One of the best things about travelling has to be the unique and sometimes rare landscapes you find. Often, in places like the Grand Canyon, the Daintree Rainforest, or the Salar de Uyuni salt flats of Bolivia, the landscape itself is the destination. These ecological wonders are a fragile gift and underscore the need for conscious, light-tread tourism.
There are a number of third party certifications in Australia and globally that give their tick of approval to hotels and tour operators that meet ‘green’ travel requirements: from sustainable consumption to positive cultural and socioeconomic impact. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council acts as the self-regulatory body recognising the standards of various ecotourism organisations. Look for accommodation and tours that have a recognised certification!
We’ve rounded up our staff picks for best eco-lodges around Australia and the world. Remember the green travellers motto “Leave only footprints, take only photographs.”
Nestled in far north Queensland on a private headland between Port Douglas and Cairns, Thala Beach Nature Reserve’s bungalows are set amongst its 145 acres of, as they put it, a “kaleidoscope of natural wonders.” Escape the city limits and spend your days amongst nature and wildlife and falling asleep in tree-top bungalows!
Tucked away in the Gold Coast hinterland in Lamington National Park, Binnaburra Lodge consists of a number of different accommodation options including sky lodges and safari tent camping. Binnaburra is one of the first certified eco retreats in Australia and takes seriously its commitment to energy and water consumption and total waste production.
Los Gázquez is a well-known retreat in the Andalusion region of Spain offering accommodation and artist residencies. Formerly five separate farms, Los Gázquez now functions as one off-the-grid estate, offering a carbon-neutral escape.
Located in Torres del Paine National Park, renown for its glacial lakes and rugged mountain scenery, EcoCamp is a fully sustainable lodge. Offering guided nature treks, beautiful scenery, and unique geodesic dome accommodation EcoCamp caters to adventure seekers with a commitment to green travel.
Located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua near Granada, Nicaragua, Jaciro Eco Lodge has been rated among the best green lodges in the world. Accommodation is in private two-story ‘casitas’ made from local materials and integrated into the jungle as raised tree-houses. The resort is designed with sustainability in mind from water and electricity conservation to local employment policies.
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