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How Ecolodges Work


The Ecolodge Experience
The Ecolodge Rendez-Vous features sunshowers, composting toilets and solar lights.
The Ecolodge Rendez-Vous features sunshowers, composting toilets and solar lights.
Photo courtesy Ecolodge Rendez-Vous, Saba, Dutch West Indies, Caribbean

Making a choice to visit an ecolodge or engage in any form of ecotourism may take a little more research on your part, but the feeling that your vacation contributed to preserving the world's natural environment should stay with you long after you return home.

You arrive at your chosen destination and approach the place you'll call "home" for the next seven days. Immediately, you're greeted by the local host who takes you on a quick tour of the facility and finally to your room -- a small, one-room cabin amongst the indigenous foliage. The room has been constructed out of a mixture of local and recyclable materials with a minimal impact on the environment. You take note of the oil lamps, solar-powered ceiling fan, composting toilet and the solar powered garden shower just outside your room. During your stay, you dine on meals made with fresh local ingredients. In fact, one day you spend some time working in the garden, gathering vegetables for the evening meal. Each day brings a new and rewarding experience, whether it's hiking, canoeing or studying the various flora and fauna of the ecosystems nearby.

This should be what you experience at an ecolodge. There are all types of ecolodges including those that specialize in adventure travel such as mountain-climbing, backpacking or river expeditions. There are also lodges that specialize in nature- or education-based travel with activities that include learning about surrounding wildlife or regional history from a local guide. You need to make sure that you choose the right destination for your vacation needs.

The "Blue Tang" cottage at the Ecolodge Rendez-Vous located on the 5 square mile (12.5 square km) island of Saba in the northeast Caribbean.
The "Blue Tang" cottage at the Ecolodge Rendez-Vous located on the 5 square mile (12.5 square km) island of Saba in the northeast Caribbean.
Photo courtesy Ecolodge Rendez-Vous, Saba, Dutch West Indies, Caribbean