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5 incredible destinations where travel is a force for good

Conscious travelers can help leave the world a better place when they choose to visit these incredible global destinations with eco-friendly experiences and hotels.

By Jessica Poitevien | April 3, 2024

Exploring the world often has an undeniably positive impact on travelers, but what about the other way around? Now more than ever, travelers are finding ways to leave a destination better than it was before by making conscious decisions in how they travel. From staying at hotels that prioritize sustainable practices to participating in eco-conscious activities, here are a few highly sought-after destinations around the globe where you can travel and do some good along the way.

Tulum, Mexico

With lush tropical forests, crystalline cenotes and the soothingly warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, Tulum is a paradisiacal destination for nature lovers. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is particularly worth exploring with a private guide to help you spot the thousands of species of flora and fauna. Eco-conscious travelers staying at Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya can rest easy knowing that the resort is not only stunning, but also intentional about lessening its impact on the area’s pristine environment. Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya has multiple rescue and relocation programs for its mangroves, wildlife and coastal forest, as well as innovative waste management practices. During sea turtle nesting season, the resort also closes off areas of the beach where the turtles nest to avoid disturbing the newest hatchlings and ensure their safety.

Mahé, Seychelles

The Seychelles is an island destination unlike any other, known for its crystal-clear water, iconic granite rock formations and a blend of Asian, African and European influences that birthed a culture and cuisine totally unique to the archipelago. At Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts, the very essence of the Seychelles is woven into every detail in a thoughtful and eco-friendly way. This commitment to sustainability starts in your hotel room where bath products are biodegradable and made by a local small business using plant-based ingredients. Meanwhile, in the resort’s signature restaurants, much of the seafood and other ingredients are locally sourced to support local businesses and ensure freshness, while at the bars, 90% of the spirits are also from the region.

Rangali Island, Maldives

Gifted with bountiful natural beauty, the Maldives entices distinguished travelers with its white sand and turquoise water. What’s underneath the water, though, is often the biggest draw for this exclusive destination. Hire a private guide for an adventurous day of swimming alongside whale sharks or mantas. There are also prime locations for snorkeling or scuba diving among colorful fish, coral, turtles, rays and sharks. To ensure the survival of this blissful environment, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island sponsors reef cleaning and coral regeneration programs, with an in-house team, including a marine biologist, tending to a local reef. Healthy coral is also regularly replanted in the reef and guests can even adopt coral to help with the efforts.

Anguilla, West Indies

With hundreds of days of sunshine per year, Anguilla is the ultimate Caribbean destination for travelers in need of some vitamin D. Make the most of the idyllic weather with the island’s plethora of outdoor adventures. Start with a peaceful horseback ride along the white-sand shores of Cove Beach before trying the more adrenaline-pumping activities like kite and windsurfing. At Zemi Beach House, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Anguilla’s sunshine is more than a major vacation perk — it’s a key part of the resort’s sustainable practices. On 5 acres (2 hectares) of this award-winning hotel sits the Zemi Solar Farm, with over 2,700 solar modules producing enough energy to fully power all rooms and suites, as well as the entire hotel when the sun is at its peak.

Maui, Hawaii

For native Hawaiians, the land is considered part of the collective family— something to take care of and not exploit. Travelers are invited to respectfully enjoy the lush tropical landscapes throughout the island chain. Maui is particularly popular, where you can try traditional outrigger canoeing, snorkel with sea turtles or explore the dormant volcano crater at Haleakala National Park. At Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, that harmonious relationship with the land means putting sustainability at the forefront of your stay. The resort is full of drought-resistant indigenous plants that decrease water usage for landscaping; 90% of produce and products come from local farmers; there’s no plastic packaging nor single-use plastic water bottles and all cooking oil is recycled as biodiesel.

Whether you leave home to rest and recharge or connect with people from other cultures, traveling can have a positive impact on your life. Return the favor by choosing eco-friendly experiences and sustainability-focused hotels to help keep the world’s idyllic destinations intact for years to come.

Jessica Poitevien is an international storyteller with more than a decade of experience in writing and editing. Born in New York, she caught the travel bug throughout multiple moves that brought her to California, Spain, Colombia and her current home base in South Florida. She has visited over 40 countries (and counting!), including several solo trips, and also considers herself an expert in destination weddings and unique honeymoons — her own was two months long. When she's not traveling, she enjoys making social media content, trying new food and acting as a travel agent for friends and family.

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