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Eco Lodges Around the Americas

10 of our favorite eco-holiday options in the Americas

By Graham Holliday
Special to The Herald © Miami Herald
July 6th, 2003

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You recycle your empties, you've dabbed in organic apples and you ease your conscience with recycled toilet paper once in a while, but that's as far as it goes.  When it comes to holidays, you need a rejuvenating break - not an endurance test.  The good news:  It's possible to have an eco holiday that puts you in touch with nature and lets you have fun in reasonable comfort.  Long gone are the days of leaky bamboo huts, beards and beads.  Herewith are 10 of our favorite eco holiday options in the Americas:

Other lodges listed below:

Black Sheep Inn, P.O. Box 05-01-240, Chugchilán, Cotopaxi; (011-593) 3 281-4587;   $18-$38 per night per person.

Vying for status as the highest inn in the world, the Black Sheep Inn in Cotopaxi is an ecotourism venture flush with environmentally-friendly credentials.

Americans Michelle Kirby and Andres Hammerman arrived on the Andean plateau, some 8,000-12,500 feet above sea level, in 1994 and transformed the mountain lodge into a recycler's dream. Shower water is charcoal filtered and nourishes the reeds that feed the llamas, guinea pigs and sheep. There's a vegetarian restaurant, a sauna and "composting" toilets, which fertilize the organic garden.

The stunning Andean mountain range surrounding the inn is the main selling point. Hiking, horse riding and llama treks ranging from half an hour to full-day excursions are available. Treks take in the varied micro-climates of Chugchilán, the sierras of Rio Toachi Canyon, the wildlife haven of Cloud forest and Pre-Incan ruins.

Rooms are comfortable, cozy and clean. The months of June-August, at the end of the rainy season, are the best time to visit. At this time, the countryside is a wash of green, yet the weather is sunny and clear.

Other lodges listed in the article and their websites:

Spring House Farm
, Chimney Rock, North Carolina,
Cozy Moose Lakeside Family Cabins, Greenville, Maine,

Forest House Lodge, Air Ronge, Saskatchewan,
Cree Village Ecolodge, Moose Factory, Ontario 1-888-CREE-WAY or 1-705-658-6400

Chaa Creek Adventure Centre, Rainforest Reserve and Spa, San Ignacio, Cayo District,


Lapa Rios, Puerto Jimenez, Pennisula de Osa,
Genesis II Cloud Forest, adjacent to Tapanti-Macizo de la Muerte National Park,

The Lodge at Pico Bonito, La Ceiba, Alantida,

Maho Bay Camps, St.John Island,

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© Miami Herald 2003


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