Today, more and more travelers are planning holidays to sustainable tourism countries. There are numerous options for getting back to nature while minimizing your carbon footprint. Many different countries are actively involved in conservation efforts.
Although tourism is a necessary economical industry for many destinations, protecting the planet in the process is also of vital importance. Consider one of these top-rated locations for your next ecotourism holiday this year.
The southern African country of Botswana is one of the popular ecotourism destinations that few will ever have the opportunity to see. The spectacular landscapes vary from deserts and salt pans to lush forests and lakes. Known as the “jewel of Africa,” the location provides visitors with the rare chance to see wild baboons, elephants, hippos, lions and other big game animals in their native habitats.
Eco-friendly accommodation options include ensuite safari tents on raised platforms, which offer commanding views over the savannah. Lodging is typically constructed from a combination of canvas and native timber. Pastel fabrics decorate the interiors that come complete with indoor bathtubs, al fresco showers and private plunge pools. However, rustic is not without luxury as the facilities also often offer breakfast in bed, private bush dinners and al fresco picnics.
Named by Christopher Columbus, the moniker means “rich coast.” The country lives up to its name with the many rainforests, picturesque beaches and thermal hot springs that make up the landscape. The “Peace with Nature” policy adopted by the government inspired residents throughout the land. As such, Costa Rica have more trees per square kilometer than any other destination on the planet.
Recommended destinations include Tortuguero National Park, which features jungle lodges and a wealth of native wildlife ranging from monkeys to tortoises. The location is filled with activity possibilities. Enjoy bird watching, cycling, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing or scuba diving. Perhaps a treehouse hotel is closer to your liking. The venue is located within close proximity to the Arenal Volcano. The beautiful 10-acre property is surrounded by a wildlife refuge, which features dipping pools, a river and a waterfall.
Some may wonder why is ecotourism important?
In Hawaii, the people strongly believe that caring for and protecting the local environment and the oceans will in turn allow the land and the water to take care of them. Here, conservation efforts have been a way of life for centuries. Guests have many opportunities to witness their success first hand.
Ecotourism in Hawaii might involve snorkeling or scuba diving in the Molokini Crater, which is considered one of the best diving locations on Earth. More than 250 species of marine life live in and around the destination in addition to the 30 species of living coral. The unique crescent shape ensures the waters remain sheltered, which inhibit debris from clouding the water. In the sunlight it is possible to see distances of up to 150 feet. Although many prefer basking in the sun on Hawaiian beaches, thrill seekers enjoy exploring the treetop canopies via zipline adventures.
In the southern region of the country lies a tropical paradise community known as Kerala. The location lies nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats mountains. The destination has approximately 600 kilometers of shoreline blanketed with palm trees. Inland harbors winding canals, which beckon to boaters. The mountain forests feature various national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, which house everything from Bengali tigers and leopards to elephants and rhinos. The rare Travancore Evening Brown butterfly makes its home here along with an unusual shrub that only blooms every 12 years. Enjoy trekking in the highlands where the aromas of cardamon, coffee and tea fill the air.
Consider a holiday involving agritourism.
La Isleta is approximately 90 minutes south of David and is where you will find the Castrellon family farm and ranch. For centuries, the facility has been in the business of raising Andalusian cattle. Guests have the chance to stay and help on the ranch. Activities might include taking part in cattle drives, feeding calves and watching the vaqueros bring the cattle home at night.
During your stay, you will learn a little more of where foods originate. In your free time, indulge in local cuisine on the farm, which is prepared by a family chef. Stroll down to the mangroves and boat or kayak to the estuary. See the many bird species that line the shores. Maybe head to Chicanti Biological Station and help the local biologist with his conservation efforts on the 750 acres of property he purchased for scientific research.
Swan Valley, Idaho (U.S.A.)
Swan Valley lies at the foothills of the majestic Teton Mountains and along the Snake River in Idaho. Enjoy rustic accommodations in a private tepee along with a private beach and campground. Each site features a firepit, a barbecue grill, picnic table, solar power provides electricity and lights. Antique cast-iron, pot belly stoves provide heat when needed. Sleeping arrangements include full-sized futons complete with furs, which are situated on raised wood floors. Indulge in showers with hot water.
The location is renowned for having the best trout fishing opportunities in the country. Elk and deer wander about freely against the backdrop of the mountains and the flowing river. Go bird watching, wildlife viewing or horseback riding. Launch a boat or kayak from the private ramp and get a glimpse of the views from the water. Or, just relax in a hammock and watch predatory birds catch their dinner. During the winter, the destination is popular for skiing and snowmobiling.
Have you been to any beautiful ecotourism spots? We want to know so feel free to leave your stories and suggestions in the comments below.
If you're planning a trip make sure to reduce your negative impact by following the tips in this post: Travelling Zero Waste: Travel Tips from the Zero Waste Experts