Costa Rica, Kenya, The Northwest, Belize and Hawaii find themselves at the top of most ecotourism lists.
There's a recession on, and I am stuck in Los Angeles, dreaming of a green getaway. Although the beach is only a bus ride away for me, it is winter and quite cold for Southern California. (I am from the Midwest. I know what real cold is.) Anyhow, the best I can do in these mildly chilly and uncertain times is search the web, dreaming of an eco-touristy escape.
While surfing the internet, I came across quite a few lists about which places were the best ecotourism destinations. Instead of blogging about one of these lists, I surveyed the lists—there were seven—to see which ecotourism destinations came up most often. Therefore, each destination will have a ranking based on the amount of lists it appeared in. Sound like fun? It should. Not as fun as a vacation, however.
Costa Rica: 4 out of 7 Lists
What's not to like about Costa Rica? If you live in the Americas, you don't even have to fly there. You can travel overland to get to this vacation destination, reducing your carbon footprint. Costa Rica has exotic animals, rain forests, sandy beaches and a variety of green hotels. Oh yeah, I don't want to forget the hot springs.
Kenya 4 out of 7 Lists
If you live in the states, you're going to have to offset some carbon in order to make this trip truly green. Make sure to fly a green airline. Our new president has roots in Kenya. Besides the tie-in to current events, Kenya is a great place to see elephants, black rhinos and other African wildlife in their natural habitat. It's also a great place to interact with a culture that lives on the other side of the planet.
The Northwest-Alaska and Canada: 4 out of 7 Lists
That's right. I combined votes. Can I do that? Yes. Why? If you are traveling to the Northwest from the lower 48, you can visit the Canadian Northwest on your way to Alaska. Take a train or carpool in a hybrid. Alaska and Canada are overflowing with mountains and pristine wilderness. You can take a dog sled tour. Fish in an unpolluted lake and see moose and bear in their natural habitat without leaving the continent.
Belize: 3 out of 7 Lists Belize also has the advantage of being attached to a couple of major continents. It's closer than Costa Rica, so if you get tired of driving from the States to Costa Rica you can go to Belize instead. Haha. Joke. Belize is a great country for ecotourism. There are rain forests and incredible wildlife, everything you'd expect from a tropical Central American ecotourism destination. Hawaii: 3 out of 7 Lists Everybody likes Hawaii. It's an island. You'll have to come by plane or boat. Why not a green cruise ship? They exist. I checked them out while daydreaming about getting out of LA. Hawaii has plenty of pristine beaches. Watch Lost to see what I mean. Hawaii is part of the United States, so you don't need a passport. You can just go there and hang out and pay taxes. Hawaii seems touristy, but there is still plenty of wilderness and nature to interact with. Hawaii is composed of small islands. Some of those islands are uninhabited, ripe for ecotourism. Lehua, for example, is a bird sanctuary.