The 5 hottest destinations to visit in 2018
You’ve made it! One week into the new year. How many resolutions have you kept? How many of you have promised yourselves to make a change and travel this year? We at Eco Companion always have that goal in mind. So here are our top 5 destinations for the new year…
1. Costa Rica
How could the World’s happiest country not be on our list?! This could be down to the fact it has no army, that the literacy rates are very high, or that it spends 50% more than average from its budget on education. There is no surprise the country is so popular with eco-travellers; Costa Rica means “rich coast” and it lives up to the name. The country is home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna including quetzals – a bird species once sacred to the Mayans, who considered their feathers more valuable than gold. Trek through the forests to the sound of creatures rustling in the undergrowth and see if you can spot an adorable Agouti or an elegant Margay. Or hold out for a night trek to catch a glimpse of the two-toed sloth. When you’re tired from adventuring, the country holds some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Help the Costa Rican’s push to become carbon neutral by 2021 by staying in one of their eco-lodges such as the Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, accessible only by boat. You can kayak, hike through the rain forest, or practice yoga. Or if you prefer to roll up your sleeves and get to work, take a look at our big cat, primate, and turtle conservation project.
2. South Africa
From the Kalahari dunes, to sparkling white beaches, and lush and jagged mountains, South Africa offers something for everyone. Being home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhino) makes South Africa one of the best places in the World for a safari. Not only can you see the black-maned Kalahari lion, you can finish the day with a glass of a local, award-winning wine from one of the wine regions. If the semi-desert isn’t to your taste, head to the coast to cool down and take part in one of our shark conservation projects. You’ll get the chance to learn about these stunning and misunderstood creatures whilst learning how to handle a boat on the cerulean seas.
If verdant trees dripping with humidity and life appeal, then Borneo is the place to head to. It hosts some of the World’s most species-rich equatorial rainforests. Thousands of plants, lichens, and fungi spill from the earth and trees, feeding the incredible diversity further up the food-chain. Look closely and you may find hornbills gliding above, and sun bears rustling among the leaves. Rhinos and elephants can even be found amongst the undergrowth. Most memorable for many travellers is the first flash of orange in the sea of greenery: Asia’s only great ape, the orangutan. Our Borneo adventure holiday gives you a chance to experience everything, from white water rafting, to rainforest treks, to meeting the locals and getting to know the culture.
Geographically, Chile is independent from the rest of the Americas, desert to the north, the wilds of Patagonia to the south, the Soaring Andes to the east, and vast ocean to the west. Join it in 2018 to celebrate 200 years of political independence. Chile has much to be proud of, labelled the Land of Poets for its Nobel Prize winners. It also boasts some of the most amazing eco lodges in the World, including the Montaña Mágica Lodge. Built to look like a volcano, this incredible building looks more like a hobbit home, or the hat of some vast garden gnome, covered as it is in greenery. Yet this volcano even ‘erupts’, pouring water across its lush exterior. From this fairy tale grotto, head out to spot some of the country’s flora and fauna. The barriers which cut the country off have also lead to an incredible number of endemic species, found nowhere else in the world. These include the sweet pygmy deer, an array of hummingbirds and the almost comical ñandú, picking its way across the Patagonian steppe.
Weren’t expecting that, were you? The UK may not be the first place you think of for a memories-to-last-a-lifetime holiday but it’s so easy to take a country for granted. So often we never realise what treasures lie on our own doorstep. Our Suffolk Coasts: Rare Habitats project will take you to Havergate Island and the wetlands of Snape Warren. Wake to clear, fresh mornings and travel by boat each morning to the southernmost shores. If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, head to the breath-taking beauty of John O’Groats to stay in our Luxury studio apartment, or watch the waves lap below through the glass wall of our Sea view lodge.