In the first article in this series, we highlighted some of our favorite eco-lodges in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru that are not only breathtakingly beautiful, but are also doing some great work for their local communities. In this installment we cover some fascinating eco-lodges in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Guayana!
Surama community is located in the north of Rupununi Savannah, a remote region of Guyana. The village is inhabited by Makushi Amerindians and is bordered by the protected rainforest of Iwokrama. Surama is a good starting point for exploring the Pakaraima mountains and the idyllic Burro Burro River. The natural habitat is breathtaking and the activities you can partake in while at the lodge include nature walks, canoe trips on the river and visits to schools and community centers.
Located 1.6 km from the main village, the eco-lodge is surrounded by protected land and is located on top of a hill, with breathtaking views. Surama Eco-lodge is managed by the locals and activities related to sustainable tourism generate nearly 60% of community revenues and 75% of household income in the village. The revenue earned from the lodge helps finance health projects and transportation for the community, schools, construction of a wind turbine, academic scholarships and a microcredit scheme for local entrepreneurs.
Surama Eco-Lodge accommodates only small groups, to reduce the footprint of visitors in this protected region and to preserve the community. The village of Surama is accessible all year long. To get there by road, a vehicle with double traction is needed. You can fly to the capital, Georgetown and then arrange your transport to the community by a 4×4 vehicle.
Located 700 km south of the capital of the Araucania region in Chile, right in the heart of the indigenous Pehuenche area, this eco-lodge is surrounded by five national parks and seven reserves. La Baita Conguillio is located at the border of Conguillio National Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Chile. It was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986 for its abundant natural resources.
The rooms at this lodge have a panoramic view of the Llaima volcano (3.125 meters above sea level), which is one of the most active volcanoes in South America. You can climb to the top and marvel at the huge crater and long lava flows. The Truful-Truful falls are an attraction not to be missed. Here you can view the remnants of volcanic activity that manifests itself as huge basalt columns located in the middle of the waterfall. Among other attractions, there are four beautiful volcanic lakes with high seismic activity, and great views for bird watching in the forests of endemic trees.
At La Baita Conguillio, you can either stay in one of the six cabins with hot water, equipped kitchens and heating with wood or in one of the double or triple rooms that have private bathrooms. The building plans were designed in a manner that minimizes loss of heat, using insulation systems in all rooms, which takes advantage of local climatic conditions of each season.
The lodge’s contribution to the local community is characterized by the purchase of perishable foods locally. To get there, you need to fly to Temuco from Santiago Del Chile, then take a bus to the Eco-lodge.
Located in the Southern Amazon, just beyond the borders of the Cristalino State Park, the Jungle Lodge is a great way to immerse yourself into the ecosystem. The private reserve of 29,652 acres is home to a large variety of flora and fauna, allowing you to see wildlife in its natural state.
The Jungle Lodge offers one of the most unique and exciting opportunities for wildlife viewing in the entire world. You can see around 600 species of birds, Jaguars, Harpy Eagles, Giant Otters, Capybaras and Agoutis. Its location, near the junction of two rivers gives the reserve a wonderful diversity of trees, orchids and bromeliads, terrestrial mammals, monkeys, bats, birds, reptiles, fish, butterflies and other insects.
You can either stay in a private bungalow, superior room or standard room. All have private bathrooms and a private veranda with hammocks. The restaurant at the lodge serves great local food and excellent Caipirinhas. Don’t drink too many though, because there is a lot to do near the lodge. You can go bird and butterfly watching, hike some beautiful trails in the forest or go canoeing and swimming.
The lodge has a compost bin for all organic disposals and recycles all non-organic material like aluminum, plastic, metal and paper. They use solar heating for all rooms and have a hydrokinetic energy generator to provide power. To get there, you can fly or take a bus to Alta Floresta in the state of Mato Grosso. From there, the lodge will arrange your transfer by car and boat.
Off the beaten track in Chile, this lodge is built of wood and all rooms have a glass roof above the bed to admire the stars at night. The lodge also has a terrace, a pool and a Finnish style sauna.
There are numerous hiking opportunities in the 4,300 acre private park where the lodge is located. One great hike is the climb up the Descabezado Grande volcano, which takes two and a half days. You can also explore the unspoiled and isolated valley of Melado and its inhabitants. Others activities include snowshoeing in winter, cycling and relaxing in thermal baths.
The lodge has solar showers and low energy light bulbs. They have a lagoon system to treat the black and gray water. They also have a biodynamic garden and are participating in the protection of the Chilean native forest. To get there, you can take the bus from Santiago to Talca, then another bus to Armerillo.
The village of Carlos Pellegrini is the ideal starting point if you’re planning on visiting the Ibera swamps. The Irupé Lodge is located at the entrance of the village, on the shores of Lake Ibera. Built on stilts, the lodge offers breathtaking views of a garden full of birds. In this haven of peace, the views of the pristine lake and its banks guarantee a relaxing atmosphere for an unforgettable stay. If you’ve dreamed of escaping everyday life and civilization, living in close contact with nature and coming face to face with wild animals, this lodge will make your dreams come true.
Irupé Lodge has standard rooms and superior rooms. The standard rooms are located in the lodge, with lagoon views and private baths. The superior rooms are separated from the lodge, immersed in the green park offering an atmosphere of privacy. Each has a private balcony and spacious rooms that combine warmth and comfort. The lodge also has its own swimming pool located on the shores of Lake Ibera.
The area surrounding the lodge is home to more than 350 species of birds, alligators, capybaras, swamp deer, otter, wolves, wildcats, howler monkeys, skunks, anacondas, turtles and piranhas. The Lodge offers safaris on the lake in the morning and evenings, where and you can spot alligators, swamp deer, boas and otters.
The lodge offers an opportunity for those who wish to collaborate with local schools and artisans by allowing you to interact with people and customs of the region in a spontaneous and friendly way. To get there, you can take a bus from Buenos Aires to Mercedes Corrientes and the Lodge will organize the transfer to the village.