Could eco lodges be your next big travel decision?
Well, we certainly think so!
If you’re making environmentally conscious decisions at home, you should definitely be applying those to your future travels.
And where should you start?
Right here of course.
First, we’re going to inspire you with our epic list of eco-lodges in South America, the US & Canada and Sri Lanka.
Then, we’re going to give you a few tips on how to have a truly eco-friendly vacation.
Oh, and one more thing:
You won’t find any ‘greenwashing’ here, because we’ve picked only the best places, from trustworthy sources.
- 1 What exactly is an ‘eco-lodge’?
- 2 Best Eco Lodges in South America
- 3 Best Eco Lodges in Canada
- 4 Best Eco Lodges in the US
- 5 Best Eco Lodges in Sri-Lanka
- 6 Tips for planning an eco vacation
- 7 How to Find Eco Lodges on Booking.com
What exactly is an ‘eco-lodge’?
Eco-lodges or ecolodges are a type accommodation usually located ‘off the beaten track. You’ll find these lodges in the middle of jungles, outside of major suburbs, on unspoiled beaches, farms, in conversation areas, villages, mountains and even in the desert.
These lodges usually have the following characteristics:
- Structures made from sustainable material (wood, recycled plastic or locally grown fibres)
- Close to nature without negatively impacting the direct surroundings
- Built to be in harmony with neighbouring wildlife
- Use of local produce in the restaurant
- Supporting the art of local artisans for decor and gifts
- Rainwater harvesting and responsible waste water management
- Solar powered or off-grid
- Supporting job creation in the community
- Representation and preservation of indigenous culture and people
So, how are Eco Lodges different to Eco Hotels and Resorts?
Eco hotels are normally based in major towns and cities, close to metros and major route connections. These are better-suited if you’re looking for a shopping holiday, city vibes, museums and art galleries.
You might also notice that the services and facilities in eco lodges vs eco hotels might differ considerably. But, don’t worry, our guide contains options for those who prefer the comforts of a hotel, too!
Eco resorts are pretty much the same as eco lodges but could include much larger spaces and a wider variety of accommodation and entertainment areas e.g. chalets, family tents, pools, bars and entertainment areas.
Ready? Pack your bags, because it’s time to start with South America!
Best Eco Lodges in South America
This stunning eco lodge in the Catarpe Valley blends in perfectly with its terracotta surroundings and is designed to operate in harmony with the environment.
What is remarkable about this lodge is that they place a great deal of emphasis on keeping things authentic and local. The place was designed by a group of Chilean architects and more than half their staff is indigenous. This is a great sign when looking for responsible, eco-friendly accommodation that supports dignified work for local communities.
Booking.com rating: 9.8/10
Address: Camino Pukara S/N | Ayllu de Quitor , 1410000 San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Price range: Double bedrooms from $1, 800 – $2,000 p/night.
Belize: Inn the Bush Eco-Jungle Lodge
Are you looking for a remote jungle getaway in Belize? Then Inn the Bush Eco-Jungle Lodge might just be the spot for you.
Inn The Bush Eco-Jungle Lodge is totally off-grid with solar energy and rainwater harvesting being the main sources of electricity and water. Luckily, this still means you can get free WiFi and enjoy hot showers after a long day of exploring.
Guests can enjoy action-packed adventures such as hiking, diving, canoeing and horse-riding. But, if you’re looking for a more relaxing break with some culinary delights, the on-site restaurant provides a fresh, delicious offering.
Tip: You will need a 4-WD vehicle to get to the lodge from the airport during rainy seasons, but we think that just adds to the excitement of leaving all the city stresses behind.
Booking.com rating: [score]8.2/10 [/score]
Address: San Ignacio, n/a San Ignacio, Belize
Price range: Double bedrooms from $115 p/night.
Argentina: Surucua Reserva & Ecolodge
Surucua is a great launchpad to the surrounding national parks and rain forest conservation areas along the Iguazu River. Those who love bird-watching, hiking, wildlife photography, and canoeing will really love this place.
This family-run eco lodge is committed to eco tourism, which is why you’ll find that they’ve decided to put the environment first and remove certain things. For instance, there is no TV in order to encourage guests to immerse themselves and bond with their natural surroundings.
This eco lodge is also a haven for foodies because they offer a fresh dining experience based on rain forest ingredients and local cuisine.
Booking.com rating: 9.9/10
Address: Lote 8, Paraje Peninsula, Comandante Andresito, 3371 Comandante Andresito, Argentina
Price range: Double bedrooms from $500 (2-night stay minimum)
Ecuador: Mashpi Lodge
As one of the ‘National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World’, Mashpi Lodge is definitely one for the bucket list! This eco lodge in Quito is famous for its breath-taking scenery, which can be enjoyed from any of their floor to ceiling glass windows.
You will be pleased to know that as part of the construction process, not a single tree was chopped down. They even hired a biologist to survey and understand the local ecosystem during the building process.
We’re also really impressed by their commitment to recycling, composting, and water-wise systems, which will give eco-travellers peace of mind when staying there.
Mashpi Lodge is a great spot for birdwatchers, foodies, hikers and those seeking a natural sanctuary, away from busy city life.
Booking.com rating: 9.7/10
Address: Reserva Privada Mashpi, 150150 Pacto, Ecuador
Price range: Twin bedrooms from $991 p/night
“You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them”~ Professor Wangari Maathai
Best Eco Lodges in Canada
Vancouver Island: Ecolodge – Tofino
If you are a planning a trip to the Tofino Botanical Gardens, we highly recommend that you make a weekend of it and stay over at their on-site eco lodge. Situated inside a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the lodge focuses on education when it comes to nature conservation. They cater for big groups which makes it a good option for school trips, big families and clubs.
Eco-conscious travellers will be pleased to know that they encourage all guests to make use of their equipment rather than to bring in single use plastics or plates. In addition, their electricity comes from a First Nations hydroelectric project, their cleaning products are biodegradable, and they harvest rainwater for their organic garden.
Extras: Free admission into the Tofino Botanical Gardens and a 1-hour guided walk
Booking.com rating: 8.7/10
Address: 1084 Pacific Rim Highway, V0R 2Z0 Tofino, Canada
Price range: Twin or queen rooms (shared bathroom) from $82
British Columbia: Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge B&B
Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge B&B is built on 87-acres of land and is owned and operated by Sts’ailes – a First Nation group.
The preservation of indigenous Sts’ailes culture is at the forefront of what they do, and it can be seen in the way everything just works in harmony with nature. The lodge even has its own waterfall which provides them with green energy for most of the year.
Take a stroll in the meditation labyrinth, enjoy yoga in the great outdoors, go horse-riding or take a dip in their eco friendly saltwater pool – it’s a nature lover’s dream!
Booking.com rating: 9.5/10
Address: 5500 Morris Valley Rd, V0M1A1 Harrison Mills, Canada
Price range: from $139 – $250 – Pricing is available on request.
Ontario: Algonquin Wilderness Eco Lodge
This eco lodge in the Algonquin Park is so secluded that it takes about a 25-minute cycle or ski over 2.3 km to get there. If that sounds like your kind of eco-vacation vibe, then this wintery wonderland is perfect for you.
What make this lodge so eco friendly is that it’s completely off-grid. They even have a carbon-neutral hot tub! Don’t expect to be Instagramming all day, because cell phone signal is quite weak due to the remote location, just take your pics and enjoy the view.
Booking.com rating: [score]8.8/10
Address: 3594 Elephant Lake Road, Moffat Pond, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada
Price range: Single or Double rooms charged at a nightly rate from $150 – $175 per person, not per room
Nova Scotia: Trout Point Lodge
Rustic and romantic. Trout Point Lodge is a great option for a luxury honeymoon getaway in the Canadian wilderness.
Trout Point Lodge has quite a few green certifications; including a ‘5 Green Keys’ rating from the Green Key Global Program and a 3-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association. In addition, they are part of the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Programme. Eco-conscious travellers can rest easy knowing that their environmental impact is kept very low here.
There really is something for everyone here, because even fussy travelers can pick from about 6 different packages from wining and dining to fly fishing.
PS: There’s no cell phone coverage here, so be prepared to be totally immersed in nature!
Booking.com rating: 9.1/10
Address: 189 Trout Point Rd, East Kemptville, NS B5A 5X9, Canada
Price range: Double rooms from $445 – $1059
“Responsible travel is not only better for our world, it’s also more interesting and memorable”~ Simon Reeve
Best Eco Lodges in the US
California: Venice Beach Eco Cottages
Venice Beach is one of the most popular and busiest destinations in Los Angeles, so our advice is to book your accommodation as early as possible.
Venice Beach Eco Cottages is the ideal green choice when it comes to eco lodges because they are less than 10 minutes walk away from the beach and shopping districts so you can keep your carbon footprint down. They only use environmentally friendly and organic cleaning products, and each cottage runs on solar power. It’s a wonderful and convenient green alternative.
Booking.com rating: 7.1/10
Address: 447 Grand Boulevard, Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA 90291, USA
Price range: One-bedroom cottages from $169
New Mexico: Taos Goji Eco Lodge
Taos Goji Eco Lodge is situated on a 40-acre Goji Berry farm in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. What makes this place so unique is that it’s not a hotel or resort, but rather self-contained units that can be rented out for the holidays.
The lodge only uses natural cleaning and laundry products, and water is sourced from four wells. Their Goji berries and other produce is organic and watered by a grey water system, making it a really water-wise accommodation choice.
Booking.com rating: [score]8.2/10
Price range: Standard bungalows with a double bed from $89
Hawaii: Lolia Eco Village
Eat, sleep, yoga and relax! That’s what it’s all about at this stunning eco lodge on the Puna coast of Big Island. Stay in dorms or go glamping in one of their deluxe canopy rooms for a unique experience.
Lolia Eco Lodge is solar-powered, uses 100% rainwater, and composting toilets, making it an ideal off-grid accommodation. It is also well-suited for solo travellers on yoga retreats, as there’s a communal area that’s great for meeting new people. Do take a soak in their fire heated hot tub!
Important to know: before you book, you should be aware that Lolia Eco Lodge is part of a clothing optional community.
Booking.com rating: 7.0/10
Address: 13-6554 Kalapana – Kapoho Road, Pahoa, HI 96778, USA
Price range: Queen rooms from $52 – $85
Alaska: Jupiter Garden
Is Alaska on your travel bucket list? Then you’re in for a treat because Alaskan Homestead and Eco lodge, Jupiter Garden provides an authentic Anchorage experience for the eco traveller.
This laid back spot is ideal for those who love outdoor activities such as golf, kayaking, hiking, fishing, or wildlife photography. They’re even equipped with everything you need to smoke or grill a freshly caught salmon!
To keep the lodge eco friendly, they make a conscious effort to reduce waste by composting, recycling and upcycling second-hand items. When booked together, the upper and lower units can accommodate a group of up to 15 people and is well suited for big family getaways.
Booking.com rating: 9.9/10
Address: 9600 Jupiter Drive, Anchorage, AK 99507, USA
Price range: single units from $69 – $119 per night, depending on the season
Montana: Lone Mountain Ranch
Now this is big sky country. Montana’s Lone Mountain Ranch is extremely popular with naturalists who love the great outdoors in all seasons. Here, you can go horse-riding, skiing, visit Yellowstone Park, or just sit back and relax.
Lone Mountain Ranch plays a key role in conservation and assists with collecting important data around the Gallatin River, which helps decision makers with sustainable development in the area.
Important to know: Lone Mountain Ranch is so popular on Booking.com that guests book their stays 4-5 months in advance.
Booking.com rating: 8.6/10
Address: 750 Lone Mountain Ranch Road, Big Sky, MT 59716, USA
Price range: Double rooms from $159
Best Eco Lodges in Sri-Lanka
Kandy: Polwaththa Ecolodges
From budget huts to deluxe cabanas, Polwaththa is an excellent choice for eco travellers looking for a great value vacation in Sri Lanka.
This eco lodge is popular among birdwatchers, yoga enthusiasts and small families. In addition to creating sustainable employment for the local village, Polwaththa contributes to the Forest Healing Project to assist with re-forestation in barren areas.
It’s also great to know that they grow their very own organic coffee and that they source local produce and use natural building material.
Booking.com rating: 8.9/10
Address: 69/1, Wepathana, Gomagoda, 20184 Digana, Sri Lanka
Price range: Budget double rooms from $78 (special rates from $58)
Kandy: Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge
Madulkelle Eco Lodge is situated on a tea plantation high on the Knuckles Mountain Range. The high altitude offers the ideal opportunity to stare at those breath-taking misty mountain views while sipping on a cup of famous Ceylon tea.
The restaurant has its own garden for a variety of herbs, fruit, and fresh vegetables, so you can expect fresh, wholesome food here. We were really impressed by their detailed social responsibility strategy, which includes responsibilities for both guests and staff.
Booking.com rating: 9.2/10
Address: Madulkelle, 20000 Kandy, Sri Lanka
Price range: Deluxe Tent with double bed from $213
Ampara: Gal Oya Lodge
From recycling to energy conservation, and an onsite research facility, you can expect to see a great deal of effort made to respect and sustain the natural environment around the Gal Oya Eco Lodge.
But, don’t expect budget huts and cabins here, this is affordable luxury in the heart of the jungle! Their bungalows and villas also feature handmade furniture by local villagers with all the modern conveniences of a hotel. There is no internet access at the lodge so switch off and accept the digital detox challenge.
Rare feature: Pets are allowed with no additional charge.
Booking.com rating: 9.3/10
Address: 31 km post Bibile – Ampara Rd, Ampara, 51375 Galgamuwa, Sri Lanka
Price range: Two-bedroom villa from $794 (sleeps 4 people)
Sigirya: Back of Beyond Wild Haven
Wild Haven Dehigaha Ela is part of a collection of Back of Beyond Eco Lodges. It is a peaceful spot to recharge your batteries with your feet in a cool stream.
They have made some careful choices to minimise their impact on the area so you’ll find that they don’t have TVs or noisy entertainment, they don’t sell bottled water, and there is low lighting in the rooms. Although these decisions might turn some travellers away, it really shows where their priorities are.
Booking.com rating: 8.7/10
Address: Alakolawewa, Dehigaha ela, Sigiriya, 21120 Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
Price range: Family cottage from $1,232
WiraWilla: Flameback Eco Lodge
Inside the Yala National Park is the Weerawila Bird Sanctuary where Flameback Eco Lodge is situated. This is by far one of the best destinations for birdwatchers because the lodge boasts an in-house naturalist on hand to guide enthusiastic birders in the sanctuary.
They take social responsibility and conservation very seriously and you will notice that even the smallest details such as hotel menus and stationery are made from recycled and sustainable materials.
Booking.com rating: 9.4/10
Address: A2 Weerawila, 82632 Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka
Price Range: Deluxe lodge with double bed from $277 – $665
Tips for planning an eco vacation
Eco lodges are just one (very important) part of keeping your vacation responsibly eco friendly. With a few simple actions, you can really plan the ultimate eco vacation.
If you’re feeling a bit guilty about your carbon footprint from flying to all these wonderful destinations, there are many ways in which you can offset this by contributing to carbon offset schemes.
Here are a few ways to turn your vacation into a eco vacation:
- Use overland public transport
- Use mobile phone check-ins and go paperless whenever you can
- Carry a re-usable water bottle – avoid single-use plastics
- Use water responsibly
- Travel in small groups to lessen the impact on the environment
- Avoid harmful animal interaction encounters
- Enjoy locally produced food or shop at local markets
- Support small, artisan-made souvenir shops and local artists
- Pack biodegradable or organic personal hygiene products
- Avoid insecticides, stick to natural repellents
- Practice the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Pay a reputable provider to offset your carbon footprint
How to Find Eco Lodges on Booking.com
If you want to take the next step, here’s an easy way to find an eco lodge on Booking.com:
- Copy this search query: “site:booking.com eco lodge”
- Go to Google.com
- Then paste the search query in the Google search bar and press Enter
- You’ll then see all the results of eco lodges on Booking.com that are near you
- Now add a location to your search (e.g: site:booking.com eco lodge Belize)
- You’ll see all the listings of eco lodges in the location you choose!
- Pick your favourites and explore the reviews and facilities on Booking.com
Choosing an eco lodge over a chain hotel or resort could be one of the single most powerful decisions you can make as an eco conscious traveller. It’s a way to carry on your eco-friendly lifestyle while travelling and immersing yourself in nature. And, it’s a way to keep supporting the people who are practicing sustainable eco tourism.
Just remember: it’s all about making those small changes in order to add to the bigger impact that sustainable travel is making in the world. Even armchair travellers can contribute by sharing this article with others to help spread the word, so do your bit!
Top tips for environmentally friendly travel: https://www.worldnomads.com/responsible-travel/make-a-difference/planet/top-10-tips-for-environmentally-friendly-travel
Eco lodges in Sri Lanka: https://soultravelblog.com/eco-lodges-in-sri-lanka/
Luxury eco lodges in North America: http://lifelongvagabonds.com/luxury-eco-lodges-in-north-america.shtml
National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World: https://www.nationalgeographiclodges.com/