Want to experience the best natural wonders that the world has to offer on your upcoming vacation this year? The best eco-tourism destinations for 2015 have plenty of surprises that only Mother Nature could come up with, which often outstrips our own human creativity. Let’s take a look at four of our favorites for this year…
1) Costa Rica
Building a multi-million dollar industry on tours through some of the world most bio-diverse habitats a generation ago, Costa Rica is one of the biggest destinations on Earth for those looking to connect with nature.
From cloud forests playing host to creatures like sloths and a seemingly infinite number of species of tropical flowers, to marine environments that are a dream come true to divers and surfers alike, this nation has no shortage of ways for you to be fulfilled by way of the planet’s natural bounty.
While South America’s largest nation had caught some well-deserved flack in recent decades for the breathtaking pace at which virgin rainforest in the Amazon was being logged, this massive country has led the way on the environment in many other areas of late. One example of this is the Caiman Ecological Refuge in the Pantanal wetlands, which protects over 380 bird species, and mammals like the caiman, which is a cousin of the alligator.
Another worthwhile eco-destination in Brazil is the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, which is located more than 300 kilometres off the coast of Northeastern Brazil. With many species distinct from the Caribbean basin further north, UNESCO has designated this special place a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is an honor that you will understand once you get out into its coral reefs as a snorkeler or diver.
While African wildlife is under pressure from human development and poaching in much of this vast continent, there are many reserves for many of these amazing animals within Kenya. One of these parks is the Masai Mara National Reserve, where wildebeests congregate during the months of July and August, while the savannahs of this country play host to elephants, lions and hyenas, among other animals that one typically associates with their local zoo back home.
Best known by many as being a home to one of the many seasons of Survivor, this South Pacific outpost has a number of species that have benefited from the relative obscurity that this isle has enjoyed as others (Fiji, Tahiti, etc) have bathed in the spotlight.
One of Palau’s biggest eco-attractions is Jellyfish Lake, where tourists can snorkels amidst millions of these golden wonders of nature, as their stinging cells are so weak that they pose no threat to all but those that are allergic to their sting. Those that are freaked out by this can still go snorkeling in normal coastal coral reefs, and hike deep into the heart of its lush rainforest interior.