Explore the world, and do so without having a negative impact on the ecosystems and cultures that you have come to experience and admire. Eco tourism generates much-needed revenue to preserve beautiful sites around the world and help them thrive, while minimizing the downsides associated with conventional tourism, like pollution. Here are 11 adventurous tours and trips that you can take, whether you’re a hardy hiker or a family with young children, from the peaks of Alaska to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Costa Rica Expeditions
Recommended by National Geographic and The New York Times, Costa Rica Expeditions offers a range of tours through the mountains, tropical rain forests and the coasts, with stay sin eco-friendly lodges. Costa Rica Expeditions has been honored by Travel & Leisure Magazine for pioneering successful, responsible ecotourism in a nation where greenwashing is not uncommon. These tours are all about appreciating nature and culture without having a harmful effect upon them.
Journey to Antarctica Expedition
Feel like an explorer on an expedition to Antarctica aboard the world’s ultimate expedition ship, National Geographic Explorer. The Antarctica expedition will take you on hikes through penguin-dotted, snowy wilderness, and kayaking around ice floes in quiet coves.
Galapagos Islands Family Voyage
Fit for the whole family, GeoEx’s Galapagos Islands Family Voyage is even timed to school vacations to make sure everyone can go. Travelers voyage from one island to the next aboard the 48-passenger La Pinta ship, go on naturalist-led walks, kayak among penguins, hike with lava lizards and snorkel with sea lions.
Australia Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive
Certified by ECO Tourism Australia, Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive trips take you on both day and overnight water-based adventures to world-renowned locations like the Great Barrier Reef. On overnight trips, you’ll have your own private air-conditioned cabin on a live-aboard dive boat with a large dive deck and a maximum of just 21 passengers.
Rainforest Expedition, Brazil
Explore the world biosphere reserve of the Atlantic rainforest on Brazil EcoJourney’s Rainforest Expedition. You’ll trek through trails led by a certified naturalist guide, stop to take a dip in waterfalls and refreshing pools, go on guided kayak trips through mangroves, take in a dazzling array of wildlife and even take a night trip to a platform in the forest for nocturnal wildlife observation.
Alaska Alpine Adventures Backpacking Tour
What better way to see Alaska’s absolutely jaw-dropping natural scenery than on foot? The hardest thing about taking a tour with Alaska Alpine Adventures will be choosing which one to do. Choices include a 12-day backpacking and hiking adventure through the Arrigetch Peaks region, a 10-day trip through Denali National Park and backpacking through the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Katmai National Park.
India: Land of the Tiger Tour
Terra Incognita Ecotours offers an intimate tour of two famed tiger habitats in India – Corbett National Park, and Bandhavgarh National Park. In a group of no more than eight people, you’ll get up close and personal with India’s wildlife, traveling across the country on trains and in open-top jeeps and staying in eco-friendly lodges. Part of the proceeds go to World Wildlife Fund – India, and the tour benefits the local community by employing local people, using locally-owned and operated lodges and outfitters, and other local goods and services.
Karen Blixen Camp Masai Tour, Kenya
Watch thousands of wildebeests and zebras cross the Mara River in Kenya during the migration season, fly above the savannah in a hot air balloon, take a nature walk and engage with the Maasai people at Karen Blixen Camp, an eco-tourism destination in Kenya. The camp uses the latest green technologies to maintain a light footprint on the earth, including solar power, and has fundraised 2 million dollars for the local Maasai community and conservation of the wildlife area.
Eco Trek Peru Machu Picchu Tour
Discover the wonders of ancient Incan civilization, backpack through the Andes, take a cross-country mountain biking trip or enjoy Peru’s modern-day culture on an Eco Trek Peru tour. These intimate and environmentally friendly tours encourage active and rewarding interaction with the environment, whether you choose to embark on a physically demanding, athletic trek or a more laid-back experience.
Wild Iceland Tour
Wild Iceland’s mission statement is simply, “Nature is the adventure.” The company focuses on environmentally friendly trekking trips through this breathtaking nation’s highlands and coasts that don’t havoc an effect on nature. In a nation where electricity is already renewable and fresh, clean water is readily available, it’s easy to do – and any incidental carbon emissions are counteracted through the Icelandic Carbon Fund.
North Shore Huaka’i Mauka Hiking Adventure, Hawaii
Get an authentic Hawaiian experience that’s respectful of this cherished land and its people. North Shore offers a number of tours that benefit the local economy and strengthen Hawaii’s cultural identity, while maintaining a light footprint on the land. Go on a hiking adventure through lush tropical valleys, stopping to swim in pristine mountain pools, or choose an off-road tour, all on privately owned land.