© Baja Camp, Mexico.
© Baja Camp, Mexico.

Top 20 Eco-friendly Places to Stay with Kids in Latin America

A pioneer in green tourism, Costa Rica has some of the finest eco-accommodation in the world, but the success of its ‘back to nature’ lodges has spread to its neighbours and you can find great eco properties throughout the region. Many are in the jungle, so bring large quantities of insect repellent and swot up on other health issues. 

South America proper has also embraced the idea of eco-tourism, and you can find everything from bush camps to luxury eco-hotels there.


Baja Camp, La Paz

A summer-only, safari-style campsite on an uninhabited island, offering snorkelling and beach adventures for only 10 people at a time - great to book out with another family or two.

Balamku Inn on the Beach, Yucatan

A low-key, inexpensive little eco-hotel on the Costa Maya, with 10 rooms sleeping up to four, snorkelling and scuba-diving either just off-shore or at the Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve, and free kayak use.


The Lodge at Chaa Creek

This nature reserve combines luxury with sustainability, with accommodation in treetop suites for up to four, villas and thatched cottages, plus a spa, an infinity pool, an organic farm and a carpentry workshop. Kids up to 18 stay free and enjoy child-friendly jungle safaris.

Chan Chich Jungle Lodge and Nature Reserve

Set amongst the unexcavated ruins of a Mayan city and famous for its jaguar sightings, this unique property on a private reserve has accommodation in thatched-roof casitas and cabanas, plus a couple of villas. Activities include night walks in search of tarantulas, tree frogs and other critters plus horse-riding along jungle trails. As well as having sound ecological credentials, the lodge has been very active in encouraging the return of threatened species.


Hotel Ecologico Finca Ixobel

This wonderful ranch is in a pine forest in the foothills of the Mayan Mountains, and a night in a treehouse with the parrots calling to each other from your eaves is an experience not to be missed - although there are also rooms, bungalows and tents. You can go river-tubing, caving or riding, or trekking through the jungle, or just lie in a family-sized hammock listening to the birds. The home-style dinners made from local organic produce are often served under the stars.


The Lodge at Pico Bonito

These luxurious cabins occupy a cacao farm in the rainforest; some connect for larger families. Activities include jungle night hikes, white-water rafting and boat trips through a manatee reserve. There’s an all-natural spa with cabins on stilts.

Lapa Rios Ecolodge

An award-winning luxury lodge with 17 bungalows in a rainforest reserve, with activities for ages six and up including swimming under a secluded waterfall, hiking on wildlife-rich trails (kid-sized wellies and walking sticks are provided) and kayaking in the mangroves.


Rock View Lodge, Rupununi Savannah

Most people take a tiny plane to get to this peaceful, intimate spot on the edge of the jungle near a large Amerindian community, one of whom is the co-owner. Eight rooms include two for families; superb food is serve with the hummingbirds around the pool or in the cool restaurant. There are boat-trips, horse-riding and day-trips galore, including some to the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway.


Pousada Picinguaba

This 10-room hotel also offering private villas oozes French chic in an amazing rainforest location, overlooking a protected sandy bay. Some rooms fit extra beds, and there’s an pool, an organic restaurant and organised activities including schooner cruises to nearby islands.


La Selva Ecolodge

A fanstatic family-friendly base from which to explore the wonders for the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. Set deep within the forest, you arrive by motorised canoe and the lovely local guides take great joy in leading families on walks in the forest and canoe trips up the river, as you look out for the amazing array of wildlife, as part of their special family programme. Accommodation thatched suites on stilts, that combine rustic style with modern luxuries.


Tahuayo Lodge

These award-winning thatched cabins built on stilts tucked into a bend in the Amazon River are the base for jungle expeditions that include nocturnal hikes, dolphin-watching, fishing, insect tours and rafting; kids must be 8+. You can also spend a night camping in the woods. The cabins are very comfortable, with four-posters and private toilets (you wash in river water, neatly trapped for showers).


Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa

This boutique hotel in the extraordinary landscape of the Atacama Desert, with views of the Licancabur volcano, includes duplex family rooms for up to six, with private terraces. There are 4x4 excursions to altiplanic lagoons, salt flats, geysers and hot springs, plus hikes, mountain-biking and horse-riding; evenings are made for gathering round campfires and stargazing.

Eco Camp Patagonia

This extraordinary mountain camp has igloo-type domes sleeping up to four and runs tours including wildlife safaris and puma tracking; kids are welcome from age six and up. There’s also a yoga dome.


Finca Santa Anita, Salta

This ancient tobacco estate is run by the local mayor, partly to fund a biodiversity program for local communities. You join his large family riding through the plantation and river rafting, and they’ll show you how to make traditional bread in clay ovens and milk the goats for cheese. The charming rooms (some for families) are great value. Food is from the plantation or the organic kitchen garden and gets rave reviews. There’s also a pool and a playground.

Rincón del Socorro

This is a conservation-minded eco-hotel on a former cattle ranch, with individually decorated rooms and bungalows without TVs, a pool, a playground, and activities including boating, riding and night safaris. The neighbouring lagoon has friendly alligators.

See also our hand-picked recommendations for quirky places to stay with kids in Latin America in our feature Unusual Places to Stay Outside Europe.

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