Only the best ecotourism destinations in the world can show you how tourism should look like. With minimum or no impact on the environment, ecotourism needs to become more popular. It often involves visiting the most remote areas of the world where large chain hotels have no presence but where you can often immerse yourself in the true culture of a certain country. The following destinations offer thriving ecotourism possibilities.
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By definition, most municipalities in Greenland are perfect for ecotourism. In fact, there are no roads between the cities and the towns of Greenland and everything seems to be made in tune with nature. We recommend starting your visit to Nuuk and then planning one or multiple trips to remote log cabins in the country’s only forest or boat trips to see whales in their natural habitat.
You can enjoy your persona dogsled ride in parts of the country. Kayaking icy waters are also popular here even if locals don’t see it as a recreation method but more as a transportation method from one village to another since there are just a few roads around the country.
Northern India can be one of the best attractions if you love the idea of tourism with minimum impact. The food here is spectacular and the people are often seen as some of the friendliest in the world. Jalandhar and Ludhiana are good places to start. You can arrange to go further into neighboring villages here where you can live like a local for a few weeks. But you can even live with locals while in India.
Morroco is known for its desert camping options and these are seen as some of the best in the world. A bit more affordable than those in the Middle East, these camps are also made with minimum environmental impact.
For the best experience, we recommend private nomadic camping operators. You can sleep right on the dunes of Erg Sedrar and it shouldn’t take you long to get there either. This desert-based camping location is only 2 hours away from the closest city.
Bhutan offers an excellent example of viable public policies on ecotourism. You can only visit the country on a guided tour which means the number of tourists is limited. But even so, the country is known for its closed border policy for tourists and now is the best time to visit. You will eat and live with the locals as restaurants and hotels are almost inexistent here.
Iceland is a modern country with a rich history. But most of its towns and cities are small by Western standards and much of its tourism scene is actually based in villages and small municipalities. Ecotourism principles are seen across the country which uses its hot springs to heat homes. You can even take a bath outdoors in these hot springs any time of the year. One place that harvests the power of nature the best is the Blue Lagoon which attracts thousands of tourists every year.
Norway is another country investing time, energy, and money into conserving its nature. These boost ecotourism opportunities and you can still visit the country on your own, with a tent and backpack safely. It’s one of the cleanest countries in the world and many of its residents are thought about respecting nature from an early age at school. Geirangerfjord and its fjords are worth visiting if you like the idea of camping out on your own or with your partner.
One of the purest ecotourism activities you can plan in Norway is river rafting. You can rent your own kayak and pack your camping gear making your way through tranquil waters in the fjords. During the winter, dog sledding is the go-to option for the purest ecotourism in Norway.
4. New Zealand
New Zealand glamping options are found around the country. But given the small island is home to so many unique animals, it’s worth exploring for a few days or a few weeks with a minimum carbon footprint. You can visit the Banks Peninsula near Christchurch for a rustic experience. It’s also the spot you are most likely to see endangered Hector’s Dolphins.
3. Live the eco camping life in Portugal
If you want a top culinary experience, very good weather, top wines, and friendly people, you need to have Portugal on your list. This small country has an emerging ecotourism industry which means prices are low. You can reach it easily from any major airport in Europe or the US.
Minho do Maneio is an excellent Portuguese resort out in nature. It features multiple restored houses that are worth visiting. The more tourists the place gets, the more houses are restored and offered for accommodation.
Some churches in England lie empty, unfortunately. To save them from total decay, some of them have been turned to accommodation. This distinct side of ecotourism can simply be seen the best through policies such as the Churches Conservation Trust.
You can book a night in a church across England and Wales for yourself or for a small group through the Churches Conservation Trust. It offers one of the best options for saving buildings that are hundreds of years old and that have shaped the country as we know it today.
Rural guesthouses are found in Romania, specifically in Transylvania. The entire region is known for its ecotourism activities, accommodation, and events. There’s even a new clay castle attracting tourists from all over Europe.
But Maramures is one of the top National Geographic ecotourism destinations where you can live like the locals and even get into agriculture using the same techniques that were the root of growing vegetables hundreds of years ago. Cycling mountain routes is also possible here. Most ecotourism accommodation homes in Maramures are wooden made. They were made in the 18th and 19th century and most have been repurposed for tourists.