The Global Basecamps Blog

Sustainable Travel In Light of Lonesome George

7.31.2012

by elias

Lonesome GeorgeThe news broke a few weeks ago, but it will always be relevant. Lonesome George, the world’s last Pinto Island Tortoise and a recognized symbol of the Galapagos, died on June 24th, 2012. If you have ever been to the Galapagos Islands, there is a good chance you saw him. Discovered in 1971, he grew slower and more lackadaisical as the years came and went, but he was still a wonder. The last of his species, he was a living reminder of the dangers that accompany a human presence.

We’d like to take this week to acknowledge the species of the Galapagos that are still in critical danger of extinction. According to the Galapagos Conservancy, we know of thirteen vertebrate species that are now extinct, and of those, humans have witnessed seven of them cross the threshold into non-existence.

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Ecotourism: The Struggles and Benefits of Sustainable Travel

10.27.2011

by adrienne

eco lodge

Despite the rather unfortunate conditions of today’s economy, tourism is growing closer and closer to becoming the world’s largest industry. Just from 2008, international tourist arrivals were up 6.5% in 2010 to 935 million, and that was after the country with the highest GDP entered a recession. With rapid development occurring worldwide, there is a growing concern for the negative impacts of mass tourism. Sustainability and ecotourism have become essential aspects of the travel industry. However, many times travelers are unaware of exactly what sustainable travel entails and how to incorporate it into their itineraries. As travel companies begin to jump on the green travel bandwagon it can be difficult to decipher which ones truly embrace sustainable travel, by not only minimizing the negative environmental aspects of travel but also contributing the local economy and communities, and which ones are simply claiming to be greener as a marketing plow. Through a series of ecotourism blogs, we will highlight some of the industry trends and changes currently occurring to give travelers a better understanding of what it means to travel sustainably.

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Exploring Northern Baja

7.20.2011

by temo

Temo, an intern at Global Basecamps, has written another blog about his travels to Mexico. Read more about Mexico tours in his previous blog post, Climbing El Pico de Orizaba.

Baja

Northern Baja California is one of the most extensive, solitary and naturally beautiful places in Mexico. With over fifteen years exploring the peninsula, I have found a wide variety of experiences and natural landscapes that are as unique and beautiful as any other in the world. If you are looking to get away from it all and find solitude, you don’t have to go so far or spend much to find that perfect beach or unique vacation experience. Remember that an ecotourism vacation starts with the destination you choose and what better way to reduce your carbon foot print than to skip the flight, carpool with friends or family (if you're close enough) and still find a natural paradise. In Baja, solitude, peace, relaxation and fun are all wrapped up in a beautiful pristine natural environment.

You should start by driving past Tijuana and Rosarito and continue south on the toll road to the port city of Ensenada, which can be your first stop. Known as a tourist town, Ensenada acts as a great base from where to explore the many options in northern Baja. The city has a wide range of affordable accommodations and a diverse mix of restaurants for any palate or budget.

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Best of Basecamps: Shompole

7.19.2011

by ali

Shompole

Shompole Eco Lodge

Shompole eco lodge is located in Southern Kenya on the Tanzania border near Lake Natron, overlooking the Great Rift Valley. Much of the incredible landscape was shaped by volcanic movement. The lodge, situated on a private conservancy, is surrounded by 140,000 acres of Shompole Group Ranch, including a diverse area for wildlife and a buffer zone for human settlement. The lodge was constructed to enhance the natural beauty of the area with flowing water, smooth white walls, and mostly open air.

Each room consists of a cool-pool, informal sitting area, a bathroom, vast windows offering views of the volcanic mountains, and a high canopied roof. The rooms are designed to be open in order to take advantage of the breeze. The main lounge and dining area have a high thatch roof and overlook the Great Rift Valley. Guests can also enjoy their meals in the privacy of their rooms, at the main pool, or in the bush. If you wish to celebrate a special occasion the staff at Shompole can organize a candle lit dinner under the stars, which is sure to be a truly unforgettable experience.

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Off the Beaten Path in Southern Thailand

6.6.2011

by michelle

Our new Travel Specialist, Michelle Barth, spent 2 months traveling throughout Southeast Asia. She took a biking tour in Chiang Rai and discovered delicious food in Ubud, Bali. Here she shares with us one of her favorite locations in Thailand, Koh Lanta.Koh Lanta Eco Resort

With Thailand still attracting approximately 15 million tourists a year, most travelers head down south to soak up the sun on some of the world’s most famous beaches. Tourists have been flocking to destinations like Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, and Koh Pha Ngan for years. Yes, these popular spots have some of the best beaches, but an overdeveloped beach flooded with tourists isn’t my ideal vacation experience. If you are wondering what Phuket may have been like 10+ years ago, get off the main tourist track, and head to the beaches of Koh Lanta.

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