World's 8 Coolest Ecolodges

By: Stuart Smith

Ecolodges offer travelers a unique experience that is close to nature and that is sustainable. They are built in some of the most beautiful parts of the world. Travelers will find eight ecolodges that stand out from all the others currently available.


1. Treehotel

This ecolodge is located in a pristine forest in the northern part of Sweden. The ecolodge is made from a series of uniquely designed tree houses sitting high off the ground and anchored to live growing trees. The designs for each tree house range from a mirrored cube to a bird’s nest. Each has a modern and comfortable interior that uses ecologically friendly materials. Guests can snowshoe or take a dog sled ride in the winter. Summer activities include kayaking and mountain biking. The Treehotel features a high-end restaurant serving traditional Swedish cuisine made from only local ingredients.

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2. El Monte Sagrado

This ecolodge sits outside of Taos, New Mexico in an area that has panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and mountains. The entire lodge is made from adobe mixed with local ash. Each of the units is integrated into an active landscape that includes streams, tropical plants and open areas for relaxation. The ecolodge features an outdoor living spa that includes organic treatments for guests. A chef prepares meals with local ingredients grown on the premises in an area known as the biolarium. The rooms draw nearly all power from solar panels on the property and come with modern amenities like satellite television.

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3. Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve

This South African ecolodge sits on over 18,000 acres of protected land that includes some of the rarest plant and animal species in the country. The lodge is surrounded by scenic mountains and foothills that guests can explore. The land also includes over 100 rock paintings that are more than 10,000 years old. Guests staying in one of the 16 rooms have a choice of activities during the day from hiking and guided tours to canoeing and fly-fishing. Guests also have a selection of different dining venues serving local and European dishes. Visitors can dine in an indoor hall, on an outdoor terrace or even in the wild.

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4. Canopy Tower

This ecolodge in Soberania National Park in Panama takes guests high into the air. The roof of the lodge contains an outdoor observation area that overlooks the rainforest canopy below in every direction. Guests can see over 300 types of birds and exotic wildlife like sloths that normally live far above the ground. The rooms are simple and use a water recycling and conservation system to minimize the environmental impact of guests. Visitors can enjoy day trips out into the rainforest to experience bird watching. The tower even offers wireless Internet to guests.

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5. Wilson Island

This ecolodge is located on a small and isolated island located just south of the Barrier Reef in Australian waters. The island can only handle 12 guests at any one time. Six tents and bungalows are available overlooking the water. The island provides a quiet and serene experience. Guests can watch the turtles come onto the beach each night or can watch humpback whales in the water during certain seasons. A chef is available on the island to provide meals to guests.

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6. Ratua Private Island

This ecolodge is located just to the north off the coast of Vanuatu. The 15 villas overlooking the water on the isolated island are made from teak. The entire ecolodge was built with sustainable materials and local labor. All of the profits the ecolodge earns go directly to funding improvements and social programs in the local communities in nearby Vanuatu. Guests can go sailing on the water or could go game fishing. Visitors can also relax with drinks on the beach or in the restaurant serving 100 percent organic meals.

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7. Bay of Fires Lodge

This ecolodge in northwestern Tasmania is unique because the only way guests can arrive is by walking for two days through the mostly uninhabited area. Guests are rewarded at the Forester Beach Lodge overlooking beaches, water and mountains. Visitors can enjoy the lodge for a few days or embark on another two-day walk back towards civilization. Anyone who takes the four to six-day tour with the ecolodge will see some of the most distinctive animals, plants and landscapes in the world.

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8. Kaya Mawa

Kaya Mawa is located in a remote part of Malawi, Africa on the shores of Lake Malawi. The ecolodge is completely self-sustaining and includes innovative features like windmills that pump water as needed. Guests have the option to hike through the largely untouched wilderness or to dive in the lake. The only two ways to get to this location is on a ferry or on a small airplane that will land on a nearby dirt runway.

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