Travel Picks: Top 10 Eco-friendly destinations
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - With more travelers expected to go green on their vacations next year, online travel community IgoUgo, owned by Travelocity, has come up with its top 10 eco-friendly destinations.
The list is based on recommendations from IgoUgo editors who reviewed the journals by some of its 350,000 members with comments by the travelers listed.
Reuters has not endorsed this list.
1. Buck Island Reef National Monument - St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
"The reef surrounding was named America's first-ever underwater national monument in 1961 which, naturally, has resulted in an ecosystem so thriving and well-preserved that 30,000 visitors a year flock to see it, making it the single most popular attraction on St. Croix. This was the highlight of our vacation!"
2. Sea Turtle Watching in Rekawa - Rekawa, Sri Lanka
"The reason we picked Tangalla in the first place was that a nearby beach, Rekawa, is Sri Lanka's most popular beach for nesting sea turtles. At Rekawa, five of the seven species of sea turtle come to nest, with the most popular being the green turtle. We arrived at the beach at about 8:30 and by about 9:30, one of the staff had spotted a turtle."
3. Napo Wildlife Center - Quito, Ecuador
"Located inside Yasuni National Park the new Napo Wildlife Center is a cooperative venture with the local Anangu Indians. Surrounded by untouched rainforest, the lodge is situated on the south side of a small lake, which makes for great views morning and evening. Across the lake and a modest level walk through the rainforest is the lodge's 110' high steel staircase (enclosed) that terminates at a treetop viewing platform perfect for scanning the top of the canopy for monkeys and birds."
4. Artisans D'Angkor Silk Farm - Siem Reap, Cambodia
"Artisans D'Angkor is a state-run organization that promotes fair trade and sustainable development for the Cambodian people. By training workers for skilled professions, these people are able to provide for their families and promote their own culture through art."
5. Celestun Biosphere Reserve - Yucatan, Mexico
"Flat-bottomed boats take visitors into the lagoon where cormorants, egrets, osprey and herons can be seen along the way. A distant pink horizon soon becomes a flock of flamingos
as the boat reaches the lagoon. Keeping a respectful distance, a zoom is required to photograph these birds seen feeding and in flight."
6. Rainforest Hike to Middleham Falls & Ti Tou Gorge with Ken's Hinterland Adventure Tours - Dominica
"This is a great day trip if you do not mind getting a little dirty. The tour starts off with a drive up in the rain-forested mountains of Dominica. After about 1.5 to 2 hours of hiking, we arrived at Middleham Falls. A short drive took us to Ti Tou Gorge, a cave-like river with a waterfall at one end. Ti Tou is very refreshing, cold, and difficult to swim in, but it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; there's nothing like swimming upstream in a dark cave."
7. Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge - Kachemak Bay State Park, Alaska
"Owner Keith Iverson, a Norwegian builder, has built wood cabins along the shore of Sadie Cove with a wharf over the water. It was built all by hand from local driftwood - unbelievable the amount of work involved - and the place is like something out of Swiss Family Robinson with luxury and service."
8. Volcano Trekking at Gunung Batur - Gunung Batur, Bali
"Gunung Batur (1,717m), which lends its name to the largest lake in Bali, is revered as the second holiest mountain in Bali. The volcano is still active and smoke can be seen seeping from its main crater. It is possible to climb the mountain on your own, as the trail is straightforward and easy to climb ... however, it is recommended to hire a guide from the trekking association at least for the first time."
9. Strokkur Geyser - Geysir Center, Iceland
"The home of the original geysirs, this is the setting for Strokkur, the most active geyser at Geysir right now where crowds can watch the water bubbling up and down ... finally, it oozes up into a turquoise dome, before bursting into life as a 30 feet high jet of water and steam. Fantastic!"
10. Canopy Tour - Quepos, Costa Rica
"This was billed as the "Ultimate Eco-Adventure" and I believe it is! During breakfast they give you the low-down for the day and then you climb into the jeep and head up the mountain deep into the rainforest. The forest was unbelievable; we saw several varieties of wild orchids in bloom and a couple of toucans sitting in the trees. Once we arrived at our destination we were put into repelling harnesses and then took a short hike to the beginning of the tour."
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