As travelers become more conscious of their environmental footprint, more sustainable travel opportunities are opening up across the world. One of these growing industries are Amazon eco lodges: hotels that focus on minimizing the negative effects of building new lodging, while also aiming to contribute to local communities or support relevant conservation efforts.
Destinations throughout South America are seeing more and more eco-lodges pop up as communities want to encourage tourism to their beautiful towns, but also want to protect the delicate ecosystems. One extremely popular region these lodges are popping up is the Amazon Rainforest. With rich, lush jungles, unique species, and a wealth of adventure opportunities – a luxury vacation in the Amazon makes perfect sense for the traveler who loves to be immersed in nature. If you hope to enjoy some exciting, but sustainable travel to South America, here are the top four Amazon eco lodges recommended by our Kuoda travel experts.
Escape to the Private Cabanas of Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica
A luxury trip to the Amazon allows for the perfect balance of adventure and romance in the lush rainforest. The private cabanas of the Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica are a dream destination for travelers who want to enjoy a sustainable, five star experience in South America!
Located on the Madre de Dios River in Peru, the individual wooden cabanas provide a peaceful oasis for your tropical escape. While the property is easily accessible, it feels completely remote in the best way possible. Being surrounded by the lush greenery of the treetops make this feel like a secret garden tucked away from the rest of the world. There are four options of cabana which vary in price and features, so you can tailor the experience to your needs. Our favorite is the Tambopata Suite, which gives travelers access to a private terrace with sunbathing chairs, an outdoor shower, and a plunge pool when you need to cool off. Every cabana is constructed beautifully from organic, natural materials such as thatched palm roofs and Ese’ Eja style wooden architecture. No detail is missed here, with hypoallergenic bedding and luxurious, eco-friendly toiletries.
While you stay, take advantage of Inkaterra’s selection of excursions and opportunities, from a relaxing spa to trekking the Amazon. Their activities range between quarter-day activities and full excursions, allowing you to customize your Amazonian vacation. For a romantic adventure, enjoy the Rainforest by Night excursion and see the Inkaterra Ecological Reserve come to life after hours. Lay your eyes on nocturnal animals, such as the Spectacled Owl or the Margay, on this one-of-a-kind adventure! Or, spend a day exploring with their Tambopata excursion, which involves hiking and canoeing as you look for rare animal species and enjoy a guided tour of a lush garden featuring 200 medicinal plants.
And when relaxation is calling your name, take advantage of the heavenly spa, Ena. Select your treatments and enjoy the natural blessings provided by exotic Amazonian ingredients that help hydrate, energize, and improve your skin and body! Views of the Madre de Dios River are right outside this spa, surrounding you in a completely serene environment for the most luxurious, but sustainable indulgence you’ll find in the Amazon.
Best of all, the Inkaterra Association is directly benefited by your stay. Several projects are always ongoing at Inkaterra, such as forest conservation, research for how to sustainably grow and produce new plants in the Amazon, and biodiversity monitoring. Currently, Inkaterra manages over 30,000 acres of land in the Amazon, pouring efforts into rebuilding and conserving land that has been damaged by deforestation over the last several decades. Additionally, their Sustainable Landscape Corridor project aims to provide healthier options for commuting and transportation through the rainforest. Providing eco-friendly connectivity has often been overlooked, but after seeing the damage that current highways cause to nearly 50 plant species as well as nearby communities, Inkaterra made it their mission to restore balance in the forest by developing a corridor that will allow local communities, tourists, and economic transportation an accessible, responsible path to use during their commute through this delicate ecosystem. If you’re looking for a dreamy eco-lodge in the Southern Amazon Rainforest to indulge and explore, Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica is a perfect choice.
Napo Wildlife Center
Four individual canopies tower over the river banks running through Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park, creating a small community of hand crafted cabins that invite guests to enjoy the region’s naturally striking beauty. Napo Wildlife Center is one of the most well respected eco-lodges in the Amazon, as they go to every effort to make the most of sustainable travel in South America.
As you abandon city life and enter the vibrant rainforest, this eco-lodge slowly unveils itself as a thriving resort with some stunning views above the treetops. Special eco-friendly touches can be found throughout the property, including the fact that this lodge is powered completely by solar energy and silent generators, leaving the smallest possible footprint on the world around it.
Guests can choose between their own private suite or standard luxury accommodations, all of which serve as a beautiful resting place after a day of thrilling exploration throughout Yasuní. Stay on site for more peaceful activities, or venture out into the world beyond with some of their more active excursions. One stunning amenity that guests have fallen in love with is Napo’s Canopy Observation Tower. Views like this are unimaginable, so when you get the opportunity to see the rainforest from above the trees, take it! Ascend up the ladder to the top of one of their towers, and see what you can spot playing in the Amazon. Flocks of colorful birds chirp and soar in the sky, while monkeys play amongst the trees. This expansive look at the Amazon is a breathtaking and easily accessible activity for the traveler who wants to enjoy a simple activity.
Get rowing with one of their canoe tours if you’re feeling more adventurous! Napo will take you on a journey across the black waters of the Añangu Lake, with the option to paddle board for even more thrilling action! Take a closer look at the beautiful species of fish, caimans, turtles, and, if you’re lucky, the special giant otters! Hikes through the jungle forest are available with opportunities to get a better look at the flora and fauna that make this lush paradise their home.
Napo Wildlife Center is completely community based, which allows your trip to benefit local projects and people first hand. Employing indigenous Kichwa Añangu people allows the resort to employ an authentic sustainability model that supports the ecosystem while providing luxury accommodations. Plus, all processes from this resort are reinvested into their mission to make the community a better place. From renewable energy installations, to local education, and even providing health care for the neighboring people, every step of the journey at Napo is one that helps make lasting change for this region. This destination promises travelers will leave an environmentally positive impact after their stay has come to an end.
Become One With The Amazon At The Yachana Lodge
Head deeper into the Amazon and discover what it’s like to live amongst the trees at the Yachana Lodge, an intimate bungalow resort that is as peaceful as it is fascinating. For travelers looking to truly immerse themselves in the nature and culture of Ecuador’s Amazonian region, this is a bucket list experience.
Built amongst the towering rainforest trees, the bungalows feel well protected and extra serene. This community style environment is small, but mighty, with a total of eight private quarters split between the two main bungalows. And the exclusivity is worth it, as you will be treated to impeccable service and an itinerary of activities that engage all five senses.
Depending on how long you stay, guests will be treated to private experiences such as hiking through the rainforest reserve, making chocolate from local cacao, and even a night hike that will give you a front row seat to the secret world of the nocturnal Amazon. You will be given plenty of opportunities to see this beautiful jungle in a variety of ways, and get the chance to meet and learn about the cultures who make the Amazon their home! Their immersion program introduces travelers to the communities lifestyle, agricultural practices, and the opportunity to work alongside them making culinary creations and harvesting local crops.
The Yachana Foundation makes every effort to ensure that the eco-lodge is providing a positive impact on the rainforest and communities around it. Conservation and maintenance efforts are a huge focus here, as they want to make sure the rainforest can continue to grow and blossom for years to come. They also provide education about how to reduce your carbon footprint, at home and when traveling! Yachana is also on a mission to help and serve the Amazon’s elderly communities, providing activities and resources for these older generations to stay connected to their world and feel healthier while doing it. Joining the Yachana Lodge for an Amazonian adventure goes beyond just the fun excursions; here you are helping make a lasting impact on the world that lives within the rainforest!
Unplug From The Outside World And Relax At The Chalalán Ecolodge
Built by the indigenous community of Madidi Park who wanted to explore Chalalán with travelers in a responsible way, the Chalalán Ecolodge is a beautiful resort in Bolivia ready to welcome fellow lovers of all things adventure, nature, and culture! Take a short boat ride through the Beni and Tuichi Rivers before arriving at an astounding natural reserve, completely separate from the rest of society, making this an ideal location for unplugging and reconnecting with the Earth!
Chalalán offers guests several fun activities, including rainforest walks, paddling through the lake, and stunning viewpoints that put the natural wonder of Madidi on full display. Wildlife observation opportunities are bountiful here, as you will get to see everything through the lens of the local guides and learn about the diversity of life forms throughout the park.
The lodge itself is made up of several traditional Tacana-style cabins, designed to blend in with the surrounding jungle while providing guests a relaxing, luxurious stay. Handmade furniture and carefully crafted decor make each cabin feel even more special, as if it was carved in preparation for your visit.
Belonging to the people of San José de Uchupiamonas, this culturally diverse lodge allows you to be fully immersed in the unique community that share Qhecua and Tacana roots. Every dish is prepared using local ingredients and ancient techniques, every activity hand selected to give you an enriching luxury vacation. Plus, your stay will help benefit the community by providing sustainable income opportunities, improving local services, supporting conservation efforts of the rainforest they call home, and helping maintain a strong cultural identity worthy of celebration.
Wherever your travels take you in the Amazon, there is a charming eco-lodge tucked within the trees or hiding along a river bank, ready to invite you in! As we move into a more environmentally conscious society, eco-tourism has become much more accessible for every kind of traveler to enjoy. Talk to a Kuoda expert, and we’ll help you find the perfect lodge for you, ensuring your sustainable travel efforts will help support the Amazon and South American ecosystems for years to come!