Tucked away in some of the most beautiful and remote corners of the planet, ecolodges work overtime to offer an unforgettable travel experience while preserving some of the world’s most beautiful environments.
Often remote but always with an eye for sustainable design and conservation of natural habitats, the world’s best ecolodges offer luxurious amenities and unparalleled access to dreamy destinations like misty cloud forests, sandy dunes, and rocky mountaintops.
In this ultimate guide to some of the most sustainable and unique ecolodges around the world, you’ll find an array of destinations on every continent. From tented safari camps to tropical mountain lodges with luxurious spas, these ecolodges are unique and memorable as the environments they protect.
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25 Unforgettable Ecolodges
1. Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
Nestled in the heart of Ecuador’s cloud forest, Mashpi Lodge offers guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with hundreds of species of unique flora and fauna in this biodiversity hotspot.
Mashpi Lodge focuses deeply not just on sustainability but on conservation and breaking bounds in sustainability. With a full-time team of resident biologists and botanists working closely with national and international universities and organizations, Mashpi Lodge is a true center for conservation. In fact, 12 new species have been discovered here since the ecolodge opened just over ten years ago.
Guests can enjoy specialized spa treatments using natural local ingredients or yoga classes with a cloud forest view after a day spent exploring hidden waterfalls, spotting endemic species of birds, or soaring high above the trees on the aerial bicycle to an eight-story high observation tower. Whether you’re looking for rest and relaxation or the adventure of a lifetime, you’ll find it at Mashpi Lodge.
2. El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Costa Rica
Hidden in a valley on its own 500-acre private cloud forest reserve, El Silencio Lodge & Spa feels like it’s a world away, despite being only an hour’s drive from the capital of San José. Recently renovated, El Silencio is one of the most impressive resorts in Costa Rica, offering guests luxurious rooms with stunning private viewing decks with heated whirlpools for taking in lush mountain views.
Guests can explore the reserve with guides and hike to nearby waterfalls while spotting endemic species of birds and an unending diversity of flora and fauna along the way. Or, zip through the canopy on a zip-line or rappel down a waterfall if you’re feeling adventurous.
These are just a few of an unending array of on-site activities travelers can choose from at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, each with an eye to sustainability, conservation, and engagement with the surrounding community.
3. Coulibri Ridge, Dominica
It doesn’t get much more sustainable than Coulibri Ridge. With solar panels powering the entire resort and filtered rainwater supplying the water needs of the entire property, Coulibri Ridge offers a masterclass in developing and operating an eco-friendly resort, still closely intertwined with the local community.
Boasting all the amenities discerning travelers could dream of, you might never know that Coulibri Ridge is off the grid. The property offers guests a second-to-none luxury experience in its fourteen residential-style suites with spectacular ocean views.
4. Cedrela Eco Lodge, Costa Rica
Almost a decade ago, a Costa Rican family began welcoming visitors to their land; soon after, Cedrela Eco Lodge was born. Cedrela Eco Lodge is still a family-run operation today; visitors immediately feel the warmth of welcome and the deep desire of its owners to preserve and protect the special lands they’ve long called home.
Offering fresh home cooking, cozy cabins with stunning mountain views, and unending activities options, it’s no wonder that so many return guests find their way to Cedrela Eco Lodge.
5. The Brando, French Polynesia
Hidden away on the paradise private island atoll of Tetiaroa in French Polynesia, The Brando is a leader in luxury travel and sustainability alike.
The sustainability initiatives at The Brando are second to none, making it the first resort in the world to obtain LEED Platinum certification, the organization’s highest accolade, for its unique solar heating and cooling programs and use of coconut oil biofuels for power generation. The ongoing Tetiaroa Atoll Restoration Program (TARP) Initiative has been successful in the removal of invasive species to restore wildlife populations and establish the island as a sanctuary for seabirds, green sea turtles, and more.
As stewards of Tetiaroa, The Brando offers an unforgettable experience to travelers looking to enjoy this pristine corner of the South Pacific. Enjoy an unending list of activities, from naturalist-led tours akin to a tropical safari to watersports and snorkeling adventures.
Or, kick back and relax among the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters that prompted Marlon Brando to call this paradise island “the tincture of the South Seas.”
6. Mount Victory Camp Eco-Lodge, U.S. Virgin Islands
Offering a rustic getaway bringing guests closer to nature, Mount Victory Camp Eco-Lodge on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a sustainable escape you might not expect to find in the Caribbean. Offering apartment-style accommodations as well as cabins and tent camping, it offers a memorable stay for travelers of all budgets.
Mount Victory Camp is the perfect base for exploring the island of St. Croix as few travelers get to see it. Surrounded by country farms and lush forests, this unique ecolodge makes the perfect starting point for trekking, mountain biking, or taking in the incredible ocean views you’ll find around every corner.
The lodge also offers workshops on survival skills and encourages hands-on learning, mindfulness, and a deeper connection to the nature and culture of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
7. Shipwreck Lodge, Namibia
Designed to mimic the shipwrecks scattered up and down the surrounding Skeleton Coast of Namibia, Shipwreck Lodge will take your breath away with its dramatic architecture and even more dramatic surroundings. This unique ecolodge is nestled among rolling sand dunes inside Skeleton Coast National Park and with front-row views of the churning Atlantic Ocean for a stay you won’t forget.
The ‘clean and green’ building design and management of Shipwreck Lodge make it one of the most sustainable and innovative projects in the country. Powered entirely by solar and wind energy, with a bio-diesel generator for use in emergencies only, and using timber from local sources and nearby managed forests, the lodge is designed to leave no trace on this fragile and remote destination.
8. Ollero Eco Lodge, Finland
There is no better way to spot the Northern Lights than by spending the night in a glass igloo on the Arctic Circle! This is just one of the unique spots to sleep in Ollero Eco Lodge, a family-run cottage-style retreat in Finland’s northernmost Lapland region.
Built with sustainable materials and green building practices, and drawing from a mix of sustainable energy sources, the ecolodge is designed to leave little trace in the fragile Arctic environment it calls home.
Located just 10 minutes from the city of Rovaniemi, known as the hometown of Santa Claus, Ollero Eco Lodge is the perfect destination for those looking to enjoy a unique city break while crossing off the bucket list experience of spotting the Aurora Borealis in this pristine Arctic environment.
9. The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, Georgia, USA
All-inclusive, eco-friendly, and packed with southern charm and hospitality, The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island is a stunning escape among Georgia’s naturally beautiful barrier islands. Accessible only by boat and home to just 32 guests at a time, it’s a secluded getaway with miles of untouched beaches and wilderness perfect for a mix of relaxation and exploration.
Guests can enjoy naturalist-led tours among protected old-growth forests, expansive mudflats, wild beaches, and mangroves, spotting migratory birds and taking in beautiful landscapes along the way. It’s no wonder the Lodge at Little St. Simons Island took the number one spot on Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for the 15 Best Resorts in the South.
10. Black Rock Lodge, Belize
A truly off-the-grid operation in the heart of the Belizean jungle, Black Rock Lodge has spent years painstakingly reforesting acres of former horse pastures to create an impressive rainforest reserve now home to this ultra-sustainable property. Using the best in green practices to power and manage the property, you’ll be touched to learn of their support for local communities as well.
Offering twenty luxurious and inviting cabins, complete with verandas and hammocks among jungle trees, perfect for enjoying riverfront views, guests can experience the ultimate in rest and relaxation at the end of a day spent enjoying this pristine corner of the rainforest.
Read More: 12 Belize Beaches You Won’t Want to Miss
11. Kanopi House, Jamaica
Live out your childhood dreams of spending the night in a tree house at Kanopi House, an eco-friendly destination lifting adventurous guests high above the hillside for an unforgettable stay in unexpected luxury. Guests can choose from six private treehouses on the property, including a massive two-story treehouse perfect for traveling with friends and family.
Kanopi House was built around the tropical forest just steps away from Jamaica’s famous Blue Lagoon, ensuring no trees were felled in the making of this hidden retreat; some trees simply continue through the rooftops of the treehouses. Designers even repurposed a Guango tree chopped down by a neighbor into a selection of dining and occasional tables.
Kanopi House brings travelers into communion with nature among the tropical flora and fauna of the Caribbean for an unforgettable stay unlike any you’ve ever experienced.
12. Mallin Colorado, Chile
A family-run enterprise perched above Lake General Carrera in one of the most beautiful parts of Chilean Patagonia, Mallin Colorado Ecolodge is a highlight for environmentally-conscious travelers in Patagonia. This ecolodge offers four standalone cabins and six private rooms in an intimate main lodge, all constructed using locally-salvaged wood and built around the surrounding old-growth forest.
Partnering with local guides to craft bespoke trips to some of the nearby highlights of this bucket list destination, like kayaking to the Marbles Caves or trekking along the Exploradores Glacier, Mallin Colorado Ecolodge offers guests the very best of Patagonia at their fingertips. It’s the trip of a lifetime, and one guests can feel good about.
13. Mt. Mulligan Lodge, Australia
Nestled in the shadow of Mount Mulligan, a site of indigenous significance for over 30,000 years, Mt. Mulligan Lodge is an environmentally and socially-conscious destination given to preserving and celebrating culture, history, and nature. This stunning ecolodge offers a getaway to the Australian Outback you’ll dream of for years to come.
The lodge offers an array of activities designed to allow guests to get in touch with the history and environment of the Outback of Queensland, including guided tours of the goldfields and nearby abandoned mining towns, ATV and kayaking tours of the vast surrounding, and star gazing under the endless sky. Using sustainable energy, offsetting carbon footprints when needed, and using locally-sourced, fair-trade products through the lodge whenever possible, Mt. Mulligan Lodge leaves a positive impact on the Outback.
14. Turtle Island, Fiji
The longest-running ecotourism operation in the South Pacific, Turtle Island is an impressive and intimate private island eco-resort in Fiji’s Yasawa Islands. Home to only 14 couples at a time, this paradise island is the perfect spot for a romantic (and sustainable!) getaway in one of the most beautiful corners of the South Pacific.
Leading the way in sustainability and self-sufficiency, Turtle Island has planted over 500,000 trees and reintroduced 250 native species of flora and fauna on the island to re-establish indigenous forests, prevent soil erosion, and restore biodiversity to the island. Even the smallest details at Turtle Island have sustainability in mind, with the furniture and bures made at the island’s joinery from trees grown on the island.
Guests can also take part in the efforts, tagging and releasing sea turtles as part of the resort’s partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. Each guest can plant a tree on the island before they depart, helping them participate in the island’s rehabilitation. It’s an unforgettable way to be a part of preserving and protecting this beautiful destination.
15. Wilderness Bisate, Rwanda
With expansive vistas of the Karisimbi, Bisoke, and Mikeno volcanoes among the natural habitats of the critically endangered habitat of the Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda, Wilderness Bisate is both a spectacular viewpoint and a sight to behold. Its six spacious forest villas cling to the hillside, their unique and sustainable design offering a luxurious escape after a day spent making the most of a once-in-a-lifetime travel adventure.
Wilderness Bisate is the perfect base for exploring this one-of-a-kind wildlife corridor and spotting the majestic Mountain Gorillas with the help of highly trained local guides. Or, explore the property’s 103-acre reserve and spot incredible birds, trek to find golden monkeys, scale a volcano, and admire the lodge’s ambitious reforestation projects to restore natural habitats to their former glory.
16. Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, Peru
Deep in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica is a celebrated luxury ecolodge, named among the world’s best ecolodges by National Geographic Traveler magazine.
Among the Tambopata National Reserve and on the banks of the Madre de Dios River, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica offers guests the perfect opportunity to spot the over 540 species of birds spotted, as well as countless other unique species that call the “Biodiversity Capital of Peru” home.
Adventurous travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind encounter with the Amazon can book the property’s Canopy Tree House, a luxury cabana complete with a full bathroom, raised 100 feet over the rainforest floor. For a face-to-face encounter with the incredible flora and fauna of this biodiversity hotspot, there’s nothing like it.
17. Tierra Patagonia, Chile
Just a stone’s throw from the Patagonia jewel of Torres del Paine National Park, Tierra Patagonia has kept sustainability at its heart from the earliest stages of its development. During construction, landscapers and designers temporarily removed all vegetation from the site and cared for it in a greenhouse before returning it to the property after completion. Today it’s still home to native birds, foxes, and local species like guanacos and ñandús.
There is no better base for exploring the most impressive corner of Patagonia than Tierra Patagonia. From its luxurious rooms to its intimate spa and indoor pool with walls of glass, enjoy jaw-dropping views as you unwind during the trip of a lifetime.
18. Small Hope Bay Lodge, Bahamas
Among white sand beaches on the edge of the world’s third largest barrier reef, Small Hope Bay Lodge on Andros Island in the Bahamas is an eco-friendly haven for travelers looking for an unforgettable Caribbean escape. Beachfront cabins take sustainability to heart from the largest detail to the smallest, including solar-powered showers and reverse osmosis water coolers.
Guests at Small Hope Bay Lodge can book half-day and full-day eco-tours of Andros Island, a true naturalist’s paradise and home to multiple national parks to explore. Birding and blue hole exploration excursions await, in addition to some of the best opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving in the Bahamas, with underwater worlds both beginners and pros will enjoy.
19. Sacha Lodge, Ecuador
Among the most well-known and environmentally-conscious ecolodges in the Amazon Rainforest, Sacha Lodge is a must for travelers looking to experience the very best of the Amazon. Sacha Lodge is built on its own 5000-acre private ecological reserve deep within Yasuni National Park, meaning visitors have access to one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet.
Enjoy cozy and comfortable rooms and delicious food prepared with local ingredients after spending the day encountering incredible wildlife with the help of experienced native guides and biologists. Plus, an unexpected but must-see adventure awaits: climb over 120 feet to reach among the treetops of the rainforest on Sacha Lodge’s 900-foot-long suspension canopy Jungle Walkway, offering a unique perspective of the expanse of the Amazon few travelers get to see.
20. Cottar’s Safaris 1920s Camp, Kenya
For a bespoke and truly sustainable safari experience, Cottar’s Safaris is a must. Owned and managed by the fifth generation of the Cottar family, you’ll feel the welcoming, family-run environment the second you step foot on the historic and beautiful property. Choose from nine stunning tents complete with all the amenities, the perfect base for exploring the game-rich private Olderkesi Conservancy with Cottar’s experienced guides.
Traveling with a bigger group? Cottar’s Safaris also offer a private bush villa with space for up to ten guests, with its own private 25-meter swimming pool set among the gorgeous landscapes of the conservancy, an incredible way to unwind after a day on safari.
Cottar’s 1920s Camp, set along the borders of the famous Maasai Mara, offers more than just offering a luxury safari experience: it’s one of only ten accredited Global Ecosphere Retreats in the world, achieving the highest standards in areas like conservation, cultural stewardship, and community development. The commitment to bettering communities and habitats is admirable, and central to the entire experience of a Cottar’s safari.
21. Wilderness Little Kulala, Namibia
An oasis among the vast deserts of Namibia, Wilderness Little Kulala is an environmentally-conscious, sustainable property perfect for travelers looking to explore one of Africa’s most unique destinations. Just a stone’s throw from the towering sand dunes of Sossusvlei and the other-worldly dry clay pans that create Namibia’s most dramatic landscapes, Wilderness Little Kulala offers a travel experience sure to be one unlike any other.
A recent rebuild and refurbishing took the lodge’s environmental sustainability to new heights. Entirely powered by the sun, Wilderness Little Kulala takes the utmost care to protect vital water resources and protect the movement of wildlife that calls the area home. Newly refurbished and luxurious suites offer private rooftops with expansive views and individual plunge pools perfect for relaxing after a day spent exploring desert landscapes the stuff of dreams.
22. Tierra Atacama, Chile
Home to technicolor lagoons, supercharged geysers, and otherworldly landscapes, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile is a sight to behold. With stunning volcano views, a world-class spa, and bespoke activities and excursions designed for an unforgettable travel experience in this one-of-a-kind destination, Tierra Atacama is the ultimate base for environmentally-conscious travelers to explore its countless wonders.
Tierra Atacama is a leader among sustainable hotels in South America, as one of the first hotels in the region to produce solar-powered electricity to help meet the hotel’s daily energy demand; the property estimates that it avoids burning almost 100,000 liters of fossil fuels annually, reducing the carbon footprint by over 240 tons of carbon dioxide every year. It’s just one of countless projects in sustainability and responsible tourism that set it apart.
23. Las Qolqas, Peru
Nestled among the mountains in the shadows of the Incan ruins of Ollantaytambo and the Sacred Valley, Las Qolqas is a sustainable retreat for those looking for a restorative and immersive travel experience in one of Peru’s most magnificent destinations.
Featuring luxurious safari-style tents that make the most of the gorgeous mountain views, Las Qolqas has ensured that every element of this sustainable have has been hand-picked and locally sourced. At the stunning on-site greenhouse restaurant, guests can enjoy delicious daily specials featuring organic, locally-sourced seasonal ingredients.
Las Qolqas also offers bespoke activities from hikes along imperial Incan trails to cooking lessons using local ingredients and Andean ceremonies to get in touch with local traditions, making it the ultimate in immersive and unforgettable travel experiences in the Sacred Valley.
24. Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge, South Africa
Featured among the world’s top ecolodges in Hitesh Mehta’s Authentic Ecolodges, Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge is a family-owned and operated bush camp in the heart of South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve. With world-renowned guides and incredible opportunities to get up close and personal with wildlife, it’s no wonder that 50% of guests are return visitors.
This beloved, rustic eco camp provides visitors with an authentic wilderness experience and minimal environmental impact. This off-grid property offers just ten raised cabins with partly open sides, encouraging guests to unplug to reconnect among this incredible, biodiverse home to Africa’s “Big Seven” animals.
25. The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Belize
Considered among the world’s best ecolodges, The Lodge at Chaa Creek is a mainstay for adventurous and environmentally-conscious travelers in the heart of the Maya civilization, opening its doors in 1981. Since then, it has welcomed countless guests to enjoy an unforgettable jungle experience while preserving fragile ecosystems and supporting vital community projects.
Guests can enjoy countless activities while staying at The Lodge at Chaa Creek, though perhaps the most thrilling is exploring the 400-acre private reserve with professional naturalist guides, along trail networks, by canoe, and even by innertube down the river through the pristine jungle. Learn about the traditional medicinal plants used for centuries by the Mayas, then take a memorable excursion from San Ignacio to Caracol, an incredible Mayan ruin you’ll have to see to believe.
Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.