Vacationing Green

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When it comes to eco-friendly travel, hotels aren’t the only ones stepping up to the plate to offer green options for vacationers. Many tour operators offer itineraries that give travelers the opportunity to get up-close to exotic wildlife, hike through national parks and bike along scenic routes. Here’s a handful of itineraries we give a “green” thumbs-up to.

Terra Incognita Ecotours, an adventure travel company that specializes in wildlife-focused eco tours, has a new India itinerary that allows guests to see tigers in the wild.

The 10-day journey takes participants—by air on private charter flights—to two tiger habitats in India. The itinerary includes a visit to Corbett National Park, one of India’s oldest national parks, and Bandhavgarh, known for having one of the highest concentration of tigers in a designated tourist zone. Visitors will also get to explore the parks’ historic sites including temples, carvings and a fort.

Rates run $8,249 pp dbl with several departure dates in March 2012. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund in India. For more information, call (877) GO EXPLORE or visit ecotours.com.

Wild Planet Adventure, meanwhile, is offering a 14-day Costa Rica Ultimate Wildlife eco tour for summer travelers. Priced from $4,398 pp dbl, this program combines stays in jungle lodges and private reserves with guided national park tours, white-water rafting, night snorkeling in bioluminescence and more.

The tour, which starts in San Jose, includes visits to the Cahuita National Park, Arenal and Monteverde Cloudforest, several Pacific coast beaches and the remote Corcovado National Park. For more information, including complete itinerary, call (800) 900-4376 or visit wildplanetadventures.com.

For travelers looking to stay closer to home, Great Freedom Adventures is offering a 5-night Vermont bike tour with several departures available from July through September.

Priced from $2,195 pp dbl, this vacation includes a total of 220 miles of biking along scenic routes through Woodstock, Barnard, Pomfret,Brookfield, Plymoth and other towns. Along the way, guests will have a chance to have dinner at a working farmhouse, visit a cheese factory and sample offerings at a microbrewery. For more information, visit greatfreedomadventures.com.

Or, recommend a tour with Austin Lehman Adventures, which recently added three new family adventures that explore some of the most popular national parks in the U.S.

The Utah Bryce/Zion Family Vacation, for example, includes hiking past waterfalls and springs in Zion’s Virgin River Narrows, hiking though the rock formations of Bryce’s Peek-a-Boo and Queen Garden trails and a sunset bike ride through Snow Canyon State Park, among other activities.

Rates run $1,998 pp dbl and from $1,598 for children with departures available July 3-8 and Aug. 21-26. For more information on Austin Lehman’s family vacation offerings, visit austinlehman.com.