take only memories, leave only footprints

Every single person traveling to a foreign destination will have an impact on the place and on the culture, whether it is immediate or eventual, obvious or subtle, grandiose or minimal.  We feel we have a responsibility, as a company and as individuals, to bring awareness to sustainable tourism and inspire YOU to live, travel, and prosper consciously and ethically.

We’ve made it easy for you to make the right choices in traveling by selecting retreats that follow our own simple criteria of sustainable tourism.  We look at three categories: SUSTAINABILITY MANAGEMENT, ENVIRONMENT, and SOCIO / ECONOMIC and how each retreat makes an impact in each of the categories.


  • A Sustainability Management System is incorporated into company’s business plan, outlining goals and objectives to meet sustainability needs.
  • Retreat has health and safety plans prepared and in action to ensure the well-being of guests, employees and staff and the local community
  • Retreat provides knowledgable surf guides to ensure safety of guests; respect local customs of surfing; and preserve ocean and beach environment where applicable.
  • Retreat promotes surf etiquette to preserve sustainability of surf spots and culture
  • Use of locally sustainable construction principles and design while respecting the natural and cultural environment.


  • Retreat uses recycling practices
  • Retreat uses native species only for landscaping and restoration when applicable
  • Rainwater collection provides at least 60% of water used throughout premises of retreat
  • Retreat makes use of permaculture systems to run retreat water, septic systems, garden and food
  • Environmentally Friendly Products are used on premises.
  • Retreat does not use harsh chemicals, pesticides or paints on premises for gardening, cleaning and other construction duties.


  • Retreat is a registered business in country of operation
  • Retreat has hired at least 1 local employee for every foreign staff member
  • Retreat uses local resources where applicable to provide outside goods and services
  • Retreat respects local culture, community and conduct and works to preserve this rather than exploit.

Our criteria is NOT a certification program.  It is simply our company guidelines in selecting retreats that meet our standards of operating a retreat in a foreign country.  We list retreats that follow a minimum of 70% of our criteria, and determine this by written survey only.

However, Tropical Peak is committed to encouraging sustainability among our affiliate businesses.  Our Sustainability efforts include referring retreats to the surf tourism certification program, STOKE certified and honors and displays any badge of sustainable tourism certification.

Our aim is to continue to educate travelers and retreat operators on sustainable tourism and to strongly encourage certification among businesses to inspire a better future.