I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for Scotland since the early nineties when a yearlong Fulbright teaching exchange took me there and ignited a passionate and insatiable curiosity about the world. A few years ago I was back in Scotland for the Adventure Travel World Summit and met Irene Lane, owner and founder of Greenloons, an ecotourism tour company.
If you’re ready to launch your own Scotland adventure, here are three eco-friendly trips—a Highland safari, family adventure and Scottish train experience—from Greenloons to get you there…
An Interview with Michael and Betsy West of The Wayfarers.
Taking inspiration from his passion for the English countryside - its history, environment and people - in 1984, Englishman Michael West co-founded The Wayfarers, a Britain based company providing custom crafted walking holidays and tours.
Today, the company hosts visitors in some of the world’s most scenic landscapes, where they offer an insider’s view of local life and lore, dine at fine inns and local restaurants, and make cultural interactions— with native artists, musicians, artisans, naturalists, vintners and farmers, for example—an important part of the experience.
Earlier this year Michael and Betsy West traveled to Argentina and Chile seeking the perfect itinerary for the Wayfarers’ first foray into South America. The result? A new 2013 Patagonia walk.
I caught up with the Wests recently to get the inside scoop on the upcoming adventure.
In the words of Bruce Chatwin: “Patagonia is the farthest place to which man walked from his place of origin” It is the ultimate wayfaring destination.
Three Peru Jungle Eco-Lodges Offer New Amazon Wildlife and Nature Photography Tours
Rainforest Expeditions http://www.perunature.com/, has announced the launch of 7-day / 6-night Rainforest Nature Photography Tours operating from its three jungle eco-lodges situated along the Tambopata River in the Peruvian Amazon. Shorter five-day programs are also available. The tour has been specifically designed to let clients experience what it is like to be a National Geographic wildlife photographer.
The all-inclusive photography tours include use of the most advanced professional cameras, lenses and equipment. While in the field participants may try out the latest high tech gear including Canon 600mm f/4 lenses, carbon fiber tripods, specialized macro lenses that can photograph in startling clarity the eyes of an ant, and robotic panorama cameras that can make photos of over 100 gigapixels. In addition to camera usage, workshops include topics on Photoshop, photography and ethics, the psychology of beauty and technical presentations on how digital cameras work. For a sampling of equipment for use see: http://www.perunature.com/wildlife-photography-equipment.html.
The per person double occupancy rate for seven days is $2,452; a single supplement is $315. Net rates are available to professional trip consultants and travel agencies. Photography equipment, lodging, meals, activities, jungle guides, photography instructor and transportation while on tour are included in the package. See: See: http://www.perunature.com/nature-photography-workshop.html.
As a wildlife enthusiast I want to go to the Galapagos to revel in nature, not ruin it.
So, no matter how eager I may be to go gawk at giant land tortoises, blue-footed boobies, penguins, lava lizards, manta rays and sea lions, if I go, it’s important to go responsibly.
Which is why my husband and I have chosen to head off guilt-free with Ecoventura, a leader in responsible tourism to the Galapagos Islands since 1990.
Their environmentally friendly fleet of 20-passenger expedition vessels, culturally and naturally respectful itineraries, and stellar eco-credentials, will get us up-close-and-personal with the extraordinary wildlife without leaving a harmful footprint in our wake.
I know I’d love to view tigers in the wild.
I know India is a mind-bending destination that’s been transforming travelers for centuries.
But knowing whether my tourism dollars should, or should not, go to supporting tiger tracking in India… not so much.
On this 19-day tour, guests search for tigers in the famed Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks, explore ancient forts and castles, and are immersed in the contemporary cultural fabric of modern India.
Based from sustainable jungle lodges and restored manor homes and palaces, travelers learn about the current state of tigers in India and how tourism-supported programs such as Wildlands’ 10,000 Tigers initiative are working to bring these big cats back from the brink of extinction by empowering communities to protect their habitat and end illegal poaching.
The best part? By participating on this trip you help save tigers, in part by supporting the local communities around the parks so they benefit from ecotourism.
I’m sold. You?
Nine Day Cacao and Culture Tour of Ecuador Follows Path of Gourmet Channel Documentary ‘El Cacao’ Released in May 2011
Gourmet adventure along the ‘cacao route’ is reason enough for anyone with a sweet tooth and penchant for offbeat travel to book a trip by this name through Equatortrekking to explore chocolate production in Ecuador.
“This is a must for foodies who can sample chocolate, learn how it‚s used in indigenous dishes, scrutinize its harvest and the supply chain,” says Mateo Ponce, founder of Equatortrekking. “Our travelers are always pleasantly surprised by the quality of Ecuadorian chocolate. This response inspired us to combine Ecuador’s rich chocolate history with the country’s people, landscape and culture to create this distinctively flavored tour.”
The per person rate for Gourmet Adventure in the Cacao Route is $2,430 (exclusive of air into Ecuador) for the nearly all inclusive, nine day-eight night tour. 2011 departures are June 20, July 15 and 30, Aug. 15 and 30, and Sept. 15.