For me, the ideal adventure not only introduces me to places of wild beauty - its landscapes, wildlife, cultures and history- but also plays a role in protecting and sustaining it for future generations.
So I was thrilled when Maureen Gordon, co-owner of Maple Leaf Adventures, told me that they had added a second sailing vessel to accommodate interest in an upcoming collaborative conservation expedition with Canadian Geographic into British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, a vast protected area currently under the environmental threat of a controversial pipeline proposal.
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…
Bridget Besaw is one of those enviable women who are blessed with immense talent, a contagious passion, and the entrepreneurial acumen to transform that into a livelihood that sustains her and the planet she cares so deeply for. Now she’s putting those abilities to good use by pioneering a relatively young genre of photography that brings visual storytelling to environmental organizations and mentoring a new generation of image-makers in the art and profession of creating high-impact conservation media.
Her abilities were never more evident than when I traveled to the remote wilds of southern Chile last year to learn and record the story of Patagonia conservation as a participant in one of her Leica Akademie photography workshops.
As an avid adventurer and outdoor photographer, I joined the workshop for the sheer visual promise of the Patagonia landscape, people and culture, but returned with far more than memorable images. The experience not only expanded my knowledge and how I perceive the world, but also how I perceive myself and my abilities.
I managed to catch up with her recently and asked her to share a bit about her work and upcoming photography workshops.
We’ve been living and working in Cuenca, Ecuador for the past three months and although it’s one of the smallest countries in South America, we haven’t even scratched the surface of all there is to see and do here.
Before my husband and I arrived, I did what I usually do before a trip; surfed my favorite adventure travel search engine TravelDragon.com to find trip offerings in the region.
The Galapagos Islands and the unusual creatures that live there had been topping our wanderlist for a lifetime and we couldn’t do better than the 8-day adventure cruise we enjoyed aboard the motor yacht Letty (see adventure number six in the list below).
As amazing as the Galapagos Islands are, however, Ecuador has much more to offer. This small country has a cultural, geographical and biological diversity that’s among the world’s richest. You can hike amidst snow-clad summits and massive volcanic peaks; go birding in misty cloud forests; soak in bubbling hot springs; snorkel with sea turtles; and experience the thrill of world-class rafting.
As our time in Ecuador comes to an end and we pack our bags for Peru, I thought I’d share ten hand-picked adventures we’re filing away for ‘Next Time’. Yes, we WILL be back. Ecuador is highly addictive.
In Ecuador’s Highlands you’ll walk the Hacienda Trail, a scenic path running between the luxurious accommodations in which you’ll stay. With snow-clad summits and massive volcanic peaks as a backdrop, your days will be filled with unexpected moments. Stroll through picturesque Andean villages, meet welcoming residents, and linger at their frequent festivals. Savor the picnic of a lifetime on the 12,000-foot rim of Cubilche Volcano, or investigate the 1,200-year-old Caranqui Mounds and stop at a condor restoration project.Go from hummingbird-stitched
The problem with choosing a vacation? Too many choices. He wants the mountains. She wants the beach.
Why choose? Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, a company that manages Earth-friendly lodges, hotels and small inns in Central America, serves up a new surf and turf Costa Rica vacation combo that makes it easy to explore the famed Santa Teresa beaches and lesser-known Turrialba mountains – all in one visit.
SURF: Feel the hot sand between your toes at Latitude 10 in Santa Teresa
Located just steps away from the pristine, white-sand Santa Teresa beach, Latitude 10 Exclusive Beach Resort is a romantic and private eco-getaway that contains just five guest casitas. As a hub for adventure and complete mind and body wellness getaway, spend your days kayaking and snorkeling the clear blue waters, surfing on some of Costa Rica’s finest breaks, rebalancing with a private yoga class or indulging in a deep-tissue massage.
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.