As we become more aware of our impact on the planet, the importance of eco-friendly travel grows. Sustainable tourism helps preserve our environment and supports local communities. To inspire your next trip, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 destinations for eco-friendly travel in 2024. These places are committed to sustainability and offer unique experiences that allow you to travel responsibly. By choosing these destinations, you can enjoy breathtaking landscapes and cultural treasures while minimizing your carbon footprint and supporting local businesses.

Costa Rica: The Pioneer of Eco-Friendly Tourism

Costa Rica is a pioneer in eco-tourism, known for its lush rainforests and rich biodiversity. The country’s dedication to sustainability is evident in its extensive network of protected areas. In Costa Rica, you can explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts with its diverse flora and fauna. Tortuguero National Park is another must-visit, famous for its sea turtle conservation efforts and unique canal system. Whether zip-lining through the jungle, visiting wildlife sanctuaries, or relaxing in a hot spring, Costa Rica offers endless eco-friendly adventures.

Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. Photo via Canva PRO

Iceland: A Geothermal Wonderland of Sustainability

Iceland stands out for its use of geothermal energy and its commitment to a low-carbon footprint. This island nation offers a range of eco-friendly activities, from glacier hikes to relaxing in geothermal spas like the Blue Lagoon. Iceland’s eco-conscious whale-watching tours ensure minimal disruption to marine life, providing a responsible way to enjoy these majestic creatures. Sustainable accommodations are widely available, making it easy to enjoy this stunning landscape responsibly. Don’t miss the Northern Lights, which are best viewed from lodges that minimize light pollution.

Black sand and cloudy skies on an Iceland beach
Iceland is one of the best destinations for eco-friendly travel in 2024. Photo via Unsplash

New Zealand: One of the Best Destinations for Eco-Friendly Travel

New Zealand’s commitment to conservation and eco-tourism is evident in its pristine landscapes and well-managed national parks. Like Fiordland, the country’s national parks offer incredible hiking opportunities and stunning scenery. Eco-friendly vineyards provide a taste of viticulture, offering tours and tastings that highlight organic farming practices. New Zealand’s dedication to preserving natural beauty is reflected in its travel policies and initiatives. Whether exploring the beaches and the fjords, visiting a wildlife sanctuary, or experiencing Maori culture, you’ll find numerous ways to travel sustainably in New Zealand. The country’s focus on renewable energy and waste reduction further underscores its commitment to the environment.

Fiordland, New Zealand
Fiordland Natural Park, New Zealand. Photo via Canva PRO.

Bhutan: A Carbon-Negative Himalayan Kingdom

Bhutan’s approach to tourism is unique, focusing on low-volume, high-value travel. This Himalayan kingdom is carbon-negative, thanks to its vast forests and rigorous conservation efforts. Eco-friendly activities include trekking through unspoiled landscapes, visiting ancient monasteries, and engaging with local communities. Bhutan’s commitment to environmental preservation and cultural heritage makes it a top destination for eco-friendly travel. The country’s limited tourism ensures minimal environmental impact and a more authentic experience for visitors. Bhutan also emphasizes Gross National Happiness over economic growth, prioritizing the well-being of its people and the environment. This holistic approach to development makes Bhutan a model for sustainable tourism.

Bhutan, Photo via Canva PRO

Slovenia: A Green Haven of Sustainability

Slovenia is recognized for its green tourism practices and sustainable initiatives. The country’s dedication to eco-friendly travel is evident in its protected natural areas and green capital, Ljubljana. In Slovenia, you can explore Triglav National Park, cycle through scenic routes, and enjoy local, organic food. Slovenia’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty and cultural heritage makes it a perfect eco-friendly destination. The country’s efforts to reduce waste, promote renewable energy, and support local communities enhance its appeal as a sustainable travel choice. Slovenia’s rich biodiversity and cultural landscapes offer a unique and responsible travel experience.

Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Triglav National Park, Slovenia. Photo via Canva PRO

Norway: Leading the Way in Sustainable Tourism

Norway is at the forefront of sustainable tourism, with electric ferries and green hotels leading the way. The country’s fjord cruises are designed to minimize environmental impact, using eco-friendly vessels and practices. Eco-friendly activities in Norway include hiking in pristine national parks, enjoying the Northern Lights, and exploring the coastline via sustainable transportation. The country’s efforts to preserve its natural landscapes and promote responsible tourism make it one of the standout destinations for eco-friendly travel. Sustainable practices are integrated into every aspect of the travel experience in Norway, from accommodation to activities. Norway’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and preserving its stunning natural environment makes it a top choice for green travelers.

Norway flag on a pole, sunset in the background.
Norway is leading the way in sustainable tourism and is a great choice for green travelers. Photo by Mikita Karasiou via Unsplash

Kenya: Wildlife Conservation and Community-Based Tourism

Kenya’s commitment to wildlife conservation and community-based tourism is impressive. The country offers eco-friendly safaris in the Maasai Mara, where you can see incredible wildlife up close while supporting conservation efforts. Visiting conservation projects helps support local communities and protect endangered species. Kenya’s lodges provide comfortable, sustainable accommodations that blend luxury with environmental responsibility. Sustainable activities in Kenya include:

  • Guided wildlife safaris
  • Visits to conservation centers
  • Community-based cultural tours
  • Eco-friendly beach resorts on the coast

These experiences ensure that your travel has a positive impact on both the environment and local communities.

Maasai Mara, Kenya
Maasai Mara, Kenya. Photo via Canva PRO

Japan: Tradition Meets Modern Sustainability

Japan seamlessly blends traditional practices with modern sustainability efforts. Eco-friendly cities like Kyoto are perfect for exploring on foot or by bicycle, offering a rich cultural experience with minimal environmental impact. Forest bathing, a practice that involves immersing yourself in nature, is a popular eco-friendly activity in Japan’s serene forests. Staying in ryokans, traditional Japanese inns, often involves eco-conscious practices such as serving locally sourced food and using minimal energy. Japan is committed to reducing plastic waste and promoting renewable energy, making it a leader in sustainable development. This mix of old and new makes Japan a fascinating and sustainable travel destination that respects its heritage while looking to the future.

A temple in Kyoto, with the sky and the mountains in the background.
Cities like Kyoto are great for exploring on foot or with a bike. Photo by Cosmin Georgian by Unsplash

Finland: Carbon Neutrality and Natural Beauty

Finland aims to be carbon neutral by 2035, making it a leader in sustainable travel. The country offers eco-friendly activities like exploring Lakeland, enjoying sustainable city tours in Helsinki, and participating in wilderness retreats. Finland’s eco-friendly accommodations range from cozy cabins to luxury hotels, all committed to sustainability. The country’s organic, local cuisine provides a delicious way to support sustainable farming practices. Finland’s dedication to preserving its natural landscapes and reducing its carbon footprint is commendable. Whether you’re enjoying the midnight sun in summer or the Northern Lights in winter, Finland offers a responsible and rewarding travel experience.

Finland. Photo via Canva PRO.

Ecuador: A Treasure Trove of Biodiversity

Ecuador has diverse ecosystems and a strong focus on conservation. The Galapagos Islands are a prime example of sustainable tourism, with strict regulations to protect wildlife and natural habitats. Exploring the Amazon Rainforest from eco-lodges allows you to experience its biodiversity responsibly and support local conservation efforts. Ecuador’s commitment to sustainable travel is evident in its practices and conservation initiatives. By visiting Ecuador, you support efforts to protect its unique natural heritage, from the high Andean peaks to the lush tropical forests. Eco-friendly activities include bird watching, visiting indigenous communities, and exploring volcanic landscapes, offering environmentally-conscious travelers a rich and varied experience.

Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands


Choosing these travel destinations helps protect our planet and supports local communities. Each of these top 10 destinations for eco-friendly travel offers unique experiences that promote sustainability. As you plan your trips for 2024, consider these options to make a positive impact. Green tourism is not just a trend; it’s a responsibility we all share to ensure future generations can enjoy our beautiful world. Explore responsibly and make your travels count towards a better, greener planet. By embracing sustainable travel, we contribute to preserving our natural and cultural heritage, ensuring that the world’s wonders remain for future explorers.

Cover image: Photo by Porapak Apichodilok via Pexels

Author Bio: Emily Thompson is a dedicated travel writer and sustainability advocate who discovered her true passion for eco-friendly travel after working for several years at Peasley Transfer & Storage Boise. Her experience in the moving and storage industry sparked a deep interest in environmental preservation and responsible living. Now, with over a decade of experience exploring sustainable destinations worldwide, Emily enjoys sharing her adventures to inspire others to travel responsibly.