Stride climate

Eco, Sustainable & Green Travel - Best Tours & Trips 2019

1,290 trips to Eco, Sustainable & Green Travel tours from 113 tour companies. 396 reviews. 4.9/5 avg rating.
Through embracing this new and (fortunately) increasingly popular type of travel, we can make a real difference to tourism worldwide and its impact. As people that enjoy travel, we are the ideal ambassadors to promote the benefits that travel and tourism can bring: through education, understanding, bringing revenue to in-need parts of the world, and through personal growth too. Read more about how your travels can make a differen ... Read More
All Eco, Sustainable & Green tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 0 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Stride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more

Impacted by Climate Change

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Patagonia EcoCamp tour
Small Group Tour
Popular
Stride climate
This trip visits a destination that is affected by climate change

Patagonia EcoCamp

ROW Adventures
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 606 / day
$ 4,849
From : $ 5,964
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Kayaking through fields of luminescent blue icebergs
  • Trekking along sinuous mountain ridges through Torres del Paine National Park
  • Conquering Ascencio Valley and gazing up from the base of Las Torres
  • Paddling Serrano River and Patagonian fjords, passing by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field
Visits:
Patagonia, Punta Arenas, Torres del Paine National Park, Argentina
View Trip
The Amazon & Machu Picchu tour
Private Guided
Stride climate
This trip visits a destination that is affected by climate change

The Amazon & Machu Picchu

Kuoda Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
10 days
$ 484 / day
$ 4,840
From : $ 5,953
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Stroll through the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway comprised of seven hanging bridges, eight treetop platforms, and two observation towers.
  • Go fishing, search for nocturnal creepy-crawlies, and take part in other thrilling jungle excursions.
  • Immerse yourself in local life with visits to remote Andean villages that are, for most travelers, uncharted territory
  • Visit the characteristic Sacred Valley towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
  • Embark on a private city tour of Cusco, whose fascinating streets feature a unique concoction of Inca ruins and colonial constructions.
  • Scale the ancient stone stairway up Machu Picchu’s iconic peak, Huayna Picchu.
  • Tour Machu Picchu with your very own expert guide to explain the history, architecture, and theories surrounding the site, before wandering independently among the magnificent ruins the following day.
  • Discover the delights of Peruvian cuisine at the country’s finest dining establishments.
  • Enjoy enriching experiences with local artists at their workshops.
Visits:
Aguas Calientes, Amazon Rainforest, Andes Mountains, Cusco, Inca Trail, Lima, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Puerto Maldonado, Sacred Valley, Peru
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Mountain Kilimanjaro Climbing And Serengeti Safari
Small Group Tour
Stride climate
This trip visits a destination that is affected by climate change

Mountain Kilimanjaro Climbing And Serengeti Safari

10 days
$ 340 / day
$ 3,400
From : $ 4,590
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit to Tanzania National Park
  • Enjoy your Hike and pass the Maundi Crater and climb up to its rim for a spectacular view of the Kibo Crater
  • Enjoy driving from Moshi to the Serengeti National Park crossing the Masaai Steppe
  • See the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Visits:
Mt. Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
View Trip

Eco-Adventure in Costa Rica (Multi-Sport Trip)

9 days
$ 128 / day
$ 1,150
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit Monteverde
  • Enjoy the significant views of the towering
  • Enjoy the sandy beach with majestic waves that make it a hot spot
  • Awesome experience while kayaking and snorkelling in the ocean near Chora Island
  • Explore San José
Visits:
Arenal Hot Springs, Arenal Volcano, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, San José, Costa Rica
View Trip

North Spitsbergen - Polar Bear Special, Eco Volunteer

10 days
$ 245 / day
$ 2,450
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit Spitsbergen and Longyearbyen
  • We aim for four days of cleaning activities and four days with special focus on Polar Bears.
  • Parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting
  • Enjoy the cruise through m/v Ortelius and experience the nature.
Visits:
Spitsbergen, Norway
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Iceland - Land of Fire and Ice 2019

7 days
$ 2,745
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Thick-billed Murre (Brünnich’s Guillemot)
  • Harlequin & Long-tailed Duck
  • Barrow’s Goldeneye
  • Red‐necked & Grey Phalarope
  • Purple Sandpiper
  • Gyr Falcon
  • Great Norther Diver
  • Whooper Swan
  • Snow Bunting
  • Razorbill
  • Black-legged Kittiwake
  • Glaucous & Iceland Gull
  • Rock Ptarmigan
  • Pink-footed Goose
  • European Golden Plover
  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Horned (Slavonian) Grebe and Short-eared Owl.
Visits:
Iceland
View Trip

Grand South Africa Safari

8 days
$ 628 / day
$ 5,020
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
Highlights
  • Leopard sightings at Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve
  • Phinda Private Game Reserve
  • Beaches in scenic Cape Town
  • Experience the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg
Visits:
Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kruger National Park, South Africa
View Trip

The Best of Portugal

7 days
$ 214 / day
$ 1,499
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Minimal walking. Motor vehicles for all major parts of trip. Wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Most cruises. Very Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Enjoy a private guided city tour of Portugal’s capital, Lisbon
  • Lisbon: Enjoy a demonstration and tasting of the famous ‘pastéis de Belém’
  • Explore Porto and Douro Valley with a private guide
  • Full day in Douro Valley with lunch and Port Wine tasting
  • City tour in Nazare, Obidos, and Fatima
  • With a private guide, visit the coastal gems of Portugal, including Sintra
  • The ideal way to explore Portugal
  • Creating Memories of a Lifetime
Visits:
Douro Valley, Lisbon, Porto, Portugal
View Trip
Yasuni Eco - Comfort Lodge | Amazon-Adventure in Sani Lodge
Private Guided
Popular
Stride climate
This trip visits a destination that is affected by climate change

Yasuni Eco - Comfort Lodge | Amazon-Adventure in ...

4 days
$ 278 / day
$ 1,111
From : $ 1,367
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Visit the parrot-clay lick at Yasuní National Park for a wonderful view of hundreds of parrots
  • Experience the life on the tree tops from the 36 meter (108 ft.) observation tower
  • Experience bird-watching
  • Amazonia will be given by one of our bilingual guides, while enjoying Ecuadorian beers
Visits:
Amazon Rainforest, Quito, Brazil, Ecuador
View Trip

Tonga Whale Encounters Eco Tour

10 days
$ 2,733
Travel Style : N/A
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Prepare to be amazed by a unique tropical destination
  • Swim with humpback whales, a truly unforgettable experience
  • Snorkelling in pristine, amazing beaches
  • Enjoy scuba diving options in reefs teeming with life
  • Take local island tours & immerse yourselves in the local's history and rich culture
  • Visit amazing blowholes & caves
  • Have fun at a cultural show and feast
Visits:
Tonga
View Trip

EcoCamp Patagonia Wildlife Safari

6 days
$ 358 / day
$ 2,150
From : $ 2,903
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
View Trip

Nature & Adventure Package

Project Expedition
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
7 days
$ 168 / day
$ 1,174
From : $ 1,644
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
Highlights
  • Visit Tortuguero National Park and enjoy boating tours
  • Arenal Volcano National Park and surrounding rainforests
  • Zipline and relax in natural hot springs
  • Hotels with a lot of amenities like private gardens, pools, spas, and bars
Visits:
Arenal Volcano, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
View Trip

EcoCamp Patagonia

8 days
$ 606 / day
$ 4,849
From : $ 6,546
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
View Trip

Belarus - Ancient Forests & Fens 2019

10 days
$ 310 / day
$ 3,100
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Azure Tit
  • Great Snipe
  • Great Grey Owl
  • Aquatic
  • River and Savi’s Warblers
  • Bluethroat
  • Boreal Owl
  • Eurasian Three-toed
  • Middle Spotted
  • Lesser Spotted
  • Syrian
  • White-backed
  • Black and Grey-headed Woodpeckers
  • Terek Sandpiper
  • Ruff
  • Smew
  • Hazel Grouse
  • Eurasian Bittern
  • Whooper Swan
  • White-tailed Eagle
  • Bearded Reedling
  • European Pied Flycatcher
  • Black Redstart
  • Hawfinch
  • Yellowhammer
  • Corn Crake
View Trip

Brazil - The Pantanal: South America's Big Five

18 days
$ 533 / day
$ 9,590
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Explore Northern Pantanal
  • Boat trip on the Pixaim River and drive to Porto Jofre
  • Jaguar and Giant Otters on the Cuiabá River and tributaries from Porto Jofre
  • Enjoy a Boat trip then travel back up the Transpantaneira
  • Land-based explorations on nearby Araras for tapir, tamandua, and birds
  • Visit Rio Cuiaba surroundings by boat for Jaguar
Visits:
Campo Grande, Pantanal, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Brazil
View Trip
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Top Eco, Sustainable & Green Travel Experiences and Attractions

Top Eco, Sustainable & Green Travel Experiences

Waking up to the sound of howler monkeys crashing through treetops of your balcony next to one of Costa Rica’s National Parks

Discovering amazing biodiversity on a tour of the Galapagos Islands

Spotting Bengal Tigers roaming in India’s Bandhavgarh National Park

Studying Survival and Hunting at Huaorani Eco Lodge in Ecuador

Tracking silverback gorillas in Uganda

Reconnecting on a yoga retreat in Rishikesh, India

 

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Eco, Sustainable & Green Travel Trip Reviews

396 Eco, Sustainable & Green Travel Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend

4.9 out of 5
Excellent 346
Great 47
Average 2
Disappointing 0
Terrible 1
Value
4.9
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.9

Tour Reviews Write a Review

They offer excellent custom Safaris

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Denhum will make your holiday memorable. They offer excellent custom Safaris at astonishingly affordable rates. I recommend them any day

Read more
Operator Denhum Holidays

Thanks to Beatrice for Helping my Tibet Pilgrimage

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

As a buddhist, Lhasa is a sacred city to me. Thanks to Beatrice for help with my Lhasa Pilgrimage. She answered my questions patiently and helped to organize my tours to different monasteries. I really enjoyed this trip, especially to Dark Yerba hermitage and Ganden Monastery. Thanks very much.

Read more
Operator Great Tibet Tour

Pleasure

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Noura is a fantastic tour guid she knows alot and is very nice , you cant go wrong with her i highly recommend, thank you for a wonderful time, hope to see you soon again, oh and whatever you want she will do her best to organize it :), thank you for everything

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Operator Morocco private expert

Highly recommended.

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

I'm so glad that I used GeTS Holidays during my visit to the Kumbh Mela festival in Feb 2019. Their representatives understood my requests very well during communications. They helped me create a perfectly tailored plan. Everything ran smoothly. Their staff was caring and actively sought feedback during and after the trip. They delivered everything agreed upon professionally. Highly recommended.

Read more
Operator GeTS Holidays

Memorable Trip to Egypt -- Thank to Travelish Tours!!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Egypt is one of those countries one should visit at least once in their lifetime. I was there in December 2018 and loved every moment of my presence in the land of river Nile, pharaohs, pyramids and much more. Thanks to Travelish Tours and their passionate CEO, Mahmoud Salah for making our trip so enjoyable and seamless. The entire trip was very well organized and we covered pretty much 75-80% of Egypt in 10 days from Cairo, Saqqara, Memphis, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simble, Alexandria and Nile cruise, visiting all the key attractions with the guides who explained the history so coherently that we felt as if we went back in time to thousands of years ago. Thanks to Sam, Khalif and Sara, our guides in Cairo, Nile Cruise, and Alexandria respectively for sharing their passion, knowledge and welcoming us so warm heartedly.

I would highly recommend Travelish Tour to anyone planning to visit Egypt as the service the company provides is top class from airport pick up, best hotel accommodation, perfect Nile cruise, customized tours to knowledgeable guides. Mahmoud Salah, more popularly called as Momo, is a very humble individual who understands your needs and ensures your stay in his loving country becomes the most memorable trip of your life. His passion for his motherland’s rich cultural history and heritage and inherently caring attitude demonstrated through excellent organization of the trip and customized tours is indeed contagious.

We felt very safe in Egypt. If you want to explore it like locals contact Travelish Tour and forget about all other logistics as Travelish Tours will take care of all your needs. It would be the best decision you will make and I can vouch through my personal experience as Travelish Tours will ensure your visit to Egypt leaves an indelible mark in your travel memory.

Thank you Travelish tours and Momo for making our trip memorable and in the bargain we found a good friend in Momo!! :)

Read more
Operator Travelish Tours

A really wonderful safari break!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Thanks Zama Tours for arranging an incredible safari experience for us! We went on a great 5-day safari adventure. It was all well taken care of and we really enjoyed everything we saw and every minute of it. It has exceeded all our expectations!

Read more
Operator Zama Tours & Safaris

Eco, Sustainable & Green Travel Tours and Travel Guide

Eco, Sustainable & Green Travel Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Through embracing this new and (fortunately) increasingly popular type of travel, we can make a real difference to tourism worldwide and its impact. As people that enjoy travel, we are the ideal ambassadors to promote the benefits that travel and tourism can bring: through education, understanding, bringing revenue to in-need parts of the world, and through personal growth too. Read more about how your travels can make a difference and how to book an Eco Tour or Sustainable trip.

What Does "Eco Tourism" Mean?

Eco Tourism is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education" by the International Eco Tourism Society (2015). Nature is often at the centre of Eco Tourism, which for a long time was perhaps best summarized by the tag line “take only photos, leave only footprints”. Eco Tourism today is about a lot more than doing the least harm possible on our travels. Many tour operators are taking steps to actively and positively contribute towards offsetting carbon emissions through forestation and clean energy projects; protecting endangered wildlife species and setting up tourism projects that include local communities around the world and allow them to benefit from tourism.

Sustainable & Responsible Tourism

Sustainable and Responsible Tourism are often used interchangeably (along with Eco Tourism) and while there are some similarities, there are also some points that set them apart. Sustainable Tourism is the idea of visiting a place and creating only a positive impact on the environment, economy and local society.

Responsible Tourism on the other hand focuses more on making the best choices that we can in each travel moment, to help promote best practices while traveling, to always show respect for the places that we visit and people that we meet along the way, and to protect places so that future generations can still enjoy them too.

Creating a Positive Impact

However we choose to define or call it, there are many points in common between the definitions. The point is to not cause harm, but also to create a positive impact. Through embracing this new and (fortunately) increasingly popular type of travel, we can make a real difference to tourism worldwide and its impact. As people that enjoy travel, we are the ideal ambassadors to promote the benefits that travel and tourism can bring: through education, understanding, bringing revenue to in-need parts of the world, and through personal growth too.

Top Tips for Being a Responsible Traveler

Choose tours that take you off the beaten path. One of the challenges with tourism can be the impact caused by tourists concentrated in high volumes in specific hot spots only. It means that the benefits of impact are then only seen in those areas and not spread out further to those that perhaps could benefit more. By venturing further afield, you’ll be spreading the benefits of tourism to those who need it more.

Think Local. Locally owned accommodation, local (public) transport, locally owned restaurants. The more interaction you have with people living in the country you visit, the more memorable and ‘genuine’ your experience is likely to be, as opposed to being driven around in a minibus for 2 weeks. It can be harder to organize this, but some operators include high levels of public transportation and owned accommodation in their itineraries, thus reducing your research load!

Avoid Plastic. Take your own aluminum water bottle with you and refill it on the road. It’s amazing how the piles of used plastic water bottles stack up. Many islands and developing countries lack the infrastructure for proper recycling or waste disposal, and the plastic just ends up sitting there, or being washed into the ocean for marine life to ingest. With your own water bottle you’ll be pleasantly surprised how many places are happy to refill your water bottle with filtered water (where tap water is not suitable for drinking) at a discount of the price for normal bottled water, or even for free.

Check the dress code. Seek advice from your trip notes or tour information on what clothing to pack for your trip. Apart from weather, different countries have very different ideas about what is respectful and appropriate clothing to wear, and visiting religious sites in most parts of the world will require covering up to some degree. Although many people would not say anything, showing shoulders or legs may cause offense without us realizing.

Stay open. Asking questions and being curious to discover new cultures and countries is a life-enriching experience, and one of the advantages of having a guide at hand is that they can be your gateway to learning about a new part of the world.

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