Ed note: Do you have plans to celebrate Earth Day? (It’s April 22.) We think a trip might be in order, so Laura Klein has put together this list of destinations that are kind to your wallet and feature an environmental spin.
In most parts of the country, it’s a cold, gray and downright gloomy month. This is all the more reason to plan an eco-friendly getaway. Despite what you may think, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to reap the benefits of a much-needed vacation. Check out any of the below locations for both eco-friendly and budget-friendly travel.
Panama offers sun and adventure on a budget. It’s less commercially developed than some of its neighbors, and as a result, less expensive. Cielito Sur is a rustic eco-lodge and bed and breakfast in the Province of Chiriqui. It’s a family-run estate with a bird sanctuary on site. Enjoy peace and quiet, bird watching and tranquil hikes in the lush tropical forest. The rooms are minimal but nice, starting at $100 per night.
Or consider Park Eden, a luxurious estate located in El Valle de Anton, situated within an extinct pre-historic volcano. Go river rafting, mountain biking, bird watching or check out the Sunday Market. Rooms at this country retreat start at $90 per night, or you can rent the whole house for $260 per night. If you travel with another family, renting the whole house is an easy way to extend your budget.
2. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico offers a rainforest adventure year round. It’s the perfect warm escape. Casa Cubuy Eco-Lodge offers simple accommodations in the heart of the El Yunque National Forest, a 28,000-acre nature reserve. Go hiking along the scenic paths dotted with waterfalls and clear natural swimming pools. After a long hike, enjoy a massage on site.
Or consider The Rainforest Inn, which offers rental villas for $160 per night with multiple bedrooms and a kitchen. The inn is also located in the rainforest.
Thailand is an ideal destination for eco-tourism and, compared to Western nations, it’s a very affordable country. For example, at the Ban Rai Tin Thai Ngarm Eco Lodge rooms start at $43 per night. While at the resort, you can tour Chiang Mai, learn how to cook Thai food or learn to meditate. The resort boasts a simple life where you can become one with nature.
Or consider the Spicy Villa Eco-lodge, which offers simple huts located in the mountains of Mae Wang. You can ride an elephant, practice yoga or just relax in the mountains. Rooms start at $40 per night. While your plane ticket is more expensive for this trip, an extremely reasonable cost of living evens it out.
For fun in the sun and responsible tourism, Belize is a good travel deal. It’s a Caribbean nation with a lot to offer. Like the Cotton Tree Resort, a family resort with tons of fun activities like snorkeling, exploring organic cacao farms and kayaking. Rooms start around $100 per night. Or try the Jaguar Reef Lodge, with tropical foliage lining the beach. Rooms start at $130 per night.
To discover more tips on how to save big on travel, check out: Tips and Tricks We Use to Stay Under Budget While Traveling.