Paradise on a Budget: Eco Retreats that Won’t Break the Bank
Whether lounging on the beach at an exclusive eco lodge or discovering your inner yogi at a luxury retreat, it’s easy to assume that paradise will come with a five-figure price tag attached. Thankfully, there are still options for those traveling on a budget, and all-inclusive resorts can actually be a great way to save on expenses, especially if you’re careful to avoid hidden costs. Look out for resorts in lesser-frequented destinations or countries where you get more value for your money -- South East Asia’s spas, for example, are a fraction of the price of their European counterparts, and Central America offers a cheap gateway to the Caribbean. From a detox and yoga retreat in Thailand to Mexican eco-casitas and even a Hawaiian surf camp, here are 8 eco-conscious resorts where you won’t have to max out the credit card.
2. Playa Viva, Mexico
Whether sipping basil margaritas from a sun lounger or getting a massage in an open-air rotunda overlooking the ocean, Playa Viva offers a pretty good approximation of paradise. Thankfully, this tranquil Mexican hideaway is as guilt-free as luxury gets with its solar-powered Eco Casitas constructed entirely from locally sourced materials, biofueled pickup vans, and organic food grown onsite. In fact, whether you’re taking part in the daily beachside yoga, canoeing in secret lagoons, or trekking through local villages, it’s impossible not to feel a connection to the environment -- the hotel even supports a voluntary turtle sanctuary, offering guests the chance to get involved and release baby turtles on the beach at sunrise. If you prefer to intersperse a little action in your relaxation, the 160-acre private reserve has plenty of activities on offer -- there’s kayaking, horse riding, deep sea fishing, and even soccer and volleyball on the beach. Or you can simply enjoy the deserted stretches of sand, dolphin-filled ocean, and stunning sunsets.
Check out our Mexico adventure trips and read Why You Should Ignore All the Urban Legends and Take the Kids to Mexico