Peru – Ian’s Eco Lodge Travel Guide
Peru had always been a dream of mine. Exploring the ancient communities like Cuzco and sites such as the mysterious Machu Picchu in the Sacred Valley, has been on my ‘bucket list’ for as long as I can remember. Last month I got the chance to turn a dream of mine into reality.
After a 15-hour flight I finally arrived and was welcomed into El Pedregal, an Eco Lodge perfectly nestled beneath a small mountain cradled in the Sacred Valley of the Peruvian Andes, Peru. My stay was both exhilarating and blissful! Healthy vegetarian food, drinking and showering in pure fresh mountain water. Beautiful meditative gardens with an abundance of diverse species of plants, insects and birds. I was also in easy reach of the UNESCO world heritage sites at Machu Picchu and the Inca city of Cuzco, Peru.
For those of you like me, who are probably more used to staying in hotels, here is my guide to a well-being break in an Eco Lodge.
ECO LODGES are created as unique builds, based on individual passions and visions. They also have their own cultural influences, because as well as being environmental also true eco lodges rarely function in a bubble but exist as part of the local community.
This is what makes them the perfect place to stay for a well-being retreat.
THINGS TO DO AT AN ECO LODGE…
1. Nothing. Lie in a hammock, sit on the veranda, or chill out on the terrace and seek solace in nature. Eco lodges are also eco escapes, places to detox digitally and recharge naturally.
2. Enjoy Nature. Explore the gardens, watch birds, visit Nature Reserves, go on a night time nature trek, or hike through a forest.
3. Beach Bliss. You don’t have to hike through the wilderness, or get up at dawn to go bird watching. Some eco lodges have coastal paradises nearby for full on relaxation.
4. Live local. Eco lodges are all about connecting with the local community, whether you are connecting through food, fun or a passion for nature. It’s all about connection.
TEAM FCCE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PLANET – THINGS TO AVOID AT AN ECO LODGE…
1. Gadgets. Most eco lodges are very careful about energy consumption and want to share their sustainable living practices with guests. So, leave the phones, tablets, hairdryers and anything that needs super charging at home. Have a digital detox.
2. Creating waste. If you are in nature, or remote areas, waste disposal is always an issue. Leave all packaging at home, buy as much as you can locally, and don’t use bottled water unless necessary. Some eco lodges filter their own water or use large containers to fill up refillable bottles.
3. Polluting. Sometimes we forget that we can also be carriers of pollutants. Think about the parabens or micro-beads in products you are wearing or washing with, the toxins in sun creams or products. Do your best to travel and shop ethically and mindfully.
4. Being Shy. Eco lodges are at the heart of the local community. It might feel as if you are stepping out of your comfort zone when getting to know local people. But nobody knows you are except you. Liberate yourself from your usual fears and anxieties and be the ‘YOU’ you really want to be. Simply embrace the opportunity. At an eco lodge all strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet. Listen to them, ask them questions about their lives and learn as they share their stories and the local culture. Your stay will be so much richer for it.
Have you stayed in an Eco lodge or visited Peru? Feel free to share your experiences and tips in the comments below. If you know anyone who might be considering some ecotourism, and could benefit from my experience, please share this blog with them using the social media buttons below.