There are numerous ecotourism destinations around the world that offer a unique and sustainable travel experience. In this post, we will explore the best ecotourism destinations that you should add to your travel list.
In addition to these popular ecotourism destinations, there are many other hidden gems around the world.
When choosing an ecotourism destination, it is important to do your research and choose a tour operator that is committed to sustainable practices.
Best Ecotourism Destinations
- Costa Rica
- Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
- New Zealand
Costa Rica is a leader in ecotourism, with a commitment to sustainability and conservation. The country has a diverse landscape of pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and volcanoes, making it a top destination for nature lovers.
Costa Rica’s remarkable biodiversity is a key attraction for ecotourists.
Despite its small size, this nation is home to nearly 6% of the world’s biodiversity.
Visitors can explore the country’s many national parks, including the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and Tortuguero National Park, and take part in activities such as zip-lining, bird watching, and wildlife spotting.
Costa Rica is also known for its commitment to sustainable practices such as organic farming, renewable energy, and eco-lodges.
Things to do
Costa Rica offers an array of thrilling activities for adventure seekers, all while maintaining a deep respect for the environment.
The country is a zip-lining paradise, with numerous canopy tours that allow visitors to soar through the treetops while enjoying breathtaking views.
Costa Rica’s pristine rivers provide the perfect backdrop for white-water rafting adventures. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, there are options for all skill levels.
Nature enthusiasts will be in their element here, with opportunities to spot toucans, sloths, howler monkeys, and more. Nature guid
Where to Stay
Place: Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa
Location: Calle La Angostura, Ruta 32, Guácimo, Limon, 70601
Cost – Rooms start at $230/night – Depending on time of year
Situated in Guácimo, Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa is nestled within a rustic mountainous region.
Travelers seeking to expand their horizons can also consider visiting Earth University and Centro America Autonomous University, both highly recommended destinations in the vicinity.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are a unique and diverse destination known for their wildlife, including giant tortoises, sea lions, marine iguanas, and a variety of bird species.
The islands are also home to unique flora and fauna that can only be found in this region.
Visitors can learn about conservation efforts on the islands and take part in eco-friendly activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and wildlife watching.
The Galapagos Islands are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.
Things to do
Snorkeling and Hiking
The Galapagos Islands are home to an incredible diversity of marine life, including sea turtles, sharks, rays, marine iguanas, and sea lions.
Snorkeling and hiking are two of the best ways to experience this amazing underwater world. There are many different dive sites to choose from, ranging from private lands, shallow reefs to deep walls and drop-offs.
Cabo Rosa Hiking & Snorkeling Tour from Isabela – Book on Viator
Day Tour to San Cristobal Island with Tour and Snorkeling – Book on Viator
Visit Tortuga Bay
Tortuga Bay is a beautiful beach located on Santa Cruz Island. It is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and wildlife spotting. You can often see marine iguanas, sea turtles, and sea lions basking in the sun on the rocks.
There are also several walking trails that wind through the mangroves and lava fields.
Private Charles Darwin Station Tour & Tortuga Bay Beach – Book on Viator
Where to Stay
Place: Galapagos Cabañas Eden
Location: Vía Salasaca, ingreso por avícola Karen, Santa Rosa, 200106 Bellavista, Ecuador
Cost – Rooms start at $165/night – Depending on time of year
Located in Bellavista, Galapagos Cabañas Eden offers accommodation with balconies or patios, providing guests with complimentary WiFi and flat-screen TVs.
The property also features a garden and a shared lounge.
All units are equipped with private bathrooms, including showers, as well as complimentary toiletries and hairdryers.
Guests can enjoy a daily American breakfast at the lodge. Additionally, Galapagos Cabañas Eden offers a bicycle rental service, and guests can explore nearby hiking trails.
The accommodation is situated 13 miles from Tortuga Bay. The nearest airport, San Cristóbal, is located 64 miles away from Galapagos Cabañas Eden, and the property provides a paid airport shuttle service.
Norway is a top destination for nature lovers, with its stunning fjords, glaciers, and mountains. The country has a strong commitment to sustainability, with a focus on renewable energy, electric cars, and green infrastructure.
Visitors can hike, kayak, or take a cruise through the country’s pristine wilderness areas and learn about sustainable practices such as hydropower and electric cars.
Norway is also home to numerous national parks, including Jotunheimen and Rondane, making it an ideal destination for ecotourists.
Things to do
Travelers can experience the tranquility of a Norwegian fjord during their trip to Oslo with a silent cruise down the Oslo Fjord. On this cruise, passengers can glide along the calm, deep waters while observing the wildlife and natural landscapes that adorn both sides of the fjord, including the sight of islands.
This tour is particularly appealing to nature enthusiasts and those fascinated by the Norwegian fjords. It’s especially suitable for children and caters to all age groups.
The cruise offers a fully immersive experience, featuring floor-length panoramic windows on-board that provide uninterrupted views of the fjord during the journey. Passengers have the option to stay inside the cozy interior of the boat or enjoy the scenic vistas from the outside deck.
Tour with Citizen Science in Tromso
Joining the small-group Aurora hunt offers individuals the opportunity for an ethical experience while pursuing the mesmerizing Aurora Borealis.
The guide leading the expedition relies on weather forecasts and local expertise to determine the optimal location for chasing the Northern Lights.
Once the ideal spot is identified, the group will be equipped with warm thermal suits and boots and will gather around a cozy campfire to savor a homemade meal.
During the Aurora Hunt activity, the guide will capture photographs of the participants, which will be provided for free in web-sized resolution after the tour. Additionally, data will be collected for a citizen science project.
Participants will be guided through a scientific methodology to gather data that will contribute to the preservation of the precious tundra ecosystem.
Where to Stay
Place: Rondane River Lodge – Rondane Gjestegård
Location: Rondeveien 34, 2477 Enden, Norway
Cost – Rooms start at $150/night – Depending on time of year
Nestled adjacent to the picturesque Rondane National Park, the mountain inn offers an in-house restaurant and individually decorated rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi access. The village of Ringebu is located 25 miles away.
All guest rooms at Rondane River Lodge – Rondane Gjestegård feature wooden flooring and provide enchanting views of the surrounding natural beauty. Each room boasts a private bathroom equipped with a shower, hairdryer, and complimentary toiletries.
The in-house café and restaurant serve homemade dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients. Guests can start their day with a delightful breakfast, and packed lunches are available for those on the go.
Rondane River Lodge – Rondane Gjestegård also offers a small library and a lounge with a fireplace, providing a cozy atmosphere for relaxation. The area offers a range of popular activities, including hiking, fishing, and cross-country skiing.
Conveniently situated right next to the inn is the Rondane National Tourist Road, while the baroque-style 18th-century Sollia Church is located 6.8 miles away.
Kenya is a popular destination for ecotourists, with its vast savannahs, diverse wildlife, and cultural heritage.
Visitors can go on safari in national parks such as the Maasai Mara and Amboseli and learn about sustainable practices such as community-based conservation and wildlife management.
Kenya is also home to numerous eco-lodges and sustainable tourism initiatives, making it a must-visit destination for responsible travelers.
Things to do
Coffee Farm Village
Embark on an extraordinary tour that reveals a distinct facet of Kenya, known for its significant contribution to the nation’s economy—Kenyan coffee, often referred to as the country’s black gold.
Within the tranquil ambiance of a coffee farm estate, visitors have the opportunity to delve into the intricate journey coffee beans undertake before reaching their cups.
Surrounded by verdant landscapes, enriched by captivating views, and invigorated by the crisp country air, guests can indulge in the pleasure of savoring a delicious cup of coffee to complete this immersive experience.
Shimba Hills National Reserve Tour
Travelers can explore the wildlife, culture, and picturesque landscapes of Shimba Hills National Reserve on a comprehensive full-day tour from Mombasa, which includes entrance fees and lunch. This excursion, featuring a morning game drive, offers a multifaceted experience.
Visitors will have the opportunity to visit a Digo village, embark on a hike to a secluded backcountry waterfall with a refreshing swimming hole, and observe elephants from the vantage point of a hilltop camp.
The package covers a full-day tour of Shimba Hills National Reserve, complete with a Digo village visit, waterfall hike, morning game drive, and a satisfying lunch served at a safari camp.
The tour also includes entrance fees and return transportation for added convenience.
Where to Stay
Place: The Drexel House Kenya
Location: Karen end Rhino Gardens, Karen, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Cost – Rooms start at $175/night – Depending on time of year
Situated 12 miles away from Kenyatta International Conference Centre, The Drexel House Kenya offers a range of accommodations with enticing amenities, including an infinity pool, a well-tended garden, and a 24-hour front desk for the convenience of its guests.
Certain units at the property boast features such as a terrace or a patio, offering picturesque views of either the pool or the garden.
Guests can start their day with a satisfying breakfast; the options include a continental spread, a full English/Irish breakfast, or an American breakfast, served each morning at the property.
The chalet also houses a restaurant that specializes in American, international, and European cuisine.
For those seeking relaxation and wellness, the chalet provides spa and wellness facilities, which include a hot tub and a public bath.
Other conveniences offered during the stay at The Drexel House Kenya encompass a business center, complimentary Wi-Fi access, daily room service, and complimentary private parking.
Furthermore, guests can take advantage of the bicycle rental and car rental services provided by The Drexel House Kenya, allowing for enjoyable cycling adventures in the nearby surroundings.
Noteworthy attractions in the vicinity include Nairobi National Museum, located 13 miles away, and Ngong Racecourse, which is approximately 6.7 miles from the chalet.
Travelers arriving by air can access the property conveniently from Wilson Airport, situated 11 miles away, with the option of availing the paid airport shuttle service.
With its geothermal pools, glaciers, and volcanic landscapes, Iceland is a unique and sustainable travel destination.
Visitors can go on guided tours of the country’s natural wonders, including the Golden Circle and Vatnajökull National Park, and learn about renewable energy sources such as geothermal power.
Things to do
Southern Coast, Waterfalls & Black Beach
Travelers are invited to embark on an immersive journey along Iceland’s southern coast with a full-day tour from Reykjavik. This adventure promises to showcase the beauty of the region, including renowned landmarks like Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Hekla, Eyjafjallajokull, and the Westman Islands.
Additionally, guests will have the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll along the black-sand beach, Reynisfjara.
Convenience is paramount, as the tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off services, as well as a meticulously planned itinerary that eliminates the need for extensive day-planning. Highlights of this excursion encompass:
- A comprehensive tour of Iceland’s southern coast originating from Reykjavik.
- An enjoyable walk along the striking black-sand shores of Reynisfjara.
- The chance to witness the breathtaking Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls.
- Glimpses of Iceland’s impressive Hekla and Eyjafjallajokull volcanoes.
- An exploration of the Westman Islands, a volcanic archipelago dramatically rising from the ocean along the coast.
With the added convenience of hotel pickup and drop-off, this tour offers a seamless and memorable experience along Iceland’s captivating southern coastline.
Geological Golden-Circle Tour
Guests can delve into the fascinating world of Iceland’s geology through a small-group tour departing from Reykjavik. Accompanied by an expert geologist guide, participants will embark on a journey to explore some of the nation’s most intriguing geological wonders.
Key destinations on this educational tour include Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Strokkur, the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall, and the captivating Kerid Crater.
Throughout the excursion, guests will gain valuable insights into the realms of geology and geothermal energy.
The tour offers the following advantages:
- The opportunity to explore natural wonders under the guidance of a knowledgeable geologist.
- Inclusive round-trip transportation from Reykjavik, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
- Comfortable travel facilitated by a heated and air-conditioned vehicle.
- Small group sizes limited to six guests, fostering an intimate and personalized trip for all participants.
Where to Stay
Place: Hestasport Cottages
Location: Vegamót, 560 Varmahlid, Iceland
Cost – Rooms start at $200/night – Depending on time of year
Hestasport Cottages is situated near a geothermal hot pot, just 0.6 miles outside the village of Varmahlíd. This accommodation option provides modern, self-catering lodgings equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi, full kitchen facilities, and a patio for the comfort of its guests.
The cozy wooden cottages available at Hestasport come with amenities such as microwaves, tea/coffee makers, fridges, dining tables, and sofas, ensuring a convenient stay. Each cottage also features a private bathroom complete with a shower.
For those seeking relaxation and immersion in nature, the communal outdoor hot tub, heated by natural geothermal sources, offers an ideal evening respite.
Additionally, Hestasport Cottages can assist in arranging Icelandic horse riding tours and white water rafting trips for adventurous guests.
Convenience is further enhanced by the proximity of a supermarket, petrol station, and tourist office, all reachable within a 2-minute drive from Hestasport’s cottages.
Known for its stunning scenery and commitment to sustainable tourism, New Zealand is a top ecotourism destination.
Visitors can explore the country’s many national parks, including Fiordland and Abel Tasman, and take part in activities such as hiking, kayaking, and wildlife spotting.
Things to do
2-Hour Eco Wildlife Tour
Zealandia stands as the world’s premier fully fenced urban eco-sanctuary, harboring an array of New Zealand’s exceptional wildlife.
Within this sanctuary, a captivating 2-hour guided walking tour awaits, offering an introduction to an array of native birds, including kakariki, tui, and bellbirds, as well as rare species such as takahē, and unique reptiles like the green gecko and tuatara.
The tour price encompasses entrance fees.
Key highlights of the 2-hour guided tour of Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellington include:
- An exploration of the extensive wetlands within the Zealandia eco-sanctuary through a leisurely walking tour.
- The opportunity to spot and learn about rare and endangered avian species, including takahē, tui, and kākā.
- Enriching insights into New Zealand’s native wildlife, delivered by an expert guide.
- A small-group setting, with tour sizes limited to 10 individuals, ensuring a personalized and immersive experience for all participants.
Coast and Rainforest Eco-Tour
On this North Island day trip departing from Auckland, travelers have the opportunity to witness the unspoiled splendor of New Zealand’s west coast.
Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, guests journey to the Waitakere Ranges, where they make a stop at the Arataki Visitor Centre overlook. Here, they can marvel at panoramic vistas that extend from the Tasman Sea to the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
The tour also includes a visit to view traditional Maori carvings, followed by a guided rainforest walk through the lush wilderness.
Moreover, participants get to explore the realm of giant kauri trees and soak in the breathtaking beauty of one of the area’s magnificent black sand beaches.
This tour offers a range of highlights:
- A scenic and leisurely full-day excursion to New Zealand’s rugged west coast from Auckland.
- The chance to relish sweeping views spanning from the Tasman Sea to the expansive Pacific Ocean.
- A delightful picnic lunch provided as part of the tour.
- An opportunity to visit the Arataki Centre, serving as the gateway to the Waitakere Ranges.
- A glimpse of traditional Maori carvings, enriching the cultural experience.
- Convenient hotel pickup and drop-off services available for travelers originating from Auckland.
Where to say
Place: Ross Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park
Location: 145 Ross Beach Road, 7812 Ross, New Zealand
Cost – Rooms start at $140/night – Depending on time of year
Ross Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, situated in Ross and positioned 14 miles south of Hokitika, graces one of the world’s most stunning and rugged coastlines. This beachfront property offers limited WiFi coverage across its premises.
Spread over 6 meticulously landscaped acres, the holiday park, inaugurated in 2017, features an array of spacious converted shipping containers, which serve as sleeping pods. Each container boasts its own unique design.
Among the available accommodations are the Maxi Apartment and Tui Studio Pods, which are fully self-contained and provide full access to communal amenities.
These communal facilities encompass a camp kitchen, toilet and shower facilities, as well as a guest laundry.
For travelers seeking to embark on the West Coast Wilderness Trail by bicycle, the property conveniently lies just 656 feet from the trail’s start/finish point.
Additionally, secure indoor storage facilities are offered for both bicycles and luggage, enhancing the convenience of guests’ cycling adventures.
With its ancient ruins, diverse ecosystems, and cultural heritage, Peru is a unique and sustainable travel destination.
Visitors can explore the country’s many national parks, including Manu and Huascarán, and learn about sustainable practices such as community-based tourism and responsible mining.
Things to do
Humantay Lagoon Day Trip
On this day trip to Humantay Lake from Cusco, travelers can embark on an early start with the assurance that their guide will oversee all logistical arrangements, alleviating any concerns. The tour includes breakfast and lunch provisions for added convenience.
Participants will undertake a trek spanning approximately 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) through the Andes, affording breathtaking vistas of the Apurimac River and Humantay Lake, all while gaining insights into Inca history from their knowledgeable guide.
The journey also offers opportunities to explore the Rainbow Mountains and to keep an eye out for the majestic condor, a native species to the region.
As the trekking portion concludes, guests can savor a chicha drink, which may be either fermented or unfermented. The tour includes round-trip transportation to and from Cusco, ensuring seamless and hassle-free travel arrangements.
Rainbow Mountain Day Tour
Travelers can embark on a captivating journey to explore the awe-inspiring landscapes of Peru’s renowned Vinicunca, famously referred to as “Rainbow Mountain.”
This small-group tour departing from Cusco ensures a seamless and memorable experience, offering comprehensive inclusions such as hotel pickup, breakfast, lunch, and even the provision of oxygen if needed.
Key highlights of this small-group tour of Rainbow Mountain include:
- An opportunity to spend a full day immersed in the stunning landscapes of Peru’s Rainbow Mountain.
- A small-group setting with a maximum of 15 participants, ensuring a personalized and intimate experience for all.
- Convenient hotel pickup and drop-off services based in Cusco, eliminating transportation hassles.
- The provision of breakfast and lunch, removing the need for guests to prepare their own meals.
This tour offers an enriching and hassle-free way to discover the breathtaking beauty of Rainbow Mountain and its surroundings.
Where to Stay
Place: Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs
Location: Fundo Puye, Yanque, Peru
Cost – Rooms start at $175/night – Depending on time of year
The resort, known as Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs, boasts an extensive array of spa services, grants access to rejuvenating thermal baths, and presents guests with three gourmet dining options. It’s situated amidst lush gardens, and each room provides scenic garden views.
The resort is conveniently located approximately a 3-hour drive from Arequipa, and private parking is available at no cost.
Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs offers a variety of activities to its guests. Visitors can opt for horse-riding excursions through the picturesque Colca Valley or simply relax on the ample sun loungers within the garden. Basic internet satellite service can be accessed at the front desk.
The rooms within the resort exude a warm and inviting ambiance, featuring elements like parquet floors, rugs, stenciled walls, and adorned wood paneling. Some rooms even offer private access to thermal waters, complete with amenities such as fireplaces and mini-bars.
Guests can start their day with a delectable buffet breakfast that includes regional jams and tropical fruits. The main restaurant, characterized by rustic decor, offers a cozy dining experience.
Additionally, Puye Restaurant serves Alpandina cuisine, while the BBQ bar showcases characteristic Peruvian specialties alongside the serene Colca River.
For added convenience, the lodge ensures 24-hour front desk assistance to cater to guests’ needs. Arequipa Airport is approximately 95 miles away from the resort.
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