Today, eco-travel no longer means one size fits all. Now you can find whatever suits your style, from rugged to luxe, and everything in between.By: Lisa Selin Davis
Like many people these days, you and your fiancé may be starting to think green. If so, you're right in sync with a worldwide trend, one that's influencing the way people purchase everyday items from laundry detergent to automobiles.
It's even changed the way we vacation: Today eco-travel (also called green or nature travel) is one of the hottest segments of the tourism industry. But is it right for a honeymoon? Absolutely.
As we'll show you, going green can mean camping out in hemp tents—or residing in a resort on a secluded beach. To help you find the right eco-travel style for you, here are some of the world's most honeymoon-worthy eco-resorts.
Why it's honeymoon-worthy: Surrounded by the lush beauty of the rain- forest, the 16 bungalows that make up the Lapa Rios rain forest resort are tranquil oases, with romantic mosquito netting over the beds, wicker furnishings, hardwood floors and screen walls that open onto gorgeous views of the resort's verdant setting. Private outdoor garden showers and early-morning coffee delivered to guest rooms are proof that luxurious relaxation is a priority there.
But there is also plenty of great exploring to do. In addition to sunset boat rides in the Golfo Dulce, swimming with dolphins and watching whales spout, honeymooners can plant a tree in honor of their union in the rain-forest reserve and have candlelight dinners by the resort's swimming pool. More adventurous pairs can take surfing lessons, hike to waterfalls with natural pools or horseback ride on the beach and then unwind with sunset yoga or a massage in a room with a rain-forest view.
Lapa Rios is a family resort, which means a vacation here won't be kid-free. If you really want privacy, peace and quiet, visit during the months of January or February, April to June or September to November, when families are less likely to travel.
How it's eco-friendly: Lapa Rios is often cited as a model for the next generation of eco-lodges and resorts. With 1,000 acres of pristine, protected wilderness and an extensive reforestation project, this resort, abutting the 100,000-acre Coccovado National Park, offers interactions with flora and fauna found nowhere else: The Sangrillo Colorado tree, for instance, lives only in this reserve. Jaguars, monkeys, poison-dart frogs and toucans populate the rain forest, and the resort is committed to curbing illegal logging and hunting; in fact, no live trees were cut for the construction of the resort.
Local people are the resort's workforce (45 families are supported by Lapa Rios), and each staff member is ready to educate visitors about the nearby culture and its customs. Water is solar-heated, cleaning and bathing products are biodegradable and the 16 thatched-roof cottages, made of renewable, recyclable materials, are maintained pesticide-free; 25,000 native suita palms were planted to replace and repair the thatches (laparios.com).
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