Ecotourism not only benefits the place and people you where you are visiting, it can also be incredibly rewarding on a personal level. I’ve long considered myself to be an ecotourist, and all of my favorite trips have involved wildlife, nature or some sort of ecotourism activity. Fortunately I’m not alone.
Here to inspire you further are some unexpected ecotourism destinations from top travel bloggers:
Arctic Dreams: The Polar Bears of Churchill – Cherina Hadley of Quiet Wanderings
The Gambia -Kathryn Burrington of Travel with Kat
“Each year thousands of tourists visit The Gambia. It may be the smallest country in mainland Africa but it has a big heart and is known as the smiling coast. Sadly, it is also one of the poorest countries. Many visitors fall in love with The Gambia and its people, returning regularly. Naturally they want to help those they meet. This is exactly what happened to me and my friends. My post ‘A week of song in the Gambia‘ shows how we, like many others, have tried to give something back to this very special little country.” Note: Kathryn’s work with Nyodema is so impressive that she won an AITO Responsible Tourism Award for her work. To the best of her knowledge it’s the only time they’ve awarded it to an individual rather than a company. So impressive and shows what one individual can accomplish!
Costa Rica – Christy Woodrow of Ordinary Traveler
“We wanted to experience nature on our trip to Costa Rica, so we booked a couple of nights at Tree Houses Hotel near La Fortuna. This is a unique Bed and Breakfast with only 6 tree houses (there were only 3 when we visited) on 8 acres, which is surrounded by a 70 acre wildlife refuge. These cabin-style houses are built high up in the trees, with a private porch and full bathroom. Taking a shower felt like I was in the middle of the jungle – with just a screen between me and the outdoors. It’s no surprise that Costa Rica has some unique ecotourism locations, but it was our first experience with this type of travel and we really enjoyed learning about how they can provide lodging and still be able to help conserve the surrounding environment”. Read more about Christy’s Pura Vida adventures in Costa Rica.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico – Jade Broadus of Vagabond3
“I was surprised to find a small company on Isla Mujeres, an island off the coast of Cancun, that is an excellent example of an unexpected location for ecotourism. La Tortugrania, a turtle sanctuary, helps rescue and re-release tens of thousands of sea turtles every year. In 2011, they released 67,000 sea turtles back in the wild. They also have a large albino sea turtle population that they rescue and keep in shaded areas since they would otherwise die in the sun without protection. For only 3 USD, the facility gives daily tours to help keep the operation running. It is definitely a must-do when in the Cancun area.” Read more about how Ecotourism is Saving the Turtles on Isla Mujeres.
Nature Reserves in Jordan – Bret Love of Green Global Travel
“Nothing we’d read prepared us for the surprising ecological diversityof Jordan. From the Mediterranean-like mountainous terrain of Ajloud and Dibeen Forest Reserves to the desert oasis of the Azraq Wetlands, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature has turned the Middle Eastern nation into an impressive ecotourism gem. Wishing we could return to see future projects such as the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve, which is set to open this year!” Read more about the Nature Reserves in Jordan.
So which ecotourism destination do you want to check out? I know that my bucket list just got a lot longer!