Emphasize Environmental Awareness
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How is an ecolodge different from other types of accommodation?
Although there is no strict definition of an ecolodge, ecotourism organizations agree that it's more than a hotel in a picturesque natural setting.
- True ecolodges aim for a low impact on the environment, so they generally don't have more than 75 rooms;
- They benefit the surrounding community and hire local people;
- Finally, they promote environmental awareness through guided tours and related activities.
The following are examples of ecolodges that walk the walk:
- The ecolodge at Tandayapa, Ecuador. The 360-degree view from the Dome lodge will give you a Tarzan-like perspective on the surrounding mountains. Guests can choose from single, double (about $60 with 3 meals included) or dorm-style rooms. Some rooms have private baths and private balconies. The area boasts a rich diversity of birds, orchids and a rare species of bear. Nearby activities include horseback riding and visits to a butterfly farm. The Responsible Travel site (www.responsibletravel.com) lists several other similar ecolodges all over the world.
- The award winning Ecoclub site (http://ecoclub.com/lodges.html) also provides a directory of ecolodges worldwide.
- The eco-village of Torri Superiore in Italy (http://www.torri-superiore.org/) is a medieval stone fortress consisting of 160 rooms with vaulted ceilings. A lacework of stairs and terraces connects the rooms and meals are taken communally at fixed times. The cuisine is traditional Mediterranean - fish, fruits and veggies. The lodge is run by a co-operative of residents, but single, double and multiple rooms are available to guests. Prices range from $47 to $57 per day for half-board. Courses in sustainability and organic farming are also offered on the premises.