Resort to Virtue

The world's ten best eco-lodges

Mar 1, 2003
Outside Magazine

Kenya's Tassia Lodge

IT USED TO BE ENOUGH FOR TOURISTS staying at hotels in wilderness areas to "do no harm"—that is, to leave the outdoors the way they found it. But since the very existence of a resort operation, no matter how green, can blotto fragile soil and scare off wildlife for days, most eco-lodge operators have tempered their vision to "doing more good than harm." And as Michael Seltzer, the director of Business Enterprises for Sustainable Travel, reminds us, eco isn't just about the environment. "Facilities worthy of the term 'eco-lodge' should also benefit the local community and economy," he says. We found quite a few places that fit this bill and offer access to stunning wilds. The choice is yours: Spend your next vacation at a corporate mega-resort or check into one of these ten Edens, and save the guilt for your fuel-guzzling flight home.

1. Turtle Island, Fiji
The High Life Just Gets Better and Better
2. Asa Wright Nature Centre and Lodge: Trinidad
Everybody Wings it in This Lush Shangri-La
3. Birch Pond Lodge, Alaska
Join the Griz and Roam a Kinder, Gentler Last Frontier
4. Wenhai Ecolodge, China
Visions of Ancixent China in the Snow Peaks of Yunnan
5. Posada Amazonas, Peru
The Amazon Trough the Eyes of the True People
6. Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki, New Zealand
Frodo Never Had It So Good
7. Tassia Lodge, Kenya
Step into a Hemingway Story (But Hold Your Fire!)
8. Chumbe Island Coral Park, Tanzania
A Comeback Reef and a Kingdom by the Sea
9. Selva Bananito Lodge, Costa Rica
Dreamtime and Fireflies in Central America
10. Black Sheep Inn, Ecuador
A Getaway to Andean Adventure