The Road towards a Truly Great Rainforest Eco-Lodge

The global interest in eco-tourism is on a roll. People are flocking to green sanctuaries that conserve the natural environment, provide shelter, and better the local economy. They want to get away from the hustle and bustle of polluted cities; and immerse themselves in the soothing natural environment. A great rainforest eco-lodge is more than an attempt to cash in on the green upswing and achieve quick money gains. It is a long-term, sustainable business model that is rooted in global movements, local economy, and everything in between. It holds great potential to transform impoverished economies and decimated natural areas. 

The Road towards a Truly Great Rainforest Eco-Lodge

Nature’s embrace

An eco-lodge differs from a green hotel in terms of the setting that surrounds it. Namely, it is most often situated in a remote location, snuggled up by nature. It blends in with the pristine jungle, forest, mountain slopes, beaches and other marvellous landscapes. Therefore, one of the most important decisions is where to construct a rainforest eco-lodge. Proximity to natural beauty is paramount and many architects and investors are prepared to think outside the box, building among the trees, into cliff sides, on lakes, tea plantations, and other stunning locations.

Eco Amazonia Lodges, Puerto Maldonado, Peru, The Road towards a Truly Great Rainforest Eco-Lodge
Eco Amazonia Lodges, Puerto Maldonado, Peru: Photo on Flickr by Ivan Mlinaric / CC BY 2.0

Of course, an eco-lodge does not seek just to be close to nature. It also minimizes the impact on that environment and is heavily dependent on it. All in all, it prioritizes a high level of sustainability. Its owners have to realize that embracing a holistic approach is the only way to attract and delight tourists. For instance, many eco-lodges across the globe support local, sustainability-focused initiatives and show commitment to the welfare of people, community development, preservation of indigenous cultures, and wildlife conservation.

A broad view

Regardless of how it looks or where it sits, a lodge must meet certain criteria. It is clear that one must take full advantage of the rapid advancements in the area of sustainable technology. One of the hallmarks certainly comes in the form of renewable energy sources. Owners and builders should always seek to make the most of wind, geothermal, solar, and hydraulic potential. Integrating these features demands thorough planning and often an involvement of professionals like landscaping architects, eco-tourism planners, and concept designers.

Ani Nii Shobo Eco-lodge, Ucayali, Peru, The Road towards a Truly Great Rainforest Eco-Lodge
Ani Nii Shobo Eco-lodge, Ucayali, Peru: Photo on Flickr by Samuel Bravo Silva / CC BY 2.0

It goes without saying that the design has to be authentic and when figuring it out, you have to pay attention to meticulous details. Basics like number and size of the rooms vary widely and depend on many factors, including your budget and estimated profit. Beyond that, one must keep an eye on things like adding an eco-friendly jute rug to infuse the space with more warmth, texture, and comfort. The local flora, fauna, and culture do not only surround the lodge, they can be present in the interior décor, restaurant menus, and other elements.

Sourcing sustainability

The list of eco-friendly systems and features is long and encompasses renewable energy sources, recycling capacities, water-conserving fixtures, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, locally sourced food, organic linens and towels, non-toxic cleaning supplies, etc. There are many eco-lodges that are a reflection of the genuine devotion to the environmental cause. They seamlessly blend into the surroundings and use landscaping to blur the lines between natural and man-made.

Take the example of a Cambodian lodge that shelters wildlife, a solar power safari lodge in Kenya, or an eco-lodge in California that has its own desalination system. There are also lodges that contribute to conserving vanishing marshes and other habitats. Some of them include wellness and spa centres, pools, stables, indoor gardens, green walls, tree houses, ocean cabins, etc. Not surprisingly, to build such a natural shrine you need to come up with a considerable investment, one that exceeds anything you would put into a regular tourist facility.

El Cafetal Cabin, La Bastilla Ecolodge, Jinotega, Nicaragua, Solar Hot Water Panels, The Road towards a Truly Great Rainforest Eco-Lodge
El Cafetal Cabin, La Bastilla Ecolodge, Jinotega, Nicaragua: Photo on Flickr by La Bastilla Ecolodge / CC BY 2.0

Green champions of tourism

As the growth of sensibility and awareness sweeps across the tourist ecosystem, dynamic changes take place. Eco-lodges are sprouting around the world like mushrooms after the rain, riding on the new wave of eco-friendly tourism. But, the road to a truly green lodge is long and paved with utmost dedication and hard work. After all, a rainforest eco-lodge is a fruitful marriage of human ingenuity and nature’s serenity. To deliver on the ambitious promise, it is supposed to mitigate the adverse environmental impact of the accommodation, protect cultural and natural resources, and champion the concept of responsible tourism.

About Lillian Connors

Lillian is an avid traveler and a passionate writer within this niche. She enjoys sharing her insights with others sharing a travel bug.

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