Our “Sustainable Travel“ series is sponsored by Global Basecamps. Global Basecamps is specialty travel company that helps independent travelers research and book locally owned boutique hotels, off-the-beaten path lodges and multi-day excursions all over the world. Whether hiking the Inca Trail, experiencing a traditional Japanese Ryokan, or relaxing on the beaches of Thailand, Global Basecamps specializes in designing completely customized itineraries to meet each travelers specific priorities and match their travel style.
There are plenty of vacation options available to those who are blissfully in love, whether it be a first getaway for a new couple or a long excursion for a 50-year anniversary. But what if you want to take into account the impact your trip will have on the environment and the people whose land you are visiting? Too many vacation packages rely on using a huge amount of natural resources.
Not only is ecotourism on the rise, but many of the fantastic eco hotels and resorts around the world offer special “romance” packages that will ultimately save you money and energy. As much of ecotourism is focused in areas that are near water or have incredible biodiversity – such as the rainforest – the land itself provides a natural romantic vibe.
Here are seven of the best spots to go for a romantic eco-friendly getaway:
1) Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji Islands
Think that spending time on a deserted island sounds like the best place for your honeymoon or anniversary trip? Then Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in the Figi Islands should go right to the top of your list. This resort offers day or half-day trips to a secluded island off shore, where you’ll take a gourmet lunch and champagne with you for a romantic private getaway.
If you are planning a destination wedding, doesn’t the sound of having two Fijian warriors carry the bride up the beach to the groom sound unforgettable? Then move seamlessly into your honeymoon as soon as the ceremony is finished.
A full range of activities awaits you, as the resort offers everything from tennis to hiking to story telling and Medicine Walks. There’s plenty of fun – and educational – trips for couples available on the water, including reef walks, kayaking, and snorkeling. Don’t forget to take an eco tour with the resort’s naturalist, where you’ll learn about the 17-acre property’s most prized ecological features.
- Where: Vanua Levu, Fiji. Fly into Nadi International Airport, then hop on an hour flight to Savusavu. Your stay includes a round-trip transfer between the airport and resort.
- Rates: Start at $895 Aus per night
- Contact: (800) 246-3454, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
2) Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, Peru
There’s nothing quite like experiencing the Amazon rainforest, whether you are traveling alone or with a group of people. But to have an incredibly romantic experience, the sounds of rain, birds singing, and trees swishing creates a calming space to just be happily together.
Head to Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica in the Peruvian rainforest, which features the region’s only canopy bridge and one of South America’s largest at more than 1/4 mile, suspended 103 feet above ground. For extreme privacy, book the treehouse lodging. From this treehouse 90 ft. above ground, you will witness the wildlife of the rainforest like never before.
Don’t forget to get a massage at their spa that overlooks the Madre de Dios, and enjoy daily tea time. They also offer “romantic adventure” packages.
- Where: 25-minute flight from Cusco, Peru to Puerto Maldonado Airport. Check in at the Inkaterra Butterfly House, then take a 10 minute transfer to the Jetty Port, followed by a 45-minute boat transfer to Kilometer 15 on the Madre de Dios River.
- Rates: Range from $673.50 to $1,146.50 for a three-day/two-night stay, and includes transportation to and from the airport, canopy walk, and basic equipment for excursions.
- Contact: 1-800-422-5042, email@example.com, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
3) Belcampo Lodge, Punta Gorda, Belize
If you are looking for the perfect combination of incredible local fauna, flora, and Mayan ruins, along with resting lazily in the perfect resort room or beside the pool, book your trip to Belcampo Lodge in Punta Gorda, Belize. The rainforest sits directly outside the screened-in porch at the edge of your individual suite, where you can enjoy the sounds of the rain and wildlife as you sip a cappuccino or tea first thing in the morning (the staff delivers your ordered preference as a much friendlier wake up call compared to a jingling phone).
The two of you will also want to spend a lot of time in the room-sized stone shower, which offers shower-heads on the side and directly above you, along with a full-length window that gazes out in the rainforest. Once you feel motivated to peel yourself away from local, organic food and cocktails served at the on-site restaurant, hop on a couple of the resort’s mountain bikes to take in the sites or on a canoe to paddle along the Rio Grande.
Open-air Land Cruisers driven by extremely knowledgable guides help to make a romantic adventure around Belize a reality. Then each of you can have a relaxing Herbal Essence massage once you return after a hard day’s exploration.
- Where: Punta Gorda, Belize. Fly into BZE International Airport and rent a car or hire car service to Punta Gorda.
- Rates: Start at $330 per night. “Rainforest Romance” packages starts at $1,347 for three nights per couple.
- Contact: P.O. Box 135, Punta Gorda, Belize +1 888-299-9940 or +5-1 722-0050. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Belcampo Lodge
4) The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa
Natural mineral hot springs and one of the top wine growing regions in the world makes for a dream romantic vacation. On top of that, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa is one of the leaders in the country when it comes to environmental stewardship in the resort industry.
In 1990, they launched their “Green Partnership” program, which offers a variety of programs to reduce waste, conserve energy and water, and develop partnerships with local groups. For couples, that means green wedding options, free parking for hybrid cars, and enjoying a resort that is 99% pesticide and herbicide free.
Of course, the resort offers several package options, including the “Romance in Wine Country” package, with sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries, rose petal turndown, and two 60-minute massages being a part of the deal (starts at $489 per night). Golf, tennis, and luxury spa facilities also await, or you can just eat and wine-taste your way around the Sonoma Valley region, which offers some of the best food and wine in the entire world.
- Where: 100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma, California
- Rates: Start at $359 per night; packages available
- Contact: 707-938-9000, email@example.com, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa
5) Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat, New South Wales
If holing up in a rainforest bungalow is your idea of the perfect romantic getaway, get yourself a ticket to Byron Bay in New South Wales immediately. You’ll find yourself in a totally secluded love nest, surrounded by a 250-acre rainforest that is adjacent to world heritage listed national parks.
Choose from bungalows that provide fireplaces, spa bathrooms, large decks, and breathtaking views. If you get tired of walking around the 8 km of tracks at the retreat, you can head over to the beaches of the Gold Coast, which are just an hour’s drive away.
Many aspects of the property are eco-friendly, including the use of lemon myrtle oil as a cleansing agent, insulated glass to minimize heat transfer, and elevated buildings to reduce the environmental footprint of the resort.
The basic honeymoon package includes three night’s accommodation, Australian wine, Belgian chocolates, and 20 candles in your bungalow. Longer packages with meals are also available.
- Where: 201 Booka Road, Upper Crystal Creek via Murwillumbah, New South Wales
- Rates: $385-645 Aus per night, minimum 2-night stay
- Contact: 02-6679-1591, firstname.lastname@example.org, Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat
6) Gyreum Ecolodge, Ireland
Hoping for an eco-friendly vacation that is just a bit more affordable than a traditional resort? For just 20€ on the weekdays and 25€ on the weekends, in a small double-bed room for couples, you can stay in Ireland’s first EU Eco-certified eco-lodge. Built from scrap timber and a roof constructed from sheep’s wool mixed with fiberglass, the lodge is heated by wind power with a secondary energy supply system coming from a geothermal heat pump.
As a couples-bonding opportunity, courses in energy, eco-building, and organic horticulture are often available. The eco-lodge also provides the perfect space for a green wedding. Plus, you’ll experience a different view of Ireland than that of tourist-focused spots in and around Dublin. And you’ll be saving plenty of money, which can be used instead on a romantic dinner when you head back to the city.
- Where: Corlisheen, Castlebaldwin, County Sligo, Ireland. From Dublin, head north along N4 towards Sligo. At Castlebaldwin, turn right. After leaving the N4, follow the brown metal signs pointing toward Gyreum Ecolodge.
- Rates: Start at 15€ for a dorm room; 20€ for a private double
- Contact: +353 87 3280789, email@example.com, Gyreum Ecolodge
7) Six Senses Spa and Resorts, Internationally
Whether you decide to hit the waves in the Maldives or want to bask in the glory of Vietnamese cuisine in Nha Trang, Six Senses Spas and Resorts gives you the option of planning the perfect romantic getaway in amazing places all around the world, all the while keeping a focus on sustainability.
According to the company, they are “committed to preserving the environment through sustainable operations,” and their values extend to taking care of their employees and local communities where they operate. Reducing carbon emissions, energy conservations, water re-use, and recycling are all a part of their program, along with eco-friendly products in the resorts and local foods in the restaurants.
- Where: Choose from resorts in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and the Dominican Republic.
- Rates: See website for rates for each resort
- Contact: Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Park Ventures Ecoplex, 57 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330 Thailand, +66 2631 9777, firstname.lastname@example.org, Six Senses Spa and Resorts
Where are some other eco-friendly romantic getaways around the world?
Global Basecamps specializes in sending travelers to locally owned and sustainable eco-lodges around the world. From traditional ryokans in Japan to romantic rain forest lodges in Peru, we’ve done the research for you. Talk to one of our Travel Specialists today to begin planning your next adventure!