According to The Ecotravel Center, a service of the Conservation International Foundation the term ecolodge can be defined as:
An industry label used to identify a nature-dependent tourist lodge that meets the philosophy and principles of ecotourism.
Essentially, an ecolodge will offer you an educational and participatory experience.
If you are going to stay at an ecolodge, there are several things you can expect from your vacation experience. According to The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), a good ecolodge should:
- Provide comfortable rooms and common areas that reflect the designs and heritage of the local culture
- Offer a natural setting that has been carefully preserved and contains local plant life
- Use locally harvested and sustainable and/or recyclable building materials
- Purchase food from local farmers
- Use environmentally-friendly energy, water and waste systems
- Offer opportunities for interaction with local owners, managers, staff and guides
Due to the efforts of organizations like TIES, ecolodges exist in countries all around the globe, such as Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad, Kenya, Tanzania and Australia. Ecolodges offer accommodations from deluxe rooms to outdoor tents. Many provide excellent opportunities for relaxation, experiencing nature and cultural activities. Remember that instead of a typical vacation, an ecolodge can offer you the opportunity to be a responsible traveler.