About Us

Come once as a guest; come back a friend

We know most people aren’t lucky enough to live like we do so we want to share this with you.

Casitas Tenorio is our home and business. We are Donald Varela Soto and Pip Kelly. We met working together on a conservation project in Bijagua in 2001. Since then, we’ve turned our commitment to sustainable living into a working farm and eco tourism venture. Donald is originally from Bijagua and Pip is from rural Victoria in Australia. We have travelled extensively together and have also lived and worked in a remote Indigenous community in Western Australia. We are married and have two bilingual daughters.

Bijagua is our home and we are committed to positively and sustainably developing our community. For us, this means preserving habitat for local wildlife and enabling sustainable tourism in the area. Casitas Tenorio is both a B&B and seven hectare working organic farm, producing dairy and other crops. We sell our milk to the cheese factory in town and also make our own cheese.

Our Values

Family is very important to us, at Casitas Tenorio we work as a team and consider each of team members as part of our extended family. Our values are:

  • To demonstrate our commitment to social, cultural, economic and environmentally sustainable practices everyday
  • To ensure there are opportunities for community members to contribute to the project
  • To provide opportunities for guests to be involved in our community
  • To give guests the possibility of having an authentic Costa Rican experience experiences.
  • To value our natural environment
  • To provide meaningful and ongoing relationships with our guests
  • To ensure we utilise our local suppliers and producers
  • To facilitate a continuous, two-way learn between our guest and community to improve our everyday practices

Casitas Tenorio is dedicated to delivering high quality, authentic travel experiences tourists who seek to become engaged in rural community tourism in Costa Rica.

We endeavour to deliver high quality personalized service and authentic experiences based on sustainable travel practices. We seek to encourage positive relationships between rural community development, tourism and conservation.

Our aim is to share with our guests various aspects of rural Costa Rican life in a manner that enhances their vacation expectations and cultural curiosity which will lead to long lasting memories and relationships for both the visitor and the hosts at Casitas Tenorio and our local community.

Casitas Tenorio will be a leading provider of sustainable rural community tourism in Costa Rica.

Our employees, guests, neighbours and our environment will be well cared for and enriched by our business and our stewardship of the land.

We strive to integrate and promote sustainable practices into our everyday operations and ensure that these travel experiences promote positive relationships between rural community development, tourism and conservation. See here for more information about our practices.

Our produce is organic, we generate part of our energy from a Biodigestor, we’re reforesting part of our farm for local wildlife, and we provide work opportunities for members of the local community.

It’s a matter of quality, and qualities, and we reflect this in our service, too: whatever brings you to Casitas Tenorio, we promise you an experience of the highest quality.

For us, rural tourism means integrating our B&B with our farm to provide guests with an opportunity to see and participate in rural Costa Rican life. It’s about making tourism part of the community, rather than creating new communities to cater to tourists. In our experience, what attracts people to rural Costa Rica is rural Costa Rica. We want to help our guests have an authentically rural Costa Rican experience, because we think that’s what they came here for, and because we think this approach to tourism is good for rural Costa Rica and rural Costa Ricans. See our page on rural tourism for more details.