Eco-friendly, responsible travel is a trending topic for today’s travelers.
So, what are some of the top destinations to travel to for those wanting to travel responsibly?
Costa Rica has always been a top choice. After all, the country practically pioneered eco-lodge travel, and incorporates sustainable, energy efficient concepts into their tourist infrastructure.
Costa Rica is a spectacular place to visit – but it’s not for everybody. Accommodations are widely varied, and activities heavily favor the “outdoor adventure” thrill-seekers.
So let’s take a closer look at some other, perhaps surprising, top destinations for sustainable travel. Here’s our top 5!
For a completely opposite landscape from Costa Rica, head away from the rainforest and into the Alps. Switzerland stays out of world conflicts but is anything but neutral when it comes to eco-conscious tourism.
The country has been recognized as a world leader in deploying solar power technology. Many of Switzerland’s hotels and ski lifts are 90% solar powered! The world’s first solar powered ski lift can be found in the town of Tenna. And of course, Switzerland is also famous for its public transportation – particularly the many old fashioned cog railways through its famous mountains.
If you’re looking for warm beaches and tons of outdoor activities, Cuba’s historically tight grip on tourism has helped to preserve their beautiful beaches and outdoor attractions. But time is running out, as Cuba faces unique challenges due to a recent influx of tourists.
Now, technically, there still many international restrictions on visits to Cuba. So just lounging on a pristine Cuban beach with a mojito (legally that is) might still be out of reach for some. And these limitations mean that the country still has a little bit of time to prioritize ensuring the protection of its natural landscapes.
But there’s never been a better time to get there if you can.
Thailand has faced scrutiny in the area of responsible tourism in recent years. Especially when it comes to animal welfare. However, the country has made a strong effort to come back from this.
In addition to preserving and protecting its many beautiful parks, beaches, and rainforests, Thailand is home to many rehabilitation centers for wildlife; this is especially true for their majestic elephants. You still need to be careful when booking a visit to one of these centers on your travels – make sure you do thorough research. But the majority are on the up-and-up. Traveling with a reputable tour company will help ensure your tourism dollars go to the right eco-friendly establishments.
Similar to Costa Rica, the very fabric of Iceland’s culture possesses an appreciation and value for the landscape. It’s not a tourism gimmick here. The locals are fiercely protective and respectful of their land.
This has led to the unspoiled natural beauty being preserved by very little signage, unpaved carparks and paths, and minimal manmade safety infrastructure, such as hand railings. Travelers to Iceland are expected to adhere to paths and respect camping restrictions. Visiting Iceland on a tour is one of the best ways to ensure you see as much of the country as possible, while also being respectful of your surroundings.
One of the more under the radar Balkan states, Slovenia is a must visit for eco-friendly travelers. The country is incredibly green – and not just because of its amazing forests. Capital city Ljubljana was named the “Green Capital of the World” in 2016. This honor was bestowed for multiple reasons, including innovative recycling systems, and absolutely no traffic; electric taxis and free public bikes are heavily utilized.
Slovenians are outdoorsy and active. Besides taking advantage of the many hiking and camping opportunities, tourists wanting an authentic glimpse into local life can stay overnight on farms scattered throughout the countryside.