It’s time to take action! Take this chance in the new year to change your bucket-list to a booked-list! With increased air routes and cheaper packages, here are 5 awesome ecotourism destinations to check off your bucket list! Put your dreams into reality!
1. GREAT BARRIER REEF, AUSTRALIA- Largest living thing
Source: Juanma Clemente-Alloza
For those who do not know, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on earth! It covers a 348,700 square kilometres of the coral sea. Unlike anywhere else on earth, the Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of marine species. It is also a natural barrier protecting Australia’s coast from tsunamis and other natural phenomena.
Snorkeling- Duck under the water and you will be transported into the magical world of the ocean. Snorkel in the reef where thousands of colourful fishes run amok.
Scuba diving- For the undaunted ones, why not go scuba diving? Go deeper and immerse yourself in the beauty, peace and calmness of the ocean. Be it amateur or certified divers, the Great Barrier Reef caters to all. For the entire 2300 km stretch, you find yourself swimming between colorful corals, sea anemones, Maori Wrasse, stingrays, sharks and diving wouldn’t be complete without a real-life finding Nemo moment!
Visit Green island- a 45 minutes ferry ride away. The island is a hotspot to a huge array of native plants and animals, a perfect eco hiking spot for nature lovers.
Whitehaven beach- Relax at the stunning shoreline of Whitehaven Beach where pristine white sand meets crystal clear waters. Sit back and relax on the sandy shore and this fairytale backdrop makes the perfect vacation shot that friends drool upon seeing.
Educational tour- Take a tour learn to about the ecosystem and how to protect it by being a responsible traveller. You can adopt a coral too!
Source: Coral Guardian
The coral reef is under the threat of bleaching, travel responsibly by not touching or removing any marine creatures. Dive at designated spots and bag your trash always!
2. MACHU PICCHU - The lost city of Peru
Source: Babak Fakhamzadeh
One of the world’s most spectacular archaeological sites, the breathtaking Inca city was built atop the Andes mountains in Peru during the Spanish occupation. In the Quechua language, Machu Picchu means “old peak”. Every piece of stone fitted perfectly with no mortar used and no one knows the exact purpose and cultural significance of Machu Picchu. Find out for yourself the theories formed.
Trekking- Trek the marked trails of Machu Picchu, Immerse in the tranquility and awe-inspiring mountains. While you trek, snap shots of the deft mountain-climbers - the llamas.
Image by Eduardo Ruiz from Pixabay
The Moray- Visit the Moray, the amphitheatre-arrangement of concentric terraces. A mysterious testing ground of ancient agriculture where the Incas tested the growth of different crops.
Source: pvdberg on Pixabay
Ollantaytambo village- Stopover at Ollantaytambo, where steep terraces are found guarding the fortress. Take an impressive sunrise view from the top and not forgetting to whizz through the shophouses at the square to pick a few handmade souvenirs from the locals!
Machu Picchu allows only a fixed number of travellers a day to protect the ruins so book your tickets early! Trek on marked trails and remember not to tarnish any flora along the way.
3. SOUTH TYROL, ITALY - Ski sustainably
Situated in the heart of the Dolomites UNESCO site in Italy is an eco-friendly ski resort. 98% of the area is powered by renewable energy and water used in snow generation comes from storage lakes. Hop onto the cable car to the resort and indulge in the snow-capped mountains along the way!
Skiing- Escape the crowd and ski at the Dolomites with uncrowded pistes retaining most of its natural charm.
Sledging- Go sledging and snowboarding for those who loves challenges.
Snow walk- Haven’t seen enough of the silvery snow? For a modest fee, rent a high-tech snow shoe and venture out to discover the region on foot. Join organised hikes through the enchanting snowy woods for a white hike.
The eco ski resort guarantees guests a CO2 neutral and eco-friendly holiday. With their new cable car built to ascend the peaks instead of cars, relax yourself in the beautiful pines without adding to the carbon footprint.
4. CARDAMOM MOUNTAINS - The hidden gem of Cambodia
Source: TripAdvisor @ Jerry Zhang
When we think about Cambodia, it’s always the historical bit, but is that really so? Nestled in the lush Cardamom mountains is the Chi Phat community-based ecotourism project. The mountain is a former stronghold of the Khmer Rouge regime, where the woods were exploited by soldiers for survival. Now, boasting a paradise for outdoor lovers, join in the trekking to learn more about this hidden part of Cambodia.
Trekking- Take a 3-days trek through the luscious greenery. Sleep in a hammock under the stars and learn local survival tricks!
Wildlife watching- For nature lovers, bring forth your best cameras and binoculars and be awed by the birds and wildlife present in the region.
Source: Cardamom Tented Camp
Cave exploring- To up the thrill, go cave-exploring and waterfall-spotting with a guide. If you are lucky, you might even spot the elephant herds!
Source: Pete Ford
The Cardamom mountains is one of the last remaining wild elephant corridors in Asia. Villagers now support themselves through ecotourism instead of animal trafficking. Having a memorable trip while knowing that it supports a community is amazing. Join in the big family with a big cause at the Cardamom mountains!
5. THE GALAPAGOS - The living museum
Definitely one of the most famous ecotourism spots in the world, the galapagos is often termed a “living museum”. These volcanic islands lie at the convergence of three major ocean currents, where you find the most unusual wildlife on earth! Though a little remote, it is accessible from Ecuador by flight. The wide array of ecotourism activities on the island will spoil you with choices and at the same time, allow you to explore the wildlife in a sustainable way.
Snorkeling- Snorkel and dive with hammerhead sharks, tropical fish, sea lions, sea turtles and even whale sharks!
Kayaking- Try kayaking in the clear waters and explore rocky outcroppings where the resident blue-footed boobies congregate.
Hiking- Hike up volcanoes with an unparalleled view of the natural landscape and catch sight of the birds. Watch out for the endemic iguanas along the way!
Source: Simon Matzinger
Spot the penguins- Where pink flamingos feed, try spotting the penguins frolicking in an ocean lagoon adjacent to the pond.
Source: Galapagos Conservation Trust
97% of the islands are protected national parks. The number of activities are limited for a sustainable environment. Visitors pay a fee which will fund important conservation efforts. Engage a certified naturalist on expeditions to unpopulated islands and learn about the ecology in an eco-friendly way.
Who said that travelling and having fun is destructive always? With the right information and knowledge about how to travel responsibly, you and I can play a part in sustainable travelling. Like these eco-friendly destinations? Pen them down and embark on your green trip. Make 2019 an extremely memorable green journey!
“The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.”
An avid globetrotter, exploring and learning continuously about the world. Every part of earth tells a unique tale, fueling the love for travelling and stories to be told.
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*Book by 3 March 2019. Terms and conditions apply.