Ecolodges are environmentally friendly places to stay and we have had the opportunity to stay in two different ones, both in South America. Since both of these were in isolated locations in the jungle, there were practical reasons for being self-sufficient other than just reducing their impact to the earth. Whether it is through the use of solar panels, rain water collection systems, or wastewater treatment systems, these lodges make sure that they make the most efficient use of every consumable resource. As eco tourism grows in popularity, these lodges will likely spread to more places than just remote locations like the Amazon jungle.
Just because a lodge is eco friendly doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice all luxury though. There is usually electricity and internet connectivity, although it may not work all of the time. There is also hot water, although we have had mixed results as to how hot or how long it stays hot, but it is good enough. They also have full service kitchens and we had wonderful meals in both of the lodges that we stayed at. Considering how long our days were in the jungle and how tired we were, having any hot meal was a welcome end to the day. And for those of us who like to unwind with a glass of wine at the end of the day, they also offer a limited bar selection.
What you gain by staying in these remote locations is a level of serenity that you just don’t find in too many places these days. Instead of hearing the sounds of cars, televisions, or even other people for the most part, you are rewarded with the true sounds of nature. As the lights go out, it is a darkness that you can usually only imagine. Especially at night, you quickly realize that you are just a guest in the homes of the wildlife that surround you. The animals will wander through the manicured landscape with little regard to the fact that you are sleeping inside of the huts on the grounds. Since the lodges are open, you need to be aware that you might share your bedroom with all sorts of bugs and spiders, but that is just part of the experience.
Staying in an ecolodge is not only a wonderful experience, but one that will make you feel good about yourself for not impacting the environment. We wish that we would have had time to just sit on the porch of our huts and just relax while watching all of the nature that surrounded us, but we were there to explore the amazing environment. If you have never stayed at an ecolodge, we would highly recommend that at some point you take the opportunity to do so. It is an experience that you will treasure forever and might even enjoy more than staying at a five-star resort.