The Global Basecamps Blog

Best of Basecamps: Affordable Eco-Luxury in Central America

9.7.2010
by kelley

Do the words beach and jungle fill your travel fantasies? Does the idea of eco-friendly luxury make you smile? Throw in the fact that this can all be yours for an affordable price, and you can see why Central America has become the premier destination for eco-travelers. Costa Rica and Nicaragua have particularly outdone themselves in the sumptuous eco-lodge arena, so we’ve chosen to highlight two of our favorite Central American basecamps today for your reading (and travel-fantasizing) pleasure.

Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Oso Peninsula, Costa Rica

Lapa Rios EcolodgeRemote, secluded, pristine. These words describe the amazing, off-the-beaten path destination of Osa Peninsula (Corcovado), Costa Rica. Set in a private nature reserve of over 1,000 acres of lush tropical rainforest, Lapa Rios Ecolodge overlooks the pristine point where the Gulfo Dulce meets the Pacific Ocean.

Lapa Rios was built in harmony with the surrounding forest and beach and has won worldwide awards for social and environmental excellence along with Costa Rica’s highest sustainable tourism certification. No luxury was spared in their quest for eco-friendliness, however.

While enjoying your time in a private thatch bungalow overlooking the amazing ocean vistas, don’t forget to call in for room service from the gourmet international-cuisine restaurant. And of course you can get a massage, do some yoga, participate in a plethora of hiking and water sport activities, or just sip a tropical cocktail as you watch the monkeys stroll by from the comfort of your heavenly hammock.

A New Alternative to Solo Travel: Globetrooper.com

8.31.2010
by kelley

Globetrooper.com founders Lauren & Todd on Mt. KilimanjaroAre you ready to travel solo? I really wish I was, but like many, the idea of setting off for a big trip alone doesn’t give me the same warm fuzzy feeling that going on a journey with a like-minded, travel enthusiast friend does. (Shout out to my favorite travel partner, you know who you are!)

Unfortunately, as we grow out of the backpacking phase and the long summer vacations of our college days, lifestyles change, careers take over and scheduling travel with your besties becomes quite the logistical nightmare. And as much as I admire all the solo travelers out there, Janice from SoloTravelerBlog.com and Elizabeth Gilbert of “Eat, Pray, Love” fame to name a few, I am just not sure that’s me. Well, this week I found a very cool website that aims to keep people traveling on their terms, and not alone. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Globetrooper.com is a “a tool for adventurous travelers to create trips and invite people from all over the world to join them.” First off, the site is beautiful (I am unabashed snob when it comes to this; If the colors make me cringe and graphics make me laugh, I’m gone). The fact that I was prompted to divulge my global travel “bucket list” when setting up my profile made me smile (if you’re interested, a long private yacht cruise to a private island in an uncharted sea tops my list). They also have a highly informative blog with great “How-to” articles, my favorite being “How to Get the Government to Pay for Your Next Round-the-World Trip.” Also useful, when scanning adventures other wanderlusts have potentially invited you to join, they rate the trip in terms of difficulty, culture shock, remoteness, and risk--important factors when vetting a potential travel partner. So, who’s up for a medium-difficulty, semi-remote, low risk, big culture shock trip? Egypt , India and Turkey are next on my list!

Explore Vietnam's Many Treasures: Advice from a travel expert

8.18.2010
by kelley

Trying to plan your next two week vacation? Few countries offer as wide a range of experiences as Vietnam. Travelers can explore beaches, mountains, and historical sites with ease. Sometimes overlooked for its more popular neighboring country, Thailand, Vietnam offers a more authentic charm at amazing prices. Hanoi and Sapa are two of our highlighted towns and an overnight cruise in Halong Bay is not to be missed. Did I mention the food is insanely fresh and delicious? In this video, Global Basecamps Travel Specialist, Meagan, gives her best advice for exploring Vietnam's treasures.

If Travel's Our Best Teacher, Why Doesn't the US Government Fund it? (Actually, in some cases they are!)

8.12.2010
by kelley

ACYPL's Nepal delegates meeting with Nepal’s first-ever democratically elected President, Dr. Ram Baran YadavI first met Griffin Greenberg of the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) during a travel discussion on Twitter of all places. Now, don’t let the slightly stodgy name of the organization stop you from reading further. Upon visiting ACYPL’s website, I was immediately sucked in by its opening message and I just know you experiential travel junkies will love it too!

It was 1966...
Opposition to the Vietnam war increases especially among university students...
The Cultural Revolution is launched in China...
Americans watch the Civil Rights movement gain steam in the South...

...And in Washington, DC, a group of young leaders with uncommon foresight recognize the world is changing. They see a need for an international exchange program for young politicians that will open lines of communication and increase cross-cultural understanding and the American Council of Young Political Leaders is born.

I almost stood and applauded my computer screen right then and there, and then swiftly kicked myself for not coming up with the idea first. Working in the travel industry, I’m constantly reminded of how European Union nations promote and finance travel for their citizens much more than in the United States. In fact, they’ve even declared travel a basic human right. This always makes me wonder, when will the US government get a clue that travel is an essential factor in making this world a better place? Well ACYPL, funded primarily by the US Department of State, has renewed my hope! Need some inspiration? Read my interview with ACYPL’s Communications Manager, Griffin Greenberg.

Sustainable Highlights: Jicaro Island Ecolodge Resort, Nicaragua

8.9.2010
by josh

Jicaro Dining

In the past, we’ve looked in depth at what makes a sustainable hotel: community outreach, green construction practices, and energy efficiency.

Now we thought we’d highlight a great sustainable hotel. The Jicaro Island Ecolodge has made strides in all of the areas of sustainability—it is a true paragon for ecolodges everywhere.

The Jicaro Island Ecolodge is located in beautiful Granada, Nicaragua on a small island in Lake Nicaragua. With only nine casitas on the resort’s property, there is plenty of room on the island for relaxation, adventure, and living green.

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