With the recent “green movement” eco travel and eco resorts are quickly increasing in popularity. Hotels around the world are adopting “greener” practices like linen reuse programs and energy saving light bulbs. Taking a vacation to an eco resort is just as appealing as an extravagant trip to Paris.
One particularly popular destination for eco travel is Central America. Countries like Costa Rica and El Salvador beckon travelers with lush tropical forests, indigenous animals and plants, beautiful beaches and many other natural wonders to explore. Costa Rica is well known for its exotic environment, but El Salvador is a lesser traveled area that is also home to beautiful scenery and a few charming eco resorts perfect for those who seek to mix luxury travel with eco travel.
La Barra de Santiago is a small town located on the Santiago Peninsula with long sandy banks created by the currents of the estuary. It is not a highly populated area, with only a few locals and surfers enjoying the beach life. The area attracts nature lovers as there is much to see. A short walk will take you to the tip of the peninsula, giving you a view of the volcanic mountain chain from the Volcan de Agua in Guatemala all the way to the Santa Ana and Izalco volcano in El Salvador.
This charming area is home to the eco resort La Cocotera, a secluded beach front hotel in El Salvador. It is a notable eco resort because it was built using local natural materials such as palm fronds, sustainable teak wood, plant vines, natural stone and hand woven fabrics.
What is an Eco Resort?
More than just a haven for the discerning traveler, eco resorts often sponsor eco programs like Turtle Release Programs. With these programs, travelers have the opportunity to aid in safely releasing newly hatched sea turtles into the ocean. Since El Salvador has many endangered creatures, resorts sometimes sponsor species reintroduction program. La Cocotera sponsors one such program for the Scarlet Macaw, a bird that has been extinct in El Salvador for over 50 years.
An eco resort is a hotel or accommodation that is built and operated using natural and/or environmentally safe materials and methods. Typically, eco resorts also support the local people, culture and environment. La Cocotera was built following the “green leaf” system utilized by the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). Some examples of its eco features are the use of solar energy, energy saving light bulbs/ kinesthetic power flashlights, biological (not chemical) waste water recycling treatment plant, environmentally safe products, shampoos, soaps and cleaning products, a recycling program, and ionization pool filtration rather than chemical pool cleaning.
Central America is a highly sought after destination because of its stunning natural environment. While staying at an eco resort in Central America, guests and adventurers not only have the opportunity to relax in an unparalleled environment, they also have the opportunity to engage in exciting activities such as hiking in El Imposible National Park, kayaking, surfing, bird watching and deep sea fishing. Hopefully, with so much to be learned and gained by eco travelers, the green industry will continue to thrive.