by: Maria Belen Iturralde
There is a long list of things that have changed or have come to a temporary halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the most notable, however, is the lack of travel. While we stay home to avoid further spread of the virus, many of us find ourselves longing for the trips and adventures that once filled us with joy.
There is no better moment than now — when time seems to be in abundance — to start planning your next adventure! Because of this, we’ve rounded up the best eco-hotels in Ecuador to disappear into once we can do more than armchair travel.
Ecuador, a haven for wildlife and biodiversity, is the source of inspiration for our Remu jackets. It is also home to some of the best eco-hotels in the world. These accommodations coexist in harmony with their surroundings and provide for the most immersive getaway experiences.
Featured in National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, and countless other global publications, this eco-hotel in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon was built, as per their website, with the “latest techniques in sustainable construction.” Only 60 miles from Quito, it’s a stone’s throw from the country’s capital city but is indeed an oasis of natural wonders. Whether you’re waking up to the view of the lush Choco Rainforest, having breakfast while birdwatching in the terrace, indulging in a spa treatment, exploring their extensive library, or taking a walk in the intoxicatingly diverse cloud forest, you are bound to feel at one with nature. Mashpi, like Remu, strives to foster the local economy by employing locals, which is why 75% of their employees are from the area and are themselves significant stakeholders of the business. The hotel is at once overwhelmingly luxurious and admirably responsible.
Mashpi Lodge, Pacto, Quito, Ecuador | (+593) 2400-8088 | mashpilodge.com
The Galapagos Islands, known worldwide for their pristine landscapes and largely-untouched biodiversity, houses one of the world’s best ecological stays, Pikaia Lodge. Located in Santa Cruz island, it offers both opulent comfort and responsible indulgence. It is the ultimate destination for the “environmentally conscious, physically active and adventurous traveler who seeks close contact with the unique natural wonders of the Galapagos.” Experience the unrivaled magic of the archipelago while staying at one of the most unique lodgings in the country. Enjoy panoramic views of the island, take a walk beside wild giant tortoises, dine at the edge of a crater, take in a spectacular view of the ocean from the pool, all whilst leaving little-to-no environmental footprints.
Sector El Camote, Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador | (+593) 98-115-5810 | pikaialodge.com
Napo Wildlife Center
Located in the heart of Yasuni National Park, this eco-lodge is a gateway into the most biodiverse place on Earth. Explore the local culture, watch the native birds, coexist beside the area’s animals and experience the most striking views in complete harmony with nature. Take in the crisp, clean air whilst watching the natural world unfold before your eyes. This sustainable hotel is one of the most unique stays in the world, a once-in-a-lifetime must-see where humans coexist in perfect harmony with their surroundings and the astoundingly-rich flora and fauna of the area. Retreat into cozy cabins after a full day of adventuring, exploring and experiencing the unparalleled natural world of this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. At Remu, we hope to support local communities in Ecuador and foster social responsibility. The Napo Wildlife Center strives to do so too; it is managed by the local community, the Kichwa Añangu, and thus benefits both locals and the environment.
Yasuni National Park by the Añangu Lake | (+593) 99-275-0088 | napowildlifecenter.com
Las Tanusas Hotel
Nestled between palm trees and greenery and home to one of the most unique restaurants in the country, this eco hotel is one of the finest stays along the Ecuadorian coastline. Consciousness and pleasure converge in this corner of Puerto Cayo, providing visitors with an unforgettable experience. The hotel is powered by solar panels and waste undergoes a careful filtering process. Perhaps one of the most unique (and widely acclaimed) elements of this hotel is its restaurant Bocavaldivia, which strives to use the cooking practices of our ancestors and thus sources all ingredients organically, prizing artisanal fishing and agriculture. The toiletries provided are organic and fair trade and the hotel’s manager has begun a ‘green’ project to bring attention to the importance of rainforest conservation and ethical harvests. The hotel employs a plethora of people from nearby villages to spur on the local economy as well. Wake up to a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean whilst enjoying exquisitely sustainable travel.
Ruta del Sol 12km Norte, Puerto Cayo 130312 | (+593) 99-819-9428 | tanusas.earth/hotel
Hacienda El Porvenir
This hotel, nestled in the foothills of the imposing Rumiñahui volcano, presents a unique opportunity to stay in the heart of the Andes mountain range. Their goal is to “share and preserve one of the most beautiful places on our planet with a long term vision”. They partner with a local nonprofit ‘Fundacion Paramo’ to implement responsible conservation programs and educate both visitors and local residents on environmental consciousness. They source products, food and labor from local communities and strive to practice sustainable living through proper waste management, green construction and low-consumption energy systems. Experience the thrill of staying by the active Cotopaxi volcano at an altitude of 3,600 meters whilst enjoying local food and culture in the most inviting environment. A stay here is bound to be an unforgettable adventure.
Norte Parque Nacional Cotopaxi, Machachi 171110 | (+593) 22-040-2098 | tierradelvolcan.com/es/hacienda-el-porvenir
The hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Today, the kindest thing we can do is stay home. Eventually, though, travelling will be the way in which we show compassion to those around us. Visiting one of these magical hotels is the perfect way to treat your adventurous side and explore the diverse natural worlds housed within one country, while helping local economies and supporting sustainable practices. We’ll be keeping these in mind for your travel plans once it’s safe to leave our homes...will you? Which one of these do you want to visit first?