AS MORE ATTENTION focuses on the need to protect, preserve and learn about the environment, the popularity of ecotourism — travel that highlights conservation, nature and sustainable practices — has grown. And that goes for LGBTQ travelers, too.
The options for LGBTQ travelers looking to explore the natural world in a gay-friendly atmosphere are surprisingly diverse. In South America, for example, lesbian-owned Brazil Ecojourneys offered sustainable and LGBTQ-friendly tours since 2003. Among its active adventures, wildlife watching in Pantanal includes visits to the largest wetlands in South America, with a two-night stay at a lodge and the possibility of spotting jaguars. The itinerary also features a visit to the town of Bonito, where participants can glide along rivers home to abundant marine life.
Also lesbian-owned — and equally well-established — is EcoCircuitos, a Panama City, Panama-based tour operator offering a full menu of group and individual ecotourism options for travelers of all orientations. Excursions range from one-day bird-watching outings to four-day treks along the famed Camino Real and a 14-day biodiversity tour that focuses on the Central American nation’s rich natural history.
Farther south, Out Adventures offers an Antarctica Gay Expedition with plenty of time for education about the environment and local wildlife, thanks also to the help of onboard lectures and expert guides. Penguins, seals and whales are just a few of the animals visitors can spot on this itinerary, which starts and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina.
Africa makes another natural choice for nature lovers and ecotourism, thanks to its legendary flora and fauna. Detours Travel is among the companies with a South Africa itinerary that includes an expert-guided visit to Kruger National Park, where visitors learn about wildlife while keeping their eyes open for lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, elephants, hippos and leopards. South Africa also features as a destination for a company called Out 2 Africa, which specializes solely in LGBTQ travel to southern Africa. The operator also fields group excursions to Botswana, with stays in a gay-friendly lodge at Chobe National Park, the nation’s second-largest game reserve and home to what’s described as the world’s largest elephant population.
Also ideal for LGBTQ nature lovers is famously gay-friendly Australia. Venture Out offers a 12-day Alternative Oz tour that focuses on lesser-known areas of this gay-popular destination, including the Australian Outback and the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, where exotic plants and animals provide great opportunities for education and photos.
This summer, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles began highly-anticipated enhancements. The property celebrates its 10th birthday next year and the renovations are the largest changes the property has ever seen. They impact the hotel lobby, all 123 guestrooms and suites, corridors and Club Lounge.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Seats on new JetBlue flights between New York City (JFK) and Georgetown (GEO), Guyana, are now available for purchase. The route takes off April 2, 2020, on the new Airbus A321neo aircraft. With a flight time of five hours from New York City, the route delivers intrepid travelers to what JetBlue calls “a playground for adventurists and modern-day explorers.” The route also serves the largest Guyanese American community in the United States, located in New York City.
Hawaiian Airlines will relaunch its service between the island of Maui (OGG) and Las Vegas (LAS) with flights set to begin in December.
British Airways launched a new in-flight entertainment channel in honor of its year-long centenary celebration. The new channel, christened Celebrate BA100, highlights the best of British in-flight entertainment.
An industry-first update to the award-winning Four Seasons app allows guests to plan travel more seamlessly. The app, completely overhauled, now includes a new trip planning itinerary feature that allows guests to easily customize their stay.