Lonely Planet’s top 10 eco stays for 2014 is a spectacular list of some amazing places – one of which I have decided to work into my 2016 trip to South America. Several of these eco-lodges are in prime birding destinations and are worth checking out.
COSTA RICA – This one would def be on my list if we go back there, wish I had seen this article before last August!
The owners of Lapa Rios (www.laparios.com) named their eco-lodge after watching a family of scarlet macaws fly across a backdrop of jungle. The flock of macaws (lapa in Costa Rican) created a river (rio) of red, orange, yellow, green and blue. Witness this spectacle for yourself at Lapa Rios, which looks out over the Golfo Dulce, a tropical fjord where whales and dolphins nurse their young in nutrient-rich, Crayola-blue waters.
PERU – Not sure if we are going to Machu Picchu again as we went there in 2007 but we are going to Manu & Tambopata.
Jose Koechlin von Stein is a pioneer of eco-tourism in Peru; Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (www.inkaterra.com/inkaterra/inkaterra-machu-picchu-pueblo-hotel) may just be his crowning achievement.
CHILE – The one I have my eye on (check out this bird list – Austral Parakeet & Slender-billed Parakeet)! I would use Avios to get an award ticket from Santiago to Puerto Montt – only 4500 Avios for the 569 mile flight.
A stay in the wilds of Chile, powered by solar panels. Image courtesy of Ecolodge Chepu Adventures.
Tucked away down a seldom trampled dirt road some 38km from the next nearest anything, the tiny hamlet of Chepu sits in the northern sector of Parque Nacional Chiloé. Perched on an overlook peering out to the confluence of three rivers and 140 sq km of fascinating sunken forest – a result of the devastating 1960 earthquake – is EcoLodge Chepu Adventures (www.chepu.cl). The owners have designed everything at this eco-fierce property with the end goal of complete self-sufficiency, from infrared solar showers to wind-generated electricity to wood-alternative fibre construction. Fernando and Amory, two lovely souls who fled Santiago years ago in search of an off-the-grid life, wine and dine green-conscious travellers, who cannot get enough of the mystical kayak trips at dawn, the views and the BBQs.
“Besides being consummate hosts, Fernando and Amory’s dedication to the vision blew me away; and the view of the sunken forest, a phenomenon I had never even heard of, elicited an audible gasp: the dead tree-strewn Río Punta is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen over my travels to 78 countries and counting.” – Kevin Raub