It’s hard to plan your travel these days without hearing the term “ecotourism” – fortunately, a trend in the right direction. Choosing green hotels or eco-lodges as your travel destinations have risen in popularity in recent years, so exactly constitutes as an eco-lodge, and is there any difference between an eco-lodge and a green hotel?
In short, both terms are often taken for granted and used interchangeably. While both of these institutions rely on using materials made from naturally renewable sources and are greener, or taking initiatives to preserve the nature of our planet, in practice there are some important things that differentiate an eco-lodge from the green hotel:
- Green Hotels. No matter how green they tend to be, hotels are demanding large infrastructure and a great amount of cash to build and maintain. It is not out of the question that a large conglomerate or multinational company is behind the entire concept of the hotel. This is not a bad thing, and in fact it’s great to see larger businesses focusing on the planet, it just means you will likely have a more traditional experience. Oftentimes green hotels are positioned inside the large urban areas and cities, which is the main differentiator between green hotels and eco-lodges.
- Eco-Lodges. One can say that eco-lodges are a little bit less mainstream and a little bit greener than green hotels. They are often made of natural materials from the country you’re visiting, which often means you’ll see the architecture of the country and feel immersed in nature and the wildlife that surrounds you. Almost always situated in a remote area set amongst impressive terrains, eco-lodges take into consideration all that their presence touches and what it means for those native to the land.
So where do you find the coolest eco-lodges today? Below are just a few of our favorites:
La Selva, Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle
Located in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle, La Selva is a luxury, certified eco-lodge. Thatched bungalows are spread across the property where over 500 bird species and monkeys are right outside your door, and the rainforest restaurant utilizes local ingredients from the on-site garden. The lodge supports the local Pilchi community and their indigenous knowledge of the Amazon Rainforest. Truly an experience as you fall asleep to the symphony of the forest. Fun fact: Discover Corps travelers stay here!
Daintree Eco-Lodge & Spa, Australia
Connecting what’s nice and what’s purposeful, if you decide to book your stay in Daintree eco-lodge, you will pay tribute to the world’s oldest rainforest at the same time.
This has been quite a popular travel destination even before ecotourism rose in popularity, so locals are already used to foreigners and can offer a decent amount of entertainment such as rides across Daintree river, a rainforest hiking tour, or sampling the local cuisine of the area of Queensland. Plus, they’ve given this lodge a luxury-feel.
Guludo Beach Lodge, Mozambique
If you are a more laid-back type of person and you prefer to just relax and sunbathe listening to chilled waves of the ocean, you might want to pay a visit to this eco-lodge located on the deserted white-sand beach, overlooking Quirimbas archipelago. It’s incredibly unique and makes it easy to unplug and soak up all the country has to offer.
Annie’s Cabin, England
Who said that there are no eco-lodges in metropolis-crazed Europe? Located just kilometers away from Ludlow, Annie’s Cabin is a sight to behold and a very affordable eco-lodge even if you want to save money while traveling. The green initiative of its founders resulted in using sheep wool for insulation, solar water heating, and usage of LED bulbs and other low energy consuming appliances. They didn’t skimp on the eco-friendly amenities, making this a model eco-lodge even despite being near a city.
In the end, ecotourism is not just for those who have enough money to spend on traveling. Eco-lodges and green hotels are becoming the norm, and in 2018 we will see more and more affordable, accessible options for families and adults. There is no reason for you not to make your next trip purposeful (even with a full-time job), and where you stay is a big part of that.
Stay in an Eco-Lodge with Discover Corps
Below are just a few of the trips where our travelers stay in distinct eco-lodges:
- Amazon Basin Extension (Standard Lodging)
- Belize: Wildlife Safari (Premier Lodging)
- Dominican Republic: Heart & Soul of the Caribbean (Rustic Lodging)
- Costa Rica: Wildlife Safari (Standard Lodging)
- Kenya: Safari & Conservation (Premier Lodging)
- South Africa: Wildlife Conservation Experience (Premier Lodging)
Feature Image Credit: pixabay.com/en/rustic-cabin-mountains-landscape-945421/