In general look an ecolodge has the following features:
- It is located in a natural area, or in a rural area within a short distance to a natural area, and is not significantly impacted by a townsite, noise, traffic, smog or pollution.
- It is small, usually less than 30 rooms.
It employs systems that protect the environment from pollution and degradation.
- It often employs energy saving tactics and possibly renewable energy technology.
- It employs, or has access to, interpretive nature guides who are either trained in biology or have significant local knowledge of the habitat.
- It provides books, posters, maps, photographs, orientation talks or other ways to inform guests and visitors about the biology of the area.
- It helps train and employ local people at fair wages.
- It helps inform guests, staff and visitors on the importance and value of a healthy ecosystem and describes how to best enjoy the area without impacting it.
- It contributes to the local economy and helps demonstrate that ecotourism is a more sustainable long term way to earn income than destroying or altering habitats for short term gains.
There are many variations in the types of ecolodges in terms of their purpose, history and expression of ecological values. This is a description of types of ecolodges that I have come up with.