Empowering, positive-impact holiday ideas. These eight destinations are making the planet a better place, while proving luxury travel can also be eco-friendly and sustainable. Ready to explore?
This small country in Central America is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Costa Rica is on track to become the world’s first carbon-neutral nation.
Every region is so different. Virgin rainforest, cloud forest, Pacific Ocean beaches and Caribbean Sea. Plus volcanoes, rivers and adventures in the unknown. It’s also the home of pioneering eco-lodges.
The original, built in the 1990s, is Lapa Rios Lodge on the Osa Peninsula, now with new family villas for 2022.
When Costa Rica built the first ecolodges, Rwanda was living through genocide. The country’s transformation is remarkable and not only from a people and peace perspective. Landscapes devastated by conflict have been returned to their original use – as havens where African wildlife can thrive.
Rwanda’s clear focus on luxury tourism means a superb choice of accommodation and feeling of exclusivity. Many once-in-a-lifetime experiences are made accessible to the explorer.
Gorilla populations have increased, so go gorilla trekking. Lions and elephants have repopulated Akagera National Park so go on safari. Don’t forget chimpanzee trekking in the Congo Basin.
Welcome to a country where 80% of the land is forest. Where the air and water is proclaimed to be the clearest on the planet. Finland also lays claim to being the world’s happiest country.
Step into the wilderness where Sami spirits breed, and let it lead you to adventure of the purest form.
For winter 2022 check out Octola Lodge, a new 10-room wilderness lodge where you can see the Northern Lights from August until April.
Scandinavian countries are the eco-energy superheroes of our planet, none more so than the #4 travel trend of 2022, Iceland, where 100% of the electricity comes from renewables.
Nature untamed, yet a wilderness so easy to access. Glacier, beach, volcano, icebergs, geysers and waterfalls! A surreal playground for romantic and family adventures.
Geothermals create both the electricity and natural hot springs, none better than the lunar-inspired oasis of The Retreat at Blue Lagoon. Iceland’s accommodation has massively improved in recent years and you’ll also find off-the-grid luxury properties in surreal nature.
Want to Travel More Sustainably? We can show you how.
In our modern world of almost 8 billion people, all the land has to pay its way. Go on an African safari and you pay conservation fees, which help to keep the land wild for wildlife. Kenya and Tanzania have done this brilliantly, but our favourite is Botswana, where their attitude is to have less people paying more.
A fly-in safari combines traditional luxuries with safari in its purest form. No fences, nor interruptions, from dusty Kalahari plains to salt pans, the Okavango Delta, floodplains and Chobe – home to over 100,000 elephants.
Botswana is so exclusive. Here you safari in a wilderness bigger than the Czech Republic. And the money you spend protects the land and wildlife. Check out Savute Elephants Lodge for a good idea.
Unique Portuguese islands in the Atlantic, home to volcanoes, calderas, lava tubes, vineyards, waterfalls, white-sand beaches and old-world towns. There’s a lot of beauty you will fall in love with on the Azores.
These islands are also the first archipelago to be certified by the EarthCheck Sustainable Destination program. Only 5% of the land can be built upon, special biosphere reserves protect both land and marine life, and over a quarter of the islands is protected as natural parks.
Scotland hosted COP26 and was the first country to sign up to Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency. And the country has had amazing success at re-wilding its landscapes.
If you seek somewhere simply beautiful, Scotland should be high on your list. Its dramatic nature is complemented by experiences Scotland does better than anywhere else.
Even the traditional castle hotels like Inverlochy have made huge steps forward in becoming more sustainable.
If sea levels rise the Galapagos Islands may disappear. Yet these islands have showcased evolution and sustainability since long before fossil fuels.
The Galapagos Islands celebrate the possibility of nature. Seals, iguanas, sharks, rays, blue-footed boobies, nesting sea birds, giant tortoises…there’s simply too much to mention.
If you want to experience what nature is truly capable of, spend a week on a Galapagos cruise.
More Sustainable Holiday Ideas
We picked these eight destinations because they are inspiring the rest of the world. But that doesn’t mean there are only eight sustainable destinations. Every country has its success story and its own path towards sustainability.
For example, check out these seven pioneering practices soon to be the norm in travel. They prove that even on an isolated tropical island in the Maldives, you can travel sustainability.
If you want to travel more sustainably, we have so many more options to share with you. And you won’t see any decrease in the level of luxury you demand.