5 Ethical Travel Destinations

If you’re interested in sustainable tourism, check out the year’s best places to visit.

Your tourist dollars matter. If you want your money to support countries that protect their cultural heritage, environment, and human rights, check out The Developing World’s 10 Best Ethical Destinations.

Every year, Ethical Traveler conducts a study of developing countries, evaluating their records on environmental protection, social welfare, and human rights. These destinations may lack the glamour of Paris or Berlin, but they are wealthy in natural wonders and intriguing cultures. Here are this year’s best places for travelers interested in doing a little political activism as they wander:

Argentina impressed the judges with its recent environmental initiatives, particularly an imaginative new way to protect its glaciers.

Barbados scored high for environmental protection, and was lauded for organizing the Caribbean Green Economic Conference for 2011.

Lithuania has made significant progress in reducing child mortality rates, as well as effectively fighting human trafficking.

Palau took decisive action to protect its marine wildlife, declaring its waters a dolphin, shark, and whale sanctuary and urging an international ban on shark finning.

Uruguay has the highest level of human development in Latin America and was the first country to allow gay marriage. It also has seriously stepped up the monitoring of pollution by its pulp mills.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest