Eco-tourism is on the move, but eco-lodges are still hard to find. Many of them are family-run and have no real marketing budget, which means you either stumble across them by accident, by word of mouth or after doing a lot of research. We decided to ask some fellows who are constantly roaming the world to tell us about their secret gems. So here are 11 favorite eco-lodges of travel bloggers worldwide. Enjoy!
1. Feynan Ecolodge (Jordan)
“Feynan has been one of my favorite eco-lodge experiences to date because it placed me in the heart of nature and pulled me away from all my usual distractions. Dinners were candle lit and enjoyed in a communal setting, nights were spent star gazing on the rooftop, and goats roamed freely across the landscape as we enjoyed breakfasts on the terrace. There was a certain simplicity at Feynan that made you aware of the beauty of nature and the true value of community. I also really liked that Feynan hired people from the surrounding villages to work at the lodge. It was the local Bedouins who shared their Jordanian cooking, led us on hikes through the rugged landscapes, and taught us about their unique customs and traditions. My stay at Feynan was all too brief, but I left with new found knowledge and a greater appreciation for this part of Jordan.”
2. Cicada Lodge (Australia)
“After long days on the road, this place was just perfect to take a break and relax! It’s close to the parks entrance and in the middle of the wilderness. So you can easily take a walk and enjoy stunning views. The lodge is quite small with 18 rooms, ours was really spacious and comfy. But the best was the super delicious local food. Definitely a place to come back to!”
3. Aqua Wellness Resort (Nicaragua)
“High quality, luxurious eco-tourism has landed in Nicaragua and you’ll never want to leave! Aqua Wellness Resort is a luxury yoga, spa and relaxation retreat nestled into the tranquil, forested hillside of Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast, on the Pacific. The treehouses and villas combine the best of luxury and relaxation, including plunge pools right outside the front door, with the highest standards of sustainability. An attentive and friendly staff makes sure that everything is perfect for you from the moment you walk in to the moment you leave again. The food in the on-site restaurant is a fresh fusion of local and international cuisine, served with flavour and nourishment. But an absolute highlight of the resort is the incredible yoga deck, with its proud and energetically powerful position on the hillside, overlooking the turquoise Pacific waters and the private white-sand beach below. Relaxing here with your eyes closed, the cool breeze blowing through the open structure can make you feel like you’re floating.”
4. Terra Khaya (South Africa)
“Terra Khaya runs completely off the grid, mainly relying on solar power. They offer both dorms and private accommodation (which makes it perfect for family, couples, and solo travelers) and are constructed from recyclables or clay. I was surprised by how clean and comfortable everything was given the sort of outdoor/indoor living model. I also loved the nightly meals eaten together as a family, made with local produce. The outdoor showers had to be my favorite part, though, as well as the incredible view of the Hogsback mountains. The horses on the property roam freely as well, and are on offer for moonlit horseback rides.”
5. Tapik Beach Resort (Phillipines)
“Tapik beach is a paradise lodge located on the East side of El Nido – Palawan in the Philippines. I discovered it by accident whilst looking for accommodation in a quiet area of El Nido and Tapik beach was the perfect choice! The owner and all the staff is 100% local, super friendly and always ready to help. They love to sit with their guests, talk with them and share their stories. Being so secluded from the busiest part of El Nido makes it the perfect location to find peace and enjoy one of the few truly unspoiled spots in the Island. I stayed in a lovely bamboo bungalow with sea view, but there is also a dedicated space with tents for the more adventurous travelers and shared rooms for the super budget travelers. They also organize amazing tours to discover the eastern part of El Nido, with Heritage/Cultural tours, Island hopping, snorkeling and scuba diving activities. I went for the island hopping and the fireflies & mangroves tour and it was an incredible experience. The food is also great, with fresh fish and typical Filipino dishes, served in their very special restaurant on the beach, accompanied only by candle lights and the soothing sound of the waves. They use solar energy to provide electricity during the night hours and are super eco-friendly, trying to preserve the natural environment in every possible way. I loved every minute of my stay and I’ll definitely recommend them to everyone!”
6. Dar Rita (Morocco)
“Located inside one of the old Ouarzazate’s neighborhoods, Dar Rita guest house offers seven fully equipped rooms. Amidst the blend of exotic decoration, incense and tranquility, Dar Rita has the perfect welcoming atmosphere for you to feel at home. Rooms at Riad Dar Rita are equipped with air conditioner, bathroom and all the necessary amenities to provide you with comfort and quality accommodation. Dar Rita is worried about environmental issues. While many things are difficult to make in an Eco hotel in Morocco, Dar Rita makes an effort to reduce its ecological impact, using alternative energy sources. Through solar panels, organic compost recycling, paper recycling, community garbage removal and community human approach towards pollution issues – we try to reduce our carbon footprint.”
7. Bangkok Tree House (Thailand)
“The view from my ‘nest’ – the delightful name for the elevated glass cubicles that serve as rooms at Bangkok Tree House – was of a dense mangrove forest where turtles sunned on the banks of canals. Located on an island created by a giant loop in the Chao Phraya River, the ‘Green Lung’ of Bangkok is an area little known to Bangkok residents. The only way to visit the island is to make a roundabout drive to one inconveniently located bridge or take a no-frills ferry that makes the crossing every 20 minutes. The inconvenient access had one giant benefit; the land never caught the eye of developers. Today it is criss-crossed by miles of elevated paths that run along mangrove-studded canals shaded by banana trees, where lizards scurry softly through the underbrush.The bustling capital city may be right across the river, but it feels a world away. It took owner Joey Tulyanond two years of biking around the island to find the perfect parcel of land, and another two to build, but today the Bangkok Tree House is a prime example of eco-development done in partnership with the local community.”
8. Earthshine Discovery Center (United States)
“This intimate and cozy lodge offers families the opportunity to connect with each other and the beautiful nature of Western North Carolina. Up to 12 families at a time stay in rooms attached to the main lodge, with private bath, air conditioning, and an upstairs loft sleeping quarters for kids. Earthshine is close to the Pisgah National Forest, with its famous Sliding Rock, and Dupont State Forest, where the Hunger Games was filmed, but the lodge’s own 80 acres within the Blue Ridge mountains are ready to explore, with planned daily adventures like ziplining, adventure ropes courses, and a creek walk with their own sliding rock (on a smaller scale). Delicious meals made from scratch are included, as well as the nightly light show courtesy of the local fireflies. Day rates and B&B rates are also available.”
9. Finca Luna Nueva Lodge (Costa Rica)
“My favorite ecolodge is the Finca Luna Nueva Lodge and Farm in Costa Rica. It’s a working farm, and guests are happily welcomed to lend a hand. We also helped with some rainforest reforestation volunteer work during our stay there, and enjoyed the pool (non-chlorinated, of course) and fresh-from-the-farm dining.”
10. Great Ocean Ecolodge (Australia)
“The Great Ocean Ecolodge was one of the first eco lodges I visited way back in 2008 and is still one of the best examples of an eco lodge I’ve experienced, so I’m always happy to recommend it to others. Sitting on the edge of Great Otway National Park, the eco lodge is 100% carbon neutral and was constructed using renewable sources. It’s run by husband and wife team Shane and Lizzie, who are conservation experts and operate the Conservation Ecology Centre alongside the lodge. Here they research local endangered species, lead the rehabilitation of sick and injured animals and offer conservation experiences. All employees are local; however, they do have interns and volunteers from all over the world. The menus at the eco lodge are designed daily, according to the seasonal produce available. They use locally farmed ingredients and those from their own kitchen garden. When I was there they had hens helping with the fertilization and crop rotation. In the evenings you can sit and watch mobs of kangaroos on the surrounding grasslands while relaxing in the living/dining area with a glass of locally produced wine. It really is a pretty special place.”
11. Riverdene Family Lodge (South Africa)
“It’s hard to put into one short paragraph why Riverdene Lodge is so great. For me personally, it’s because it’s family-friendly and one of the few places in the world where children can enjoy an exceptionally-managed safari experience. The accommodations are completely geared towards families, whilst still recognizing the importance of sustainability, and the staff and service are wonderful. In addition to the incredible safari opportunities, there are also some great projects at the reserve that are not only educational but also involve the local community, a strong anti-poaching stance to protect the rhino and a Born Free rescue center to protect and look after big cats that have been neglected and maltreated in other parts of the world.”
Last but not least and as a bonus, we’ll let you know our personal favorite:
12. Al Natural Resort (Panama)
A couple of years ago, we fell in love with Panama, especially a magical spot on the Caribbean close to Costa Rica called Bocas del Toro. On one of the islands there we found an enchanting little eco-lodge that captured our imagination. We have seen a lot during our travels, but the simplicity and beauty of this place is remarkable. Open-air bungalows, a private sand beach, few guests, no neighbors, an amazing coral reef right in front of its doorsteps, a nearby jungle to hike and local support for the indigenous community makes Al Natural Resort our number one pick for those looking for a unique place and magical accommodations. Read the post we wrote about Al Natural and try it out, we’re sure it will cast a similar spell on you!
If these favorite eco-lodges of travel bloggers weren’t enough and you want to get even more ideas on great eco-lodges across the globe, check out our free ebook “Best Eco-Lodges Worldwide” which includes exclusive offers like discounts and special deals for your next bookings!
Now that you know the favorite eco-lodges of travel bloggers we want to know yours! Share it with us in the comments below!
Best Eco-Lodges Worldwide
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