With more than 1,700 islands that encompass the Florida Keys, they provide refuge to hundreds of bird species, a spectacular diversity of tropical plants and abundant sea life. In other words, it’s the ultimate place for tropical eco-adventure without leaving the continental US. No passport needed.
While some visitors to the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area spend much of the time baking in the sun, hitting the clubs or running up credit cards shopping, my family and I discovered that a subtropical ecotravel adventure awaits less than a half hour away in every direction from the big city bustle.
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest, with the Great Smoky Mountains to the southwest, Asheville, North Carolina, is the perfect basecamp for an ecotour, cultural trip and culinary adventure. Experiencing the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair held here this past April was just the start for my wife and me.
The rich and diverse marine life of the Florida Keys can be experienced without ever getting wet: in a kayak, on a sailboat or at one of the many animal rescue or rehabilitation centers scattered along the Keys.
The adventure in the water, on the water or on dry land does stop with the ecotravel activities in the Florida Keys, many of which help preserve and conserve the very things we came to see. Some of the lodging options – and restaurants or food options – are an adventure in and of themselves.
Natural escapes to ecological preserves minutes away by bike in Hollywood, Florida. A vast sawgrass and gator-inhabited wilderness, including the Everglades National Park, found less than an hour’s drive from the Miami skyline. What surprised my family and me the most on our recent ecotourism adventure in the Miami or Fort Lauderdale areas were their accessibility – and beauty.
Day 2 in Asheville, North Caroline, is about the eco-high adventures to be had, both in the trees on a zipline and when hiking to the Catawba Waterfalls.
At Luna Lodge, a quiet resort and spa on the Osa Peninsula, pampers and educates guests about living sustainably.
Cycle Greater Yellowstone, an annual event tour launched in 2013, benefits the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
One of the best—albeit not the warmest—times to bicycle in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks is during the month of April.
Nested amongst the skyscrapers and tucked between white-powdery beaches and either the buzz of South Beach or nature preserves in Hollywood are some eco-minded hotels and restaurants offering patrons a taste of local and sustainable cuisine.
Bryan Welch's book, Beautiful and Abundant, provides a framework for understanding and evaluating ecotourism's impact on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula.
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
Barbara Bourne’s exquisite photos capture Costa Rica’s lush Osa Peninsula, where Luna Lodge and Finca Exotica are showing guests how exquisite sustainable living can be.
Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica’s verdant San Carlos agricultural region is a dynamic, living example of permaculture and biodynamic farming, where every being is part of a system that nurtures the body and the soul.
At Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica's southern Arenal district, guests get a true farm-to-table culinary and educational experience.
Follow along as we journey to Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, where sustainable development, organic agriculture and ecotourism are thriving.