The Caribbean is not all beaches and palm trees, the islands are incredibly lush and green. However, some islands are ‘greener’ than others when it comes to ecotourism. If sustainable travel is something that you care about then there are some parts of the Caribbean that also take sustainable tourism very seriously indeed.
Dominica has a great reputation as being the Nature Island of the Caribbean, while Bonaire is known for its pristine marine environment and Costa Rica and Belize are among the top eco-friendly travel destinations in the world. You’ll also find eco-resorts here that focus on low-impact integration with the native environment, a commitment to reduced energy use, using renewable energy, and activities that support and encourage knowledge of the local ecosystem. For help with Planning a trip to the Caribbean, visit http://lostwaldo.com/.
Dominica boasts an incredible biodiversity and has chosen to make ecotourism the foundation of its economic development. This island contains lush jungles for hiking and rivers for exploring, and visitors can meet Carib Indians and even walk in the footsteps of Capt. Jack Sparrow — some of the wilder scenes in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were filmed here. The eco-friendly lodges and resorts here continue to expand as the focus on renewable energy grows and the island tries to move closer to achieving 100% energy efficiency.
• St. John, U.S. Virgin Island
The Americans have not always had much restraint when it comes to continued tourism development but St John is a break is from this pattern. At just twenty square miles, the island is devoted primarily to National Parks, and has some of the best beaches and finest snorkeling in the world. The eco-resorts here are small and modest, more like campgrounds than resorts but if you’re looking for a tranquil and closer to nature experience, then this is the island for you.
Bonaire is all about the water. There are no rainforests here and the focal point of the island’s ecosystem is its beautiful waters. The coral reef has been actively protected since the 1970s and as one of the world’s best diving locations, preservation here isn’t done lightly – it’s a business necessity. Bonaire takes sustainability very seriously and wind energy is used for six months of the year, with bio-diesel fueling the rest of the year. You won’t find any major eco-resorts on the island but all the hotels here show a commitment to preserving the marine ecosystem that makes Bonaire so special.
You really will see it all in Belize. With barrier reefs, jungles, mountains, rainforest, and the largest cave system in Central America, Belize has a vast number of natural wonders. It’s also big on conservation and is quickly becoming one of the world’s top eco-tourism destinations. You’ll find several eco-resorts in Belize.
• Costa Rica
Staggeringly, Costa Rica has 5% of the world’s biodiversity with only one fourth of one percent of the world’s landmass. It’s no wonder it has the name ‘rich coast’. A quarter of the country is dedicated to protected land and many of the eco-resorts here are on the coast or in the jungle.
The Yucatan peninsula is home to several eco-preserves and you’ll find them hidden under thick jungle with ancient Mayan ruins. There is big tourism in this area and this includes the popular Xcaret Eco Park near Cancun. Whilst it is a little touristy, the intentions are honourable.