So what is an eco-lodge? Well according to The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), founded in 1990, ecotourism is “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” An eco-lodge goes a bit further. The Nature Conservancy published Ecolodge Guidelines based on the work of Hitesh Mehta, one of the leading authorities on ecotourism. They define an ecolodge as a lodge having minimal impact, that fits into the physical and cultural context, utilizes green technologies, involves and benefits local communities, and integrates environmental and cultural education into the visitor’s experience.
The integration of sustainability, economic benefit and education is a powerful combination. Our experience certainly brought us a deeper understanding and appreciation of a different culture and habitat.