How to Visit an Eco Lodge

eco lodge touring on the amazon
George Duffy, Owner

To Experience an Eco lodge is To Experience life.

The whole milieu of an eco lodge  is life. Bird songs, night sounds, friendly chatter of other guests talking about what they’ve seen and done that day, tracking your day by the sun, healthy fresh food. Sleep so deep you’ll wonder how you’ll  manage back in the city.

See: For Yourself

Ecolodges are by nature more remote. You can’t just show up. You have to plan in advance. There’s 4 ways

  • fully guided group excursions
  • fully guided private excursions
  • semi-guided
  • self-guided

Fully guided small groups

If you’ve enjoyed this kind of travel before, you are probably sold on it. So easy, low stress, fun companions and sense of safety in numbers. This a good thing to remember because some ecolodges are pretty remote and having a group may be quite comforting.

If you haven’t taken a tour recently, you may not think you’d like this option. BUT, before you completely discard the idea consider this: tours have radically changed since you may have last checked. Please check this video on our allied website, tourworld.ca/premium-style-adventures-experienced-travellers.

I work with all the tour companies on that site, so if those types of tours appeal, contact me to set you up.

There are types of tours that use a lot of public transportation instead of all private vehicles. These are reasonably priced options that are with a small group and are good ways to get to some ecolodges as part of a longer trip. These can also be purchased as last minute (up to 6 weeks in advance) on sale. You can see listings here. Please contact me about getting the trips that will visit the area you want.

Fully guided private excursions

These are really the ultimate type of trip for really keen enthusiasts. They are fully customised for you and they feature a local guide and driver for your entire trip. They may be supplemented by on-site specialist guides.

Semi-independent explorations

This is a trip where all your arrangements are prebooked for your own independent travel, but still have assistance from a local guide or host.

This means that you may have a driver or driver and guide for parts of your trip. For countries where language can be challenge, this can be a good alternative to taking a fully guided tour.

The big advantage of this type of trip is that you’ve got an interpreter for at least some parts of your trip. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone past interesting places because I could not read signage (or lack there of) while travelling by local bus on my own.

Self guided

This is a very popular way of using occasional local guides that are based in the sites you are interested in. It actually makes a lot of sense if you are looking for a trip with no guides or just the odd specialist guide like a birding guides for example. Typically, that’s exactly what type “model ecolodges” have. I suggest you read more about ecolodges on this page of the website, if you haven’t already.

The key thing is, self guided programs with accommodations and transportation are preplanned and prepaid, for the most part. You are given a packet of information with instructions on getting around and a service contact to call if you need to.

For the independent traveller type person this option is very good since you still get a lot of financial security and help is only a phone call away, since everything is coordinated by a local company experienced in this type of trip.

Check this video of me to get another idea of self guided. It is from a very small community based eco lodge in Mexico. If this is your type of travel, ecolodges are probably for you. ( I was not paid anything or receive any kickback for distributing this video.)

Another time I recall so vividly: waking up in a small community ecolodge on the shore of lake Atitlan and falling in love with the Mayan lady making breakfast. The sweet, smoky aroma of fresh, hand made tortillas cooked on a wood fired stove in the morning light overlooking the volcanoes is a breakfast never forgotten. And the taste! Your teeth melt through them while they are hot and they burst into a steamy heaven in your mouth.

Getting There

Getting to visit an eco lodge can often be bit tricky since they are often “off the beaten track”. You can do it all yourself, but in my opinion it’s just not worth it. I’ve written extensively on this else where. For this type of travel in particular, you can either enjoy the ride or suffer the headaches that come with doing it all on your own.

A Note On Using Online Travel Agencies To Book Your Trip

There’s many things to consider when you want to travel all on your own. Some people want to use online travel agencies or OTA’s as they are known. Personally, I have used them with mixed results. See this article.

The primary issue people have with them is they are not designed to deal with changes due to weather or any other unexpected event (think Corona virus). These are huge companies and you are just one little customer amongst thousands of others and it will take you nearly forever to get things sorted.

If you really want to use an online agency search what you want, make note of the details and then contact us directly. We will review the program to see how it will work best. Chances are I can book everything for your at the same price using my sources.

That way if you get into something that needs human attention, you can contact me and I will handle it. You really don’t want to deal with an OTA customer service rep with no experience in this specialized type of travel. (No criticism intended. They do what they do, but ecotourism is not a “mass” travel experience.)

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