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5 Eco-Friendly Escapes You’ll Love

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Sunset over the rainforest
5 Eco-Friendly Escapes You’ll Love

Love our planet? Want to travel in a way which protects and respects the environment? We’ve made it easy peasy for you. Here are just a few of our adventures which go that little bit further to improve our world. These eco-friendly escapes mean you’ll be able to enjoy your travels whilst protecting the places you visit.

Get Lost in the Rainforest

Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Costa Rica

Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known as a haven for eco-tourism, so it is only natural to begin here, in the heart of the rainforest. Surrounded by 35 acres of private reserve, beautiful rainforest teeming with innumerable species of birds and beasts, the peaceful Esquinas Rainforest Lodge is a slice of eco-friendly heaven. Not only is the lodge 100% carbon neutral, but as the result of thousands of pounds of fundraising has managed to protect huge swathes of rainforest from exploitative logging companies out to destroy the ecosystem for profit. There are innumerable ways to enjoy the forest in a low-impact way, from walking the forest trails to taking to the water for boat and kayaking trips. Just sitting outside your chalet, all manner of bird life congregates – the perfect excuse to kick back with one of the bar’s perfectly executed cocktails (highly recommend: the Esquinas daiquiri) and watch the show.

Take me there: Costa Rica

Try a Safari With a Difference

March's winning image by Peter Anderson in Botswana

March’s winning image by Peter Anderson in Botswana

Probably the least intrusive way to go on safari, a dugout canoe on the Okavango Delta is also one of the most exciting ways to go wildlife spotting. Your traditional Mokoro is not only the traditional way that people have travelled here for centuries; it also leaves no pollution or erosion in its wake as you glide along the natural waterways. Elephants, giraffes, hippos and all kinds of avian life abound on this wetland, and your canoe is a swift and quiet means of moving through the landscape. Creatures great and small will voluntarily wander down to drink as you pass, completely undisturbed by your presence. Monochrome Pied kingfishers are so at ease that they’ll dart right up to your vessel, tiny acrobats to rival Olympic athletes and just as entertaining to watch. So not only will the wildlife be better off, but you’ll have a better safari too.

Take me there: The Okavango Delta

Be at One With Nature in the Wilderness

Dogsledding, Oulanka National Park

Dogsledding, Oulanka National Park

The pristine wilderness of (almost) Arctic Finland is a phenomenon every nature lover should experience once. Brooding primordial pine forests give way to wide, white snowy expanses of open space, and short lived days are best spent outside in the middle of it. This is one of the cleanest places in Europe, with pure air and a lack of pollution making it ideal for an invigorating natural escape. A welcome reprieve from the bright cold of the outdoors is Basecamp Oulanka’s cosy log cabins, warmed by an intricate and incredibly efficient system. The self-sustaining complex of buildings wastes nothing – excess heat from the sauna heats the hot tub, the cheery log fire burns brightly in the social area and the underfloor heating relies exclusively on special wood pellets for fuel, so nothing every goes to waste. No wonder they’ve won numerous awards for their environmental awareness.

Take me there: Basecamp Oulanka

Get Off the Beaten Track – Ethically

Bagan, Burma / Myanmar

Bagan, Burma / Myanmar

The reintroduction of Burma/Myanmar caused a stir back in 2013, with many travellers thrilled to be able to travel to this fascinating country, but others concerned about the impact. The answer is deceptively simple – use locally owned and run hotels, restaurants and guides, rather than government controlled. Unfortunately decoding which is which proves more difficult. Whilst politics remains a tricky and heated subject, Exodus always uses local providers whenever we can. Some taxes will always go to the government and the system is far from perfect, things are steadily improving.

Take me there: Burma/Myanmar

Go Wild in the Amazon

Napo River, Amazonian Ecuador

Napo River, Amazonian Ecuador

Swap the concrete jungle for the real thing. Nowhere blends style and sustainability quite like the Napo Wildlife centre, which is only accessible by a beautiful boat journey down the Napo River in Yasuni National Park. You’d be hard pressed to find a better spot to explore the Amazon – stable, comfortable canoes paddled along the waterways make for un-invasive bird watching and wildlife spotting. Giant otters and monkeys are not uncommon, and the very lucky may spot a jaguar pausing to drink, just on the way to the centre. Once there you’ll be immersed in the Amazon, safe in the knowledge that the lodge ensures your impact is minimal. From recycled non-drinking water to solar-panel electricity, the lodge always has one eye on the environmental issues – leaving you free to enjoy the environment itself.

Take me there: the Amazon

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