Sustainable travel, eco travel, ecotourism, responsible travel…no matter what you call it, this travel trend is only growing in popularity. This type of travel supports the management of resources so that economic, social and aesthetic needs are fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. Basically, it's choosing suppliers and destinations with environmentally-focused practices. From Costa Rica to the Maldives, see where eco travel can take you!
El Mangroove, Autograph Collection - Guanacaste
In 2015, this hotel earned the highest ranking of a level 5 from the Certification for Sustainable Tourism program. Their sustainable practices include water-efficient faucets, dual-flush toilets, irrigation water treated on-site and LED and fluorescent lightning. Most food products are organic and local and the wood of trees that were cut down during the hotel's construction were recycled into furniture and mirror frames.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge - Monteverde
This ecolodge declares that it is "all about 'GO-GREEN,' meaning it's environment-friendly and nature-friendly and has minimal or no harm on its ecosystems or the environment." It does not use any chemical products and instead uses organic and biodegradable products that don't have a negative impact on the environment. It also has a waste center that is used to recycle solid waste like plastics, tin cans, paper waste and glass to do its part to fight climate change.
Grand Palladium White Sands - Cancun
The Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa is a luxury eco-hotel that has won a global certification of sustainable tourism by EarthCheck for adhering to the highest standards of environmental conservation and the Travelife Gold Award, an international sustainability certification.
Sandos Caracol - Riviera Maya
The resort was built around a natural ecosystem and its dedication to low impact on its environment means the monkeys and tropical birds are right outside the door. Guests are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the region's unbelievable natural beauty while learning about the local landscapes and wildlife.
Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa
For a vacation that's closer to home, look beyond Mexico and consider eco-friendly Nicaragua. The Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa resort has made a name for itself for its top-of-the-line wellness program along with its attentive customer service. Mukul is also committed to aiding its community with local furnishings and decorations appointing each of the property's 37 guest rooms. The resort also prides itself on its sustainability initiatives. The immaculate golf course, for example, was built around the landscape, and the hotel was built with the use of rainwater catchments and timber from sustainable forests.
Jade Mountain's commitment to eco-friendly practices began before the resort opened. The resort was hand-built by locals from the island's Soufriere community and incorporates recycled products. The elaborate and lavish plunge pools were built from recycled glass tiles that give each suite its own identity and electricity. What's more, each room is outfitted with sustainable features and boasts only has three walls with views of the Piton Mountains and the Caribbean.
Taj Exotica Resort and Spa - Maldives
The Taj Exotica Resort and Spa almost has to consider the environment first, based on the delicate ecosystem of the Maldives that it's located in. The resort recently installed a more efficient water heating system to reduce the use of fuel, a rainwater retention system and garden beds with succulents like jade trees and sea hibiscus that reduce the need for daily watering. All of these efforts make "green" the essence of this resort.
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru - Maldives
Another beautiful resort in the Maldives, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru has a marine conservation lab that regularly conducts research on coral biology and ecology as well as green sea turtle conservation. Resort guests can join in-house divers to assist in coral reef and species inventory checks, and also sponsor their own coral gardens.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
For a sustainable resort set in paradise, travel to the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji. Named and modeled after famous conservationist and ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, the resort has the first-ever water reclamation plant, low-flow showerheads, efficient toilets and a comprehensive recycling program. Even the brochures are printed on recycled paper and use soy-based inks. Aside from its wealth of amenities and practices focused on sustainability, the resort provides one of the best dive programs in the world, candlelit dinners on the beach and other one-of-a-kind experiences.
Tioman Island is a sacred place for divers, but it's also a haven for eco-minded travelers. Japamala Resort transports visitors to their part of their world, while also providing them with the best Malaysia has to offer. It rivals any luxury resort you would find in the Maldives –without the high crowds. What's more, Japamala was built without disrupting the land around it. Even rocks were carefully avoided. The wood accents on display throughout the resort were salvaged from dilapidated houses in the nearby villages, and though the resort touts its property as "Rustic Luxe," it doesn't compromise on high-quality guest experiences or an impeccable attention to detail.
Have you visited one of these resorts or another eco friendly resort not listed? Leave a comment if you have!
Until next time!