Compared with the euro zone of Western Europe and some of the more summer tourist attractions in the United States, where economies are affecting the price of ecotourism services and price negotiations by consumers are relatively shunned, green travellers will be pleasantly surprised at how far their dollars will go in these nature and wildlife paradise areas.
These regions of the world have embraced the concept of ecotourism as a necessity not only for elevating their standard of living and conserving their natural and cultural heritage, but also providing a competitive edge in the travel industry.
Lastly, combine any of these trips with a frequent flyer mile reward seat and no foreign transaction fee credit card, and you have got yourself a smart green vacation value destination.
- Indonesia offers opportunities beyond the beaten path of Bali onto more remote beaches, such as those on the laid-back Lombok and the Gili Islands where you can snorkel the pristine waters of the islands or laze on Sengiggi’s beaches. Alternatively, Java Island boasts lively cities, lush rice terraces and active volcanoes. You can spot exotic wildlife in Pangandaran, soak up the cultural atmosphere in Yogyakarta, climb to the top of Mt. Bromo and relax on the beaches of Lovina.
- Morocco allows you to embark on an exotic camel safari through the desert dunes, sleep in Bedouin-style tents, or journey through the scenic Draa Valley as you watch the abundance of almond, date, orange, lemon and olive trees glide by. With luck, you can even learn how to bake fresh bread in the sand.
- Peru is a gem whether you visit the colonial city of Arequipa, travel to Paracas National Reserve (considered one of the most unique and richest ecosystems in the world) or explore the many islands of Lake Titicaca. Don’t miss visiting Cusco or taking the train to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. You can even stay at an authentic eco-lodge in the middle of the Amazon where you can spend your days in the rainforest learning about traditional medicinal plants, and spotting birds and forest animals such as giant river otters and the capybara, the world’s largest rodent!
- Belize is host to more than 87 distinct types of ecosystems, which make ecotourism and agriculture the lifeblood of its economy.The country is well known for its Mayan temples and tropical rainforests, and boasts the world’s second longest barrier reef. There are 150 identified species of mammals ranging from the jaguar to the howler monkey. Belize also can be counted on for great snorkeling and scuba diving where manatees, stingrays, sharks, dolphins, coral and turtles are easy to spot.
- Vietnam invites you to sail beautiful Halong Bay, view spectacular rice terraces, laugh during a traditional water puppet show in Hanoi, learn about rich emperors in Hue, and swim in the South China Sea. The natural, cultural and historical features of this country will not soon be forgotten.
Want more ideas? Read our original list of 5 Smart Green Family Vacations.