With more and more people opting for eco-friendly and sustainability over anything else, these three destinations are slowly trending to the top.

More and more people are planning their vacations with sustainability in mind: whether it’s with an eye toward reducing their carbon footprint through greener, lower emission travel; supporting eco-tourism efforts by traveling to spots known for conservation and preservation, or simply choosing places famous for their biodiversity and green approach to eco-tourism. Whatever the reason, many travelers are taking a more eco-responsible approach to travel—and there are plenty of global destinations where visitors can travel green(er) while also enjoying some of the most beautiful and diverse destinations on the planet.

Eco-Friendly Costa Rica For The Win

Long touted as one of the most eco-conscious destinations on the entire planet, Costa Rica walks the walk and talks the talk with a top-down approach toward sustainability that’s evident everywhere from its government to its tourism board; its leaders to its citizens. Eco-tourism is the backbone of Costa Rica’s efforts to both attract visitors and protect its own natural beauty and resources.

But this doesn’t mean that the country has a hands-off approach when it comes to travel, it just means that the Central American country approaches tourism with the same eye for sustainability with regard to travel that it applies to almost every other aspect of its cultural and nature-inspired identity. Dubbed a “Champion of the Earth” by the United Nations, Costa Rica has mastered the art of eco-tourism, setting the stage for other countries to follow its example and adopt a go-green approach to their own travel itineraries.

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Go Green In Costa Rica

  • Head to the dormant (yet still imposing) Arenal Volcano and don’t forget to check out Lake Arenal and the La Fortuna Waterfall
  • Explore the biological preserve Caño Island—known as one of the world’s best scuba diving spots
  • One of the most biodiverse places on the planet, the beautiful Corcovado National Park is home to a staggering range of both flora and fauna
  • One of Costa Rica’s top attractions, the Monteverde Cloud Forest is a must-see for anyone looking to truly experience Costa Rica’s diverse beauty
  • The coastal gem Tortuguero National Park is the perfect eco-tourism adventure

Skyscrapers, Scenery & Sustainability in Singapore

Though skyscrapers may dominate the landscape in the Southeast Asian island of Singapore, upon closer look visitors will see that the soaring heights are cloaked in green: part of the technologically savvy city-state’s efforts to promote eco-friendly initiatives by blending nature and its impressive cityscape. The result? Better air quality for its residents and visitors, and a place to call home for its birds and insects. And this green thumb goes way beyond Singapore’s signature skyline with efforts by both its airline, Singapore Airlines, and its Tourism Board to promote sustainability and the use of renewable resources. Singapore is also easy to navigate on foot and by bike, too—a great way to encourage eco-friendly tourist exploration.

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Go Green In Singapore

  • Celebrate Singapore’s singular biodiversity at the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve, a great place to spend the day hiking and scoping wildlife
  • Scenic and unspoiled natural beauty await at Pulau Ubin, a small island haven known for its natural rocky shore and diverse wetland habitats
  • Step out into the largest nature reserve in Singapore, the Central Catchment Reserve
  • The Gardens by the Bay is a massive terrarium within the city—the perfect way to learn about the city-state’s juxtaposition of natural and urban landscapes
  • A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Singapore Botanic Gardens are what gave Singapore its nickname “Green City”

Conservation And Preservation In Palau

With a goal toward becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral destination, the Micronesian islands of Palau are extremely proactive in their response to climate change. Aware of the tremendous impact of tourism on the nation’s ecosystems, Palau, with the aid of various international sustainability organizations, aims to implement programs that both preserve their diverse coastal ecosystems while also encouraging an approach to tourism that focuses on the efforts of the tourists themselves: the Palau Pledge. By taking the pledge, visitors take on their own mantle of eco-responsibility through a checklist of do’s and don’ts that they sign before entering the country—a great way to raise awareness and promote eco-friendly behavior. Palau’s tourism initiatives also include initiatives to encourage women to participate in the tourism industry; increased local food security through conservation efforts; and the implementation of a ban on single-use plastics and sunscreens that are harmful to coral reef habitats.

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Go Green In Palau

  • Stay at the Palau Pacific Resort, a beautiful tropical retreat known for its eco-friendly practices and participation in the country’s conservation efforts
  • Visit the world-famous Jellyfish Lake and the nearby bay the Milky Way
  • Stroll the only atoll in Palau—the Kayangel Atoll Belau, known for its pristine beaches and stunning, bright blue turquoise waters
  • See the largest waterfall in Palau, the Ngardmau Waterfall
  • Get historical with a trip to see the Stone Monoliths of Ngarchelong, a series of stone monoliths with mysterious origins
  • Experience Palau’s biodiversity by taking a dive in the German Channel

Many of the world’s top tourist destinations are taking a more eco-friendly approach to tourism; ways to attract visitors while still implementing environmentally friendly initiatives. While the perfect balance of tourism and sustainability may be difficult to achieve, destinations like Palau, Singapore, and Costa Rica are paving the way for travelers everywhere to travel more responsibly while still enjoying some of the world’s most beautiful (and popular) tourist destinations.

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Lisa Wright
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