You love your luxury, yet want to leave only footprints behind…
8 Incredible Eco-Friendly Destinations In The World
1. Costa Rica
The country undoubtedly most associated with ecotourism, Costa Rica has made a name for itself as a travel destination because of its well-protected natural beauty. The South American country, with coastlines on both the Caribbean and Pacific, is almost one-fourth rainforest, the main draw for visitors. In addition to the rainforests, there are breathtaking volcanoes and pristine beaches, both of which add to the stunning biodiversity in the country. If you’d like to stay in eco-friendly accommodations while there, you’ll have plenty of places to choose from.
Norway might not be a place that first comes to mind when thinking of ecotourism. Still, the country’s culture of trying to live sustainably has influenced its travel industry extensively—especially in the Norwegian Fjords. Fjord Norway is even one of four pilot destinations of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s program for new criteria for destinations. Among other things, the government ensures that fishing, hunting and drilling for oil are all well regulated in this area.
Kenya is one of the prime destinations to take an African safari due to its grasslands full of animals such as giraffes, lions, and rhinos. However, the country has more to offer than that, with beaches, coral reefs, and mountains as well. Such varied landscapes mean that Kenya has a lot of biodiversities, especially of birds. Though the country has lost many animals to illegal poaching, organizations within the country have done their best to make sure travelers respect the ecosystem.
Palau, an island nation in the western Pacific that is part of Micronesia, is known more for its oceans than for its land. Off the coast is a beautiful, crystal blue sea home to coral reefs and hundreds of species of fish. Onshore, the country has diverse forests and untouched beaches. The country has dedicated itself to preserving such beautiful landscapes by making much of its reefs no-fishing zones. Additionally, the Palau Project, part of Blue Planet United, brings university students to Palau to learn about the island, makes documentary films about the country and supports eco-tourism.
5. Galapagos Islands
In 1978, the Galapagos Islands were declared the first-ever Natural World Heritage Site due to the amazing and unique fauna that call the archipelago home. Luckily, the country has a Directorate of the Galapagos National Park which implements a visitor management system to make sure that the natural area is respected and tourism remains sustainable.
Antarctica remains one of the least-touched places on Earth for obvious reasons—you can only ever reach the landmass during the summer. Still, thousands of tourists make the journey via boat each year to see the icebergs, penguins, and whales. The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators aims to promote environmentally responsible practices among private-sector travel to the continent.
Iceland has recently become a top tourist destination as it lures visitors in with its remote beauty. The country is the cleanest energy consumer in the world, and travelers can reduce their footprint by camping instead of staying in big hotels, or hiking, biking and horseback riding instead of driving when exploring the country.
8. Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon has already suffered extremely from climate change and the encroachment of man. Still, some areas around the huge forest are aiming to change that by having native become guides to lead tourists around the forests in ways that are sustainable and even promote the health of the ecosystem.
Emily Lockard-Furry began selling travel in 2014. She specializes in destination weddings and honeymoons, but also plans itineraries for multi-generational families and incentive reward travel.