6 Eco-Educational Adventures to Bring You Closer to Mother Nature

See recent posts by Stefanie Waldek

Sure, a relaxing trip to the beach is a wonderful getaway, but many a modern traveler often seeks more from a journey. For your next adventure, consider diving into an eco-educational voyage, where you can experience the grandeur of Earth, from extraordinary wildlife to jaw-dropping geography, while learning about it from experts. If you’re looking for a vacation that’s equal parts fun, informational, and adventurous, look no further than these six trips, all of which have scientists on board to enhance your trip.

1. Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic: Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falklands

Courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions

Courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions

When a top-notch expedition company and a legendary science institution team up, great things are bound to happen. The duo offers dozens of itineraries across the globe, but its Antarctic adventures are particularly exceptional. We recommend the 24-day Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falklands expedition, which brings travelers to some of the most interesting ecological environments on the planet. In South Georgia and the Falklands, voyagers might spot thousands of penguins in massive colonies, behemoth elephant seals, and soaring albatrosses. And, of course, there is Antarctica in all its unspoiled beauty. 

2. Zeghram Expeditions: Hokkaido: Japan’s Wild Island


Your first thought of Japan might be the bustling capital of Tokyo, with all its neon lights and crowds of pedestrians. But the northern island of Hokkaido is a natural paradise known for its hot springs, national and natural parks, and brown bear population. Zeghram Expeditions takes travelers on a 16-day itinerary that sails around the island (and even makes a stop in Russia!). Excursions inland include a trip to the “Floating Island of Flowers” in Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park, birdwatching on Teuri Island (along a seabird migratory route), and an exploration of Shikotsu-Toya National Park, a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Want to stay on Hokkaido? Read our expert hotel reviews.

3. Smithsonian Journeys: Wonders of the Galapagos Islands Voyage


The iconic institution has curated adventures around the world with the goal of educating travelers across a variety of topics. For a wildlife trip, what better place to visit than the Galapagos? Embody the spirit of Charles Darwin on a nine-day voyage through the Ecuadorian islands. The list of wildlife that can be spotted here can go on and on and on: tortoises, seals, bats, blue-footed boobies, spotted eagle rays, preying mantises, and iguanas, to name a few.

Discover 14 hotels in the Galapagos.

4. Natural Selection: Jack’s Camp


The Kalahari desert is a great place to start if you’re looking for an incredible African safari. Consider staying at Jack’s Camp in Botswana, an iconic lodging offering luxury stays for safari goers. The camp was established in the 1960s, but underwent a renovation in 2003, imbuing the property with a 1940s flair. Guests have excellent access to all sorts of wildlife, from meerkats to lions to zebras. (The second largest zebra migration rolls through the area between November and May.) Guests can see it all from above via a helicopter charter.

For other Botswana hotels, click here.

5. Aurora Expeditions: Patagonia Discovery Trek


Patagonia is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world, and Aurora Expeditions takes guests into the heart of it on a 10-day trek. From the snowcapped peaks to the “pampas” grasslands, the natural scenery is practically surreal. As you hike, keep an eye out for guanacos (relatives of the llama), eagles, and songbirds.

Find out where to stay in Patagonia.

6. Quark Expeditions: Introduction to Spitsbergen


The Svalbard archipelago, part of Norway, is one of the northernmost destinations in the world, and in fact, polar bears outnumber humans in the area. Quark Expeditions offers adventurers a nine-day sailing around Spitsbergen, the largest island in the chain, where the landscape fluctuates between a wildflower-filled paradise to a snow-covered wonderland. Other than polar bears, walruses are a common sighting in this Arctic destination.

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