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Best Ecotourism Holidays in Asia

Want to travel with a clean conscience? These TRIPS by Culture Trip and other small-group adventures will ensure you travel responsibly.
Mandi Keighran
14 Jan 2022
The importance of ecotourism in Asia shouldn’t be underestimated. With an eco-first approach, tourists can enjoy the continent’s diverse landscapes, history and cultures in a way that benefits local communities and helps preserve the environment. Bookable with Culture Trip, these are the best ecotourism holidays in Asia – from epic, overland train journeys in Sri Lanka, to Himalayan hikes led by local guides.
1. Northern Thailand, for village culture and lush jungle hikes – TRIPS by Culture Trip
Northern Thailand is a completely different experience to the south — instead of beaches and islands, you’ll find towering mountain ranges, lush jungle and plenty of cultural influence from neighbouring Myanmar and Yunnan. All this adds up to one of the best ecotourism destinations around. To discover this fascinating region, join seven other travellers on an intimate 10-day Culture Trip adventure through Chiang Mai, Pai and the Doi Inthanon National Park. From floating through a 1,666m (5,465ft) cave to discovering the street art and food of Chiang Mai, this off-the-beaten-track ecotourism holiday will give you an inside glimpse of northern Thailand.
From$1599Next available from14 Apr 2022
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2. Sri Lanka, for rich biodiversity and wildlife encounters – TRIPS by Culture Trip
The role of ecotourism is important in supporting communities and preserving the environment — and with its rich biodiversity, large number of locally owned cinnamon and tea plantations, and landscapes that range from cloud-capped mountains to idyllic tropical beaches, Sri Lanka is the perfect setting for this responsible kind of vacationing. Set off on an epic 12-day group tour with Culture Trip to explore the country and its culture. Highlights include cycling around 1,000-year-old ruins and a visit to a local village market followed by a cooking class.
From$2039Next available from9 May 2022
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3. Bali, for ecofriendly diving and snorkelling – TRIPS by Culture Trip
Bali has long been seen as the ultimate tropical holiday destination, with sun-drenched beaches for surfing, diving and snorkelling, plus jungles to explore. With an estimated 10,000 temples, it’s also known as the Island of the Gods. All this has resulted in dramatic overtourism in recent decades, so the island is more than ready to reap the benefits of ecotourism, offering plenty of ways to travel responsibly. Fancy snorkelling with turtles, swimming in tropical waterfalls and taking part in a local cooking masterclass? Book a spot on Culture Trip’s 12-day Ultimate Bali Itinerary.
From$1609Next available from18 Jun 2022
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4. Nepal, for Himalayan hikes and heart-racing safaris – TRIPS by Culture Trip
Think of Nepal and images of majestic mountain ranges may come to mind — after all, the small, landlocked country is home to eight of the 10 highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest. However, there’s more to Nepal than the Himalayas, including the bustling capital of Kathmandu, ancient palaces, whitewater rafting on the Seti River and searching for Bengal tigers and rhinos in Chitwan National Park. Culture Trip’s small, 11-day group trip takes in all of this, as well as other local highlights, such as learning how to make momo dumplings at a Tibetan refugee camp.
From$1829Next available from1 Oct 2022
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5. Everest Base Camp, for supporting the Sherpa community – by Intrepid Travel
If you’re looking for an adventure that combines challenging physical activity with awe-inspiring landscapes and immersion in a fascinating culture, look no further than the Everest Base Camp trek. The campsites might be found at the base of Mount Everest but you’ll be hiking at altitudes of over 5,500m (18,000ft). Take on the challenge in an ethical way with Intrepid’s 15-day trekking tour, which is committed to the rights and fair treatment of porters and guides. Along the way, you’ll stop at tiny teahouses, learn about Sherpa life and see the sun rise over Everest.
From$1585Next available from26 Feb 2022
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