Uncover Some Of the World’s Best Sustainable Destinations

Vogue Magazine recently published a list of their top destinations for sustainable travel. One of the disclaimers that the famed publication emitted in their article, however, has to do with air travel. Most people are going to have to travel far and wide to get to these places. Those carbon emissions airplanes are famous for not being sustainable. That aside, though, if you want to connect with nature and have unique experiences, these destinations may deserve a spot on your travel wishlist. It’s also important to point out that this is not just a list crafted by Vogue. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is putting its stamp of approval on this as well.

Bawah Reserve, Indonesia

Sand beach at Bwah Island, Indonesia
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dafa akmal

A 5-star resort on an island that is powered exclusively by solar panels—it does not get more sustainable than this! What’s been created here is what is called a renewable microgrid. That means all the power comes from clean sources. In this case, it’s the solar panels. And don’t worry, you’re on an island with plenty of sun so the power won’t run out. The experience within the reserve has certain Maldives vibes. Maybe not quite up there in terms of luxury, but if sustainability is the main thing you’re looking for, this can be your ideal honeymoon destination.

Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica

Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo Guanacaste
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Joshua ten Brink

One of the best experiences if, again, you want to combine a luxury hotel with this sense of sustainable travel. What makes the Peninsula Papagayo somewhat unique compared to some of the other destinations on the list is that it’s been a travel destination for a while. That has helped locals not only create sustainable energy sources, for example, to power the hotel. It’s also enabled them to cover some of the shortcomings that you could face at some of these “newer” resorts in remote places. They’ve solved power outage issues and developed an eco-friendly cooling system. You’re going to be grateful for that cooling system here. A Four Seasons resort in the middle of a tropical rainforest? That sounds like an A+ vacation idea!

Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Village Weggis, lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstatersee), Pilatus mountain and Swiss Alps in the background near famous Lucerne (Luzern) city, Switzerland
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Eva Bocek

We leave the jungles and the beaches to land on the banks of a Swiss Lake. Lake Lucerne received the Green Globe certification, the ‘Swisstainable’ classification Level 3 from Switzerland Tourism. One of the main reasons why it was able to obtain this distinction has to do with the creative way they heat and cool the property out there. This is done through a system that uses cold lake water to power the resort’s HVAC setup. It’s a great location that people can enjoy, particularly in the summer months.

Rwanda, Africa

A silverback mountain gorilla in a rainforest in Rwanda
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Onyx9

Rwanda has tried to shake off its reputation as a war-torn place through the Visit Rwanda campaign, which was a popular staple in sporting events a couple of years back. The country is now about 20 years removed from the official end of the civil war. Tourists can expect a much safer experience. It’s on the sustainability list because the entire nation has signed a pact to protect local wildlife. There are great tours, particularly for Gorilla Trek adventures. The national parks and safaris are also plastic-free environments. If you want to take a walk on the wild side while keeping things “sustainable,” this may be the spot for you.


Punakha Dzong at the Mo Chhu river in Bhutan
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Framalicious

If spending time with Buddhist monks doing yoga and hiking in a country that’s almost fully covered in forests is your idea of sustainability, Bhutan is the place to be. Local authorities actually introduced a hefty tourist tax. What they want is low-volume, high-value tourism. If you’re not someone who’s going to come out here and respect the land plus the local customs, you may have a hard time finding peace. On the other hand, if you really need some time to clear your head, this could be your ideal destination.

San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta, Chile

View on Laguna Salar de Talar with the Andes Mountain, San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta Region, Chile
Image Credit: Shutterstock / streetflash

A sandy town in Chile at the foot of the mountains doesn’t sound like a place where you can find a luxury resort. But they’ve actually built one; it’s called Tierra Atacama. It has a spa, fine dining options, and excursions through the region that features a decent supply of canyons and geysers. What makes this resort sustainable? It’s completely solar-powered, for one! Also, it sources and recycles its own water, and it’s the first hotel in the region that’s not wasting water in an area where the vital resource is a bit hard to come by.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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