Top Ten Eco-Lodges In Central America
Eco-Tourism is rapidly becoming one of the biggest industries in Central America. Costa Rica is often referred to as the top destination in the world for eco-tourism, but it is certainly not the only option available. This is a list of some of the top eco-lodges in Central America. Keeping digital nomads in mind, almost every lodge on this list has reliable WiFi access. Let’s explore some of the best eco-lodges in Central America!
Rancho Margot is a self-sufficient eco-lodge located near El Castillo, Costa Rica. Gardens and farm animals on the property provide more than half of the food that is prepared for the included organic meals. They generate their own electricity and recycle cooking oil into soaps that are provided in the rooms. Free meals, yoga classes, tours of the ranch, cow milking, and natural swimming pools are available. The proximity to the Arenal Volcano, Arenal Lake, and various waterfalls allows for plenty of excursions and adventures in the surrounding area.
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens is found in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. As implied in the name, this is an excellent eco-lodge to spend some time at if you want to see the sea turtles laying eggs in the spring or hatching in the fall. The location in the Tortuguero National Park is fairly remote although there is a small airport nearby that is accessible with a 30-minute flight from San Jose. This lodge uses solar energy, does not use single-use plastics, and buys as much of its products from local manufacturers as possible. Kayaking, boat tours, and fishing are some of the activities that are available in the surrounding areas, making this one of the best eco-lodges in Central America.
La Loma Jungle Lodge
Located on one of the islands in the Bocas Del Toro region of Panama, La Loma Jungle Lodge is a fantastic and unique destination for those looking to unplug and disconnect from the outside world. The WiFi here is only accessible in the social area, it intentionally does not reach the rooms, but it is still there if you need it. The solar-powered open-air bungalows put your right in the jungle while also providing a roof and bug nets. Much of the furniture is handcrafted by the local community with local woods. The Jungle-To-Table restaurant serves in-season fruits and vegetables that are grown locally. Private water taxis will pick you up in Bocas Town every day at 4 p.m. to take you right to the entrance to this jungle paradise.
Cala Mia Island Resort
Found on the island of Isla Boca Brava, Panama, Cala Mia delivers a top-notch eco-friendly experience on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. Fully powered by solar energy, this eco-lodge offers wonderful meals complemented by fruits and vegetables grown on the property. There are several activities available such as bird watching, horseback riding, hiking, yoga, whale watching, fishing, and more. Cala Mia is very involved with marine biodiversity conservation, working closely with the World Marine Heritage Site that encompasses several areas along with several countries on the Central American Pacific coast. The two private beaches available and three included daily meals are sure to please!
Pijiba Lodge is on the Pacific coast of Colombia near the town of Nuqui, small charter flights are available from Medellin three days a week. The lodge has several solar-powered cabins that were built from materials that were sourced locally. While this is a fairly no-frills kind of stay, the views of the ocean and jungle are nothing short of excellent. Between the months of July and October, whale watching trips are available and guided tours and birdwatching trips in the inland forest are also available. The kitchen serves traditional local dishes that are sourced from the area when possible and the lodge filters its own water for drinking.
Ecolodge Juan Solito
In Eastern Colombia we find Ecolodge Juan Solito tucked away in the plains along the Ariporo River. The palm tree cabins here are built in the style of the local architecture. The lodge offers several different excursions. One option is a wildlife safari which will offer an observation of local wildlife such as anacondas(mainly in the dry season), capybara, crocodiles, deer, wild horses, cattle, and hundreds of different species of birds. Another option is an all-day fishing trip that includes preparing your lunch on the river bank using the fish that you have caught that day. Traditional Llanera style food is available on site. There is also a small private airstrip nearby where charter flights can land to avoid the 6-8 hour trip by car. Some customers have reported internet access here but don’t rely on it.
Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge
Found in San Ignacio, Belize, Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge offers an experience that is less remote than some other eco-lodges in Latin America. This lodge, which is nestled away in the Mayan Mountains, offers top-notch and modern accommodations, free bicycles, access to canoes and innertubes to use in the Macal River, free parking on-site, and an innovative restaurant. Horseback riding and tours of the local Mayan Ruins are available. The Actun Tunichil Muknal cave is nearby and is an absolute must-see for those seeking a view into the underground world. There is a network of hiking trails that can lead you to various Mayan Ruins and will offer plenty of wildlife along the way. Of all places to stay in Central America this is one of the best eco-lodges in Central America.
Table Rock Jungle Lodge
Also found in the San Ignacio area of Belize, Table Rock Jungle Lodge offers the jungle experience without the need for charter flights or being hours away from civilization. The lodge uses solar energy to generate their own electricity, they catch and reuse rainwater, and harvest food for the restaurant from the organic farm on the property. There are several excursions and tours offered and no shortage of adventure in the area. This modern eco-lodge is a great place to enjoy wildlife, history, and peace, and quiet for travelers and those living in Central America who just want to get away for a few days.
Isleta El Espino
Isleta El Espino is an eco-lodge that is located on a small private island in Lake Nicaragua, near Granada. This lodge is fully powered by solar energy and also offers free filtered water. Tours and activities are available such as fishing, nature tours, volcano tours, kayaking, spa massages, and more. There is also a full-time chef and bartender so food and drinks are always waiting for you. The lodge operates a water taxi that will bring you to and from the island on your days of check-in and check-out. If you would like to take additional trips to the mainland then the lodge will take you on the boat for a small fee.
Another eco-lodge found on a private island in Lake Nicaragua, Zopango Island operates totally energy and water independent with the use of solar panels and a water purification system. The menu offers items that create a bit of fusion between local Nicaraguan cuisine and a bit of Mediterranian flavor brought over by the French owners, using local ingredients, some of which are grown in the large garden on the island. There are kayaks available for use and the water here is great for swimming. This is a great choice for those who want to kick back and enjoy a little bit of relaxation.
For those looking for a time at the beach, the jungle, history, and lost civilizations, the plains of Colombia, island life in the oceans of Panama, or the lakes of Nicaragua, there are options that are very remote and some that are just a few minutes from a city. The only things that they share are that they are all surrounded by wonderful nature, they all try to be as eco-friendly as possible, and they are sure to deliver a relaxing and refreshing stay with a taste of adventure in some of the best eco-lodges in Central America.