For a vacation that prioritizes luxury and nature, travel responsibly with a stay at a charming eco-lodge.
Looking to book a sustainable vacation? You’re not alone. Approximately 70 percent of global travelers prefer eco-friendly accommodations, according to a 2019 report by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
And from mountain retreats to rustic wood cabins, nothing says rest and relaxation quite like cozying up in an enchanting cabin or cottage far away from civilization.
Of course, there’s no better way to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the natural world than by booking a sustainable getaway. For a vacation that prioritizes luxury and nature, opt to travel responsibly by staying at charming eco-lodges.
What is an eco-lodge?
For the eco-conscious traveler, eco-lodges are a terrific way to leave no trace while exploring the great unknown. Unlike grandiose resorts, which are largely located in bustling cities, eco-lodges are small accommodations that are usually located in remote areas.
The 1999 book, The International Eco-Lodge Guidelines, outlines the criteria for eco-lodges in depth. In order to be considered an eco-lodge, an establishment “must embody the main principles of ecotourism; that of conservation of neighboring lands, benefits to local communities and interpretation to both local populations and guests,” the book’s authors state.
Immersed in nature, eco-lodges prioritize environmental preservation and are designed to minimize the negative impact that lodging has on the planet.
Eco-lodges emphasize natural and cultural heritage. They benefit local communities in a number of ways, including boosting local economies, conserving wildlife, and providing educational programs designed to teach travelers about the importance of local flora and fauna.
Eco-lodges boast numerous sustainability initiatives, such as by promoting water and energy conservation, properly disposing of solid waste and sewage, and by sourcing energy from renewable sources.
Best eco-lodges for a sustainable getaway
Ready to embark on your sustainable escape? From remote safari camps in Africa to the quaint cottages of England, here are the best eco-lodges to stay in if you care about the planet.
1. Zion National Park Lodge – Springdale, Utah
Featuring historic cabins and luxurious suites, Zion Lodge is a nature lover’s paradise. Centrally located in Zion National Park, the lodge is surrounded by a sprawling 146,000 acres of canyons and hiking trails. With a commitment to sustainability, Zion Lodge has a strong environmental policy, which includes renewable energy, EV charging stations, composting, and bike rentals.
2. Wheatland Farm – Devon, England
Animal lovers will enjoy a relaxing getaway to the tranquil cottages of Wheatland Farm. The 21-acre nature reserve has wildlife galore—deer, robins, bats, hares, owls, and more. Run by 100 percent renewable energy, the lodge boasts an upcycling ethos—diverting 80 percent of its waste to be recycled—bike rentals, and more.
3. Travessia Beach Lodge – Mozambique, Africa
Nestled along the dunes of the Mozambican coast, this eco-lodge has all the vacation essentials—amazing views of the coastline and surrounding palm trees, an on-site restaurant and bar, and an outdoor pool. Entirely powered by solar energy, the lodge prides itself on its light environmental footprint.
4. Daintree Ecolodge & Spa – Queensland, Australia
This rainforest retreat is the epitome of sustainable luxury. The lodge is partially powered by solar panels to help offset its energy usage, recycles 100 percent of its water, composts food waste, and plants trees in partnership with the Rainforest Rescue foundation. The lodge also gives back to locals. It financially supports local businesses, including two local primary schools, and donates $50 from each stay to the Reef Keepers Fund to help preserve the Great Barrier Reef.
5. Awasi Iguazú – Misiones, Argentina
Located in the Atlantic Rainforest just 20 minutes away from Iguazú, one of the world’s largest waterfalls, this eco-lodge features 14 private villas and an on-site bar and restaurant, the latter of which serves up seasonal produce and vegetables from the kitchen garden. Explore the South American great outdoors and all that nature has to offer, including more than 400 bird species and thousands of endemic plants and animals.
6. Sarinbuana Eco Lodge – Bali, Indonesia
Explore the Indonesian wilderness with a stay at this remote eco-lodge, which is situated on the slopes of Mount Batukaru. Featuring six uniquely designed bungalows, the lodge has its own permaculture garden and a restaurant that serves a plethora of vegan and organic menu options, including dairy-free ice cream—you’ll never want to leave. Take part in treetop yoga, private river pools with waterfalls, bird-watching excursions, and much, much more.
7. Pacuare Jungle Lodge, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Situated on 25,000 acres of forest, Pacuare Lodge is nestled along the banks of the Pacaure River. With farm-to-table cuisine, indigenous Cabécar-inspired architecture, and secluded, luxurious villas, it’s sure to be a relaxing home away from home.
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