Earthship Rentals: Sustainable Stays for Eco-Conscious Travelers

Taking fewer flights, carrying a reusable water bottle, and using your Solgaard luggage all get you sustainable travel points. But what if you could stay somewhere that was fully sustainable, off-grid and self-sufficient?

In true reuse-and-recycle style, earthships are made of what many people would consider trash. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be luxurious. High-speed Wi-Fi, flat screen-TVs, modern plumbing and washing machines all await, without using any electricity from the grid. Not only do you get a relaxing vacation, but you’ll be totally inspired by these beautifully designed earthsip rentals.

What is an earthship?

Earthships are all about creating thermal mass to control a building's temperature without having to use heating or cooling from unsustainable resources. Earth-filled tires, aluminum cans and glass bottles are stacked together to make the structure of the house then covered with cement or stucco. These recycled materials naturally regulate the temperature of the interior and can look beautiful too.

The south facing side of the building is usually made of glass to maximize light and heat from the sun and solar panels and wind turbines generate electricity. Water is collected, cleaned, and used for washing and then the greywater is recycled for watering plants or flushing toilets, creating a fully self-sufficient off-grid environment.

Here are our top 5 earthship picks. 

Phoenix Earthship, Taos, New Mexico

Earthships exist all over the world but nowhere has as many as in Taos, New Mexico. This is where architect Michael Reynolds came up with the concept and created Earthship Biotecture, a company that teaches eco-construction and rents out the many they have created over the years.

The biggest and most exotic is Phoenix. The indoor jungle greenhouse is not your usual hotel decor and comes with blooming banana trees, grapevines, birds, and turtles. Not only does it add tropical vibes, but the greenhouse also softens the air and brings heat and humidity into the dry desert environment. Phoenix is a work of art where everything is colorful and custom-made, light gleams through glass bottle walls and a waterfall cascades through the living room. This is the sustainable lodgings of your most technicolor dreams. 

Boulder, Colorado

This beautiful, handcrafted earthship is built out of local materials and is subtly stylish with less of a hippy vibe than most. Surrounded by hundreds of acres of wilderness and views across Sugarloaf Mountain, this eco-conscious hideaway stays warm and toasty in Colorado winters thanks to its passive solar design. An edible indoor garden helps with meal prep, while a rainwater catchment system, greywater recycling and solar water heater make this a totally sustainable rental. You’ll be in glorious seclusion where you can hike, observe nature, soak in a hot tub and get lost in unobstructed views of the Milky Way.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Escape to the mountains of magical Santa Fe and take your pick from an indoor or rooftop hot tub to soak up the views. You’ll also have access to a yoga/spa area to continue the chill. In the main room of the house light pours in from south-facing floor-to-ceiling windows and mid-century furniture compliments the calming neutral stucco walls. The earthship is hidden up a mountain road and gives amazing views across the Jemez Mountains. The owners say they have seen deer, gopher snakes, ravens, bobcats and even bears and mountain lions from the picturesque windows.

Caliu Earthship Eco Lodge, Uruguay

You can find this earthship eco lodge built into a hillside near Colonia del Sacramento, a coastal town in Uruguay known for its cobbled historic quarter lined with crumbling colonial buildings. The owners wanted to create a place for a different kind of sustainable tourism, and everything is built with natural and reused materials, heating comes from solar and the Earth and the onsite restaurant uses organic ingredients to make delicious veggie and gluten free breakfasts. Native trees and plants surround the guest house, helping it to blend seamlessly into the landscape.

Earthship Hostel, Patagonia

Fifty international sustainable design students and a team of volunteers came together to help build this earthship hostel in the foothills of the dramatic, snow-covered peaks of Patagonia, Chile. The aim is to create a community of travelers who share their ethos in eco-conscious travel. As well as the earthship, you can spend the night in a cozy yurt and share vegan meals in the communal kitchen. Unlike the other rentals, the use of waste is not hidden, so expect to see walls of tires and glass bottles which add interest to the spectacular views of the mountains behind.

Long Story Short…

Eco-conscious travel doesn’t have to be boring, basic, or lacking in luxury and these earthship rentals prove it. Next time you’re booking accommodation, see if there is a sustainable or off-grid option nearby. You might come back from your travels looking at your recycling bin a little differently.


Written by Laura Sedlak