Archive for the ‘adventure travel’ Category

Natural Habitat Adventures: Tiger-Intensive Expedition

 

BengaltigerTobySinclair22.135548

Bengal Tiger (c) Toby Sinclair

 

I love a good tiger safari. Who doesn’t?

Now, one of the world’s leaders in sustainable nature travel, Natural Habitat Adventures is introducing a  new 7-day tiger-intensive expedition, India Tiger Quest, offering the rare opportunity to see Bengal tigers in their natural habitat along with other remarkable wildlife of India.

Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism since 1985. From polar bear tours in Churchill to small-group Galapagos cruises, from Alaska grizzly bear adventures to African safaris, their journeys, led by professional naturalist guides, reveal the planet’s most extraordinary nature destinations.

With this tiger safari, you can visit one of India’s premier places to see some of the world’s last remaining wild Bengal tigers: Ranthambore National Park.

After years of plummeting tiger numbers, India charted a 30% rise in its quadrennial tiger census in 2014, compared to 2010. Conservation groups attribute some of that growth to sustainable ecotourism. The economic impact of visitors to India’s tiger reserves benefits the communities in proximity, providing jobs and offering local people an incentive to protect the wildlife with which they share the land. Given that India is home to 70% of the world’s remaining wild tigers, and India is the only country currently seeing a rise in tiger numbers, the presence of wildlife tourism here is integral to that continued conservation success.

Led by India’s top naturalist guides, travel at the optimal time of year for sightings, when temperatures are getting hot but monsoon rains are still weeks away, drawing wildlife into the open to drink at shrinking waterholes. Search for tigers on morning and afternoon drives through the deciduous jungle, keeping a lookout for other jungle wildlife, too: sloth bear, leopard, sambar, chital, palm civet, langur monkeys, pythons and more. With 11 guests total–and just four per safari vehicle–everyone gets a “window” seat in open-sided 4x4s.

The per-person double rates start at $6,795 ($1,275 single supplement). Included are all activities, accommodations, train from Ranthambore to Delhi, airport transfers, most meals, guiding by professional naturalist Expedition Leaders, most gratuities, all permits, taxes and service charges.

Departures are offered throughout 2019 and 2020.

www.nathab.com

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The Top Eco-Resorts from around the World

Awasi Patagonia

Awasi Patagonia

Imagine yourself cocooned in a natural paradise. A pristine, untouched landscape stretches out before you; fresh, clean air invigorates your senses; beautiful birdsong awakens you every morning; each day is filled with authentic safari experiences or just pure relaxation. All this, and you can still contribute to sustainable environmental practices and do your bit to empower local communities.

Sounds like a dream come true?

Say hello to the Enchanting Top 10 resorts that exist in harmony with their local environment. Secluded, exclusive, and deliciously plush, these resorts spell perfect vacations for nature enthusiasts and luxury travelers alike. Come and live the experience!

SOUTH AMERICA

Tierra Chiloé

The uniquely designed Tierra Chiloé occupies pride of place in the mysterious Chiloé archipelago, offering breathtaking views of the islands from its 12 exclusive rooms. The hotel has been built to optimize the use of renewable resources, and benefit the local community through employment opportunities and low-impact tourism, while offering every conceivable luxury on your trip to Chile. Enjoy leisurely boat rides through tranquil waterways, see a host of wildlife, and learn about local legends and customs from the expert Chilean staff.

Awasi Patagonia

To the nature enthusiast, it would seem that Awasi Patagonia was built around nature rather than being surrounded by it. Glorious views of the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile await at your exclusive, private villa at Awasi Patagonia. Each villa is fashioned after traditional Patagonian outposts that are built on raised stilts. Spaciously constructed with local material, this is your ticket to luxurious living in wild Patagonia. Venture into the vastness with your personal guide, go off the beaten path to observe animals in their natural environ, and enjoy the serenity on your private tour of Chile.

Chile - Rapa Nui.jpg

Explora Rapa Nui

Explora Rapa Nui

Untouched nature and mysteries of a lost civilization await you in the midst of the Pacific. Explora Rapa Nui is a harmonious blend of luxurious comfort, modern architecture and ecological consideration. Built with the philosophy of paying tribute to the past, appreciating the present and paving the way for a better future, the resort offers guests a chance to interact with raw nature and contribute towards  conserving nature and the local community at the same time.  There is something for anyone who wants to experience adventure tours in Chile – from excellent opportunities for hiking, to cycling and snorkeling. Witness the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Moai statues that keep a silent vigil over this remote and carefully conserved island.

ASIA

Six Senses Koh Yao Noi

Rustic, tranquil and utterly luxurious, all 56 villas at Six Senses Koh Yao Noi in Thailand have been built amid a former rubber plantation. Today, the plantation is gone, but several of the glorious, giant trees remain. The vast gardens and landscape are specifically designed to preserve untouched native flora and fauna, and there is a dedicated sustainability policy for the entire resort focusing on community development and careful use of resources. Whether you go exploring in the adjoining mango grove, snorkeling in the cobalt ocean or simply lounge in your private pool ensconced in lush greenery, incredible experiences await you.

Four Season Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai

Four Seasons Tented Camp

Four Seasons Tented Camp, Chiang Rai

When it comes a secluded natural paradise, far away from the sea of humanity, Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Rai, Thailand, does not disappoint. From handcrafted furnishings to private encounters with friendly elephants and nature-inspired treatments in an open-air spa, the property offers many unique experiences. Spacious and luxurious tents offer every modern comfort, while the digital detox of TV and radio ensures complete peace and quiet, punctuated only by the harmonious sounds of the forest. The tents are specifically designed for active adults with a penchant for adventure.

INDIA

Treehouse Hideaway

Live the real Jungle Book experience perched high above the treetops inside a popular tiger reserve – Bandhavgarh National Park in India. Spread over a large forested estate, Treehouse Hideaway strikes the perfect balance between rustic-chic and luxury, with high exposed beams framing the ceilings and plush furnishings to keep you comfortable. Each hideaway is built locally sourced materials that blend in effortlessly with the natural surroundings, quite literally placing you in the lap of nature. All eight stilted rooms offer superb views of the landscape with plenty of wildlife to keep you company.Watch animals roam freely in the wild from your vantage point atop the machaan (platform).

Grassroots Wayanad (21)

Grassroots Wayanad

Grassroots Wayanad

From your arrival at the foothills of the Vythiri Range in Kerala until your departure Grassroots in Wayanad will have you enchanted! Situated within a coffee plantation, each luxurious Swiss tent offers magical views of the tranquil landscape. Experience a healthy lifestyle vacation with delicious cuisine made from fresh, local produce while you immerse yourself in nature. Your days will pass in a flurry of activity as you hike, trek or wander through the verdant forests, or pop into the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary nearby. Prepare to immerse yourself in nature during your visit to Kerala and return truly relaxed and rejuvenated.

AFRICA

The Highlands

Exclusive, remote and utterly luxurious, The Highlands easily redefines the typical Ngorongoro experience in Tanzania. Each of the eight spacious tented camps are fitted with floor to ceiling bay windows that open up to spectacular views of diverse wildlife species roaming freely. The camp uses state-of-the-art technology, including solar power and rainwater harvesting, to minimize its footprint and invest in a conservation economy that sustains nature and people alike. From exciting game drives, hikes through cattle trails in the forested mountains, excursions to see pink flamingoes at the soda lake and visits to local communities, there are many options when you travel to Ngorongoro Crater. Don’t miss the daily gossip from the resident researcher about the local lions’ latest relationship dramas.

Enchanting Travels - Tanzania Tours - Ngorongoro - The Highlands - Dome exterior

Nkwichi Lodge

The pristine sandy beaches on the shores of the vast Lake Malawi in Mozambique, are a luxury unto themselves. Add to that the eco-friendly comfort of Nkwichi Lodge – a hidden paradise tucked far away from the madding crowd, and you have your perfect vacation. Nkwichi partners with the Manda Wilderness Project to help local communities with environmental conservation and is dedicated to conserving the pristine shores of the lake and its surrounding wilderness. Enjoy true tranquility by the Mozambican lakeshore as you stay in uniquely designed accommodation. For something extra special, settle into the unique Star Bed set on a secluded beach.

Camp Kalahari, Uncharted Africa

Camp Kalahari

Camp Kalahari

Set by the mysterious and timeless Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Camp Kalahari offers an ideal blend of adventure and comfort. Designed in the safari camp style of yore with a blend of colonial and traditional furnishings, this bush camp prides itself on its sensitive treatment towards its surroundings. The eco-friendly camp has initiated a long-term conservation project to protect the wetlands, its biodiversity, and local livelihoods. During the wet seasons, its wildlife sightings are aplenty what with huge herds of zebra and wildebeest making their way through the salt pans and predators on the prowl. The surrounding area receives regular visits from curious meerkats who are determined to keep you company.

If you’re seeking your own eco-adventure abroad, check out Enchanting Travels where they’ll help you create a private and beautifully bespoke trip and…

Unearth the magic of these top 10 eco hotels for yourself because the land needs you, and you need the land.

Top 10 Eco Hotels

Fotografías Aereas; Hotel Explora Rapa Nui

Hotel Explora – Rapa Nui

Imagine yourself cocooned in a natural paradise. A pristine, untouched landscape stretches out before you; fresh, clean air invigorates your senses; beautiful birdsong awakens you every morning; each day is filled with authentic safari experiences or just pure relaxation. All this, and you can still contribute to sustainable environmental practices and do your bit to empower local communities.

Sounds like a dream come true?

By Bradley Yandell

Say hello to the Enchanting Top 10 resorts that exist in harmony with their local environment! Secluded, exclusive, and deliciously plush, these resorts spell perfect vacations for nature enthusiasts and luxury travelers alike. Come and live the experience!

SOUTH AMERICA

Tierra Chiloé

The uniquely designed Tierra Chiloé occupies pride of place in the mysterious Chiloé archipelago, offering breathtaking views of the islands from its 12 exclusive rooms. The hotel has been built to optimize the use of renewable resources, and benefit the local community through employment opportunities and low-impact tourism, while offering every conceivable luxury on your trip to Chile.

Enjoy leisurely boat rides through tranquil waterways, see a host of wildlife, and learn about local legends and customs from the expert Chilean staff.

Awasi Patagonia

Awasi Patagonia

Awasi Patagonia

To the nature enthusiast, it would seem that Awasi Patagonia was built around nature rather than being surrounded by it!

Glorious views of the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile await at your exclusive, private villa at Awasi Patagonia. Each villa is fashioned after traditional Patagonian outposts that are built on raised stilts. Spaciously constructed with local material, this is your ticket to luxurious living in wild Patagonia.

Venture into the vastness with your personal guide, go off the beaten path to observe animals in their natural environ, and enjoy the serenity on your private tour of Chile!

Explora Rapa Nui

Untouched nature and mysteries of a lost civilization await you in the midst of the Pacific. Explora Rapa Nui is a harmonious blend of luxurious comfort, modern architecture and ecological consideration.

Built with the philosophy of paying tribute to the past, appreciating the present and paving the way for a better future, the resort offers guests a chance to interact with raw nature and contribute towards conserving nature and the local community at the same time.

There is something for anyone who wants to experience adventure tours in Chile – from excellent opportunities for hiking, to cycling and snorkeling. Witness the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Moai statues that keep a silent vigil over this remote and carefully conserved island.

ASIA

Six Senses Koh Yao Noi

Rustic, tranquil and utterly luxurious, all 56 villas at Six Senses Koh Yao Noi in Thailand have been built amid a former rubber plantation. Today, the plantation is gone, but several of the glorious, giant trees remain. The vast gardens and landscape are specifically designed to preserve untouched native flora and fauna, and there is a dedicated sustainability policy for the entire resort focusing on community development and careful use of resources.

Whether you go exploring in the adjoining mango grove, snorkeling in the cobalt ocean or simply lounge in your private pool ensconced in lush greenery, incredible experiences await you!

Four Season Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai

Four Season Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai

Four Seasons Tented Camp, Chiang Rai

When it comes a secluded natural paradise, far away from the sea of humanity, Four Seasons’ Tented Camp in Chiang Rai, Thailand, does not disappoint. From handcrafted furnishings to private encounters with friendly elephants and nature-inspired treatments in an open-air spa, the property offers many unique experiences.

Spacious and luxurious tents offer every modern comfort, while the digital detox of TV and radio ensures complete peace and quiet, punctuated only by the harmonious sounds of the forest. The tents are specifically designed for active adults with a penchant for adventure!

INDIA

Treehouse Hideaway

Live the real Jungle Book experience perched high above the treetops inside a popular tiger reserve – Bandhavgarh National Park in India. Spread over a large forested estate, Treehouse Hideaway strikes the perfect balance between rustic-chic and luxury, with high exposed beams framing the ceilings and plush furnishings to keep you comfortable. Each hideaway is built locally sourced materials that blend in effortlessly with the natural surroundings, quite literally placing you in the lap of nature!

All eight stilted rooms offer superb views of the landscape with plenty of wildlife to keep you company.Watch animals roam freely in the wild from your vantage point atop the machaan (platform).

Grassroots Wayanad (21)

Grassroots Wayanad

Grassroots Wayanad

From your arrival at the foothills of the Vythiri Range in Kerala until your departure Grassroots in Wayanad will have you enchanted! Situated within a coffee plantation, each luxurious Swiss tent offers magical views of the tranquil landscape. Experience a healthy lifestyle vacation with delicious cuisine made from fresh, local produce while you immerse yourself in nature!

Your days will pass in a flurry of activity as you hike, trek or wander through the verdant forests, or pop into the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary nearby. Prepare to immerse yourself in nature during your visit to Kerala and return truly relaxed and rejuvenated!

AFRICA

Enchanting Travels - Tanzania Tours - Ngorongoro - The Highlands - Dome exterior

The Highlands

The Highlands

Exclusive, remote and utterly luxurious, The Highlands easily redefines the typical Ngorongoro experience in Tanzania. Each of the eight spacious tented camps are fitted with floor to ceiling bay windows that open up to spectacular views of diverse wildlife species roaming freely. The camp uses state-of-the-art technology, including solar power and rainwater harvesting, to minimize its footprint and invest in a conservation economy that sustains nature and people alike.

From exciting game drives, hikes through cattle trails in the forested mountains, excursions to see pink flamingoes at the soda lake and visits to local communities, there are many options when you travel to Ngorongoro Crater. Don’t miss the daily gossip from the resident researcher about the local lions’ latest relationship dramas!

Enchanting Travels-Mozambique Tours-Lake Malawi-Nkwichi Lodge-Star bed

Nkwichi Lodge

Nkwichi Lodge

The pristine sandy beaches on the shores of the vast Lake Malawi in Mozambique, are a luxury unto themselves. Add to that the eco-friendly comfort of Nkwichi Lodge – a hidden paradise tucked far away from the madding crowd, and you have your perfect vacation! Nkwichi partners with the Manda Wilderness Project to help local communities with environmental conservation, and is dedicated to conserving the pristine shores of the lake and its surrounding wilderness.

Enjoy true tranquility by the Mozambican lakeshore as you stay in uniquely designed accommodation. For something extra special, settle into the unique Star Bed set on a secluded beach.

Camp Kalahari, Uncharted Africa

Camp Kalahari

Camp Kalahari

Set by the mysterious and timeless Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Camp Kalahari offers an ideal blend of adventure and comfort. Designed in the safari camp style of yore with a blend of colonial and traditional furnishings, this bush camp prides itself on its sensitive treatment towards its surroundings. The eco-friendly camp has initiated a long-term conservation project to protect the wetlands, its biodiversity, and local livelihoods.

During the wet seasons, its wildlife sightings are aplenty what with huge herds of zebra and wildebeest making their way through the salt pans and predators on the prowl. The surrounding area receives regular visits from curious meerkats who are determined to keep you company!

Unearth the magic of these top 10 eco hotels for yourself!

If you seek an eco adventure abroad, ask your personal travel consultant today what fairs and festivals are happening during your Enchanting Travels adventure. They focus on your interests to create a private and beautifully bespoke and Enchanting trip!

 

How Locals Vacation in New Zealand

You often hear about New Zealand’s incredible, stunning luxury lodges around Hawke’s Bay and Queenstown, but Kiwis themselves have always been drawn to out-of-the-way places. They want to be at the far corners of the country, where big waves roll just off the front porch, long-legged seabirds scavenge in the sand for insects, and the only sounds are cicadas chirping. The iconic New Zealand “bach” (vacation home) personifies the Kiwi character: unpretentious, individual and creative. It is also a place to find solace and silence. There are extensive listings of Kiwi beaches for rent throughout the country, of course, but we found out about these three awesome places where you can stay to have a real Kiwi baech experience.

Onemana Bach - lo res

Onemana Bach

Coromandel: Paradise Found at Onemana

Internationally renowned New Zealand music producer Chris Parry (The Cure, The Jam) has slept in some of the world’s most luxurious penthouse suites, however, when he thinks of paradise, his beach on the Coromandel Peninsula is what comes to mind. Accessed only by a forestry road, his beach at Onemana, north of popular Whangamata Beach, is the polar opposite of his jet set music life. It is remote, slow moving and soul restoring – and you too can rent it!

www.bachcare.co.nz/2620

Woodpecker Bay lo res

Woodpecker Bay

Woodpecker Bay: Built on the Rocks

When big waves pound the South Island’s West Coast at Woodpecker Bay, guests at this mid-century era bach have a seaside seat. Owner Daniel Beetham says guests love the bach’s wild location and the sense of peace they get when they walk through the door. Lovingly furnished with New Zealand art and items bought from secondhand shops, there is an old claw bath and a wood-burning stove. Guests at Woodpecker Bay Bach – Life on the Edge (15 minutes north of Punakaiki) can sit and watch the rough sea batter the rocks just outside the window or – for those who want to get their feet wet – there is a great swimming hole at Fox River, 2.5 miles to the south. As for the name, “Woodpecker Bay,” well it is a Kiwi mystery… New Zealand has no woodpeckers!

www.bookabach.co.nz/23594

Stewart Island: A Bird Lover’s Paradise

Located only 39 steps from the bach to the beach, guests at Skip’s Place are woken by a deafening dawn chorus as bellbirds, grey warblers and kakariki warming up their vocal chords. Owner Holger Lachman, originally from Germany, visited Stewart Island – on New Zealand’s southern extremity – as a backpacker 20 years ago and never left. The weatherboard bach has been fully modernized, yet some original features remain – guests have to light a fire for hot water – but Lachman says visitors like the rustic do-it-yourself aspects. They also enjoy how dark it is when night falls, which is great for stargazing and seeing the Southern Cross.

http://www.nzstays.co.nz/497-s kip-039s-place-stewart-island- new-zealand.html

Sri Lanka’s Latest Villa Rentals

On Houses

A view from On Houses Weligama, Sri Lanka

Lately, Sri Lanka is really making the travel aficionado rounds as the next hot destination. As such, we came across On Houses Weligama, located on the beautiful south coast of Sri Lanka, and wanted to let our readers know about these luxury villa rentals. On Houses, Weligama is in a quiet and secluded bay five minutes away from Weligama Bay. With its four houses built into the hillside and each with uninterrupted ocean views and lush tropical gardens, On Houses, Weligama is the newest addition to the growing portfolio of luxury accommodation and travel options now available in Sri Lanka. 

Imagine awakening every morning on a tropical island, rich in culture and history, unrivaled in its natural beauty, facing the white sands and clear waters of the Indian Ocean, in a home that represents refined taste and tropical modern luxury.

On Houses

Take in the views of the ocean from your own private infinity pool

On Houses can be rented out as whole villa rentals, whether only 1 or all 5 bedrooms are being occupied. Each On House rental comes with an in house highly trained chef, as well as housekeeper, waiter, shared gardeners, pool attendant, and security.

Rental of an On House can be best booked and paid for through a variety of property rental services, such as Airbnb, Trip Advisor, Booking.com, Expedia, Vacation Rentals, and others.

On Houses

A room with a view…

Features of the On House include:

  • 5 en-suite bedrooms, each with direct ocean facing views
  • Handcrafted high quality finishes throughout
  • Private infinity edge pool with underwater music speakers
  • Generous terraces and verandahs
  • Spacious living and dining areas
  • Outdoor dining pavilion
  • Fully furnished
  • Private gym/ massage room
  • Enclosed garage
  • Separate two-bedroom staff quarters and laundry
  • Exquisite landscaping
  • On site management, including security, gardening, and maintenance
  • ON House rental program available through ON House management

 

 

A Modern Safari Fit for a King or Queen

The latest Netflix series on our minds (and ‘recently watched’ lists) has without a doubt renewed an interest in the royals and their connection to Africa. andBeyond has created a safari to give guests a taste of the royal treatment…

Kenya and The Crown

cottars-1920s-camp

Cottars 1920s Camp

Home of the classic safari, Kenya has an undeniable connection to Britain’s colonial era with its historical aura of elegance and grandeur. In fact, as documented in the recent television series, it was in Kenya that Queen Elizabeth first received the news of the death of her father, King George, and of her ascension to the throne. Inspired by this and the many other connections between the royal family and this former colonial stronghold, andBeyond has created a modern safari fit for a queen called Kenya and the Crown.

kenya-safari-masai-mara-tours

Lunch with the Masai Mara

This grand itinerary visits places made famous by explorers and royals of old, including special touches like vintage vehicles, which will take the intrepid traveler on a journey far back in time.  andBeyond, one of the world’s leading luxury experiential travel companies, has designed personalized high-end tours in 15 countries in Africa, five in Asia, and four in South America. The company also owns and operates 31 extraordinary safari lodges and camps, which positively impact more than 9 million acres of wildlife land . Taking exceptional care of its guests in order to make a difference; its commitment to sustainable responsible travel, conservation and community empowerment has been globally recognized with multiple awards over the years.

kenya-masai-safari-tours-migration

A Kenyan Migration Adventure

Highlights of the itinerary:

  • Stay in the famous Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi, host to characters such as Theodore Roosevelt on his epic 1909 safari Walk in the footsteps of legends on an historical tour of Nairobi, visiting sites such as the Railway Museum and Karen Blixen’s home.
  • Relax in the lovingly maintained colonial mansion of Giraffe Manor.
  • Experience the wilderness of Tsavo from the luxury private camp inspired by none other than the honorable Denys Finch-Hatton of ‘Out of Africa’ fame.
  • Feel the thrill of walking where the Tsavo man-eating lions once roamed.
  • Ride in a Vintage 1928 International SS motor Truck as driven by Robert Redford in the film ‘Out of Africa.’
  • Explore the Masai Mara celebrating the era of classic luxury at Cottar’s 1920 which is reminiscent of the 1920s.
  • Enjoy a Heliflip to Lake Rutundu for a champagne breakfast where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton.
  • The obviously excellent photographic opportunities throughout this historical journey.
luxury-africa-safrai-kenya-lewa-downs

The luxurious accommodations of Lewa Downs

Rates:

  • January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017    
  • Starting from $19,551 USD per person sharing
  • 10 Days / 9 Nights

Make the Most of the Adventure:

Guests can add to this Kenyan adventure by hopping across the border to Uganda, putting them within reach of the once-in-a-lifetime experience of tracking Gorillas and taking them to the end of the ‘Lunatic Line’ in Kampala.

Complement the Northern section by spending a few nights on Lake Victoria – andBeyond’s travel experts can tailor-make the itinerary.

Specially Created for:

  • History buffs
  • Romance
  • Wildlife enthusiasts
  • Avid photographers

A Luxurious Kenyan Safari fit for a King or Queen

Best Destinations for Ecotourism

Montserrat Volcano

Montserrat Volcano

Ecotourism is no longer trend that started in the 90’s to describe responsible travel to largely untouched areas. Now, it has largely realized its aim by creating an industry of conservation that offers clear benefits to the local community.  Recently, it’s become even more popular as traveler demand has driven a desire for destinations that are eco-friendly and modeled after sustainable practices. Plus, there’s nature and for those who can afford it, they want to escape. These destinations also often offer a bit more in terms of cultural activities and a means to learn more about the soul enriching ways of a local community.

With this in mind, we’re featuring three destinations that inspire: Montserrat, Trinidad & Tobago and Costa Rica –  with unspoiled beaches, uninhabited areas, and archeological sites that can only be accessed by hiking, biking or kayaking.

Lime Tree Cottage 1

Lime Tree Cottage – Montserrat

MONTSERRAT

With its mountainous terrain, hiking the trails on Montserrat is the best way to see the untouched areas of the island. Additionally, diving excursions allow visitors the unique opportunity to see beautiful volcanic rock formations and vibrant marine life that now thrives after the 1995 eruption of the previously dormant Soufriere Hills volcano.

Montserrat’s villas offer prime accommodations for couples, families, friends and even colleagues who long for an affordable upmarket Caribbean getaway with all the amenities of home. The secluded destination provide visitors with the ideal opportunity to experience a traditional Caribbean vacation in tranquil surroundings and away from large chain resorts, crowded beaches and traffic-jammed streets.

Most of the villas offer airport and ferry transfers, car rentals, stocked kitchens, housekeepers, baby-sitting services, cooks, and  villa-specific organized activities during your stay.

http://www.visitmontserrat.com/villas/

Rates start @USD $1,000/per week

From mid-April through mid-November for a three-bedroom, three-bathroom villa with a housekeeper, swimming pool, wet bar, wireless internet, washer and dryer. These villas are perfect for visitors looking to immerse in Montserrat’s volcano-viewing experience (considered a modern-day Pompeii), rich Irish heritage, bird-watching, hiking trails, aquatic adventures and more.

Argyle Waterfall_Main Ridge Rainforest

Argyle Waterfall – Trinidad & Tobago

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Unlike its Caribbean counterparts, Trinidad & Tobago’s biodiversity is most similar to that of Venezuela. The best way to see its local flora and fauna is by hiking through its many trails, especially the Northern Mountain Range of Trinidad that was once attached to South America and the Main Ridge Rainforest in Tobago, the oldest protected reserve in the western hemisphere. The underwater scenery in Tobago is just as spectacular as it boasts more than 300 different species of coral, especially the largest brain coral in the world.

brain coral - credit Oswin Browne.jpg

Brain Coral (c) Oswin Browne

Acajou Hotel, Trinidad

This small, eco-friendly, family run hotel is situated in a little fishing village called Grande Riviere located on the beautiful and dramatic northern Coast of Trinidad. Flanked by the wide expanse of vegetation on the steep hills of the Northern range, Acajou (the French for ‘tropical wood’) offers travelers the opportunity to be one with nature, view it’s beauty in its simple majesty, rest to the soothing rhythms of the ocean, meditate on its treasures or simply have a unique candlelight dinner. The hotel is built as a group of traditional cottages nestled between the beach, a crystal clear river and mountains covered by lush rainforest. Influenced by Indonesian, Polynesian and Japanese architecture, the cabins are made of local and imported woods, including bamboo and are designed to create a feeling of complete privacy.

www.acajoutrinidad.com or call 868.670.3771

Asa Wright Nature Center Lodge, Trinidad

The original estate house of the former coffee-cocoa-citrus plantation has been beautifully remodeled over the years as a comfortable headquarters where guests gather to watch the incredible bird-life from the fabled verandah. Your observation time there is punctuated by a high tea in the afternoon and ends with a traditional complimentary rum punch cocktail as the sun sets over the Arima Valley. This main house and its several cottages nestled nearby in the lush flower-filled grounds are your home for one of the world’s best birding adventures. Not your classic Caribbean resort, the Centre’s “swimming pool” is a natural grotto on a free-running rain forest stream where guests can relax and escape from the tropical heat. All of the cottages feature rooms with private verandahs and guests can also retreat to their private oasis to observe the brilliantly colored birds found on the Centre grounds.

www.asawright.org

Cuffie River Nature Retreat and Ecolodge, Tobago

Located on the island of Tobago, this small yet intimate lodge is equipped with ten rooms, two of which are executive suites. Each has been tastefully furnished with private balcony. The design of the building has been carefully chosen to facilitate natural lights and air currents. Low wattage bulbs and solar lighting are also used throughout the grounds.  Conservation of water is of great importance given that the property uses rain and spring fed systems and successful practices have included short flushing toilets, rationalized washing and towel changes only when indicated by guests. To further maintain its natural ambiance smooth faced clay blocks and tile are used while furniture and other fixtures are all made from locally manufactured products. The lodge is situated on the edge of Tobago’s forest-the oldest in the western hemisphere. It is surrounded by bamboo groves, fresh water springs, exotic flowers and wildlife.

www.cuffieriver.com or call 868.660.0505

Footprints Eco Resort and Spa, Tobago

This 62-acre property is a designated nature preserve with hiking and bird watching trails galore. With the use of materials such as teak, wallaba slabs, and native recycled hardwood the resort has maximized the consumption of local, yet natural building materials. All rooms are equipped with solar water heaters, gas stoves and photovoltaic lighting. The hotel grows fresh organic herbs and vegetables throughout the property and prepares breads, ice creams, cakes, sauces, and even condiments, fresh daily. Surrounded by the virtually untouched Culloden Reef that begins a few feet from the shoreline of the property and is available for guests to snorkel and scuba dive, the resort offers the comfort of a modern hotel in a purely natural setting.

http://footprintsecoresort.com 

Footprints also makes properties as environmentally sensitive, and in connection with our environment, as possible by:

• Using traditional architecture, and reclaimed, recycled and local materials to a maximum

• Waste management  for grey water, runoff water, sewerage waste, and solid waste

• Fresh water conservation measures including sea water pools

• Kitchen waste and yard waste composting to reduce solid waste and provide organic fertilizer for gardens

• In-house organic garden produces fruits, vegetables, herbs, eggs, chicken, and honey for restaurant use to reduce food miles

• Bird and butterfly gardens with local wildflowers, fruit, food, and forest trees to attract wildlife and support the recovery of beneficial insects, such as butterflies and honeybees

• Support for local fishermen and farmers by showcasing local ingredients and traditional cuisine.

As they say, “Food shares the story of our culture through a medium that everyone can enjoy.”

Kariwak Holistic Haven Hotel, Tobago

A holistic haven and hotel, Kariwak Village has carved a distinctive niche with its award winning 2 acre garden bursting with tropical shrubs, foliage and flowering trees filled with bird song, dominated by the thatched roof ajoupa and its teak floor … the venue for Tai Chi, yoga, gentle stretching exercises, Buddhist meditation sessions and similar holistic activities. The Kariwak kitchen is supplied with abundant fresh herbs from the garden, those same herbs are lovingly transformed into delicious Caribbean meals which are served with a friendly smile in the open air restaurant.

www.kariwak.com or call 868.639.8442

Diving in Costa Rica

Diving in Costa Rica

COSTA RICA

Costa Rica’s ecotourism is one that enthusiasts cannot miss, featuring lush forests, thriving ecosystems and breathtaking waterfalls only accessible by foot. Just like Montserrat, Costa Rica has underwater volcanic rock formations which are home to various species of fish, rays, turtles and white-tip reef sharks alongside vibrant coral reefs.

Environmental sustainability is at the heart of Costa Rica’s tourism industry. For that reason, the Costa Rica Tourism Board introduced the Certification for Sustainable Tourism program in 1997. This program differentiates businesses of the tourism sector based on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural, social and economic resource management. Visitors who choose to visit CST designated tourism companies such as hotels, tour operators and car rental companies support businesses that take proactive measures to avoid the negative impacts on the environment, culture and society. There are currently 346 hotel, tour operators, car rental agencies and theme parks certified under the program here, so check it out!

http://www.visitcostarica.com/ict/paginas/sostenibilidad.asp?tab=0

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