In 2006, then-Colombian President Ălvaro Uribe opened the first 20 eco-lodges in the Sierra Nevada for a program called âFostering Families,â which helps the families highly affected by cocaine production. The program has blossomed into the Posadas TurĂsticas de Colombia (www.posadasturisticasdecolombia.com), with family-run hostels from Providencia to Putumayo, from the Guajira to NuquĂ.
Most eco-lodges in Colombia have package (sometimes all-inclusive) deals that can be arranged through travel agents. Look for packages that specialize in relaxation, whale-watching, surfing, scuba diving, birdwatching, fishing or jungle walks.
The ChocĂł region along the Pacific Ocean provides some of the best choices for environmentally friendly eco-lodges. Pijiba Lodge near NuquĂ offers transportation in a glass-bottom boat. El Almejal in El Valle really focuses on conservation and teaching.Others in this region are El Refugio de Mr. Jerry, Lodge Piedra Piedra, Hotel Kipara and El Cantil.
On Colombiaâs Caribbean side, taste the organic fruits grown in the garden at Playa Koralia, but leave the laptop at home, or it could be confiscated. Theyâre serious about being one with nature. Also, check out Estado Natural at CoveĂ±as, or Finca Raval JardĂn EcolĂłgico in the center of the country, near Bucaramanga.