Finding an Ecolodge
Before making a decision about visiting an ecolodge, do your research. Find out who owns and operates the lodge, what sustainable measures they follow to maintain a low impact on the environment and what activities are provided to determine whether it would be a good fit for you. For instance, if you want to go to the Amazon in Peru, you can stay at an ecolodge built with local community participation and local materials. On your trip, you may spot a giant otter, macaw or eagle. You can also hike a trail with trained local guides who have learned native plant remedies from the village elders.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, private eco-tents and cottages built with recycled materials offer visitors an environmentally-friendly way to enjoy the Caribbean. Elevated walkways protect the wildlife and visitors can snorkel in protected reefs or watch iguanas from their balcony.
These are just some of the options for your eco-vacation. A good place to start looking for ecolodge information is the Internet. You'll find many helpful links at the end of this article. Other excellent resources for researching your ecotourism options are your local travel agent and the local public library or bookstore, where you can find books about nature tourism, adventure tourism, sustainable tourism and other forms of eco-travel.
And remember, if you want to stay at a true ecolodge, be prepared to investigate beyond the advertisements and buzz words. If you can, e-mail or phone to inquire about the lodge. Unfortunately there are many places that boast of being eco-friendly, but when it boils down to it, they fall incredibly short of their claims.