Eco-tourism is about much more than just beautiful scenery and socialising with the friendly locals. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship that doesn’t exploit the indigenous community or its natural environment. It’s about preserving and protecting what is unique and precious. Previously I’ve spoken about choosing both your destination and activities very carefully, well here is the perfect bucket list for any traveller that is looking for an eco-friendly destination:
Costa Rica – Costa Rica is well known in the eco-traveller’s community as the leaders in eco-tourism. Not only is it one of the most beautiful countries you will ever visit but it boasts a long list of protected national parks. They have also now implemented a brilliant new system whereby it grades lodgings according to their environmental conscientiousness. It truly is a shining beacon in this industry, proving that you do not have to compromise on luxury and beauty to achieve a sustainable relationship with your natural environment.
Norway – This might not come as a big surprise but Norway is one the leading countries when it comes to living sustainability. The country might be very small but it is one of the leaders in terms of switching its consumer energy to renewable sources. And if that’s not enough to convince you, I have two more words for you, Norwegian Fjords.
Kenya – I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that there are few countries in the world that could offer you such a rich diversity of the animal kingdom than Kenya (or most African countries for that matter). But far more impressive is Kenya’s unprecedented effort to combat illegal poaching and preserve its natural habitats.
Palau – Palau is known for the most spectacular oceans. It’s no secret that our oceans are suffering immensely as a direct result of pollution, global warming and over fishing. The Palau nation has declared most of its reefs no-fishing zones and has been breading a culture of conservation and preservation in the youth with projects, like the Palau Project, that focusses on teaching the youth about these oceans.
Galapagos Islands – About 90% of these islands are actually national parks where conservation is key. They also restrict the number of visitors to these islands. You can expect to be treated to breathtakingly beautiful views and world renowned snorkelling sites.
Peru – This one is definitely next on my bucket list. This mountainous country is rich in unique fauna and flora that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, about 30% of its plant species are exclusively endemic to Peru. Then there is the rich history, and the vital role it has played throughout the decades in modern day civilisations, known for having archaeological sites containing evidence of one of the world’s oldest civilisations.
Iceland – Iceland was recently declared as the cleanest consumer energy country in the world, top that with breath taking scenic views and the infamous northern lights, how can it not be on your list already?
Amazon Rainforest – The Amazon is known to provide 20% of the earth’s breathable oxygen. It stretches across several South American countries and is home to literally thousands of micro and macro ecosystems. Make sure that you choose eco-friendly accommodation and activities as it is well known that the Amazon is one of the hardest hit regions by global warming.
Lithuania – 22% of this beautiful Baltic country’s energy consumed is generated renewably. It is seen as the pioneer in its region when it comes to embracing and achieving the U.N. sustainable development goals. Naturally, the country boasts a long list national parks that can be visited.
What would you add to this list?