Editors and travel experts at Lonely Planet have curated an interesting list of off-grid cottages, treehouses and ‘earthships’ spanning Costa Rica, South Africa, Tanzania to Russia in a list they call the top 10 eco-stays for 2014.
With Earth Hour, World Water Day and Earth Day drawing near, the list serves as a useful guide for travelers looking to green their vacations and support sustainable outfits and travel operators.
Taking the top spot is the Lapa Rios eco-lodge in Costa Rica.
Set in the heart of the rainforest in the country’s Osa Peninsula, the property consists of 16 private bungalows built from locally harvested materials that offer luxurious guilt-free accommodations.
The 930-acre tract of land is an incredibly rich ecosystem, home to nearly three percent of the world’s biodiversity. Guests of the Lapa Rios lodge are invited to explore their natural surroundings in guided rainforest hikes and bird-watching treks, or while kayaking, surfing and whale watching.
Amenities include private outdoor decks with rain showers and hammocks, king size beds, indoor bathroom and showers, and a central pool.
Other interesting eco-friendly accommodations includes the Chole Minji, which describes itself as a “castaway fantasy” and “jungle island retreat” for the 7 treehouse accommodations built on a remote island off the Tanzanian coast.
Built into baobab and tamarind trees, all of the thatch-roofed treehouses are designed to offer views of the sea and offer king-sized beds.
And an ‘earthship’ in New Mexico offers accommodations in the desert that are completely off-grid. Built from recycled materials, the collection of buildings is powered by solar panels, rain and snow-collecting cisterns, and a greenhouse for self-sufficiency.
The off-grid hotel is part of a larger Earthships project that aims to serve as an international model on sustainable, self-sufficient communities.
Here are the Top 10 eco-stays of 2014, according to Lonely Planet:
1. Lapa Rios, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica
2. Bulungula Backpackers, South Africa
3. Chole Mjini, Chole Island, Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania
4. Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Aguas Calientes, Peru
5. EcoLodge Chepu Adventures, Chiloe, Chile
6. Maison Anglaise, Taroudant, Morocco
7. Earthship Rentals, Taos, New Mexico, USA
8. Dana Guest House, Jordan
9. Nuli Sapi, Papua New Guinea
10. Baikaler Eco-Hostel, Listvyanka, Russia
For the full list, visit www.lonelyplanet.com/best-eco-hotels.