A famous quote by E.M. Forster, “What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?” rings true in today’s digital age. For most of us, it is not possible to enjoy nature’s serenity daily but can travel to these destinations, which are a haven for biodiversity and sustainability.
Costa Rica is heralded as one of the pioneers of sustainability, which has the largest percentage of protected areas in the world. Gleaming with a plethora of animals like sloths, monkeys, toucans and sea turtles, to name a few. It is packed with the best of nature, including volcanoes, colourful marine life, bustling wildlife, crystal-clear beaches and more. Having 20 natural parks and eight biological reserves, this small country produces most of its electricity from renewable sources. You can also explore the Corcovado National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, and Tortuguero National Park to immerse yourself in nature fully.
The land of the fjords that stand tall like giants has shown a commitment to sustainability in its endeavour to practice more eco-friendly initiatives. These include electric transportation, where Norway leads the way with over 25,000 electric charging stations. You can also hop on the Bergen Railway, the Rauma Railway, and the Nordland Railway to get mystified by breathtaking sceneries. You can even opt for accommodations that believe in reducing the carbon footprint, which can be found in abundance here.
Neighbouring India, Bhutan is perched in the Himalayan mountains and is the only country in the world where the GDP is measured by the Gross National Happiness (GNH). It serves as a model for other nations as it is a carbon-negative country and follows the ‘High-Value, Low-Impact’ that caps the number of visitors coming to the country. This helps to maintain the natural heritage of this gorgeous place where each breath feels pure. You can also visit the Jigme Dorji National Park and Wangchuck Centennial Park for a closer glimpse of nature.
The Galapagos Islands
Situated about 1000 km from the coast of Ecuador, this paradise on earth’s remote location means a thriving and well-preserved flora and fauna. Over 90% of its land is considered as national park territory, which means that this natural wonder is protected and conserved and is a hidden gem for ardent travellers. Tourists are advised to follow discretion and leave the environment in pristine condition, invoking the ‘leave no trace’ policy. Birdwatchers are in for a treat here with over 56 species of native avians.
A country that is still unexplored by many tourists will find the astonishing natural beauty with historic traces as the most resounding treat. It is a sustainability champion where 3/4th of its electricity is produced by hydroelectric dams. Its capital, Ljubljana, held the crown for being the European Green Capital for 2016, which serves true with its innovative city transportation system. Besides this, you can enjoy trekking in its rolling hills or take a dip with sea turtles in its pristine waters; the choice is yours. With over 60% of the land covered in dense forest, along with meandering roads that lead the way to picturesque towns, it is just the cherry on the cake.
Kenya This list would be incomplete without mentioning Kenya, whose wildlife safaris have unearthed the adventurer and photographer in many people. Its stunning landscape of wildlife, which can be found in Maasai Mara, Amboseli, and Tsavo, that boasts lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros, is surely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness. If you go in the right season, then you can gaze at the Great Migration as well, which is a display of the efforts made for the conservation of the natural habitat for the animals. Many lodges even offer a sustainable stay that practices harnessing solar power, water conservation and an overall greener approach towards hospitality.