Ecotourism is a thing, and it’s perfect for those who care for our beautiful planet. More and more people want to make responsible choices with their travel, and support a great cause. They will go out of their way to make sure that their travel plans reflect that commitment Travel destinations are taking actions to meet those special needs by doing their best to reinforce human rights and to preserve the environment.
Every year, Ethical Traveler ranks popular tourist destination based on eco-friendliness, safety, and more. Here’s this year’s list of the top 5 ecotourism destination. Visit them as a reward for their efforts towards a sustainable future.
No visas needed to visit this tropical paradise. Upon arrival, you can get a visa for less $50. For that same amount, you can help preserve this fantastic ecotourism spot. See the “green fee” as an invitation to take part in the local positive ecological impact.
Palau is a heaven if you love beaches, waterfalls and marine wildlife. The pristine waters are perfect for all sorts of underwater adventures. Snorkel on some of the best diving spots on the planet or go on a fishing tour around the Carp Island. They say the Dolphin Bay is the most idyllic spot to tie the knot. And yes, there is nothing like have dolphins attend your beach wedding!
The Mauritius is an African island lost in the Indian ocean. There are many water sports and beach fun to have along its extensive coastline, and authorities have started a reforestation campaign to ensure the island remains green and shady.
But apart for the many secluded beaches, Mauritius charms with its gastronomic scene. It’s a true paradise for foodies willing to explore restaurants and street stalls. Here is a great overview of the street food of Mauritius; with its blend of Asian, African and Creole influences.
The other main attraction is the many sugar cane plantations. These are part of the local history, economy, and culture. Mauritius is famous for its dark rum which couples well with its cuisine. Do not miss the opportunity to sample it!
Lithuania stands out as an ecotourism destination due its adoption of green energy — it’s one of the only countries in the world to that’s trying to limit its carbon footprint like this.
Lithuania is a hidden gem for history buffs and travelers looking for a slow pace. Its cities feel like old towns, with century-old buildings and attractions. You won’t feel any rush visiting its renowned museums and old churches, and you will enjoy seeing time pass by while you relax in its quaint cafes and restaurants.
Above all, Lithuania also home amazing natural wonders including natural parks and beach strips. The capital, Vilnius, and the Curonian Spit are both UNESCO world Heritage sites. When you visit, do not miss seeing the incredible Trakai castle and the Hill of Crosses.
Why Chile over Brazil or Argentina? For starters, it’s the first country in Latin America — if not the world — to vote for a carbon tax. Other countries are struggling to reinforce such a sustainable initiative.
Chile is even more of a ecotourism dream spot thanks to its diverse geography. Despite being quite skinny, the landscape varies from salty marshes to craggy glaciers. Visitors come for the mysterious Easter Island, the Patagonia, and the excellent ski resorts.
The urban explorers will love to explore Santiago, Serena, and Valparaiso. The first is lost in the snow-capped Andes mountains and is accessible via one of the best cable car rides in the world. Visiting Santiago is about tasting Pisco Sour and spicy shiraz wines. It is also about going on the trail of the famous artists like the poet Pablo Neruda. Serena and Valparaiso are coastal cities and popular destinations for beach-goers and leisure seekers.
1. Cabo Verde
Add this one on top of of your travel bucket list. There is a myriad of reasons to visit this gorgeous African archipelago — one of the first things to do is island-hopping. Every island has its own charms and attractions, from Boa Vista beaches to Sao Vicente’s vibrant music scene.
Many of the islands have mountainous regions, making them dream hiking destinations. Of course, these tropical islands also host all sorts of water activities, from kite surfing to canyoning to game fishing.
Better yet, Cabo Verde has a Brazilian feel thanks to its Portuguese heritage. Capirinhas, punches, and seafood dishes are just some of its many foodie attractions. All day long, Cabo Verde’s life is festive and filled with music, making it a true paradise on Earth.
But life hasn’t always been this sweet here — the islands have went through years of famines and other disasters. Still, it has managed to thrive as a ecotourism destination, and a rare bastion of democracy and good governance. A visit here is not only a constant daydream but also a positive impact on the changes underway.
Here is the top 5 ecotourism destinations to visit in 2015, but check out the Ethical Traveler’s site for the complete listing of dream places for green travelers. No doubt your travel budget will be well spent in any of these destinations.