Complete Guide to the Best Eco lodges in Colombia

The best eco-lodges in Colombia are listed in this guide. When thinking of an eco-lodge in Colombia, or anywhere else, the idea of a place in the middle of nature is not enough, but also the intention to care for and conserve nature and local culture and people, maintaining sustainable practices and involving the local communities providing economic and social development.  

Within the framework of sustainable tourism, an eco-lodge also aims to provide a unique experience for travelers and visitors.  Discover in this guide the best birding lodges and best ecolodges in Colombia.

Summary List

  1. What is an eco-lodge
  2. Best birding lodges in Colombia
  3. Eco-lodges, eco-resorts and eco-hotels in Colombia
    1. Best Eco-lodges in Colombia
    2. Best Eco-resorts in Colombia
    3. Best Eco-hotels in Colombia

What is an Eco-lodge?

The creation of sustainable lodges has been growing more and more all over the planet. These accommodations are recognized by the prefix eco-. The prefix eco- comes from the Greek word oikos which means house. Eventually, the word became a prefix used to refer to the planet earth as our home, and everything happening in it, on a biological, natural, or geological level, is related to the idea of eco.

In common language, eco is used to designate everything that is linked and committed to sustainable practices and the care and conservation of the environment. 

Types of Eco-lodges

There are several types of eco-lodges, but mainly we can mention three types: eco-lodges, eco-resorts and eco-hotels.

Eco-resorts and eco-lodges are generally located in remote places, in natural environments, and their objective is that the visitor has a deep connection experience with the place.

On the other hand, an eco-hotel is closer to or within towns or cities and aims to provide a service that ensures the use of sustainable practices.  

The Perfect Combination of Luxury and Nature

In the most iconic natural destinations of the planet it is already possible to find high-end eco-lodges, as the National Geographic Unique Eco-lodges, which provide a magical and outstanding experience to the traveler within the natural and cultural environment. 

In high-end eco-lodge the encounter with nature goes beyond the basics, being conservation a part of a whole that includes unique, intangible, and luxurious experiences of gastronomic, architectural, cultural, and contemplative type.

These places are focused on offering a direct and healthy contact with pristine places, with personalized services, with the enjoyment of local flavors and the experience of the local life authenticity above all

In Colombia, to date, we do not have places that are recognized worldwide for providing a high-end eco-lodge service. And for better or worse, our neighboring countries have a wide offer in this type of destination.

This is good, on one hand, because we have many places still very well preserved, where authenticity takes precedence over any other experience. Conversely, it also means that there is still much to do, especially for those more demanding or exclusive travelers.  

Eco-Lodges in Colombia

More than specialized lodges, as bird-lodges or eco-lodges, what prevails in Colombia is the offer of basic accommodations adapted in private reserves, sanctuaries and national parks.

There are also a few eco-resorts, with more extensive services such as private tours, spa service or different gastronomy. Fewer still, are the eco-hotels in the big cities. However, many of the hotels are implementing sustainable practices of all kinds.  

Here we will tell you which are some of the most developed places in Colombia in terms of ecological lodging and specialized services. Also, about their main attractions, where they are, what it takes and how to get there among other details. 

For information about bird lodges I invite you to read our entry: Ultimate Guide to the Best Birding Lodges in Colombia.

Eco-lodges, Eco-resorts and Eco-hotels in Colombia  

Despite the distinctions that exist between eco-resorts and eco-lodges, these terms are used interchangeably by people. The difference is in the size of the place and the variety, quantity and quality of services that can be offered, being more restricted in the case of eco-lodges.

The most important characteristic of these places, more than their name, is their green activity, related to responsible practices with the environment, the local communities and minimizing the negative impact on nature. In addition, the commitment to study and conserve the wildlife of the places where they are located. 

Colombia do not have sites with the features of an Awasi’s ecolodge in south America or of the National Geographic Unique Lodges. In general, eco-lodges in Colombia are managed by families or small groups, and are not part of large hotel chains or large companies. Many of them use tourism as a source of funding for research and conservation projects, led by foundations dedicated to these issues.

Valle del Cocora
Valle del Cocora

In some cases, tourists can participate in the projects, either by visiting the study areas, participating in research workshops, being a donor, or as a volunteer.  

Best Eco-lodges in Colombia  

Among the most striking eco-lodges in Colombia are: 

Best Ecolodges in the Colombian Pacific Region 

El Almejal Ecolodge – Chocó

highlights

Located in the Colombian pacific, where the forest and the sea meet. It ranks first in green tourism and has won the National Award for Sustainable Tourism granted by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia.

El Almejal is the only lodge in the pacific with its own natural reserve. It has been reviewed by the World Tourism Organization as one of the 65 best examples in the world for good practices in sustainable development of ecotourism. +35 years of experience in local development of ecotourism and conservation. 

It offers privacy and comfort in its facilities,  +250 species of birds. 

lodge features

It has its own water purification plant and does not sell polluting water bottles. 24-hour electricity. Organic garden. It has simple and cozy wooden cabins, designed under bio-climatic concepts and “transparent architecture”.

The natural reserve has stone paths, bridges and comfortable, wide and safe wooden platforms. The lodge follows the ZERI methodology of zero emissions and implemented a similar reforestation system and policies of sustainability, social and environmental responsibility. The lodge has two boats with two engines equipped with cushions and a roof for visits to the sea. 

things to do
  • Renewal and yoga retreats. Romantic getaways. Whale watching. Release of baby turtles into the sea. Dolphin encounters. Educational excursions. Sunset contemplation at El Almejal beach.
  • Visits to Bahia Solano, especially to the village of Valle, where it is possible to find crystalline rivers, waterfalls, beaches, amazing sunsets and the Valle river, that leads to the indigenous villages.
  • Observation of wildlife migrations: migratory birds, sea turtles, humpback whales, and anchovies. The migration of anchovies brings with it larger fish, consolidating the sport fishing season. 
  • At low tide, an impressive 150-meter wide beach is discovered. Sport activities associated with tidal variations such as beach volleyball, running, tai chi, yoga, trekking. Visits to the natural reserve.
  • Behind the beach you can see branches of the Baudó mountain range with all the exuberance of the tropical rainforest. Visits to the Ensenada de Utría National Park.  
gastronomy

Farm to table style. It has an organic garden fed with compost that supplies the kitchen with fruits, aromatic herbs and fresh vegetables. The food can be tailored to the needs of the client. Dishes served at the table based on fresh fish and products from the region. Recipes from the Colombian pacific region cuisine. 

accommodation

Up to 45 people can be accommodated in multiple accommodation. It has 10 spacious wooden cabins of 32 square meters. They are independent and sufficiently distant from each other. They have glazed wooden floors, beds with mosquito nets and superior quality mattresses, excellent private bathroom with natural lighting and terrace.

The rooms have a living room, with an exceptional view, walking closet, and open-air waterfall showers. They were built under bioclimatic parameters and transparent architecture.  It also has a safari type cabin at 15 meters above sea level, of 58 square meters with safari-style finishes. The doors and windows are designed to let in the light that is filtered through the forest. 

cost

Rates start at USD 80 per person, per night, based on occupancy, plans and season.  

location and weather

Ecolodge El Almejal is located on the pacific coast of Colombia, on the imposing playa El Almejal, in a small town of Bahia Solano called Valle. This place is in the bio-geographic Chocó, one of the most biodiverse sites on the planet. It is above sea level and the temperature is warm, on average 29°C/84°F.  

how to get there

It is only possible to get to Bahia Solano in small and medium sized planes. There are daily flights to Bahia Solano from Medellin, Bogota or Pereira, all of which stopover in Medellin and land at Jose Celestino Mutis airport. The flight MedellÍn-Bahía Solano is approximately 45 minutes.

From the airport you take a land transport called tuc-tuc that will take you along a paved road through the middle of the lush forest to el Valle, a journey that takes approximately 40 minutes. The ecolodge includes transportation when it has been booked in advance, and this can be by van. 

El Cantil Ecolodge – Chocó

highlights

If you are looking for privacy, surfing, unique experiences, nature, and have high environmental awareness, sensitivity to low income communities, demand proof of sustainable practices and avoid false eco-practices (greenwashing), this place can appeal to you quite a bit. 

Located in one of the most biodiverse places in the world, El Cantil has a high commitment to improving the economic and social conditions of the local community through projects related with quality of education for children, training of adult entrepreneurs, sports, among others.  It has the Colombian Environmental Seal and the High-level Certification for Sustainable Tourism granted by COTECNA, a swiss company. 

lodge features

The lodge has electric power (110 w) only in the restaurant. Power is generated by a Pelton micro-turbine to produce the least environmental impact on the site. The rest of the hotel is equipped with oil lamps. The architectural design of the construction combines with the nature surrounding. Social area with a kiosk restaurant with capacity for 35 people, and two sun terraces with sea view and hammock area are the best for sharing and relaxation.  

things to do
  • Surfing on reefs or beaches like Pico de Loro, Pela-pela, El Chorro, Juan Tornillo, Rio Terco, etc. Being the strongest waves between the months of April to December (south or south-west swells).
  • The surf guides know the optimal conditions of the waves in terms of tides, swell direction and recommended period for each break. Surfing courses are also offered. You can meet the native surfers and surf the waves with them.
  • Other activities include rest plans, sea and river kayaking, jungle survival excursions, hiking expeditions to waterfalls, hot springs, whale watching, and even honeymoon plans. 
gastronomy

Acknowledged and exquisite seafood menu.  It also offers a menu in accordance with the client’s diet. The service in the restaurant is English style offering delicious native dishes, balanced and abundant. There are wines to accompany your lunches and dinners.  

accommodation

It has seven comfortable rooms for single, double and multiple accommodations. The cabins are built in immunized slats, with shingle tiles. There are bathrooms in each room with a view of the jungle, closet, covered beds with mosquito nets, terrace with sea view and hammock. 

costs

Rates start at USD 90 per person, per night, based on occupancy, activities and season.  

location and weather

The eco-lodge is located on the pacific coast in the town of Nuquí, department of Chocó. High rainfall, average temperature of 29°C/84°F. The summer months are normally January, February, March and mid-August. The rest of the year there is continuous rain, with stronger periods in August and December.  

how to get there

It is possible to get there by plane from Medellin. The flight time is approximately 50 minutes. It is also possible to arrive by land through Quibdó or Pereira. 

Pijibá Lodge – Chocó 

highlights

Hundreds of streams and crystal-clear creeks run down from the jungle to the sea. In its abundance, the freshwater forms waterfalls and puddles always nearby, where you can take a pleasant bath.

The Chocó jungle is considered one of the richest and most varied in the world. A 40-minute boat ride south from Nuquí is the beaches of Guachalito, Terco and Terquito. In the latter, in an inlet about one kilometer long is Pijiba Lodge, which takes its name from the chontaduro palm (Bactris gasipaes) or Pijibá.  

lodge features

Cabins built with local materials, with a palm roof and a wooden structure. The lodge have a micro hydraulic plant to generate basic energy for the refrigeration of food and beverages, communications and to maintain or load other equipment that requires it.

The restaurant service is offered in the dining room of the lodge. It has a deck to read, rest or enjoy a drink. 

things to do
  • You can enjoy the sea, hike, go to the rivers and streams, rest in hammocks, surf, schedule whale watching excursions, go for fishing, watch colorful frogs in the forests, do snorkel or tank dive, do yoga by the sea or visit and enjoy hot springs.  
gastronomy

Pijibá’s diet is based on the delights of typical pacific regional cuisine with lots of fish and fruit. There is also a wide variety of other dishes. The service is buffet style, the person is served to his or her liking.  In addition, the lodge prepares cold cuts (local snacks) for when the activities require it. 

accommodation

Six cabin-rooms, each with an independent bathroom, can be fitted out for single, double or multiple accommodation. Maximum capacity of up to 18 people. The bedrooms have individual awnings or mosquito nets. The cabins are illuminated by solar energy leds. 

costs

Rates start at USD 80 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season. We recommend a minimum stay of three nights.  

location and weather

Pijibá lodge is located in nuquí, on the pacific coast of Colombia. Nuquí is located on the Colombian pacific coast in the department of Chocó, in the gulf of Tribugá, bordered by Cabo Corrientes and Cabo Huina.

The climate is changeable due to the proximity to the jungle and the Baudó mountains. The sky is cloudy almost all the time, it can alternate with torrid sun and with brief but strong downpours.  

how to get there

Charter flights cover the Medellín-nuquí-medellín route on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. For holidays and seasons, additional charter flights are available. The flight lasts one hour. Travelers are received at the Nuquí airport and transported by boat to the Pijiba lodge. 

Best Ecolodges in the Eastern Plains of Colombia 

La Manigua Lodge – Caño Cristales – Meta

La Manigua Lodge© website Familiar Cabin
highlights

This lodge is located 8.5 km from the most beautiful river in the world: Caño Cristales. It offers multiple facilities immersed in the tropical forest of the Serranía de la Macarena. Comfort and privacy with personalized attention and service.

With the profits from tourism the lodge invest in the creation of a native plant nursery whose main objective is to help recover the plant structure of the Serranía de la Macarena.  

lodge features

Use of renewable energies and sustainable constructions prioritizing low impact on the surrounding forest.

The lodge has private and family cabins, surrounded by nature and with an efficient, sustainable and original design. Wi-fi in the lobby.  

things to do
  • Activities vary according to the rainy season. The season of Caño Cristales starts in June and ends in November.
  • In the dry season other activities can be done such as visiting the Raudal de Angosturas I, and the City of Stone, seeing the petroglyphs.
  • Also you can visit the viewpoints of El Cajón, sport fishing and learning about the music and culture of the region.
  • You can also take bird watching tours, which are very special in this region.  
gastronomy

The lodge has a restaurant service with gourmet type dishes, valuing the flavors of the region, offering a fusion with cosmopolitan ingredients. Guests can enjoy drinks at the bar. 

accommodation

3 family cabins for accommodation of 2 to 5 people. 2 cabins for couples with capacity for 2 to 3 people. All the cabins are protected with nets. The family cabins have a double bed and three single beds, each with a mosquito net.

Couples cabins have one queen size bed and one single bed, each with a mosquito net. All cabins have private bathrooms, outdoor showers and solar energy.  

costs

Rates start at USD 150 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season and activities.  

location and weather

The ecolodge is located 13 minutes by car from the city of La Macarena in the department of Meta, on the banks of the Guayabero River, and 10 minutes by boat from the entrance to the natural reserve area where Caño Cristales is located.

Following the signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP guerrilla, the municipality has become a tourist attraction during the opening season of Caño Cristales.

The rainforest and the herbaceous vegetation of the amazon savannah are typical of this place, as well as the formation of wetlands and madreaguas. The climate is humid tropical and during the year, the temperature generally varies from 21 to 31 °C / 70 to 80 °F 

how to get there

There are commercial flights from Bogotá to the city of La Macarena lasting approximately 1h17min, departing twice a week. There are also flights from the city of Villavicencio and private charter flights.  The ecolodge offers transfer service airport – hotel – airport.  

Juan Solito Ecolodge – Casanare 

Next Jaguar Destination in Colombia. Read our entry: The Top Post-Covid-19 Destinations for Conservation Lovers in Colombia
highlights

This ecolodge is located in the heart of Colombia’s eastern plains, in Hato la Aurora. There you can find authentic safaris to meet anacondas, alligators, the Orinoco goose, capivaras, pumas, deers, among other typical animals of this region.

Ecotourism is a way to support cultural development projects, the development of ecological programs and the preservation of the environment in the eastern plains of Colombia.  

lodge features

Houses and cabins surrounded by nature, with space, privacy and basic amenities. They are designed in a sober way, maintaining the criteria of a natural reserve. There is no internet service, but satellite calls can be made.  

things to do
  • “Safari llanero” where you can observe animals in wildlife like: capivaras, deers, caimans, cattle, wild horses, herons, variety of ibis, many species of birds.
  • Horseback riding, guided walks and sport fishing are also available. 
  • Birdwatching and nature photography tours.  
gastronomy

Traditional llanera food based on beef and manihot. Personal food restrictions or preferences must be communicated in advance 

accommodation

There is a main house with seven large rooms that can accommodate from one to 4 people each and a small eighth for one person. There are also four rustic cabins, with simple finishes to accommodate from one to five people.

All rooms have private bathrooms, light and fans. Accommodation in hammocks and camping is also available. There is no hot water for showers.  

costs

Rates start at USD 90 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season.  

location and weather

Juan Solito is located in the municipality of Paz de Ariporo, department of Casanare. This region is characterized by ecosystems of savannah, moriche palms (Mauritia flexuosa), canals and rivers.

It is located 350 meters/1150 ft above sea level. The climate is warm and humid with an average temperature of 28°C/82°C.  

how to get there

From Yopal, it is possible to travel alone in a 4×4 truck, on a road in poor condition and whose journey can take up to 8 hours. It is also possible to get a charter flight from Yopal airport that lands on the private landing strip of Hato la Aurora.  

Cosmogenesis Centro Permacultural – Meta

Cosmogénesis Permacultural Center
highlights

It is a space focused on wellness and healing tourism in order to find the balance of being in the midst of nature. Here you can find alternative methods to take care of your health, grow food and allow a healthy life. Cosmogenesis is a permaculture center where sustainability is manifested in natural environments, agroecology and its bio architecture.  

lodge features

The Ecolodge Cosmogenesis is located on a 6-ha/15 acres plot of land. Its design and landscaping focused on bio-architectural infrastructure. The ecolodge is located in a circular space and its structure symbolizes the yin yang, a symbol of Taoism.

The central kiosk offers restaurant service of healthy food and represents the yang, surrounded by the natural pool symbolizing the yin. Around the central circle there are four fishponds representing the cardinal points. Around this structure are the cabins and various gardens and orchards.

It has a shared living room and a tourist information desk, an outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant. It also has a garden and terrace. The rooms have garden views and include bedding. The private bathroom has a shower and free toiletries. Spa service. 

things to do
  • Both in the establishment and in the surroundings, you can practice various activities, such as cycling, horse riding and fishing.
  • Tour or class about local culture. Have theme dinners. Walking tours. Have a movie night. Hiking.
  • Cosmogenesis has a “Natural Park of Consciousness” with more than 20 dimensional portals enhanced and intended with a high vibration so that people establish new ways of relating to themselves, to others and to the natural environment. In the Natural Park of Conscience, health and well-being programs are developed. In the spa you can enjoy body and localized massages. 
  • They also offer permaculture workshops, life coaching session, yoga workshops. It is a good place for spiritual retreats and ceremonies. It has a strategic position for bird watching inside the ecolodge and around the region, only 20 minutes away from the “Bosque de Bavaria” the place with more bird species registered for Meta department with +370 bird species. The place is also ideal for business meetings (mice).  
gastronomy

Farm to table, slow food model. They offer healthy, organic, à la carta menu with national and international dishes. Most of the vegetables and fruits are produced in the lodge’s crops. 

accommodation

The cabins, with a bio-climatic design, offer ten rooms of different styles built in maloca type structures and elaborated with bio-construction techniques and totally natural materials, which gives them a fresh and healthy environment and allows for rest and high frequency connection.

They have private bathrooms, dry toilets, and cold-water showers in natural stone-built bathrooms, and water comes directly from natural springs. The residues from the toilette are used to make compost and then fertilize the vegetable gardens.   

costs

Rates start at USD 60 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season. 

location and weather

Eco hotel cosmogenesis is located in Restrepo, 16 km from the city of Cumaral, and 30 minutes by car from Villavicencio. At Restrepo the temperature varies between 34.4 to 17.2 °C/ 93 to 62 °F, the average being 25.8 °C/ 78.4°F. Average altitude of 570 m / 1870 ft above sea level. 

Very close to the mountains of the eastern cordillera, it has a typical climate of the piedmont plains, with high relative humidity, around 83%, reaching values of 93% in the rainy season and 56% in the dry season.    

how to get there

You can get there by land up to km 8 via San Nicolás entre Restrepo and Cumaral, department of meta. From the Vanguardia airport in Villavicencio it takes 30 minutes by land, as it is 15.2 km away. 

Best Ecolodges in the Colombian Amazon Region 

Calanoa Amazonas – Amazonas 

© Calanoa Amazonas Website
highlights

Enjoying the amazon rainforest within the Amacayacu Natural Park and the island of Mocagua, offers a wide range of diverse experiences: the great river, ravines and lakes, flooded and high-altitude forest, with an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna.

Due to its excellent location, infrastructure and experience Calanoa has hosted international teams for film productions. The project seeks to support indigenous communities with education processes related to conservation of biological resources, sustainable economic practices and the conservation of ancestral knowledge and cultural practices. 

lodge features

The settlement is in wood and is small in scale, to minimize the impact. The architecture is built with local materials and techniques, and is designed for the comfort and safety of the visitor, favoring natural lighting and ventilation, sustainability and minimal impact on the forest ecosystem.

The roofs are in woven palm, the use of solid walls has been minimized to improve natural air circulation, and the structures are raised on piles to improve the view and favor ventilation. Local materials and resources are used for construction and the trees and palms used for building maintenance are replanted. Rainwater is collected and used.

There is no drinking water, it is offered in the kitchen gallons. Limited electric power combining solar energy and generator. There is a social pavilion, with a canopy and a large central table, for social gatherings and meetings, with hammocks and benches for rest. There is a wooden terrace that connects to the kitchen.

An elevated path connects the lodge’s cabins with the social area, and has platforms for the contemplation of river life, and for bird and primate watching. 

things to do
  • Activities may vary according to weather conditions or river level. The lodge offers trips through the Calanoa Natural Reserve and the Amacayacu National Natural Park, with expert local guides, boat trips on the amazon river, streams and lakes, exploring different types of forests, camping in the jungle and visits to nearby communities, such as the Mocagua: the village of the painters. 
  • The place offers special honeymoon plans.
  • Arts and crafts workshops focused on visual art are also offered: fibers, ceramics, photography, painting and sculpture.
  • Bird watching with a professional guide. Sport fishing.  
gastronomy

The kitchen is an open space for visitors who want to participate in the preparation of meals. They promote an experience focused on the senses. Calanoa’s cuisine is a fusion of local Amazonian traditions with Brazilian, Colombian and Peruvian cuisine. Local, organic and fresh products.  

accommodation

The cabins have a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor, and an attic, with a capacity of 6 people per cabin. They are lined in ring and the beds have a net for mosquitoes. 

costs

Rates start at USD 200 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season, and activities.  

location and weather

Calanoa is located in the upper amazon, 60 km from Leticia, on the banks of the Amazon River. The climate in the amazon forest is equatorial, hot and humid, due to the proximity to the equator, with the temperature varying little during the year, annual average of around 26ºC/78°F and high relative humidity.  

how to get there

You can get there by plane from Bogotá to Leticia, with an average flight time of two hours. From Leticia the transfer is easily done by the amazon river, using public or private boat services. 

Best Eco resorts in Colombia 

To date, we have in Colombia a recently built eco resort located in the Colombian Caribbean, specifically in Barú, municipality of Cartagena, in the department of Bolivar. It is very close to the historic city of Cartagena.

Unlike a conventional hotel, the resort allows greater privacy, entertainment and experiences during the stay, the eco component is given by the characteristics of its construction and immersion in a pristine environment or unique in nature.  

Best Eco-resorts in Colombia Northern Caribbean  

Hotel las Islas – Cartagena, Bolívar

highlights

This exclusive place offers an experience of luxury and nature in a place that coexists with the environment in the middle of the Colombian Caribbean Sea.

You can relax with spa services, a yoga room, hammocks, private beaches and a solarium. From the accommodations you can enjoy the nature in suites and bungalows with designs totally integrated with the environment. 

lodge features

The eco-resort is huge, built on a 50ha/123.5 acres land area, and there is in total 54 bungalows. The bungalows are at sea level with a private swimming pool, bicycles, wifi and more! Some of them are built as treehouses with jacuzzi, all designed and decorated in an elegant Colombian style, and surrounded by vegetation.

Three restaurants, three bars and a kiosk on the beach (watch the video above!). There are welcome services and amenities, concierge service, electric transportation in the hotel, parking, two bikes per bungalow. Activity center. 100% non-smoking. Swimming pool(s). Water sports equipment. 

The meeting center called “Baru room” has air conditioning, capacity for 120 people, ideal for conferences or to be used as a meeting room. Terrace with capacity for 70 people, it is another place where meetings can be held but outdoors. Craft shop with different articles made by Colombian artisans. 

At the Bar and kiosk Monaprieta, in front of the sea, musical groups are presented or you can listen to classical music while watching the sunset. Bar las Islas, located at the top of the club house, offers a 360-degree view of the Baru island. Wellness services at the Spa “Niña Daniela”.  

things to do
  • The hotel has several leisure areas: the gymnasium with treadmills, elliptical trainers, exercise bikes, multi-force machine, dumbbells, etc, it is available 24 hours a day.
  • The spa Niña Daniela offers a facial treatment room, massage room, easy dream relaxation, saltwater pool, a T-BA 2026 neurostimulation equipment, thalassotherapy jets, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, sauna, saltwater pool, various activities and personalized treatments, and a yoga room.
  • The yoga room is available 24 hours a day and private classes are offered there upon request. Water sports can be practiced at “La Tiburona” diving center, where diving and snorkeling are practiced.
  • Excursions through the Cholón swamp in kayaks or canoes typical of the area, accompanied by local guides. Transfer to Isleta for a night tour of bioluminescence, tour at the mangroves, canoe or bicycle ride with environmental guides.
  • There are also tours to Cartagena, visits to the National Aviary, tours to the Rosario Islands, tour to the San Bernardo de los Vientos archipelago, helicopter tours, golf plans and diving courses. Cooking classes. Astrotour.  
gastronomy

The hotel offers several restaurants:

  • Tía Coco” located on the sea. And it offers dishes of the Caribbean cuisine, such as fish, ceviche and grilled seafood. 
  • “Las Guacas” Restaurant, a place for breakfast, lunch or dinner surrounded by vegetation and orchids, ideal for groups.
  • Bar restaurant “Choco” on the beach, to eat sandwiches, skewers, grilled seafood, tropical drinks, and pizzas cooked in a wood oven. 

There is also a cafetería called “Los mangos” and an ice cream shop. 

accommodation: 
  • Beachfront bungalow (2 persons). This type of bungalow is at sea level, has a private pool. There are three bungalows that also have access to the sea. There are two intercommunicated bungalows, one with a pool and the other with a jacuzzi (a children’s room with a jacuzzi). 75 sq mts room and a deck.  
  • Bungalows in the heights (2 people), at the height of the trees, have a jacuzzi for two people with a view of the tropical forest and in most cases the sea, allowing a unique panorama. Grand tree top bungalow, two 70sq mts separate bungalows, jacuzzi and a private deck with a 360-degree view. 
  • Sailing house (from 2 to 5 people). Private sailing house with two separate rooms, living area, bar, jacuzzi and a deck. All rooms have a double bed and private bathroom.  
costs

Rates start at USD 500 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season.  

location and weather

It is located in the Ciénaga de Cholón, 57 Barú, Cartagena de Indias, department of Bolivar. It is on the sea level, with an average temperature of 27°c/79°F.  

The principal ecosystem you can find here is the mangroves systems, tropical dry forest relicts, and in the proximity of the eco-resort it is the Corales del Rosario and San Bernardo National Natural Park, which is a valuable ecosystem of the highest productivity and biodiversity, forming the largest coral platform in the Colombian continental Caribbean (about 420 km2).

There you can find the most important continental reef formations in the country, unique samples of coastal mangrove forests, extensive sea grasses that border the islands, a diversity of invertebrates and a multitude of multicolored reef fish. 

how to get there

From Cartagena you can get there by private boat or go by car to Punta Iguana and from there by boat to the hotel. Las Islas has several boats that leave from the La Bodeguita dock in Cartagena and will take you to the hotel in approximately 45 minutes. 

There is also the possibility to arrive by boat from town, this service leaves at 8:30 a.m. from the pier located in the Bazurto market in Cartagena. The return from the hotel is at 5:30 p.m. And the cost per trip, per person, is approximately 15,000 pesos. 

You can also arrive by land, through taxi or private vehicle to Punta Iguana, a journey that takes between 45 minutes and an hour and a half from the Cartagena airport. From there, guests are transferred by private boat to the hotel (10-minute trip). 

There is also a Heliport at the Hotel Las Islas, it offers the service of the transfer in helicopter from Cartagena to the Hotel. 

Best Eco-hotels in Colombia 

As mentioned before an eco-hotel is closer to or within towns or cities and aims to provide a service that ensures the use of sustainable practices. 

Eco Hotels in Southern Colombia – Putumayo 

Hotel Dantayaco – Mocoa, Putumayo

highlights

It is located 100 meters from the entrance to the Fin del Mundo waterfall, the main tourist attraction of Mocoa in the department of Putumayo. It is an epicenter for birdwatching tours and natural tours around the area.  

hotel features 

The hotel has a large house and several rooms and cabins for all kinds of services from hostel with shared rooms and kitchen, to luxury private cabins. It is located on the road and extends to the rear bordering the Mocoa river, providing a spectacular view of the forest.

Dantayaco has an area for nightly meetings and social activities, and a hammock area. Free parking. Hot water service in 60% of the rooms in the complex. Free high speed WIFI in all the rooms of the inn.  

things to do 
  • The location of the hotel is central to all the tourist attractions of Mocoa. From there you can make excursions to the different wells, rivers and waterfalls abundant in the region, the main attraction being the end of the world waterfall to which you can go and return in a day’s walk from the hotel.
  • Other waterfalls are Hornoyaco, Ojo de Dios, Donde se Oculta el Sol, Charco del Indio, among others.
  • You can kayak down the Guineo river, Villagarzón, or the Mandiyaco river canyon.
  • Visit the healing center Maitus Wasi Inga ethno-tourism center.
  • Visit the Bajo Putumayo in Puerto Leguizamo. Visit the Paway butterfly farm.
  • You can also arrange tours to visit the Licamancha caves to practice speleology.  
gastronomy 

The restaurant serves fast food. You can also visit the surrounding restaurants where you can enjoy typical regional food.  

accommodation

There are several lodging options at Dantayaco Hotel:  

  • Dantayaco suite. Cabin of 60 sq meters with private balcony, view to the river, hammock area, handmade bathtub, Wi-Fi, refrigerator and sound. 
  • Eco-lodge cabins. Cabins that have a 2×2 bed of artisan construction, hammock area, mountain and river view, fan, fridge, sound and Wi-Fi. 
  • Cabin with hot tub. This cabin has a 2×2 bed, an additional bed, a tub with hot water, hammock area, mountain view, fan, fridge, and Wi-Fi. 
  • Deluxe cabin. Impressive view of the river given the height and central location on the coast, has Wi-Fi, fan, refrigerator and Wi-Fi. 
  • Family cabins. They have a 2×2 bed of handmade construction and cabins, hammock area, mountain and river view, fan, refrigerator, and Wi-Fi. 
  • Single room. It has a 2×2 bed of handcrafted construction, hammock area, mountain and river view, fan, fridge, sound and Wi-Fi. 
costs

Rates start at USD 20 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season.  

location and weather 

Km 6 via Mocoa – Villagarzón, department of Putumayo, the summers are short, hot and cloudy; the winters are short, comfortable and mostly cloudy and it is wet all year round.

Throughout the year, the temperature generally varies from 19 to 29 °C/66 to 84°F and rarely falls below 18 °C/64°F or rises above 31 °C/ 87.8°F Average altitude of 500 m/1640 ft above sea level. 

how to get there

You can take a plane from Bogotá in a 1h40 minute flight to the city of Mocoa. From Mocoa it will take you 11 minutes by car on the via Villagarzón -Mocoa / road 45. You can also get there by land from the city of Pasto via Villagarzón.  

Eco hotels in the Colombian Northern Caribbean  

Playa Koralia Hotel – Magdalena

Playa Koralia Nagual © Playa Koralia Website
highlights

Playa Koralia is located in a paradisiacal place, on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where the shade of the palm trees and the sinuousness of a virgin beach merge with the Caribbean Sea.

It is the only Colombian hotel certified as sustainable and selected as a hip hotel. Hip hotels are selected for being unique, characterful and charming, capable of offering exciting, rewarding and memorable trips. 

hotel features 

Playa Koralia strives to be a destination for those who seek a unique and relaxing experience. The hotel’s architecture, nestled in palms, integrates with nature without invading it.  It was thought with organic forms, with curved walls that harmonize with the natural forms.

The construction is made with local woods in combination with woven palm, cane and bamboo, creating spaces full of sensations, carefully designed both inside and outside the rooms.

There is also a mural and mosaic decoration that mixes antiques and art with ethnic elements. The hotel offers a spa service. Bar on the beach. Complimentary Wi-Fi in the reception area and bar. Parking lot.  

things to do 
  • The hotel is located fifteen minutes from the Tayrona Natural Park, one of the most emblematic parks in Colombia and the most important within the national system of natural parks of Colombia.
  • Playa Koralia offers guided recreational and cultural excursions to nearby natural parks and reserves: all include transportation, entrance fees, refreshments and guides specializing in the history, fauna and flora of the area. 
gastronomy 

Buffet-style feeding, no menu.  Farm to table. Exotic fruits and vegetables, mostly grown in the organic garden of the hotel. Playa Koralia offers a gastronomy that merges local food with that of other cultures.

It is especially based on tropical recipes with poultry, fish and seafood, and no red meat or pork is served. There are special adaptations for vegetarians, vegans, celiac and other restrictions.  

accommodation 

The hotel has three types of rooms: suite, junior suite and standard room, in double accommodation and up to 3, 4 or 6 people depending on the client’s needs.

Each room comes with shampoo, conditioner and “Terragua” soaps created with natural ingredients, filtered drinking water, ceiling fan, awning, safety box, 110v plugs and private bathroom. 

costs 

Rates start at USD 150 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season.  

location and weather

The hotel is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and facing the Caribbean Sea, just 48 kilometers from the city of Santa Marta. The closest city to the hotel is Buritaca.  The temperature is warm and pleasant all year round. 

how to get there 

It can be reached by land transport following the Troncal del Caribe road up to km 47 via Ríohacha, in the municipality of Buritaca, department of Magdalena.

From Santa Marta it takes 1 hour, from Barranquilla 2.5 hours, from Cartagena 4.5 hours, and from Ríohacha 2 hours.

The hotel offers transportation assistance from and to Santa Marta, Barranquilla or Cartagena.

Best Eco Hotels in Bogotá 

Biohotel Organic Suites  – Bogotá

highlights

Eco-friendly, eco-efficient hotel in Bogotá, unique in the city, designed with the most rigorous standards for environmental protection. It belongs to the hotel chain GHL hotels. It combines luxury, comfort and rest, being a pioneer in applying sustainable processes in the construction and operation of the hotel.

The bio hotel aims at a total commitment to contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals. It supports local suppliers for the promotion of fair trade and economic prosperity, and it contributes to the development and conservation of the cultural, social and environmental heritage of the region, promoting the participation of guests, collaborators, suppliers and the community for the development of sustainability actions, integrated to the provision of services in the hotel. 

hotel features 

The hotel is an 8-story building that is absolutely environmentally friendly. It has 70 rooms with enough luxury and comfort of a 5-star hotel. It is powered by solar energy, water saving systems, vertical agriculture, wood finishing, recycled materials, PVC free upholstery, bamboo floors, curtains made of recycled pet, thermo-acoustic windows and metal curtains that reduce energy consumption, the latest technologies in energy saving, recycled fiber carpets, amenities and biodegradable materials, recycled glass sheets and organic cotton linens. 

The hotel also have sauna, massage, solarium and a circuit of organic hydrotherapy on the terrace of the hotel. It has a vertical agriculture garden offering organic vegetables from the restaurant and bar. The gym is equipped with sustainable machinery, where each training generates renewable energy for the environment. The terrace on the eighth floor of the hotel has a bar. If offers free Wi-Fi connection 24 hours a day, and 24-hour reception and parking.  

things to do

Plans for groups of friends and couple plans with massage services, special gastronomy, and rest plans. It also encourages the guest to make ecotourism plans in the city like: 

  • Visit the wetlands to practice birdwatching, among them Juan Amarillo, Torca Guaymaral, Niza – Córdoba, Santa María de Lago, among others. 
  • Visit parks and ecological forests in Bogotá, the lungs of the city, being these the Independencia park, the National park, the Simón Bolívar park, the Los Novios park, the La Florida park, among others.  
  • Hiking in the eastern hills of Bogotá for visitors who want to practice ecological walks and learn about the richness in fauna and flora, native and typical of the place.  
  • Plan to cycle through Bogotá on bike-routes (cicloruta), or on weekends on the ciclovía.  
gastronomy

Farm to table model. The hotel has its own organic garden and all the gastronomy is organic, with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menus, all made from our own produce.

The hotel’s restaurant, called green piece, offers organic cuisine, offering healthy food menus, vegetarian and vegan menus, meat, fish and poultry from certified suppliers, vegetables and spices grown in the hotel’s organic garden just 10 meters from your table. The terrace bar offers healthy and original drinks.  

accommodation 

The hotel has 70 rooms that range from 24 to 64 sq meters and are distributed in 5 categories: standard room, twin room, deluxe soap, junior suite with jacuzzi and master suite with jacuzzi. The capacity per room is from 1 to 4 people.

All rooms are equipped with 400-thread-count organic cotton linens. Private bathroom, coffee maker, cable tv, 24 hours Wi-Fi internet, safe, minibar service, international calls to 60 countries and local calls to landlines free. Soundproof windows. Some give the possibility to connect with another room for groups or families.

costs 

Rates start at USD 50 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season.  

location and weather 

The Bio hotel is located in the area of Usaquén, Carrera 7 bis # 124 – 36, in Bogotá. The city of Bogotá, at 2,600 meters above sea level (8530 ft), is recognized as the business capital of Colombia, but it is also a city with wetlands, parks and forests, eucalyptus scents and country trails.

Depending on the time of year, the city can have a dry or very rainy climate, with an average temperature of 18°C/64,4°F.  

how to get there 

The hotel is located 25 min. drive from El Dorado International Airport, in the northern area of Bogotá. This time may vary depending on the time of day and traffic.  

Best Eco Hotels in the Eastern Plains of Colombia 

Hotel and Bioreserve Lagos de Menegua – Meta

Lagos de Menegua Hotel & Bioreserve
highlights

1,000 hectares/ 2471 acres of natural reserve with native savannas, gallery forests and echoes of the amazon to discover the true magic of the Colombian plains. It is the closest place to Bogotá where you can live an authentic experience of the nature of the plains, with the comfort of a hotel.

Lagos de Menegua is home to more than 800 species of mammals, fish, reptiles and birds. As allies of the environmental corporation of the department of Meta, Cormacarena, they work to return more than 200 animals to their natural habitat safely, offering them a sanctuary in the bioreserve.

Alternatively, fish farming, one of the most important economic activities in the region, is a real attraction, with a sustainable and balanced model of production with care for the environment. Part of the income from guests and visitors goes directly to the conservation of the reserve.

+235 bird species including the Crestless Curassow (Mitu tomentosum), which is declared as vulnerable, as well as showy birds such as the sun heron, red, white and black corocoras (ibis) and kingfishers.  

lodge features 

The hotel has a swimming pool, game room and bar. The rooms are located in a two-storey building in front of the swimming pool. Within the reserve are also the accommodations of the hotel workers. 

things to do 
  • The main attraction is the Lago del Silencio, which can be reached on foot, in a guided tour, by bicycle or on horseback.
  • You can practice artisan and sport fishing, kayaking, use water bikes in the lake and enjoy the natural pools and waterfalls, the latter during the rainy months.  
  • There are different routes and trails in the reserve to explore and connect with nature. The routes have different degrees of difficulty, designed for all types of people.  
  • Take a safari in 4×4 truck all over the reserve to get to know the ecosystems of the mountains and the forest, as well as the fauna and flora of the region, with picnics in the mountains. 
  • Go for a guided horseback riding and horse rental for hours to explore ravines, lakes and mountains.  
  • You can do astrotourism, since the reserve still has black skies suitable for the observation and photography of the night sky and the stars. Its privileged location allows the simultaneous observation of both the northern and southern hemispheres.  
  • Take a bird watching tour within the reserve and by boat on the Meta River and some of its arms.
  • Meet the pink dolphins through a Safari along the Meta, Manacacias and Yucao rivers where it is common to see monkeys, turtles, otters, reptiles and especially pink dolphins.  
  • Organization of adventure races for groups. 
gastronomy 

Concept of “slow food”, in which the gastronomic offer is based on the ecological calendar and the products that are in harvest. Variety of dishes from the region, including local fish from the farm’s fish farming operation.

Inputs of local origin or harvested within Lagos de Menegua by means of clean agriculture.  

accommodation

Capacity to accommodate up to 100 people, with 24 double or multiple rooms. Each room has: television, air conditioning and mini bar. There is no hot water shower service.   

costs

Rates start at USD 50 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season.  

location and weather 

Lagos de Menegua is located in the municipality of Puerto López in the department of Meta. In this place you can find the main ecosystems of the Colombian Orinoco: gallery forests, wetlands and morichals, savannahs and mountains, in a very high state of conservation.

The average temperature is 29°C/84°F, and there are dry and rainy seasons. The best time for night sky watching is between December and March, which corresponds to the dry season.   

how to get there 

You can get there by private or public transport, or by air to the city of Villavicencio and then by public transport or to the Lagos de Menegua hotel. The road is totally paved, and it takes approximately 1h40min to get there. It is 90 km from the airport of Villavicencio. 

Mururito Ecological Hotel Farm Meta

Mururito Nature Reserve
highlights

2000 ha/4942 acres of natural reserve and farm bordering the Manacacias river, where there are forests, streams, lagoons, savannas, marshes and mountain ranges in a very good state of conservation.

For this reason, it is home to a great diversity of flora and fauna. It has the advantage of offering several activities without having to leave the reserve. The walks are done on foot, on horseback or by bicycle, the use of trucks is prohibited in the reserve. 

lodge features

It’s a country house built with noble materials. It has one floor and two large rooms to rest in hammocks. Terrace and outdoor showers offer the possibility to relax, sunbathe or share a drink.

Around the house there is a garden of flowers, orchids and fruit trees that attracts birds and butterflies. The farm has electricity day and night through solar panels. The whole house is integrally protected by mosquito nets, there are no glass windows, at least in the common areas.

For its sustainability, it has a livestock activity of 250 cattle, 12 horses, 45 tropical sheep, chickens and backyard chickens, as well as organic gardens and beehives. Hydraulic feeding system to produce electric energy.  

things to do
  • Walks in the forest or in the savannah by day or by night. Watch the colorful sunset in the mountains or a beautiful sunset over the river.
  • Horseback rides to discover the most distant places of the reserve, its pastures, its marshes and its lagoons.
  • Learn the work of a cowboy.
  • River ride, with swimming in the clear water of Caño Tigre or in the Manacacias river.
  • All terrain bike ride on two large marked trails.
  • Fishing for piranhas and other fish in the lagoons or in the river.
  • Participate in farm activities such as feeding animals, milking, harvesting in the ecological gardens.
  • Bird watching in the forests of the reserve and along the river.  
gastronomy

Homemade food based on local traditions. All inputs are produced on the farm. Special foods or drinks must be ordered in advance or brought in on your own.  

accommodation

The hotel has six rooms and a maximum capacity of 16 guests. The rooms are named after typical animals of the region: “Otter”, “Ocelot” and “Corocora” are two-person rooms ideal for couples without children.

The “Bien Parada” and “Mochilero” rooms are for three people and the “Howler” room is for four people. Each room has a private bathroom with toilet and shower, wardrobe, table, and bedside table, with a view of the garden.  

costs

Rates start at USD 60 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season. 

location and weather

Located in the Colombian eastern plains in the department of Meta, 1h30 from Puerto Gaitán. Los llanos, as an ecological region, is a large depression located between Venezuela and Colombia covering 150,000 km².

In Colombia this region called “llanos orientales” comprises 28% of the territory. There are no heights above 500 m a.s.l. (1640 ft a.s.l.) in the whole plain. The reserve is located between 130 and 180 meters above sea level (426 to 590 ft a.s.l.).

Temperatures are always around 27°C/80.6°F, and 95% of the rain falls between April and November. The dry season occurs between January and April.  

how to get there

Via land transport takes 5 hours from Bogotá and requires a 4×4 truck due to the poor road conditions near the entrance to the reserve. You can also arrive using a charter service from Bogotá to Puerto Gaitan, and it takes 1h30min. It is also possible to enter by water, by the Manacacias river, a 2-hour trip from Puerto Gaitán.  

Best Eco Hotels in the Western Andes Mountain Range of Colombia 

La Huerta Hotel – Valle del Cauca

highlights

This is the only official hotel of the International Bird Fair of Colombia in recent years, with an eBird list of its own forest reserve. There are 7 ha/17 acres of forest reserve and organic crops on the slopes of the Calima Lake. 

It has a privileged location in the middle of four birding hotspots in Valle del Cauca department, where the Andes and the Biogeographic Chocó converge: The Yotoco Natural Reserve, the Sonso Lagoon, the Calima Lake and the Rio Bravo Reserve. 

hotel features

The hotel has an event room with capacity for 80 people, 24-hour free private parking and reception, a wet area with sauna, Turkish bath, jacuzzi and heated pool. it has several terraces for hanging out or eating.

It has a forest area with trails for hiking or bird watching, a lake where they grow their own fish and an area dedicated to organic fruit and vegetables, hence its name La Huerta. All rooms have balconies, wi-fi, hot water and comfortable beds. Free Wi-Fi is provided in all facilities. 

things to do
  • This is a place to rest and relax. It is also the best place to stay in the region, and from there visit the most important birding hotspots in Valle del Cauca (see our tour here). 
  • From there you can also visit the Calima Lake to practice water sports such as sailing, water skiing, windsurfing, kitesurfing among others, as there are the best winds in America and third worldwide. 
  • You can enjoy the outdoor swimming pool open all year round with views of the mountains.
  • The hotel also has a barbecue at your disposal.   
gastronomy

Farm to table and slow food service, with all supplies produced in the orchard of the hotel, with 25 cultivars of organic fruits and vegetables, and their own production of eggs, dairy and fish, all chemical free. 

Specialized service for birdwatchers. It has a chef that will make you know and enjoy the best flavors of the region.  

accommodation

The hotel has a maximum capacity of 75 people, in triple accommodation, but can also be double or single. it has 24 rooms. All rooms have flat screen TV and private bathroom, balcony window, hot water, wi-fi, and safe. 

costs

Rates start at USD 70 per person, per night, based on occupancy and season. 

location and weather

The Hotel La Huerta is located on the outskirts of Yotoco, in the Valle del Cauca region, 43 km from Palmira. The temperature is warm, on average 25°C. At night and in the early morning it can get quite cold.

Due to its proximity to the western mountain range and the biogeographic Chocó, there can be high humidity and rain. 

how to get there

The Hotel is located on the slope of Lake Calima closest to the most developed areas of the region. You can arrive by land transportation, and it takes only 60 minutes from the Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport, 80 minutes from Cali. The nearest town is Buga, just 19 km far.  

Final Remarks

To be honest, it is important to recognize that, in general, in Colombia the international tourism industry is very young and the quality of services in some places is still not very high. This is in part because for most of the local people, the national tourists, the price is more important than the quality of services, and so many locations still not adapt to international tourism standards, which seems to be too much compared with common local standard. This is something that still needs improving in Colombia, especially in the Caribbean and some remote areas.  

We are on the way to improving, and there are many places that can offer unique experiences, as you found in this guide, linked to the conservation of ecosystems and the promotion and development of local cultures and communities.


About the author

Sara Colmenares

Current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism – environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.