The ocean covers over 70% of the planet, produces more than 50% of the planet’s oxygen, and is home to most of earth’s biodiversity. Now that travelers are beginning to venture out with a renewed sense of purpose, it’s a good time to make travel plans that combine relaxation and education. Go beyond the typical beach vacation with one of these conservation-focused experiences designed to teach more about the ocean and how humanity relates to it.
Sustainable Seafood Dinner at Grand Solmar Land’s End
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Set along the private golden sand beaches of Playa Solmar at the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula, Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa boasts unobstructed ocean views from everywhere on-site. La Roca Restaurant, the resort’s signature dining venue, is nationally acclaimed and blends cuisine from around the world for sophisticated elegance with signature fresh dishes overlooking the ocean. All seafood and produce is locally sourced throughout the year, and the menu is designed to educate guests about where their food is coming from. Their sustainable seafood menu, available upon request, features dishes including fresh oysters from San Carlos, mussels from Ensenada in a tomato sauce using tomatoes from locally-based San Jose Ranch, and King Kampachi responsibly sourced from the Gulf of California, Baja California Sur.
Explore Mexico’s Largest Marine Preserve at Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto
Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Baja Peninsula and the Sea of Cortez, Loreto, Mexico is best known for its secluded, unspoiled setting on the Loreto Bay National Marine Park, A UNESCO World Heritage site. This peaceful retreat is located on the eastern coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, around 200 miles north of Cabo. Guests staying at the award-winning Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto can book a scuba diving, snorkeling, or kayaking tour with the hotel and enjoy the main draw of the region: the incredible underwater wildlife that live in the “aquarium of the world.” The Loreto Bay National Marine Park has a variety of aquatic environments, attracting more marine mammals than any other national park in Mexico. It is also home to 891 species of fish, a third of the world’s whale and dolphin species, and 695 vascular plant species.
Turtle Tagging at Oil Nut Bay
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Oil Nut Bay is located on Virgin Gorda in the coveted North Sound region of the British Virgin Islands. The idyllic island resort is entirely surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Amenities include a private beach club with three pools and a swim-up bar; wellness center with gym and two tennis courts; equipment for kayaking, sailing, and snorkeling; and world-class dining options. The waters off the resort are home to the largest number of sea turtles throughout the islands. Explore the amazing reefs with a Turtle Tagging boating adventure, where guests can swim alongside the beautiful animals and partake in free diving to safely catch the turtles alongside an on-board researcher. The turtles will then be measured, tagged, and released, and guests can then follow the animals’ adventures even after returning home. Nightly villa rates start at $550 per night and Turtle Tagging for up to 12 costs $2,100.
Responsible Guided Fishing or Floatplane Fishing Adventure at Salmon Falls Resort
Situated at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s iconic Inside Passage, Ketchikan is known as the “Salmon Capital of the World” and is beloved for its rich Alaskan culture and breathtaking wilderness. In fact, Alaska is the only state with sustainability written into its constitution. Salmon Falls Resort closely follows the Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulations, which are determined on a yearly basis to protect wild salmon and bottom fish populations and prevent overfishing. Salmon Falls Resort is a true bucket list destination for skilled and first-time anglers thanks to its picturesque setting, warm ocean currents, and epic annual King and Silver Salmon runs. Salmon Falls’ custom fleet of new boats and top-of-the-line gear, experienced Alaskan guides, and location make for a recipe of success. The resort also handles all the filleting, packaging, and shipping of the fish. Book the Floatplane Fishing Adventure to enjoy a scenic chartered flight and then land in remote spots to enjoy a one-of-a-kind guided fishing experience where very few people are privileged to go each year. Luxury category room rates start at $650 (including F&B) and the Floatplane Fishing Adventure costs $1,500 for two.
In addition, guests can venture into the ocean on a guided zodiac in search of humpback or orca whales, seals, eagles, sea lions, and bears, or paddle board on the ocean exploring the waters of Clover Passage, featuring an immense array of inter-tidal life, including resident seals and sea lions, migratory birds, Pacific porpoises, whales, and more.
Experience Honolulu’s Underwater Beauty at ‘Alohilani Resort
Located steps from the beach in the center of Waikiki, ‘Alohilani offers two restaurants conceived by internationally acclaimed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. Every space has been envisioned by award-winning design firm Rockwell Group. The resort is a welcoming and relaxing oasis of tranquility in the heart of Waikiki. Guests can experience the magic of marine life up close at ‘Alohilani’s captivating 280,000-gallon Oceanarium. The resort’s two-story, saltwater indoor Oceanarium is one of the must-see Waikiki attractions. Containing a large variety of colorful native Hawaiian reef fishes, the diversity of colors, shapes, and species that have fascinated divers for generations are on display. Witness one of the daily fish feedings and be awed by a world that few of us ever see.