There is a growing travel industry that not only spotlights destinations of great natural beauty and/or spectacular wildlife, but that encourages travel with an altruistic purpose: Environmental Tourism, or Ecotravel. Although some environmental tourism packages may be more strenuous than most retirees would like, there are plenty of ecotourism vacations that provide all of the environmental education aspects and wilderness experiences without the need for a 20-year-old physique.
Ecotourism adventures often feature informative tours showcasing a specific ecosystem or natural habitat, such as the Alaskan tundra, the Amazonian Rainforest or a cave. The photo to the left is a tour of Harrisons Cave in Barbados that we recently took. Travelers may have an opportunity to observe unusual or endangered species in native habitats, or visit nature reserves or conservation research facilities.
Specifically conservation-themed eco-travel allows group members to participate in conservation activities personally. For example, participants may take video or photographs to record the existence of various species of exotic birds in native habitats. A sea-turtle preservation group offers travelers the opportunity to help protect buried nests of eggs or even guard hatchlings from predators as they make the long and potentially deadly trek down the sandy beach to the safety of the waves. Some organizations even provide opportunities to interact with animals that were injured or orphaned and require human care until they can be released back to the wild.
Of course, considering the “wilderness immersion” aspect of many environmental tourism packages – as well as the fact that physically demanding activities may be part and parcel of the trip – it is essential for seniors considering this type of travel to do some research before signing up.
If your retirement plans include travel and adventure, an ecotourism vacation may be for you. You can have unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, help to enhance the regions you visit, and come away with an appreciation of a faraway culture or previously unknown ecosystem. If this sounds appealing, you may find the ecotravel retirement activity you are looking for at www.EcoTourDirectory.com or a number of other similar sites. Happy traveling!