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Base of operations: Costa Rica
Jack Ewing moved to Costa Rica in 1970 and first arrived at Hacienda Baru in 1972. At that time about half of the property had been deforested and the land had been used for cattle ranching for over 20 years. The highland portion of the property, about half of the total area, was still forested. Over the next 20 years Hacienda Barú was converted into a nature reserve where eco travelers can today observe a wide variety of flora and fauna. In 1987 Jack Ewing began offering two ecological hiking tours and one jungle camping tour. Two family style cabins were offered for rent in 1988. In 1993, Steve Stroud bought out all of Ewing's former partners and became senior partner in the company. At that time canopy tours were added to the offering. Four more cabins and a restaurant were built in the same year. In 1995 the property was declared Hacienda Baru National Wildlife
Refuge by the president of Costa Rica. Today M16968 offers family style lodging in six, two bedroom, bungalos. A sister company, El Chilamate de Barú offers nine different ecological tours, including three canopy tours, two hiking tours, two overnight tours and two bird watching tours. Additionally the hacienda has seven kilometers of hiking trails where visitors may walk and enjoy tropical nature by themselves. Hacienda Baru has 15 acres of teak trees which provide all of the wood used by the company. No wood cut from a natural forest is used. The lodge uses only biodegradable products and is operated in an energy efficient manner. All of our staff (about 30 people) are local and have been trained by the company. Hacienda Baru has been a member of The International Ecotourism
Society since 1993. It is best known for its efforts at restoring degraded land. This restoration and further protection of over 800 acres has been made possible by selling services to ecological tourists.