An Antioquian Eco-Lodge!

Andrea Cardona

Cannúa Lodge, an eco-hotel located in the alluring mountains of Marinilla, opened its doors to the public at the beginning of 2020. Customers from rated the hotel a 9.4 out of 10 and “a great weekend escape,” Nathan, a customer from the United States, said.

Andrea Cardona, Social Media Editor

Antioquia is known for its grand landscapes, welcoming people, exotic foods, and everlasting spring-like weather. However, it is not recognized for its sustainability, which is why Cannúa Lodge is a rare gem in a market that lacks variety. Cannua Lodge is a 100% sustainable hotel located on a mountain hillside in Marinilla, where an ecological philosophy is followed and imprinted on its guests.

Staying at Cannua Lodge was more than sleeping at a hotel, it was an experience. During my stay, I learned more about sustainability and my ecological footprint while immersing myself in nature and trying new and exotic dishes. Cannúa is a place I would visit countless times, and an experience I would encourage everyone to embark upon. 

Cannúa is built from sustainable materials and strives to maintain a healthy and eco-friendly environment. For instance, because the hotel is located on a mountain top adjacent to the colorful San Nicolás Valley, it was constructed using materials from that specific area to avoid heavy transportation that would increase contamination and the carbon footprint of the project. Furthemore, the brick was treated so that it wasn’t harmful to the environment around the Lodge, and all the decor inside the rooms was bought from local artists. In contrast, there is a hotel in Guatapé, just a minutes away from Marinilla, whose unsustainable practices are evident when driving by it. At “Hotel Los Recuerdos” guests can be seen littering, wasting ridiculous amounts of food, and consuming unnecessary quantities of water. Also, its construction shows no evidence of environmental responsibility, which is key to appeal to today’s consumer market. Overall, Cannúa’s ecological philosophy stays engraved in the guests’ minds and allows them to see beyond their linen beds and beautiful view. It encourages people to be better and take care of the environment, which ultimately has no price to it.

Another aspect that makes Cannúa extraordinary is its exquisite food, which is grown on its surroundings or locally bought. The hotel has a mostly vegan menu with a couple of dishes with fish and chicken. However, no beef is served since methane emissions from cattle are one of the main contributors to global warming. Additionally, the chef integrates local flowers and plants into the dishes and explains to the guests how they are safe to eat and enhance the flavor of the food. The presentation of the dishes is also elegant and aesthetic, unlike another ecological hotel I once visited in Colombia: the ecolodges in “Tayrona National Park” in Santa Marta. It is a fully sustainable hotel mostly because of its location, but its food didn’t really follow its concept. They served all kinds of meat without thinking about its effect on the environment and didn’t try to include local specialties in their dishes. The food wasn’t as aesthetic either. If you are staying at an ecological hotel, it’s because you are into the sustainability and eco-friendly concept of it. Therefore, it is best for such hotels to express this, even through their meals. 

Cannúa has a lot of fun, sustainable outdoor activities. There is a three-hour ecological hike around the mountains of the San Nicolás Valley with a guide who accompanies you and teaches you about the different types of plants and animals. Also, they offer a seven-hour hike that goes from Marinilla to Guatape, and the view is out of this world. You can even experience paragliding on top of the San Nicolás Valley. It has a relaxing spa (which isn’t open during the pandemic) and has several tastings (rum, vegan chocolate, coffee, etc). Finally, the hotel has such an amazing view that just sitting down to watch the sunset is entertainment itself. On the other hand, Los Recuerdos in Guatapé provides a completely different experience. It doesn’t have nearly as many activities available to its guests. Even though it is located next to the Piedra del Peñol and has a lake, the hotel didn’t offer aquatic services. If you wanted to rent any service, you had to go to a nearby spot where the options were available, making tourists waste time they could spend enjoying their trip. If you are staying at a hotel, you expect it to have activities available to you during your stay and for them to match your hotel’s location and concept. 

Cannúa is an experience worth living, since you will not only stay at a modern hotel with a beautiful concept but learn that being eco-friendly does not mean sacrificing comfort. From the welcoming staff to numerous stories you hear about Marinilla’s past, Cannúa Lodge will make you feel like you’re staying at a home away from home.