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Just because you are going on a family vacation doesn’t mean that learning should take a break too. Ecolodges offer a hassle-free and responsible way to reconnect, help local communities, and have fun — the ingredients you need for the best educational family vacations!
Staying at an EcoLodge
Staying at an authentic ecolodge offers the opportunity to:
- Participate in family activities such as kayaking and hiking.
- Settle in unique, comfortable, and sustainable accommodations.
- Be immersed in the local culture.
- Learn from naturalist guides who are proud to share their knowledge of the region’s ecosystems and wildlife.
What is an EcoLodge?
The term ecolodge does not mean paying more, nor does it mean roughing it. It refers to accommodations that are socially, economically and environmentally benefiting local communities.
There are hundreds of genuine eco-lodges around the world ranging from rustic agritourism farms to lush rainforest retreats. These lodges are not just distinctive; they are locally managed, provide fair wages to employees, present locally-sourced meals, and use solar or wind power as their source for electricity.
Why EcoLodges Offer the Best Educational Family Vacations
Children can specifically benefit from an ecolodge vacation because the experience offers the chance for:
- Instruction about indigenous wildlife.
- Increased awareness about environmental degradation.
- Involvement with conservation efforts.
- Focus on the use of renewable energy resources.
- Exposure to cultural & culinary experiences.
- Inspiration for a life’s passion.
For example, staying at an eco-certified lodge in Costa Rica financially benefits local residents and supports the conservation of endangered species such as the jaguar, puma, crocodile, tapir, poison dart frogs, and the harpy eagle. Families can go surfing, horseback riding, rafting and hiking while learning all about these programs.
In Alaska, families can sail to small coves to see beluga, orca and humpback whales, kayak up to the face of glaciers, and hike through pristine forests and national parks all the while learning about how climate change and oil drilling is affecting the state’s ecosystems.
It’s a Life Lesson
Lastly, ecolodges allow the integration of your child’s science, social studies, foreign language, even art and music lessons into your family vacation. One of the most helpful and free resources available now is by Rainforest Alliance, which offers kindergarten-8th grade curriculum guides that include slideshows, wildlife species profiles, and original stories.
It’s not a tall order to ask more from your vacation – just consider eco-lodge vacations. For more information on meaningful family trips that make a difference, check out Greenloons.com.
Irene Lane is the founder of Greenloons – a premier online resource dedicated to inspiring people to think different, be different and travel different – in ways that help to ensure a more sustainable planet. Join the Greenloons community on Facebook. Follow the discussion on Twitter.