The Non-Existent Right or Wrong of How to Travel: Find Your Ideal Eco Tourism Trip

By Margo Millure

The Non-Existent Right or Wrong of How to Travel: Sasee Travel Safety Tips

Find Your Ideal Eco Tourism Trip

These days eco-friendly travel can mean far more than picking your towels up off the floor because a little card says to in your hotel room. Eco and sustainable travel are hot these days.

As more and more of the traveling population become aware of the importance of being good stewards of the earth, more options have become available. But when wanting to plan an eco-trip, how do you know what to really look for? And how do you avoid the potential pitfalls of choosing a business that’s just trying to take advantage of the trend?

Good sustainable travel businesses recycle and conserve water and energy. The best also have a cultural component, most often using local products and hiring local employees. Additionally they support community projects and preserve an area’s unique cultural heritage.

Start your research by taking a look at a businesses’ webpage. Look for accreditation from third party entities that support sustainable travel.

When considering your options keep in mind that sometimes (but not always) overhead at true eco-choices can be relatively high compared to the competition.

Here are a variety of suggestions from around the globe:

Castello di Spannocchia, Tuscany, Italy

spannocchia.com

Spannocchia is a unique integration of working organic farm, educational center, and option for sustainable travel. Located in the middle of Tuscany 12 miles west of Siena, it is an ideal base for anyone looking to explore the region. The Spannocchia Foundation supports educational programs as well as environmental conservation, and research. They are best known for their residential farm internship program that is focused on sustainable agriculture and Tuscan culture and history. Spannocchia offers various lodging options around the 1100 acre property and organic dining.

Concordia Eco Resort, St. John, USVI

concordiaeco-resort.com

The Concordia Eco Resort is a longstanding option in the Caribbean for sustainable travel, having been in existence since 1993. Located on St. John, the smallest of the United States Virgin Islands, the 51 acre resort exists in harmony with the island’s fragile coral reefs and ecosystems in an area protected by the National Park Service. The resort offers a true eco adventure, with minimal impact and maximum experience.

Rosalie Bay, Dominica

rosaliebay.com

Although only opened in 2011, Rosalie Bay has racked up some impressive endorsements as an eco-boutique and wellness resort. Set on the less populated east side of Dominica and just 45 minutes away from the capital, Roseau, Rosalie Bay features just 28 rooms, organic cuisine, a spa, personalized wellness programs and a black sand beach. Following the discovery of leatherback sea turtle nests on the property, the local resort owner established the first sea turtle protection efforts on Dominica.

Uncruise Adventures

un-cruise.com

As the name suggests, an “Uncruise” isn’t your typical cruise. With small vessel expedition cruises exploring Alaska, Hawaii, the Columbia and Snake Rivers, Coastal Washington and British Columbia, and the Sea of Cortés, the company offers enriching adventure travels that inspire an appreciation of the natural world as well as local cultures, while leaving minimal environmental impact. Various small ships and sailings cater to travel styles for everyone from families to adventurers to the luxury traveler.

Matava Resort, Fiji

matava.com

Who doesn’t like the sound of an unspoiled Fijian island? For a small island country, Fiji has been on the vanguard in their approach to sustainability and development. With an understanding that land health affects ocean health, and vice versa, their approach has been integrative. Featuring solar powered lighting and hot water, Matava on the remote island of Kadavu, offers everything you could want from an escape to a fantasy island. Stay in traditional thatched Bures and spend your days exploring marine reserves and volcanic rain forests.

Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Eco Lodge, Nicaragua

morgansrock.com

Located on a 4,000 acre expanse of jungle, nearly half of Morgan’s Rock is a government-protected reserve. The remainder of the property is set aside for low-impact agriculture and accommodations in fifteen bungalows. A short walk away is a mile long stretch of sandy beach. Morgan’s Rock offers a wide range of excursions and experiences, including surfing, catch and release fishing, volcano hiking, massages, and canopy tours. This option seems to cater particularly well to families.

Caiman Ecological Refuge, Brazil

caiman.com.br

Brazil is home to the world’s largest wetlands. In recent decades, these wetlands were rapidly becoming a definitely non-sustainable grazing area for the beef industry. In a turnaround that began over 20 years ago, the Caiman Ecological Refuge stepped in. Instead of having an agenda to put an end to ranching, they joined forces. They protect Brazil’s Pantanal region with a sustainable approach to ranching. The idea caught on with other ranches participating and now over 30 nature refuges protect these important wildlife corridors. Although they often cater to groups, they also offer individual stays at various villas and lodges located throughout the 132,000 acres.

A note about choosing an African safari

For many nothing comes to mind faster than an African safari when dreaming of an ideal eco trip. The good news is the options are many. Your best bet is to start with NationalGeographic.com for recommendations on how to begin choosing the eco-option that’s best for you.

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