Five Eco Resorts in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is indeed a wonder of Asia. With its diverse flora and fauna, it makes a great touring destination. It’s no wonder that Lanka is one of the hottest travel destinations of the season. From exotic beaches to thick green forests, Lanka has it all. So without further ado, here are the top five eco resorts that will make your trip a memorable experience –

  1. Back of the Beyond Kahandamodera -

Located near the picturesque beaches of Tengalle, this resort combines leisure with pleasure. It’s a perfect spot to lay back, enjoy the silky smooth sand, and the tranquil peach as the ocean waves ripple to and fro. The villas offer you privacy as well as comfort. Each villa is split into two eco-friendly units, a three bedroom bungalow and a one bedroom cottage. Both come equipped with a ceiling fan, mosquito nets and neat bathrooms with hot and cold water facility. The bungalow boasts a separate dining area and an outdoor sleeping area. It offers stunning views of countryside as well as the sea, and is capable of housing roughly ten adults and three kids. It has to be booked as an entire house. The cottage can house three adults and is built apart from the bungalow and hence can be booked separately. The resort has a resident chef and staff to aid the tourists. The place gives an earthy feel, and has a friendly outdoor feel to it that makes it homely.

  1. Boulder Garden, Sinharaja -

It’s the Holy Grail for nature lovers. As the name suggests, the hotel is quite literally carved in jagged stones, and rooms are essentially caves in the rocks. Fret not; the USP of Boulder Garden is it’s unique combo of nature and technology. The rooms are modeled to resemble cave like structures, but they provide all the essential services. Natural light is used efficiently; the open rooms allow maximum sunlight in the rooms. It’s famous for its rustic, natural environment, and even has a rock-set swimming pool. It serves as a base camp for those interested in exploring the neighbouring rain forests.

  1. Kalundeva Retreat, Dambulla -

A perfect place to explore the cultural triangle, Kalundeva Retreat is situated among lovely green mountains and misty lakes. It’s a two chalets and a three-bedroom bungalow retreat. Each room is air conditioned and has a plasma TV of its own, although those lovely paddy fields and mesmerizing sunsets outside are far more inviting. It has a panoramic view of paddy fields and lakes, and serves as a perfect base to explore the Dambulla Cave Temples and Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

  1. Kulu Safaries, Yala -

They offer you the luxury to actually live in a national park, something that’s very rare and rewarding experience. Wake up to the melodious chirping of exotic birds, enjoy the sunrise, and feast on the local cuisine – it’s a complete package. Yala National Park houses a wide range of animals and birds, so if you are patient enough, you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful sighting of the Sri Lankan Big Four – the elusive Sri Lankan leopard, elephant, bear and wild buffalo.

  1. Madulkelle tea and Eco lodge, Kandy -

Housed in lush green Knuckles Mountains, Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge offers you a humble yet cozy abode. Secluded from the hustle and bustle of the city, the lodge has quality canvas tents. Each tent comes with a double bed, attached bathroom and wooden furniture, panning out into an outside terrace that overlooks the famous tea plantations. The separate dining building has a library, dining hall, and several indoor leisure activities. Adorned in traditional English furniture, it has an open fire place which perfectly complements the homely ambiance. Close to the Sri Lanka’s culture capital Kandy, it is a great place to stay and explore the northern country.

To see some of our Sri Lanka Eco Resorts, please click here:Eco Resorts in Sri Lanka

Apply and acquire your Sri Lankan Visa and be assured to enjoy your stay at one or more of the beautiful Sri Lankan Eco resorts.

Beyond Borders: Rethink ASEAN Ecotourism

ASEAN promoting Ecotourism

Workshop for ASEAN – Promoting Ecotourism

By Bronwen Evans owner-operator of Faasai Resort and Spa: FaaSai Resort and Spa
In addition to its natural beauties, Southeast Asia has warm weather, cultural diversity, amazing eco-systems, easy accessibility and affordability. Little wonder that it is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It is about to get even more popular, as next year it will join together in a new common market – the ASEAN Economic Community.  This means more roads and rail networks will go in and (in time) a single visa will be available for travel within the region. Obviously this will attract more tourists and this may disappoint ecotravelers who come to Southeast Asia because they are looking for authentic local experiences in quiet and unspoilt destinations.

Rice threshing the old fashioned way

Surin Laopha the owner of Faasai Resort threshing rice the old-fashioned way

It is heartening therefore to see that ASEAN is embracing the concept of ecotourism and Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sport, recently hosted a workshop for regional tourism leaders called Beyond Borders:  Rethink ASEAN Ecotourism

The workshop was supported by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Designated Area for Sustainable Tourism (DASTA) in Thailand and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). The Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT I) designed and facilitated the programme, with Jaranya Daengnoi and Peter Richards the lead facilitators.

The programme was very practical and in addition to talks by industry leaders there were field trips to ecotourism operations in south eastern Thailand.

The field trips were to the Jumrung Community, Rayong Province, a community initiative which offers visitors a chance to experience eco, agro and educational tourism; Huai Raeng Community in Trat province, a community-based initiative which offers boat trips to mangroves and homestay; and Faasai Resort and Spa, a small family-owned eco-resort which offers similar local trips, hands-on experience in the resort’s organic farm and “forest cuisine” – dishes based on locally-grown herbs such as Siamese cardamom.

Sites of Kung Wiman

Workshop attendees visited sites of Kung Wiman, near FaaSai Resort

 

All the places have a focus on agricultural tourism, supporting local communities, learning and sharing, and supporting cottage industries. There is also a unique Thai element to all three as they emphasize Thailand’s concept of the “Sufficiency Economy”.   This is not merely “sustainability” in the commonly understood meaning, but stress ethical values and “sufficiency” – living within your means, sharing resources, living as part of a community and cultivating resilience to external shocks.  This draws upon Buddhist traditions of kindness, tolerance and simplicity and the concept was developed by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Religion is an important part of Southeast Asian culture, and there is much common ground between Buddhism, Islam and Christianity, which have many devotees in the region. This was certainly evident in the people attending the workshop. When I spoke about values-based tourism from a Buddhist perspective, the Muslim members of the group were very receptive and enthusiastic about the idea and talked about their own heritage and experiences as we visited the sacred Bodhi tree at the resort.

While the group discovered many commonalities between eco-tourism practitioners in Southeast Asia, they also shared knowledge about how to develop successful ecotourism ventures. Ideas included creating memorable experiences, designing special packages to attract long-stay travelers, students or special interest groups,  using online media effectively through story-telling and developing social networks and communities of interest.

Thankfully, governments are coming to appreciate the value of this kind of small-scale tourism. It attracts travelers wanting to get off the beaten track and have a more authentic experience while it is low-impact and ensures that the money spent by tourism mostly remains in the local community.

White Water Lake

White Water Lake – the sanctuary and organic farm operated by Faasai Resort

Mr Pasit Poomchusri, the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Tourism in Thailand, led the workshop, which followed on from previous initiatives aimed at capacity-building within the Thailand tourism industry.  He sees good ecotourism potential in Thailand’s coastal eastern provinces, Rayong, Trat and Chanthaburi. These destinations offer a good alternative to travelers. They are only a few hours’ drive from Bangkok and have many resources such as sea and mountains, marine and forest parks, biodiversity, strong local communities, delicious food and agri-tourism.

As a local operator, I find it very encouraging that the Thai government is giving such support and encouragement to small eco-enterprises and I feel enthusiastic about the possibilities for ASEAN operators to work together in the area of ecotourism.

Bronwen Evans is a New Zealander who, together with her Thai husband Surin Laopha, is the owner-operator of Faasai Resort and Spa, an award-winning eco resort at Kung Wiman in Chanthaburi, Thailand.. To see their listing on Eco Tropical Resorts please go here: FaaSai Resort and Spa.

Ecohelpline

Eco Helpline

In 2009 three of us started Eco Helpline My other 2 incredible partners are Jem Winston and Hemant Thite. We share the same ideals about promoting ecotourism, each in our own way.  We think of ourselves as the 3 Ecoteers promoting sustainability. Hemant lives in India and runs Biogas Helpline and he is the one that brought the 3 of us together. Jem runs 3 Rivers Dominica and Rosalie Forest Ecolodge, both in Dominica.

Our goal for Eco Helpline was to initiate people into “Eco” best practices. We were mainly thinking of hotels when we developed the course but anyone can benefit from it. Many things can be incorporated into other areas and can also help increase people’s awareness in general. Our focus was the 5 main parts of ecotourism; Energy, Water, Nature Conservation, Waste & Recycling and Community Development.

Our free online course covers all those and you can take it here: Basic Eco Course. This will take you to my partner site.  You do need to sign up to take the course, but there is no charge.

We also offer an Advanced Eco Best Practices Course here: Alternative Energies Course. There is a small fee of $50 (US) to take the advanced course. You do need to register first. By signing up for our advanced class you will enable the 3 of us to meet in person and we would all love that, so please take the advanced class after you’ve taken our free one!

The Creativity OF Eco Tourism In Uganda

Green World Safaris in Uganda

Eco Tourism in Uganda
Eco-tourism basically focuses on environmental conservation and sustainable development. Eco-tours help to save forests, cultures and the environment in general. Eco tourism is all about saving the environment around you and preserving the natural luxuries and forest life. Whether it’s about a nature camp or organizing trekking trips towards the unspoiled and inaccessible regions, one should always keep in mind not to create any disturbance in the life cycle of nature.

Eco-tourism sites in Uganda are endowed with an abundance of wildlife and ever green vegetation. The attractions are; the apes, birds, butterflies, green vegetation, reptiles, flowers and wild animals like elephants, baboons, warthogs, chimpanzees, bush backs, monkeys, bush pigs, buffaloes, mountain gorillas and cool natural fresh air.

In all of Africa, Uganda is blessed by Nature with a wide range of rain forests, wildlife sanctuaries, rich cultural history, spectacular national parks, active volcanoes, botanical gardens, snow capped mountain with their rich flora and fauna gives you abundant and diverse choices making it the perfect country to visit if you are interested in environmental tourism and the unforgettable wildlife experience.

For those interested in nature, and who love traveling and recreation, we welcome you to the Pearl of Africa (Uganda). Eco-tourism here focuses on local cultures, wilderness adventures, volunteering, personal growth and learning new ways to live on our vulnerable planet. Traveling to different destinations is where the flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions like our well conserved national parks, forests and mountains.

For Eco Lodges and Tours in Uganda go here: Uganda Eco Lodges and Tours
This article submitted by: Green World Safaris

Wild Futures and the primate pet trade

The Monkey Sanctuary run by Wild Futures

By Paul Michael Reynolds MSc
Education Officer and Primate Keeper
Wild Futures-Primate Conservation

Wild Futures is a UK registered charity founded upon five decades of experience as a leader in the field of primate welfare and conservation, education, and sustainable practice. We are committed to protecting primates and habitats worldwide, with our UK flagship project The Monkey Sanctuary housing monkeys rescued from the primate pet trade and other abusive captive situations.

Our primary focus at Wild Futures is to protect primates and one of our main methods for achieving this is through education. Our education program raises awareness of the serious conservation and welfare implications for victims of the primate pet trade and other issues affecting primates worldwide. Some of the monkeys at our Sanctuary were born in the wild and through both legal and illegal means, have ended up as pets in Europe. Kodak the capuchin (see photo below), started his life in the rainforest and probably witnessed his family group shot. He then found himself transported across the globe to Greece where he was kept in a photo shop, until his owner realized he needed to be with others of his own kind. He is now the alpha male of his own group at our Sanctuary.

Kodak is one of the primates at The Monkey SanctuaryKodak ©Wild Futures

We estimate with the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) that there are approximately 6,000 privately owned primates in the UK, with further evidence suggesting it could be higher and there are signs that the primate pet trade is on the increase. Our Sanctuary witnesses the damage caused by this trade every day. Of the 37 monkeys residing at our Sanctuary, many of them display serious physical and psychological problems resulting from their time kept as pets. Our campaign work has led to much advancement, including political recognition that the trade in primates as pets is an issue within the UK, the publication of the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Privately Kept Non-Human Primates (to be used in conjunction with the Animal Welfare Act 2006) and strong public support, which has resulted in a parliament led committee discussing the UK primate pet trade.

We are working hard to protect primates and their habitats worldwide and strive for the day when all monkeys are free from the threat of the pet trade, free from malnutrition, mental, physical and emotional suffering.

Author Bio:
Paul Reynolds began his work at Wild Futures as a volunteer after completing his MSc in 2010, and after a period of time as a volunteer entered into his current role as Education Officer. He is driven and committed to ending the exploitation of primates for any purpose. You can email him at paul_reynolds@wildfutures.org

Paul Reynolds who works with Wild futures in preserving primatesPaul talking about Maya the Woolly Monkey

Water Conservation

Water scarcity worlwide

I keep having the same discussions with different lodges concerning water conservation. This is one of the 5 areas of my Eco Rating Exam. The 5 areas are Energy, water, recycling, land and conservation, and community.

Water conservation makes a lot of sense because there is a big water problem worldwide.  Wikipedia has an article on it here: Worldwide Water shortage, they claim there is a water scarcity in every continent of the world. The map below shows it:

Water scarcity worlwide

The Eco Rating Exam stresses water conservation. Lodges and Tours in very wet and rainy areas feel that they shouldn’t be held up to the same standards because there is an abundance of water where they are.  I have tried to incorporate some things into the questions of the Eco Ratings Exam.  For example, one of the questions is do you re-use gray water for irrigation?  This makes no sense if you have so much rain water that you don’t even have to irrigate.  I solved this question by adding this as a possible answer: Water is abundant and there is no need to collect gray water. There is another question that lodges do score lower on if they answer no.  That question asks if they record their water usage as part of water conservation.  So far, I have been tackling this question on an individual basis but maybe it’s time for some guidelines.

Our overall goal is promoting ecotourism.  As such, I think eco lodges and tours are in a great position to help educate people and act as the fore front for Global change.  By recording usage and conserving to some extent, even when they don’t have to because of an abundance shows the world that it’s important. As with most things in life, this is a progression.  I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts about this water issue.  the more it is discussed, the more we will move forward towards change.

Here’s a quick way to share your opinion.
Do you think lodges/tours should have to record their water usage if they are located somewhere with abundant water?

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

 Yes No

You can contact me via our Contact Form if you have more to share or write a comment on this post. I will get it.

Bryn Elltyd Eco Guesthouse

Eco Guesthouse in the U.K.

Zero carbon, 1883 guesthouse business lines up for UK wide eco award

 

Eco Guesthouse in the U.K.

House is at bottom of this ramp that was used to lower slate wagons on to ffestiniog steam railway. Railway is so old it is pre steam engines. 1830,s it all rolled with gravity2ok long

**2014 Winner of Considerate Hotelier Green Team**

Bryn Elltyd eco guesthouse, 700ft up in Snowdonia has made it to the last 3 in the prestigious Considerate Hotelier awards. This national UK competition examines the sustainability and green ethos of, usually much larger hotels. Ceilia and John’s tiny 3 star, 6 bedroom, guesthouse are on a shortlist of 3. Pitted against the likes of the Best Western Hotel chain’ hotel in Suffolk.  It does not worry them, last year they competed in the awards against large 20 bed, 5 star hotels. They won and sat next to the Savoy green team to discuss carbon reduction.Lake in background is one of 2 hydro plants within 200m. This one has LAKE pumped up 3k and 400m up hill most nights. When they want power, open tap and full power in 6 seconds. store wind power electric etc

Steam train at back

Very old steam train

Green does not mean compromise as Bryn Elltyd shows. Wi fi, sauna, 3 electric car charge points etc. It is all carbon neutral, all energy comes from renewable. Having had solar panels since 1983 John and Ceilia like to think they tread lightly on the land for their grandchildren. Many organizations discuss climate change and carbon reduction, but this business has acted and runs only on renewable energy.

Heating uses a local wood bye product that is turned to gas and burnt at 900c. Amazingly for a house up a Welsh mountain it has computer inter-grated solar panels that work to make hot water. Other solar arrays make 240v electric. All the work has been done by John or by employing local engineers.

Spot the solar thermal and solar electric arrays. turf roofed lined with sheeps wool and cosy.

Spot the solar thermal and solar electric arrays. turf roofed lined with sheeps wool and cosy.

Rain can be a welcome resource here. It is harvested to flush loos(toilets) and water the garden and there are also two commercial hydro plants within 200m. Sewerage goes through 3 natural biological chambers then a small reed bed and into a duck pond, with ducks. John says ” Don’t panic the system is smell free and the loo flushing is normal.  Bryn Elltyd was built in 1883, had an out side tap in 1983 and has now evolved into carbon neutral. It has been a long adventure using my 25 years experience of teaching technology and engineering. High tech solar integration works, as does low tech conservatories, soaking up the heat into 39inch thick walls and vents to put this warm air into the house.  Together with my wife Ceilia we did what most parents dream about. The children went off to uni so we put the house on the market, sold up and moved to this stunning area where we used to holiday. Take care in the Hobbit room, lined with cozy sheep’s wool, turf roofed and dug into the mountain. It has had two marriage proposals in it so far……..’’

The Considerate Hotelier Awards are in London on 13th June.  It was won last year by the Savoy hotel and our little green zero carbon guesthouse with 6 bedrooms is against  a 34 and a 396 bedroom hotels that are part of national chains. No worries.

To see their listing go here: Bryn Elltyd Eco Guesthouse in the UK

Maya Luna Eco Lodge in Mexico

Maya Luna Eco Lodge

Maya Luna Eco Lodge is located 4km south of the small fishermans town of Mahahual at the Costa Maya, the Caribbean coast of Mexico.

All 4 beach front bungalows with oceanview have a private bathroom, king-size bed, ceiling fan, hammocks and upstairs a private roof-deck. Extra beds for each studio are available. One bungalow is completely accessible for people in wheelchairs; Electricity is generated via solar panels. All rooms have 24 hours of electricity. To save energy, we use energy efficient lamps and fans in the main building and the rooms. For its water supply hotel Maya Luna uses rain water falling on the roof to be collected in large basements under the terrace. A basement for waste water was constructed and consists of different compounds with filters installed. After filtering the water can be used for irrigation.

The restaurant-bar at the waterfront offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our menu offers a selection of European & Mexican dishes with an Indonesian flavor. One of our specials is a stuffed pineapple with shrimps, cashew nuts, rice, chile poblano & omelette, topped with coriander. From local fisherman we buy their “catch of the day”. All inclusive packages on request.

Majahuitas Resort Mexico

Majahuitas Resort on Bay of Banderas, Mexico

Majahuitas Resort Mexico is situated in a secluded area of the Bay of Banderas

Just 15 minutes south of the bustling city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and yet a world away.  The only way to get there is by boat.  You are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean in front and the jungle in back which adds to the delightful feeling of seclusion. You are minutes from the hustle and bustle of a big city, yet feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. At Majahuitas Resort Mexico you will feel be able to relax and enjoy the area in peace.

Come relax in seclusion with only 8 small cabins.  Here at Majahuitas Resort Mexico you can relax to your hearts content or if you’re feeling energetic, we have the following activities included with your stay:
Kayaks
Stand-Up Paddle Boards
Snorkeling gear
Beach Volleyball
Table Tennis
Daily Guided tour and hike to Quimixto Waterfall from 10-2pm.
Movie Night for classics on the beach once a week.

Visit our listing page with more information >>

TranquilSeas Eco Lodge

Tranquil Seas Resort

TranquilSeas has intimate boutique cabanas nestled amongst lush foliage. From your cabana you are just footsteps to the beach, snorkeling, private pool, bar a restaraunt. As you would expect from a tropical island, the lush green exotic jungle that laces Roatan provides a canopy for many indigenous birds and creatures that are the backbone for the golden palm-fringed beaches.

Tranquilseas Eco Lodge, Diving Center, Restaurant & Bar, Roatan, Honduras – Unique island accommodation & Padi Dive Resort set amongst beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, secluded from the hustle and bustle and yet easily accessible to some of the great adventures to be had on Roatan.

Whether you are looking for a Honduras or Roatan hotel or Eco Lodge, complete Padi diving resort for your Roatan diving experience, or are just passing through and want to spend a few nights vacation on the hidden gem of Roatan, Honduras; Tranquilseas Eco Lodge is where you will be able to do as much or as little as you like. Situated on the North side of Roatan, You will find our established Cabanas nestled in amongst exotic flora and fauna providing unique lodge accommodation in Roatan.

Visit our listing page with more information >>