Top Green Travel Destinations for 2012

Attit Patel April 16, 2012 1

Isn’t our planet amazing?! The 4 billion plus years of the evolution have created so much diverse life and land on planet Earth. This list of some of the top green travel destinations for 2012 will allow you to see just a small glimpse of what is truly an incredible planet.

Botswana

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana, is located in Southern Africa. A land of wild tablelands, verdant grasslands, arid salt pans and the mighty Kalahari desert, landlocked Botswana is prime safari country. Wildebeest and antelope roam Botswana’s savannas, while the world’s largest inland delta, the Okavango, is home to everything from elephants to zebra and more birds than you can shake a camera at. With numerous parks and reserves, a Botswana safari is a natural choice for wildlife enthusiasts. If it’s the Africa of nature shows you’re looking for, this is the place.

What makes Botswana a green destination

Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) promotes best practice management systems across all tourism industry sectors with a view to facilitate tourism development that is environmentally sustainable. Botswana Tourism also ensures collaborative approach with relevant stakeholders both public and private to raise the profile of the organisation.

Galapagos Islands

Galapagos sea turtle swimming, photo by Attit Patel

The Galapagos is truly a magical place! The Islands are famous for a variety of unusual creatures, from marine iguanas to blue-footed boobies, and you’ll get closer to the wildlife than you would anywhere else in the world. The Galapagos Archipelago lies 600 miles off the coast of South America and is reached via a short flight from Quito, Ecuador. The isolation and late discovery by humans, along with a historical lack of predators has set the stage for a unique environmental experiment and developed into perhaps the greatest showcase for evolution to be witnessed anywhere. Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin – step aboard a Galapagos cruise and discover it for yourself!

What make the Galapagos a green destination?

For starters, in 1959, the Government of Ecuador declared all uninhabited areas of Galapagos a national park. That includes the marine areas of the Islands as well. Environmental education efforts on the Islands have helped their inhabitants understand the larger picture and need for conservation, and responsible tourism and enforced park guidelines help preserve the Galapagos for the future.

Belize

Ambergis Caye beach, Belize

Belize is an anomaly. Peaceful, democratic, English-speaking, it seems in many ways not to belong in Central America at all. And indeed, to an extent, it is more a Caribbean nation than a Latin one, looking out from the coast rather than inland for its trade and alliances. On the other hand it has plenty of distinctively Central American features as well. Above all, it offers a blend of cultures and races that includes Maya, Mestizo, African, European, and Asian. On a Belize vacation travellers will discover remarkable marine life, profuse jungle vegetation, ancient Mayan ruins, and above all, friendly and easy-going people. Belize is this and much more!

What makes Belize a green desination?

Tourism and ecotourism are among the most important industries in Belize, with thousands of Americans, Canadians and Europeans descending on this small land every year. Since declaring it’s independence in 1981, Belize has enacted many environmental protection laws aimed at the preservation of the country’s natural and cultural heritage, as well as its wealth of natural resources. These acts have established a number of different types of protected areas, with each category having its own set of regulations dictating public access, resource extraction, land use and ownership.

Costa Rica

Wild hummingbird, Costa Rica

An eco-tourist’s dream, Costa Rica has become synonymous with all an unspoiled tropical paradise can be. Rarely does reality measure up to hype, but Costa Rica certainly comes close. The country’s quiet history as a backwater free of colonial excesses has today become a boon, and Costa Rica has cashed in on its purity. And not without merit: blessed with beaches and biodiversity to spare, this is a verdant land of misty volcanoes, roaring rivers and screeching jungles teeming with exotic fauna. Throw in the friendly, educated Ticos (as Costa Ricans are known) and you can see why down here they call it “Pura Vida” – pure life.

What makes Costa Rica a green destination?

The Blue Flag Ecological Program which launched in 1996, awards the Blue Flag with One, Two, or Three Stars to indicate levels of environmental protection, conservation, and community involvement. Communities are awarded One Star for meeting 90% of the environmental protection criteria, Two Stars for meeting 100% of the criteria and contributing to reduction in pesticides within the watershed, and Three Stars for meeting the Two Star criteria and promoting social responsibility in the community and schools. This is the highest possible level of recognition for achieving ecological protection and sustainability in Costa Rica.

Norwegian Fjords

The stunning Norwegian Fjords

Norway’s Western Fjords defy superlatives: a cruise through landscapes like Sognefjord, spiked with waterfalls, the ice clear sky doubled in mirror-like water will leave you gobsmacked. And before you decide to write off winter, remember: here cross-country skiing isn’t a sport, it’s a way of life (oh and Telemark is a place). From traditional villages set in deep valleys to high mountain glaciers, this is a land any Viking could love.

What makes the Norwegian Fjords a green destination?

The Protected Landscape status safeguards their natural beauty, cultural interest and geology. The Nature Reserve designation safeguards smaller, more specific aspects, geological, floral and faunal. They are regulated by many national acts, covering buildings near the sea, open-air recreation, forest protection, traffic on uncultivated land and waters, land, wildlife, pollution, salmonid and freshwater fish and protection of watercourses from development.

One Comment »

  1. EJ Juen Jr April 17, 2012 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Attit, you have some great pictures here. My mind is blown away by your lone turtle shot with a very clear background. I’m planning to buy an underwater casing for my DSLR camera later and try great underwater shots like yours. Thanks for sharing. :)

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