The Best Eco-Friendly Beach Destinations

Thursday, February 11, 2010

new-zealand-beach2With a record snowfall already in our little corner of the world and more than a month of winter to go, we can think only of the sun’s rays beating down on our bathing suited bodies. (Yes, a few more weeks on the elliptical will help that fantasy be a little more appealing.)  Here are a few potential destinations for your next eco-friendly beach vacation:

Costa Rica
With over 900 miles of coastline on the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and with it being probably the most well-known eco-friendly destination, CR is an obvious choice for a responsible beach vacation.  Take your choice from such popular places as Manuel Antonio National Park or Mal Pais; or venture a bit off the beaten path to Corcovado or Manzanillo.

While organizations like Wildlife Fund Thailand are mobilizing local communities to spread the word that killing exotic animals—especially to utilize just one part—is unacceptable, this alone does not make an eco-friendly country. Yes, the country is now home to many eco-resorts that are constructed out of mostly or only natural materials, like straw, bamboo, and palm but there are some beaches that are much better than others if you’re interested in a socially conscious beach stay.

According to our friend over at Calypso Island Chronicles, here are the most eco-friendly Thai beaches:

  • Koh Lanta
  • Koh Jum/Koh Pu
  • Ko Lipe
  • Koh Libong

Alternatively, here are their picks for Thai beaches to avoid:

  • Pattaya
  • Phuket and Koh Samui
  • Phi Phi Island
  • Koh Chang


The West African country of Gabon boasts a pristine 550-mile coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. The country, roughly the size of the state of Colorado, is home to only about 1.5 million inhabitants.

In 2002, President Omar Bongo led the effort to convert about 11,000 square miles of Gabon –10% of the country–into 12 national parks in order to diversify the nation’s economy and preserve its natural resources.  Ideas for your beach vacation to Gabon include:

  • Point Dennis
  • Ekwata Beach
  • Nyonie retreat
  • Cap Esterias
  • Iguela
  • Gamba
  • Mayumba
  • Setté Cama Reserve

According to

“Fiji’s preponderance of pristine coral reefs, lush tropical rainforests, year-round sunshine, and sand-gilded shorelines presents something of a double-edged sword. Namely, how to balance the obvious boon of mass tourism with preservation of some of the South Pacific’s finest environmental treasures.

“Fortunately, for those looking to avoid the imprint of the ever-present luxury travel industry, Fiji’s scattered, isolated islands offer a brimming palette of environmentally sound options. The government has established six national parks, four of them on the main island of Viti Levu. Moreover, efforts to preserve Fiji’s landscape extend beyond the natural to the country’s cultural heritage.”

To start your search, check out Qamea Island and Savusavu, a town on the island of Vanua Levu.


New Zealand
Finally, New Zealand has truly emerged as a leader in ecotourism and again, with close to 10,000 miles of coastline, there’s almost too much beach to choose from.  Some eco-friendly ideas include:

  • d’Urville Island
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Kaikoura Peninsula
  • Punakaiki Beach

We could have just as easily written about Belize, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Kenya, Australia, Bali, South Africa, Chile, Israel, and many others.  Excellent beach-based ecotourism opportunities number in the thousands.  Where’s your favorite?

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8 Responses to “The Best Eco-Friendly Beach Destinations”

  1. I wish i visited French Polynesia, Bora Bora is an island of my dream. White sand, clear blue ocean and all the problems fly away:)

  2. vic

    Hi, we live in Zancudo and I think it is just as nice as Manuel Antonio. Have you ever been?
    Here is our house.

  3. [...] and hotels. … Playa Zancudo can be accessed by water taxi from Golfito, by the way. …The Best Eco-Friendly Beach Destinations | The Mindful TouristWith a record snowfall already in our little corner of the world and more than a month of winter to [...]

  4. Have just come back from a tremendous vacation to Phuket, stayed at Palm Beach Inn in the northwestern part which is less busy than south-central areas, great resort and awesome beaches. We rented a big motorbike for only 300 baht per day and would drive around the total region. So many tremendous localises to dine, our cherished spot was Ahan thai Aroy which had the most marvelous view over the beach, the faculty was rather friendly and the food so delicious, we would go for sunrise drinks. My girlfriend and I had a brilliant time in Phuket Island and will be back for Christmas.

  5. Very interesting articles about Samui Villa. Thanks very much admin ! I`ll definitely visit again your blog. Keep up the good work !

  6. Ya you right sir, its is really Eco-Friendly destination, I visit last month here and I feel top of the world I have never seen such a beautiful location.

  7. Samui villa is a dream destination for holidaymakers. It gives us affordable budget too. We are planning to go Thailand.

  8. [...] “The Best Eco-Friendly Beach Destinations“ [...]


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