If images of stunning wildlife and pristine nature come to mind when you think of Galapagos, an archipelago off the coast of Ecuador, you’re right. But it’s also one of the foremost areas focused on the protection of the animals and the environment people come to see. There are specific rules in place for how you can move about this UNESCO World Heritage Site—for instance, certain protected areas can only be accessed with an authorized guide—and tourism providers have to have measures in place for things like water conservation and hiring and training locals. Galapagos Conservancy, a nonprofit that works to protect the area, also recommends visiting with a tour provider, like Silversea, that’s committed to local conservation.
With locations in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Namibia—plus a host of others opening soon, including in Costa Rica and Bhutan—this brand’s ethos of “building hotels that exist with nature, not instead of it” can be felt throughout their properties, which have a natural and design-forward vibe. The company has committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which include things like responsible consumption and a focus on health and wellbeing, and their sustainability initiatives run the gamut from cutting single-use plastics to hiring within area communities and sourcing food locally. In Tulum, for example, they work with a reforestation program to offset carbon emissions, while in Namibia their wildlife conservation initiative helps house rhinos and giraffes.
Natural Habitat Adventures
This nature and adventure-focused tour company, which has been carbon-neutral since 2007, has an almost 20-year partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). They promote and provide conservation travel, which they describe as “life-transforming forays into the natural world that benefit wild habitats and the animals and people who live there.” Through the partnership, they raise and donate money to support WWF’s initiatives, along with passing on fun perks to travelers, including having WWF experts join in on some trips. And you can go almost anywhere in the world, seeing and experiencing nature from all facets, whether that’s a polar bear tour in Canada, a family adventure in Costa Rica, or a trip to see the rainforests and orangutans in Borneo.