Tag archives for Ecolodge

Some people look for the pool. Others head to the concierge. Me? The very first thing I do when I arrive at a hotel is stand in the lobby and take a visual 360. Can I tell what country I’m in (or even what continent I’m on) from the décor, the staff uniforms, the architecture?…

When I became editor of National Geographic Traveler magazine 15 years ago, the word “ecolodge” suggested places that were so pared down and dutiful that many travelers were regarding them as the domain of the backpacker — all basic furnishings and uninspired food. Therefore it is astonishing to see how much the lodging industry has changed in little more than a decade.

Halfway up a mountain in northern Nicaragua, between the steep streets of Matagalpa and the deep valley of Jinotega, lies a 1,500-acre organic coffee farm called Selva Negra. It’s a place where the trees hang heavy with giant lemons, papayas, and passion fruit. Roosters crow, hawks ride the breeze over the hills, hummingbirds flit, and the cows are milked by hand every morning. Oh yeah, and the shade-grown coffee tastes like chocolate.

Coffee With the Bedouins

Writer Annie Fitzsimmons recently returned from a 10-day cultural trip to Jordan. This is her second dispatch. Read the first one here. Sitting beneath a starry sky in the Dana Biosphere Reserve in Jordan, 65-year-old Bedouin tent dweller Muhammed Amareen looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said, “If you’re 28 and…

After working as a reporter in Cairo, Theodore May wanted to know more about the history, culture, and people of the Middle East. So he decided to explore it, and use one of history’s conquerors as his guide. For the next eight months he’ll be following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, tracing the…