Ecological Lodges in Ecuador

Largely concentrated in the Amazon region of Ecuador, but also present in the cloud forests and rainforest of the eastern slope of the Andes and the Andes themselves, Ecuador’s eco-lodges are hotels which are frequently packaged together with all-inclusive tours and offer experiences close to nature where travelers’ time is mostly spent viewing wildlife in some of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet .

Eco-lodges frequently feature cultural activities where visitors get a glimpse into the lifestyles of indigenous peoples and local cultures.

Ecotourism has grown extremely popular in Ecuador recent years. To take advantage of this boom, many tour agencies and hotels have slapped the prefix “eco” in front of their names in an effort to attract clients. To know if you are really getting the ecological responsibility that you’re being promised from your hotel or tour operator, check out’s definition of “eco”.

All of the ecological lodges listed below have a long reputation of providing excellent service and lodging while protecting the environment, and in many cases spearheading  local conservation projects.

Galapagos Habitat Hotel – is a spectacular oceanfront eco-luxury lodge located in the heart of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Lounging seaside, it seems a million miles away from civilization nestled among the mangroves, marine iguanas and sea lions that share the deck and panoramic view with privileged guests. They also offer land-based Galapagos tours and SCUBA diving packages out of the hotel so you can sleep on solid ground at night and explore the islands with day trips boating to other islands and National Park visitor spots. The Red Mangrove is operated by Haugan Cruises, a luxury Galapagos cruise line.

MySachaJi Ecolodge & SPA – offers a unique wellness-focused ecolodge experience near Otavalo with views overlooking stunning Lake and Imbabura Volcano. The chef-prepared mostly organic garden-fresh cuisine, juice bar, and locally-harvested herbal teas leave your mind, body and spirit cleansed and filled with the positive energy of the Andes. Choose from a variety of activities like visiting the Otavalo market, hiking, horseback riding, yoga, massage or just enjoying the view from the jacuzzi.

La Selva Jungle Lodge – was recently remodeled and under new, Norwegian ownership. It is Ecuador’s newest, most upscale Amazon lodge. Located across the Napo river from Yasuni National park and on the shores of a blackwater lake with spectacular views from the restaurant, one can paddle in a canoe or kayak, go fishing for piranha, climb the canopy tower, the butterfly farm, or hike the multitude of trails near the lodge. One of the world’s premier rainforest lodges anywhere.

El Monte – This exceptional eco-lodge offers charming riverside cabins in the cloud forest surrounding Mindo. El Monte, owned by an Ecuadorian-American couple, provides an array of activities including horseback riding, hiking, swimming in natural pools, birding, and whitewater tubing down the Mindo river. At the end of the day, savor home-cooking by candlelight and listen to the night sounds of the forest. El Monte has just opened up the Mindo Biological Station for researchers, students groups, and ecologically focused tourists looking to truly explore and discover the natural treasures of the cloud forest.

Casa del Suizo – With its panoramic view of the Napo River, Casa del Suizo is an excellent choice for a first or hundredth trip to the rainforest. First class accommodations, with many of the conveniences of home, and excellent food in the tranquility of the rainforest make Casa del Suizo un unforgettable getaway.

Huasquila Amazon Lodge – Located in the Sumaco Biosphere Reserve between the Andes Mountains and the Amazon Rainforest, only 4 hours from Quito, Huasquila offers six luxury cabins built in local Kichwa style. Each cabin features a private bathroom, hot water, wide interior spaces and a balcony with superb views of the Amazon. Enjoy delicious meals, bar service, exciting jungle tours, caving expeditions, excursions to petroglyphs, animal rescue center, horse trekking, kayaking and rafting with indigenous Kichwa guides. Outstanding  service and activities with a friendly, family atmosphere.

Owl moth.

Casa Mojanda – A dramatic mountainside inn, organic farm, and retreat located above the town of Otavalo in the foothills of Mojanda, featuring spacious rammed earth cottages with magnificent mountain vistas. Enjoy the world famous Otavalo crafts market, horse tours, hiking, biking, birding and kayaking the Mojanda Lakes, as well as a large international reading and video library, traditional hot tub, delicious primarily vegetarian meals, children’s activities, and excellent ethno-cultural tours. Casa Mojanda seeks to cause minimal impact on the natural environment while actively supporting local culture, projects in rural public health, education, conservation of the Mojanda Lakes paramo, and watershed.

Playa Escondida – The river Malpelo winds down from the foothills of the Andes mountains to a breathtaking bay called Playa Escondida (“hidden beach”). The area, now part of the 100 hectare Playa Escondida Ecological Refuge, has retained its beauty despite the years because, as its name points out, it is off the beaten path. Swim in warm tidal pools full of marine life, explore the caves and tunnels of the dramatic coastal rock formations carved by wind and waves, or just relax in a hammock and listen to the sound of the surf.

Achupalla plant.

Sacha Lodge – Primary Amazon rainforest, a bird-watching tower, a butterfly nursery, an extensive network of well-maintained trails, and outstanding accommodations make Sacha Lodge one of the world´s premier eco-lodges.

Yachana Lodge – in a 2,500-acre wildlife reserve overlooks the Napo River in the Amazon region of Ecuador and provides a unique cultural and wildlife experience. With your visit, you’re simultaneously helping to support the educational, sustainable development, poverty alleviation, renewable energy and other non-profit missions of the Yachana Foundation. There are several unique activities such as visiting a local shaman, harvesting your food from a local farm and learning how to prepare it for your lunch and visiting the Foundation’s vocational high school’s innovative projects. Of course, there are the staple Amazon rainforest activities such as birdwatching, wildlife viewing and walking the reserve’s rainforest trails. Winner of numerous international awards including National Geographics Geotourism award, Yachana is an excellent choice for student groups, volunteers, or anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the Amazon rainforest and its people.


Updated December 6, 2018