Go green on your next getaway with our chic eco-traveling spots

Spotlight on Eco-traveling
Be Chic: Go Green Getaways

Ecotourism (or responsible tourism) is finally on the rise. With celebrity endorsers like Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore it was just a matter of time before it was bound to happen. But what is it you ask? Traveling to natural areas while not only conserving the environment you are touring but also improving it. Simply put, your love for traveling doesn’t have to stop and it also doesn’t have to increase your carbon footprints on the earth. It can help heal the planet. Pretty neat, huh? It’s travel – be it in high style or on a budget – in an environmentally friendly fashion. Good for the soul, and for Mother Nature. Now you can have your green tea and cake and eat ‘em too!

Nihiwatu, Indonesia
This small and exclusive island resort is found on the remote island of Sumba, Indonesia. It not only guarantees absolute privacy, world class surfing and dining, but is also situated on 175 gorgeously green hectares of protected tropical rain forests, rice terraces and beachfront property. Not bad. Not only are you guaranteed luxe accommodations (think private ocean-facing villas) and swish surroundings (hilltop plunge pools and cliff-edge bars) but you are also helping to contribute to The Sumba Foundation. As co-founders of the foundation, your stay helps contribute to the green-earth as well as the Sumbanese people by providing clean water and healthcare and education.
Green highlights:
Protected beachfront & wildlife, homegrown vegetables, local arranged volunteer initiatives and aid to village-based projects, native hand-crafted accommodations and all recycled waste. For more information on The Sumba Foundation, visit

La Ruta Moskitia, Honduras
The La Ruta Moskitia Ecotourism Alliance—a locally owned tour group in the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve—consists of six indigenous villages that have developed ecotourism services for travelers coming to Honduras. Expeditions range from the exotic (nighttime crocodile spotting), feel-good (volunteering with sea turtles) to the jaw-dropping-kayaking upriver under monkeys and toucans. Best yet, this tour collective is 100% community-operated with some financial profits going directly to local communities. Ten percent of all profits go to community development and help conserve 525,000 hectares of natural rainforest—protecting countless monkey, jaguars and colourful parrots. And at nighttime, the sounds that welcome you to sleep are the symphonies of the rainforest. Ahhh, peace at last.
Green highlights:
All-natural, local materials used for lodges, employing 100% local people, responsible waste control, protected wildlife and natural habitat (over 200 bird species and 2,000 vascular plants), first World Heritage site in Central America. For more information, visit


Yucatan, Mexico
The beachside resort Hotel Eco Paraiso Xixim, located on the northwestern tip of Yucatan Mexico, can be found on coastal bio-preserve that used to be a former coconut plantation. This green chic and super environmentally-friendly resort boasts floral that is entirely native and all of its waste—from water to garbage—is recycled or reused. Not only does this hotel have a little natural history museum onsite but also offer ecological walks, hikes and kayak rides so that you can safely explore and be educated about the natural habitat during your stay. Whose says we all can’t play nicely in the enviro sandbox together?
Green highlights:
Native sea turtles and flamingo, thatched roof bungalows, no-air-conditioning and low-construction density. For more information, visit

Tenuta Di Spannocchia, Italy
This twelve-century rustic Tuscan farmhouse and bed & breakfast specializes in organic farming, wildlife preservation and promoting earth-friendly education for both locals and visitors. All guests are required to join the Spannocchia Foundation—a nonprofit organization supporting educational programs for locals and a sustainable forestry project ($60 per family). During your stay, explore the Tuscan countryside by foot, feast on local produce and wine, and take a traditional Italian cooking class or two. You can even enroll in onsite language classes which will have you conversing like a local in no time. Ciao!
Green highlights:
Working organic farm, onsite ecological centre, group enrichment programs, renewable resource use and support of the Spannocchia Foundation. For more information on the foundation, visit

Cruise North Expeditions, Canada
Enroll in an Artic expedition that will leave you dreaming of its serene beauty, abundant wildlife and spirit of the North long after you’ve returned home. Cruise North Expeditions offers travelers an authentic first-hand path into the history of the Artic. You’ll visit local Inuit communities and see how many still practice traditional land-harvesting methods all the while exploring the beautiful rugged Canadian landscape by foot. Enjoy responsible whale & polar bear watching and—if you can stand it—coldwater kayaking. Ouch! During their spare time, this Inuit-owned expedition company helps clean and protect the north with their Artic Clean-up Mission project and has collected hazardous waste in abandoned mining camps. Not a big surprise that they have won several prestigious environmental awards for their earth-friendly ways, year after year.
Green highlights:
Awarded Spirit of Leadership award for the Artic Clean-up Mission, support of local Innuit communities, lectures on global warming. For more information, visit