Photo by: Bhasker Hariharan

North America and Europe are not traditionally what you think of when you think ecotourism, but take a look around and both regions offer some prime wilderness. National parks and conservation here are the envy of the rest of the world. Great infrastructure and facilities are standard here. You’ll find easy access and beautiful nature lodges and campgrounds, as well as huge reserves in the isolated extremes of both regions.

  1. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska One of the last truly wild places on earth is threatened by oil. This 19.2 million acre reserve is home to polar bears, herds of caribou, grizzlies, wolves, marine mammals, and migratory birds. A visit here is ecotourism at its finest.
  2. Denali National Park, Alaska Outside of the highest peak in North America, Mount McKinley, Denali hosts grizzlies, caribou, wolves, and moose.
  3. Kenai Fjords National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Sea kayak besides Orca whales and harbor seals, while bald eagles circle above. This south central Alaskan park is also home to the 300 square mile Harding ice field.
  4. Yosemite National Park A vast wilderness of meadows, waterfalls, and granite mountains that was one of the first wildlife reserves of the United States and the inspiration for much of Ansel Adams photography. Black bears, mountain lions, wolves, and foxes make their home here.
  5. Skjalfandi Bay, Iceland When not admiring Husavik’s nearby waterfalls and hot springs, take a boat into Skjalfandi Bay, which is Europe’s premier whale watching destination.
  6. Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominica This UNESCO world heritage site is one of the Caribbean’s finest nature reserves.
  7. Everglades, Florida This vast area of wetlands on the southern tip of Florida is home to not only Native American tribes, but hundreds of rare plant and animal species from orchids to the Florida panther.
  8. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming This legendary park is home to the very last wild herd of bison in North America, not to mention geysers, wolves, and moose.
  9. Northeast Greenland National Park, Greenland The largest national park in the world and an international biosphere reserve measures nearly 400,000 square miles. Apart from the musk ox and polar bears, there are marine birds, walrus, the arctic fox, and numerous marine mammals such as whales and seals.
  10. Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii This international biosphere reserve and world heritage site is home to the world’s largest and most active volcano, as well as loads of rare flora and fauna.

Click here for Top 10 Ecotourism Vacations in Latin America