Once you decide a Cuba vacation is in your future, the ways in which you can experience the country are endless. Our five suggestions: A weekend getaway in Havana, a Yoga & Culture Exploration (think: retreat), a celebration of arts and culture, volunteering in Havana alongside Cuban youth, or exploring Cuba’s natural side – including the lush countryside and biosphere reserves.
Pack your bags, grab your hats and sunglasses, brush up on your Spanish, look forward to your favorite cigar, and let’s go!
Costa Rica vacations are great for more than simple thrill seekers. A Costa Rica family vacation can be jam packed with great experiences, memories to last a lifetime, ease of planning, cost savings, and a world of adventure without actually traveling to the other side of the world!
Have UNESCO World Heritage Sites made it on to your travel bucket list?
There are few guarantees in the world of travel. But a “World Heritage Site” designation from UNESCO– the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization– ensures that a destination is important enough to deserve protection for future generations.
In the past few months, the United States has experienced a dramatic increase in hate crimes being reported. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s monitoring group has reported a disturbing rise in the number of hate groups operating within the country, reporting a total of 917 as of this story’s publication.
To say that the Discover Corps team finds this to be an incredibly disturbing trend is an understatement. We are thoroughly disgusted by recently reported events such as the vandalism and destruction of headstones at Jewish cemeteries across the country, hateful rhetoric and violence aimed at Muslim Americans, and way too many other instances of intolerance.
In the first three months following President Trump’s election, the SPLC recorded a whopping 1,372 bias incidents. Of that total, more than 25 percent were motivated by anti-immigrant sentiments.
In short, 2017 is turning out to be a challenging year for many Americans. Even simple, rational beliefs about equality and basic human rights have become increasingly politically charged. Here at Discover Corps, we believe that makes culturally immersive travel more important than ever.
We’re proud to be facilitating experiences that open the hearts and minds of travelers to new experiences and cultures around the world. We’re especially aware of the increased importance of promoting cultural sensitivity and awareness through all aspects of our work.
These values are paramount to assuring that citizens of our increasingly globalized planet are able to understand and respect one another. And embracing them is the only way to ensure that we’ll be able to come together as people to ensure that our future holds more peace and promise than our past.
Anybody who has ever visited one know there’s something special about the jungle. But why are rainforests important? Not just for local people and wildlife, but for the health of our planet?
The Earth was originally packed with these regions, which are centered around the equator. They’re usually full of low-hanging vines, vibrant greenery, brilliantly colored blooms, and predators on the prowl. People travel from all across the world to explore these dense, tropical areas, and the reliance of locals on the regions continues even as threats to their survival increase.
These regions power our planet in more ways than one. They provide us with about 30% of the total oxygen used by all species to sustain life. They also serve as a protective home to millions of unique species of plants and animals. The power and productivity of rainforests is so intense that they’re often referred to as the “lungs of the earth.”
More and more frequently, issues surrounding the exploitation of animals are being brought to public eye. Massive organizations like Sea World and TripAdvisor have recently made major changes as a result of outspoken animal activism.
This critical lens has extended to travelers, who face many ethical choices when they travel abroad. Riding Elephants in Thailand is no longer considered responsible travel behavior, nor is walking with Lions in Africa.
From the shutdown of Thailand’s infamous Tiger Temple to Ringling Brothers going out of business after over a century, there’s more awareness of animal abuse than ever before. And that awareness is important for those seeking exotic animal encounters. It enables them to carefully consider their options, and the impact of their actions.
In its first week, the new U.S. administration has already removed all references to Climate Change from its website and is openly looking to sell off drilling rights in National Parks and other public lands to the highest bidder. So the responsibility of parents to educate their children on the importance of nature and wildlife conservation has never been more vital.
There are few nations on the planet that are better for illustrating the beauty of nature than Costa Rica. The country was one of the earlier adopters of responsible ecotourism, with more than 25% of its 19,700 square miles protected from future development. It’s been ranked the best country in the world in terms of environmental sustainability on more than one occasion, and became the first country in the Americas to ban hunting in 2012.
There are so many things to do in Costa Rica, it can be difficult to decide where to start. The country has 26 National Parks and myriad nature reserves and wildlife refuges, encompassing diverse ecosystems ranging from cloud forests and rainforests to wetlands and coastal marine areas. In short, the place is paradise for anyone with an interest in nature, wildlife and outdoor adventure.
Here are our picks for the best things to do in Costa Rica for families…
The phrase “sustainable tourism” has received a lot of attention in the last couple of years, as concerns over climate change increase and travelers become more aware of their contributions to that change.
Tourism is a powerful industry with an enormous impact on the global economy. It employs one out of eleven people worldwide and accounts for 9.8% of the world’s GDP, or “gross domestic product.” That kind of reach and impact puts the travel industry in a unique position to promote responsible, environmentally-friendly practices all over the world.
By calling attention to this potential for a positive (or negative) impact, the United Nations is encouraging everyone involved in the industry– from tour operators to travelers themselves– to demonstrate sustainable travel practices with minimal or beneficial impacts on the ecosystems and communities they travel through.
The blessing and curse of Sustainable Travel is that it is a constantly evolving thing. The more we study nature, the deeper our understanding of how it works grows. Experiences that were once considered a must-do for wildlife lovers– from swimming with Dolphins to walking with Lions– are now known to be detrimental to the animals’ well-being.
A similar shift in consciousness is happening now, as more and more travelers shun the use of Elephants for entertainment. Humans have been riding Elephants for eons. They’ve been used as working animals (primarily for transport and logging) in Asia since the Bronze Age. They were also used as an instrument of war as early as 1000 BC, making legends of leaders like Alexander the Great and Hannibal.
Over the past half-century, Elephants have been increasingly employed in the tourism trade. Riding Elephants became big business in Thailand, Vietnam, and other parts of Southeast Asia, and you could also find them being used to perform tricks and paint pictures for tourists.
For decades riding Elephants was on every animal lover’s bucket list. But few people knew about the ugly truth behind this “once-in-a-lifetime” tourist activity…
It’s become an annual rite of passage for travel writers to pick their favorite travel destinations for the coming year. Since we here at Discover Corps are committed to the concept of Sustainable Travel (travel that benefits the local ecology and economy of a place), we thought it would be fun to ask our favorite travel blogging experts to share their favorite eco-friendly destinations. Check out these mini-guides to the Top Sustainable Travel Destinations for 2017: