When we think of a getaway, we typically imagine staying at a five-star hotel and sipping a margarita on the beach. To be honest, most of us don’t really consider the environment when we make our travel plans. But as we’ve recently reported, that’s starting to change with 71 percent of survey respondents saying they plan on making more eco-friendly travel choices. If you want a more unique and eco-friendly vacation, an ecolodge is the way to go.
To be defined as an ecolodge, it must follow the three core principles defined by The International Eco-Tourism Society (TIES): benefit local communities, conserve neighboring lands and promote environmental and cultural education. Basically, when you stay at an ecolodge you not only help the environment, but you also help the local economy. Ecolodges give jobs to local guides and chefs and they also purchase food and supplies from local businesses and farms. Plus, they’re also built out of local, eco-friendly materials.
An ecolodge offers you the chance to explore another culture that you probably wouldn’t experience if you were to stay at a typical hotel. “Ecolodges educate their guests on local history, customs, struggles and successes,” says InternationalEcolodges.com founder James Lantz. “Ecolodges offer a variety of activities like hiking, bird watching, tour guides, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, cliff jumping, sight seeing and much more. While staying at an ecolodge you can see how your visit directly benefits the local community.”
The unique cultural experience of staying at an ecolodge also includes experiencing the local food. “An important component of the experience is the cultural experience of eating local foods, which support the local markets,” says Lantz.
To help find an ecolodge that’s right for you, check out InternationalEcolodges.com. They list only qualified ecolodges that meet the TIES criteria and can help you find locations all over the world.
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