As humans take to the road again, birdsong will drown in the din of traffic once more. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s pledge to travel consciously and responsibly. Let’s plan trips that heal destinations instead of hurting them. By Rashima Nagpal & Sushmita Srivastav
1. Meet the Wild Denizens of Peruvian Amazon
If you wish to have a special rendezvous with the Peruvian Amazon and its wildlife, consider Lost World Adventures’ six-day overland journey, The Biotrip Manu, which takes you from Andes to Amazon through the thick of a cloud forest, exploring a dramatic variety of ecosystems from highlands to lowlands. From Cusco to Puerto Maldonado, your experience will be marked by extraordinary cliffs and gorges, pre-Inca ruins, Macaw clay licks, woolly monkeys, tapirs, catamaran rides, comfy wildlife lodges, and a visit to the Manu Wildlife Centre.
2. Learn the Hadzabe Way of Life in Tanzania
Ditch the popular safari circuit of Northern Tanzania, and explore the Yaeda Valley, located to the south-west of the Ngorongoro Crater. The area is home to the ethnic group of Hadzabe, who have always lived off the land. A three-night trip offered by Asilia Africa allows a raw experience featuring fly camping and guided activities with the tribe. From gathering honey, berries, and baobab fruits with the tribal women to hunting with the men and cooking the meal on fire, this itinerary is as rustic and authentic as it gets in immersive travel.
3. Set up a Coral Line in the Maldives
Established in 2014 by marine biologist Vaidotas Kirsys, the Coral Lines Project at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives aims to aid the regeneration of the sensitive ecosystem of the coral reefs in the region. As part of the process, a batch of coral fragments is tied down to a rope underwater and nurtured for at least a year before being transferred to the reef at the resort. Under the leadership of resident marine biologist Sarah Davies, the programme has created 220 underwater coral lines or ropes with around 8,000 coral fragments. Guests can snorkel with and assist the biologists in setting up new ropes, or better still, sponsor one!
4. Bicycle Across Puglia in Italy
Discover the ‘heel’ of Italy on easy bicycle rides over eight days with Puglia On Two Wheels, a tour by Explore. Imagine sampling the superb Pugliese cuisine with local cheeses along the way, visiting a family-run bakery, wine tasting, exploring lesser known towns such as Alberobello, Monopoli, and Matera, and riding through the breathtaking Alta Murgia National Park. Apart from the bicycles, this eco-friendly trip involves using a fair bit of public transport, making it perfect for a novice cyclist.
5. Try Agritourism in Peloponnese, Greece
The Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece is where one can experience a smooth blend of responsible agritourism and cultural immersion. Tick places off your Greek bucket list with visits to Athens, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Nafplio, and the cosmopolitan island of Hydra. An eight- to 12-day trip with Green Loons ensures that you stay at the best of organic agritourism farms and eco-luxury guesthouses in the region, and have ample time for low-impact soft adventures and activities like local ouzo tasting, honey harvesting, organic farming, beach cleaning, tree planting, olive oil making, and sessions for learning all about homeodynamic agriculture. We recommend you extend your trip to visit the island of Poros where your Peloponnese experience is elevated with an array of wellness tours, hiking trails, and eco-weaving expeditions.
6. Slow-Travel in the Remote North of Vietnam
If a quiet holiday steeped in culture and history is what you’re looking for, check out Gane & Marshall’s 13-day itinerary, The Remote North of Vietnam. Spend your time trekking through the idyllic town of Mai Châu and Muong Hoa Valley and biking through Mai Châu Valley and Pho Vang Village. Visit historic sites like Son La’s Old French Prison—now a museum—and Muong Phang, which houses the Dien Bien Phu Campaign Headquarters. Also, go on a cruise of Lake Pa Khoang, learn the art of pottery at Bat Trang Village, and visit the picturesque hill town of Sapa.
7. Take on the W Trek in Patagonia
The world renowned seven-day W Trek from Torres del Paine National Park (TDP) is an awe-inspiring route with gorgeous views of Patagonia and accommodation options that range from camping to five-star luxe eco-hotels. Trek through Grey Glacier, French Valley, the challenging Tower Base, and Eastern Lakes. If you base yourself at one of the geodesic domes by EcoCamp, prepare to spend at least two nights at mountain refugios (guesthouses that serve trekkers along isolated trails). If you are feeling particularly adventurous, go puma-tracking with expert guides.
8. Take a Bean-to-Bar Tour in the Caribbean
The Caribbean region has a long history of chocolate-making, and St Lucia Island, with its abundance of sun, rain, and volcanic soil, has been growing excellent cacao since the 1700s. To get a hands-on experience of making some, sign up for one of the end-to-end chocolate tours offered by Hotel Chocolat. Take guided strolls through cacao groves, visit the seedling nursery, pick ripe pods, and work at the fermenting room or sun-drying station. The boutique brand’s fusion of tourism and agricultural development, specifically its devotion to all things cacao, is part of a blossoming movement across the Caribbean called ‘choco-tourism’.
9. Make the Most of Singapore’s Public Transport
One way to be a conscious traveller anywhere in the world is to use public transport instead of being chauffeured in private vehicles. And what better city to do it in than Singapore? The country has one of the best public transport networks in the world. There’s an abundance of city tours in Singapore that are engaging—an efficient hop-on-hop-off service, the Singapore GOURMETbus experience that includes Michelin-star meals, a vintage Trolley Tour rich in colonial heritage, and of course, the unique amphibious DUCK tours that explore the city on both, land and water.
10. Live the Minimalist Life in Norway
Located on the north-west coast of Norway in the middle of the popular Norwegian scenic route (Geiranger-Trollstigen), Juvet Landscape Hotel is known for its ‘less is more’ approach. It offers seven Landscape Rooms—cubes on stilts, with glass walls that offer unique and striking view of the valley, the river, or the courtyard—and two Bird Houses, which are constructed in the style of traditional Norwegian log houses and resemble bird houses perched on the steep slopes above the Landscape Rooms. The conscious property insists that you ‘leave the world behind’. Expect only organic meals served at a long table in a cow barn and relaxing massages at The Bath House—a huge glass facade over a flowing stream. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Geirangerfjord is less than an hour away, and the area has a great line-up of hiking and skiing spots.
11. Climb an Active Volcano in the Philippines
The Sorsogon province in the Bicol region is the hub of ecotourism destinations in the Philippines. And in its southernmost corner sits, not so quietly, the active volcano of Mount Bulusan, notoriously famous for its regular (sometimes, weekly) activity. Bound by San Bernardino Strait in the east, Sorsogon Bay in the north, and volcanic mountains in the other directions, Mount Bulusan calls for a climb. The breathtaking views and natural hot springs on the top are rewarding. With Trail Adventours, you can upgrade your challenging excursion by visiting the surrounding Bulusan Volcano National Park, an ecotourism park where you can take up kayaking, camping, trekking, and even lessons in cooking the local cuisine.
12. Study Organic Farming in Ladakh
If you are passionate about sustainability and have three months to spare, the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives in Ladakh offers a certificate course in Farm and Forest Produce Processing. A comprehensive overview on the subject, the course teaches the fundamentals of post-harvest processing and market-development of sustainably produced food crops as well as forest plants. Complete with field trips and project work, it is ideal for those enthusiastic about developing ecological enterprises or agricultural start-ups relevant to the trans-Himalayan region.
13. Learn Beekeeping & Brew Honey Beer in London, UK
Hiver Beers was born out of an interesting wedlock between beekeeping and the passion for craft honey beer. The brand’s eponymous experience, thus, reveals the secrets of urban beekeeping in the heart of London, in Kennington. Don your bee suit, inspect a hive with a resident beekeeper, and learn the brand’s beer-brewing process. The two-hour session ends with delicious honey ales, lagers, and perfectly paired food.
14. Save the Wildlife of Galápagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands are home to an array of endemic life forms. The human footprint here is still small, and the Ecuadorian archipelago intends to keep it that way. But there’s no dearth of volunteering programmes. Base yourself on San Cristobal Island, and join Projects Abroad in its ongoing wildlife conservation initiatives and community-building projects. Nurse sea lions and giant tortoises at the breeding centre in Galápagos National Park, help in reforestation of indigenous vegetation, conduct local surveys and collect biometric data, teach English to local kids or coach them in a sport, go on clean-up drives—no two days will be exactly same during your time on the archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin.
15. Teach Buddhist Monks in Sri Lanka
Closer home, Sri Lanka is leading the sustainable tourism movement in South Asia. Plan a trip to the idyllic island country to discover its green ways. Do your bit by signing up for a volunteering project with GoEco, and spend a few weeks teaching basic English at a monastery. It’s not all work and no play, though. While your weekday mornings will be spent volunteering, rooftop yoga, fishing trips, movie nights, bike tours, and barbeques will make up the evenings and weekends of this unique holiday.
16. Get an Ecotourism Lesson in Bonito, Brazil
Bonito in southern Brazil’s Mato Grosso do Sul state is a great place to experience systematic ecotourism. For starters, touring in the city is possible only through a unique voucher system that ensures a standard for all ecotourism activities. All of the 38 accredited attractions in Bonito can be booked only by purchasing vouchers. Furthermore, these vouchers can be bought only from accredited travel agents, who are found in most hotels. This allows the travel agencies to ensure that none of the local sites are overbooked.
17. Explore the Unexplored in Mongolia
Go off the beaten track and travel to a not-so-popular destination that could use some tourism. Mongolia, with its vast untouched landscapes, is one of Asia’s least explored destinations. Spend a fortnight basking in its nomadic lifestyle, which 40 per cent of its population embraces. Also, explore the ruins of monasteries, share a ger (yurt) with a nomadic family, soak in the Tsenkher hot springs, visit the ancient capital, see wild horses at Hustai National Park, and more. Tour Mongolia has responsible options for the discerning traveller.
18. Lend a Hand in Marine Conservation in Fiji
We bet water babies wouldn’t mind spending a few weeks in Fijian waters. But what if we told you that you could also contribute to a cause on this holiday? Consider the Marine Conservation Expedition in Fiji offered by GVI. Discover the rich biodiversity of the South Pacific while assisting the local management of marine protected areas with research work. While a lot of your time will be spent underwater—learning about and looking after coral reefs—overland activities will include spending time with the Moturiki community and imparting environmental education. During this programme, you will call the stunning Caqalai Island your home.
19. Track Gorillas in Rwanda
A walking safari that brings you close to stocky wild beasts may sound nerve-wracking. But as you go bushwhacking through the thicket of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, passing within a few feet from a dominant silverback leading his pack of mountain gorillas, remember that you are also fighting habitat destruction, helping in saving the roughly 900 individuals of the species left, and supporting community enrichment. Responsible Travel’s Uganda Primate Trekking and Community Holiday starts at the bio-zone of Lake Mburo National Park, where you help in reducing human-wildlife conflict, climb the Kigezi highlands to track the great apes, and meet the local Batwa community, who are helping in protecting the gorilla population in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
20. Sip on Eco-friendly Rum in Nicaragua
Flor de Caña, the famous distillery in Central America’s Nicaragua, produces 100 per cent carbon-neutral, gluten-free, and Fair Trade-certified rum, which you get to savour on a day-long private tour by Vive Travels. The in-house museum at the distillery is where you get all the deets on the thriving rum industry of Nicaragua, plus it is housed in the world’s largest rum barrel! Later, tour the old capital city of León where you visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed León Cathedral and the Rubén Darío Museum, among other important sites. End the tour at San Jacinto Volcanic Mud Fields, where hot steam and gas rising from the depths of the Telica volcano can be seen bubbling in the mud.
21. Go Bamboo Rafting in Jamaica
For an authentic Jamaican experience, book a Bamboo River Rafting & Countryside expedition with Island Routes. Before you venture into the waters, explore Rafter’s Village and take a stroll through a herb garden that introduces you to Jamaican herbs known for their healing properties. Then, for the main attraction, climb on to a nine-metre-long bamboo raft, which is manoeuvred by a raft captain over the glimmering green waters of River Martha Brae in the parish of Trelawny.
22. Spend a Meaningful Month in Morocco
Morocco demands that you dive deep into its layered heritage and culture to fully understand it. It’s the perfect candidate for slow, immersive travel. Unsettled organises month-long community-driven retreats in Morocco, among other global destinations. The retreat is a mix of leadership projects, local experiences, dinner parties, workshops, community sessions, as well as excursions with like-minded people. You will live in a traditional riad in the heart of Marrakesh’s medina—a place at the crossroads of art, culture, and tradition. This is a brilliant option for independent professionals to step outside their comfort zones and invest in a productive vacation.
23. Live the Hamlet Life in Karnataka
Hulgol in Karnataka is an unassuming village that hides behind its rustic demeanour an intriguing heritage that features spice gardens and 10th-century ruins. Village Ways offers an insight into the spice gardens of Karnataka with Hulgol’s variety of peppercorn, vanilla, betelnut, cinnamon, cardamom, etc. Borrow one of the villagers’ bicycles, or simply walk along River Shalmala, to discover astonishing rock carvings. With enough local temples, tumbling rivers, and gushing waterfalls in the vicinity, Hulgol makes for a picturesque trip amid the Western Ghats.
24. Run a Bookstore in Scotland
Bibliophile dreams come true in Wigtown, which was officially designated the National Book Town of Scotland in 1998. Among its many book-related businesses is The Open Book, a unique bookstore cum vacation rental. The business lets you run the bookshop for the duration of your stay in an apartment upstairs! Nestled in the fairy-tale setting of Galloway in southwestern Scotland, which features in many an English classic, Wigtown is a historic little town. Ever since The Open Book began offering first-of-its-kind residency holidays, it has become all the more popular. Bibliophiles from around the world have it on their bucket list, despite the bookstore’s years-long waiting list.
25. Go Diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Difficult to reach and located just off the tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula in Indonesia, Raja Ampat archipelago has 75 per cent of the world’s coral species. Live at the no-plastic Cove Eco Resort that promotes the indigenous Papuan way of life. The small diving resort is deeply committed to environment conservation. In a Discovery Dive session, you get to explore the preserved remote areas around Yeben Island, where reefs are home to walking sharks, manta rays, parrotfish, etc. The resort provides solar lights, clean water, health facilities, and education to the indigenous young Papuans.
26. Partake in Slovenia’s Green Scheme
Almost any adventure in Slovenia is a conscious one as the destination boasts a nationwide sustainability and community-building programme called Green Scheme. The programme includes 53 destinations, 46 places to stay, four national parks, and two agencies—all holding a green label. Stay at Herbal Rooms, a government-authorised, family-run homestay in the Soca Valley at the western end. The two-room homestay has many activities and trails on offer. You can go on an underground cycling tour below Mount Peca, head to Plave for a herb-picking trip, embark on an olive trail along the Slovenian coast and the countryside of Slovene Istria, make your own herbal pillow, go wine tasting in the Goriška Brda region, or simply enjoy the surreal views of the Korada hills and the emerald-hued River Soca.
27. Go Backwater Kayaking in Goa
Uncommon in Goan itineraries, kayaking is in fact one of the best ways to explore the network of mangrove forests in the region. On your next trip to the sunshine state of India, try the Backwater Kayaking Trail with Terra Conscious, where you gently paddle through this fragile ecosystem and learn about the diverse wildlife it hosts. Cruising through the backwaters is a small-carbon-footprint experience, and lets you enjoy the destination at your own pace.
28. Protect Snow Leopards in Ladakh
The snow leopards of Ladakh are notorious for killing livestock at night. When such incidents take place, affected farmers often resort to retributive killings of the predators. Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust (SLC-IT) sprang into action when they discovered the extent of this human-animal conflict in Hemis National Park in 2001. Volunteering with SLC-IT means getting a chance to be involved in a variety of conservation projects, including conflict mitigation, ecotourism, livestock immunisation, community homestay development, handicraft development, etc.
29. Journey Through the Heart of Australia on Train
Explore Australia on a legendary—and eco-friendly—rail journey on your next trip Down Under. The Ghan is an iconic train that offers more than just transit between Adelaide and Darwin. Onboard, you are spoiled with sumptuous dining, elegant private cabins, and a bunch of optional off-train experiences like boat cruises, Outback introductions, and helicopter flights. As you travel coast to coast on this three-day adventure, you witness Australia at its dramatic best. Choose from one of the curated journeys, or design your own holiday package.
30. Volunteer at a Bear Sanctuary in Romania
Europe’s largest bear sanctuary, Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Zărnești, Romania, has been taking care of over 100 rescued brown bears in a 69-hectare thick oak forest. Join its seven-day volunteer programme, offered by Responsible Travel, where you can help in taking care of bears rescued from captivity and abuse, by preparing their food, monitoring their health, and helping out in sanctuary tours. Spend your free time visiting the nearby Carpathian Mountains, Bran Castle (renowned as Dracula’s Castle), and the medieval city of Brașov.
31. Discover the Secrets of Yakushima, Japan
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Yakushima Island in Japan is blanketed with millennia-old cedar forests (called Yakusugi). Some are as old as 7,000 years, making this island a rare piece of natural network and home to endemic subspecies like the Yakuzaru monkey and the Yakushika deer. The island also has renewable energy plants and eco-houses where you can base yourself, and is famous for its organic farms and 3,000-year-old shamanist traditions. The area is most rewarding for avid hikers, but come prepared as it is a place of extremes—the mountainous inland region is the wettest place in the country.
32. Promote Local Artisans of Alsace, France
If you’re interested in discovering and promoting local art and culture on your next France trip, consider the vibrant region of Alsace, which borders Switzerland to the south and Germany to the east. Local Bini’s tour, Discover Strasbourg’s Art and Culture, puts the lens on the city’s street art, candy-coloured homes, galleries, and museums. With the help of a local guide, learn the stories of local Alsatian craftsmen and explore the YFD Innovation Forme et Design Boutique, which works with Artisans Solidaires and houses more than 30 traditional craft forms. Furthermore, visit the Palais Rohan, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Petite France quarter to get a glimpse of the city’s past.
33. Experience Sustainable Living in Jordan
Feynan Eco Lodge is tastefully simple, inspired by the design principles of the caravanserais that sheltered travellers on ancient trading routes. Located in the former copper-mining valley of Wadi Feynan and surrounded by nothing but burnt orange stones and pink oleanders, Jordan’s first ever eco-resort is accessible only by a 16-kilometre hike through Dana Biosphere Reserve. A stay here means adventures in virgin landscapes, sipping tea with the Bedouin locals, or unwinding guilt-free in the resort, which is completely solar-powered, has natural ventilation, and sources its water from a local spring. Spend your days canyoneering or mountain-biking on the desert landscape and nearby sandstone cliffs, venturing into ancient mines, and enjoying Arabic mezze-style plates cooked to perfection.
34. Enjoy the Green Paradise of Madagascar
Substitute your mainstream island holiday with an immersive trip to the isle of Madagascar, which offers the quintessential tropical vibe with a generous serving of history and biodiversity. A 24-day Madagascar In Depth itinerary offered by Intrepid Travel includes visiting 800-year-old trees along the Avenue of the Baobabs, a three-day boat excursion on River Tsiribihina, staying in a quaint cottage in the Ranomafana National Park, visiting Anakao—a Malagasy beach village perfect for R&R—and lots more.
35. Participate in a Clean-Up Drive of Svalbard, Norway
Here’s an Arctic cruise with a green twist! ‘Clean Up Svalbard’ is a coastal waste-removal programme created by the Governor of Svalbard in coordination with the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO). Travel with Oceanwide Expeditions, one of the authorised members of the programme, to clean Spitsbergen’s most remote beaches and remove their marine debris, consisting of fishing weights, shreds of net, and various small plastics hazardous to marine birds and polar animals, while journeying from Longyearbyen to Raudfjorden, the Monaco Glacier, and more.
36. Swim with Jellyfish in Palau
An archipelago of over 500 remote tropical islands, the country of Palau is home to the 12,000-year-old Jellyfish Lake where you can swim with thousands of unique harmless jellyfish. After the meromictic lake got separated from the Western Pacific Ocean centuries ago, its golden jellyfish lost their sting completely over time, and live peacefully isolated from the rest of the world. Keeping their safety in mind, scuba diving and harsh sunscreens are prohibited in the lake, but you can snorkel. The country is also the world’s first national shark sanctuary.
37. Book an Eco-Tour in Sweden
From dog sledding in the Arctic Circle to timber-rafting in Värmland, oyster and lobster safaris in West Sweden, and kayaking in the sea, Nature’s Best Sweden offers a range of exciting eco-tours in Sweden. It is Europe’s first eco-label to assure you that its experiences, offered by nearly 100 eco-certified tour operators across the country, are quality-approved, have a clear local connection, and follow strict environment and nature conservation measures.
38. Aid Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica
Conservation is systematic in the Costa Rican tourism model, with 25 per cent of land protected. The Nicoya Turtle Expedition by Rustic Pathways is one of the ways you can contribute to this model. As part of the two-week project, a majority of your time will be spent along the Nicoya Peninsula, working with park rangers at the Camaronal Beach. You’ll be looking for turtle nests, protecting their fragile habitats along the shores, and taking part in cleaning drives. On the lighter side of the experience, you’ll get to learn about Tico culture and try your hand at surfing, kayaking, and snorkelling.
39. Tour American National Parks on Train
When motorways captured the people’s imagination in the United States, trains took a back seat. But one cannot deny the role railroads played in the development of the country’s national parks since the beginning of the 20th century. To preserve this heritage, railroad company Amtrak, in collaboration with the National Park Service, offers the Trails & Rails programme. There are different national parks participating on a variety of routes. No matter which one you choose, National Park Service volunteer guides will put up a show-and-tell programme of the historic and natural resources on your journey.
40. Walk With the Palawas in Tasmania
Explore one of Australia’s most incredible landscapes, Tasmania’s Bay of Fires, on foot with Tasmanian Aboriginals or the Palawas. On the Wukalina Walk, the Palawa people tell their 10,000-year-long history in their own words on their own land. Spend two days in a Palawa-style hut and another at a meticulously renovated lighthouse cottage as you cover the 34-kilometre route, learning about the community’s culture, relishing traditionally cooked dishes of mutton bird, wallaby, and doughboys, encountering native wildlife like wombats, possums, and kangaroos, and strolling on white beaches under starry night skies.
41. Stroll Through Wayanad, Kerala
Ditch the mainstream attractions of Kerala’s Wayanad and sign up for Kabani Tours’ 14-kilometre long walk through villages, paddy fields, virgin forests, and River Kabani’s tributaries. Along the way, you will learn about the indigenous flora and fauna, get to hear the folklore of the region, try your hand at archery, learn age-old agricultural practices, and savour local food as well. Sometimes, it is the simplest of experiences that leave a lasting impact.
42. Explore the Markets of Oaxaca, Mexico
Known for its ecotourism, Oaxaca is nestled away from the well-trodden paths and clamour of Mexico City and is home to great tianguis (markets) that are best discovered on foot. Let Discover Oaxaca Tours customise an itinerary for you so you can saunter around at your own pace. We recommend you start with the Mercado Benito Juárez, famed for its unique offerings like mole powders and chapulín (grasshopper) tacos. Move on to the open-air pre-colonial-style Zaachila for great rugs and pottery products; 20 de Noviembre for hand-crafted huaraches (leather sandals), elaborately embroidered blouses, and household adornments; La Villa De Etla for local cheese and meats; and Mercado de Teotitlán del Valle for traditional clothes.
43. Support Farmers in Bhutan
What’s better than a trip to the world’s only carbon-negative country? A trip with a purpose. Plan your Bhutan holiday with a government-approved operator, and join the Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP) Homestay Programme. Stay in a private room carved out of blue pine at a massive but cosy farmhouse in Nasiphel, Bumthang, to enjoy a bucolic way of life and share stories over butter tea with the local farmers who run these alpine homestays as an alternative source of livelihood to offset their loss of crops and livestock to human-wildlife conflict. Nomad festivals, eco-trails, organic meals, cultural treks, and natural hot springs are on offer during your stay.
44. Be a Castaway on Fogo Island in Canada
If you must travel halfway around the world, make it to ‘one of the four corners of Earth’, in Newfoundland’s Fogo Island. Here, Fogo Island Inn is an award-winning luxury lodge built to preserve one of the oldest rural cultures of Canada. The property is a community asset, sort of a flagbearer for the island’s traditions. Designed as a modern take on Atlantic Canadian outport architecture, it is filled with local outport furniture, handcrafted quilts, and woven rugs. Not to mention, 100 per cent of its operating surpluses are invested into the community to help secure a sustainable future for the island.
45. Witness Social Transformation in Colombia
The Medellin Graffiti Tour takes you to Comuna 13, a popular barrio in Colombia that was once considered ‘the most dangerous place in the world’. Today, it has transformed into a cultural centre where hip-hop and graffiti have taken over. Guided by the members of the Casa Kolacho community group, you can get insights into the urban regeneration projects that drove this transformation and the young generation’s journey to peaceful living. Part of the tour’s proceeds go in creating employment and supporting educational programmes here.
46. Build a Home for Elephants in Thailand
Bring The Elephant Home is a project that recreates natural habitats for elephants in Asia and Africa. Placed in Chiang Mai, they are building a community-based education centre in a human-elephant conflict area in Kanchanaburi, a town in west Thailand, with the help of Erawan Elephant Paradise (a centre for rescued and retired elephants), locals, students, and tourist volunteers. Help them build rock check dams where elephants take a dip in the dry season, make firebreaks, clean salt lick ponds in Thai forests, plant trees, or set up nurseries. You can even adopt an elephant here.
47. Ski on Solar Power in Switzerland
Planning your next ski holiday for the winters? Make it a responsible adventure at the Safien Valley in Switzerland’s Graubünden canton. The destination boasts the first solar-powered ski lift in the world, thanks to the enterprising locals of a small village called Tenna. The 450-metre-long facility not only transports skiing enthusiasts but produces surplus solar power—estimates suggest that the solar panels on the ski lift produce 21 per cent more current than traditional rooftop panels due to the angle of the sun rays. Of the 90,000 kWh energy produced by the solar panels annually, 22,000 kWh is utilised for the operation of the ski lift and the rest is sold off to environmentally conscious buyers.
48. Live in the World’s First 3D-Printed Retreat in Mozambique
Kisawa Sanctuary, flung off the eastern coast of Mozambique, is all about responsible hospitality. It has a unique claim to fame: it is the world’s first 3D-printed retreat. Donning an inclusive design by skilled artisans from the island as well as patented 3D-printing technology, the African hideout ensures a very light footprint, and offers interesting activities and excursions like Bazaruto Beach Tour, sundowners atop a red dune, snorkelling in the Benguerra Island, beach soccer, paddleboarding, wildlife boat safaris, local weaving workshops, and permaculture sessions.
49. Learn Earthen Masonry in the Himalayas
Dharmalaya, based above Bir, Himachal Pradesh, focusses on not just the environmental aspects of conservation but also on the inward journey that comes with it. All of its programmes have something unique to offer and require different levels of commitment. The Earthen Masonry Training programme is a certificate course that demands a minimum of six months. It is a formal, hands-on training course covering the masonry aspects of earthen building. The short-term volunteer work programmes give you a taste of the methods of sustainable living in the Himalayas through activities related to earthen building, organic gardening, natural landscaping, and more.
50. Explore a Glow-worm Grotto in New Zealand
A part of the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment, Glowing Adventures controls carbon emissions, protects waterways, provides healthcare to kiwis, organises native plantation drives, and prevents single-use plastic, while offering the best caving adventures in the country’s most accessible glow-worm grotto, Waitomo Cave. The limestone cave is known for its population of arachnocampa luminosa, a rare glow-worm species found exclusively in New Zealand. The tour involves climbing over boulders and wading through streams, without any handrails, electric lights, or concrete paths.