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Top 10 Ecotourism destinations for families

Molly Cerreta Smith has enjoyed a career in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. As an editor of several regional magazines, she has had the opportunity throughout her career to meet many local celebrities, businesspeople, ent...

Take a green vacation

Experience natural beauty the world over at some of the globe's most amazing ecotourism destinations for the whole family.

Family on Eco-tour

Take a green vacation

Experience natural beauty the world over at some of the globe's most amazing ecotourism destinations for the whole family.

1

Southern Belize

There are several lodges located within the 13,000-acre private Boden Creek Ecological Preserve. Enjoy a family walk on miles of nature trails or take in ancient Mayan ruins. Monkeys and brightly colored birds rule this jungle environment.

2

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are dedicated to balancing tourism with sustainability of its environment and wildlife. The remote volcanic islands boast unique plants and animals that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

8 Eco-friendly resorts >>

3

Fraser Island, Australia

The world's largest sand island is home to Kingfisher Bay Resort, the recipient of many ecotourism awards. Take in ancient rainforests, breathtaking freshwater lakes, enormous sand dunes and wildlife like wild dingos, exotic birds, acid frogs and bats.

4

Costa Rica

Experience thousands of Atlantic Green Sea Turtles approaching the beaches of Tortuguero to lay their eggs at night in the summer months. Boat rides through the canals and rivers offer the opportunity to see monkeys, macaws, toucans, iguanas, sloths and more.

5

Panama

Live life like the villagers on the banks of the Rio San Juan de Pequeni by staying in traditional housing (ahem, no showers or flush toilets), learning how to weave a basket and enjoying traditional rituals, music and food.

6

Bali

Walk along the edges of rice paddies, take in the temples or take a hike along a mountain path through the breathtaking rainforest of Mount Batukaru in central Bali. Look out for monkeys, black eagles and armored anteaters.

7

Aruba

Stay at one of the eco-lodges here, such as Bucuti Beach Resort, which heats its water via solar panels and offers suites built with furniture made of sustainably farmed wood and recycled plastic. The site also works with a local conservation NGO to preserve the turtle nesting habitat and help guide guests through the experience of watching nesting mothers and ensuring that their hatchlings find their way to the sea.

8

Florida Keys

You don't have to take the family out of the country to experience green travel. The Florida Keys boasts the National Marine Sanctuary, National Key Deer Refuge and the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. The Keys are very pedestrian friendly, and many of the area's lodgings participate in the Florida Green Lodging Program.

Eco-friendly and organic food vacations >>

9

Tanzania

The area features the Chumbe Island Coral Park, Tanzania's first reef sanctuary, which manages seven self-sustaining eco-bungalows with their own rainwater catchment and composting toilets. Ninety percent of the region's recorded species are supported at the sanctuary.

10

Japan

Japan offers amazing eco-friendly opportunities for the family such as forest walking, canyoning and snorkeling at Yakushima, a UNESCO World Heritage site. River rafting, whale and dolphin watching and taking in the country's multiple shrines and temples are other family-friendly options.

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More on family and eco-travel

7 Family travel adventures
Guide to visiting national parks with kids
Go wild! Volunteer vacations to help wildlife

Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Getty images
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