspended
Development of Alternatives-Another way of tourism : ecological and community based tourism.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The project is temporarily suspended and the complaint made by Fundación Neotrópica and Conservación Osa arguing that the zoning management plan was illegal was victory for the environmental justice.
Sources and Materials

Expediente administrativo, Bahia Cocodrilo. Expediente Num D1-595- 2006 de SETENA
[click to view]

Ley Organica del Ambiente
[click to view]

Constitucion Politica de Costa Rica
[click to view]

Ley de Marinas y Atracaderos Turísticos N. 7774


Reporte Final del Monitoreo de Especies Marinas en el Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, Enero - Febrero 2010
[click to view]

Revista Ambientico (2013). Soportaría el Golfo Dulce una marina?
[click to view]

Fundacion Neotropica y Stanford Woods (2019). Conciliando productivamente : identificacion de actividades viables de produccion sostenible para los pobladores /as de la Reserva Forestal Golfo Dulce
[click to view]


Ambiente Critico, Digital El Paias. El Proyecto de Marina del “Crocodile Bay Resort” en el Golfo Dulce
[click to view]

The Tico Times (2013) Environmentalists continue fight against Crocodile Bay marina:
[click to view]

La Nacion (2012) Construcción de marina en golfo Dulce divide a Puerto Jiménez
[click to view]

Vecinos y expertos dicen NO a marina y megaproyecto en Golfo Dulce
[click to view]

UCR, Kioscos Ambientales. Defensa de los Ecosistemas de la Region
[click to view]

Crocodile Bay Resort, the Marina village
[click to view]

Infomación general y características de la Marina Cocodrile Bay
[click to view]

El Financiero (2013) Marinas turísticas no logran levantar ánimo de inversionistas
[click to view]

Empresa que busca crear Marina en Golfo Dulce fue la encargada de hacer Plan Regulador de la zona
[click to view]

Media Links

Campaña Marinas No, Comunidad Si
[click to view]

Avaaz petition
[click to view]

Era Verde, UCR. No a la marina de Puerto Jimenez, Golfo Dulce, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica. Parte I
[click to view]

Era Verde, UCR. No a la marina de Puerto Jimenez, Golfo Dulce, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica. Parte II
[click to view]

Other Documents

Site where the marina will be built Golfo Dulce, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorGrettel Navas, Fundación Neotrópica
Last update26/11/2015