San Francisco, CA (April 15, 2008) - In commemoration of Earth Day 2008, the team at Viator.com, the leading online resource for more than 5,500 trip activities and experiences at the best prices, is recommending travelers consider exploring some of the most environmentally focused attractions in the world. From reefs to glaciers to rainforests, the time is right to visit these amazing eco-attractions built by Mother Nature.
"We are raising environmental awareness and promoting eco-friendly travel with our Guide for Sustainable Living and Travel and the ability to offset carbon emissions directly at Viator.com," said Rod Cuthbert, Viator founder and chairman. "We encourage travelers to experience the planet's most precious natural gems now to inspire them to protect the planet for generations of travelers to come.
Most will never experience it from this perspective, but the Great Barrier Reef
, stretching along more than 1,200 miles of Queensland seaboard, is the only living thing visible from space. Viator offers more than 30 tours and activities to get travelers close to this Australian eco-system including:
- Great Barrier Reef Cruise and Helicopter Flight (from $234) - A customizable day spent at the Outer Reef with whale, turtle, and shark watching (from the air) and snorkeling, swimming and diving (in the water).
- Great Barrier Reef Day Cruise to Reefworld (from $174) - Speed by catamaran to the reef for a day of adventure at Reefworld at Hardy Reef, and swim, dive or submerge (without getting wet?)and explore coral gardens and indigenous marine life.
- 2 Day Reefsleep Great Barrier Reef Experience (from $363) - See the nocturnal side of the reef under sparkling stars as one of only a handful of visitors swimming and diving here at night, along with champagne at sunset and alfresco evening dining.
- Great Barrier Reef Small Group Dive and Snorkel Tour from Cairns aboard Osprey V (from $109) - Osprey V offers one of the fastest trips to the outer edge of the reef, with certified dive options for an enhanced experience, as well as an Aussie BBQ lunch.
Global warming is already diminishing the beauty and bounty of the world's glacial waterways. Pack the parka for some chilly and eye-opening experiences in:
- Alaska - the Portage Glacier Cruise plus Tour (from $69) starts at the Begich-Boggs visitor center to view the glaciology exhibits, then sails across iceberg-dotted Portage Lake with a stop for lunch on your own at Alyeska Ski Resort. (May to September).
- Alaska - Juneau Whale Watching Adventure and Mendenhall Glacier (from $132) - As hump back whales feed in the nutrient rich Alaskan waters of Auke Bay, watch for bald eagles, seals, and sea lions before visiting Mendenhall Glacier.
- New Zealand - the Franz Josef Half Day Glacier Experience (from $79) fits travelers with the proper glacier-walking attire including a set of Ice-Talonz to ensure a good grip as they traverse the terminal face of the glacier for nearly two hours.
- Switzerland - Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe (from Lucerne) (from $175) or the "world of eternal snow and ice" - includes a visit to the Ice Palace for a breathtaking panorama view from the Sphinx Observation Terrace overlooking the Aletsch Glacier (Europe's longest glacier).
Impacted heavily by deforestation, the world's rainforests are home to two-thirds of all living animal and plant species on the planet. Viator.com has a selection of experiences that explore the unique environmental attributes of these ancient ecosystems:
- Ecuador - Mountain Bike in Papallacta (from $78) and experience a cross section of Ecuador's ecosystems from rugged paramo (high-altitude Andean grasslands), to lush cloud forest at the Amazon basin. Recoup with a restorative bath at the local hot springs.
- Jamaica - Caliche Rainforest Rafting departing Montego Bay (from $88) - Glide down the river and witness the beauty of one of Jamaica's most impressive primordial rainforests. Swing on a river rope, take a swim and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
- Panama - Ecotour: Ecocanal (Gatun Lake and Miraflores Locks) (from $106) - Learn how large vessels maneuver the Miraflores Locks then board a vessel to see it up close. Visit Monkey Island, the rainforest that supports the functioning of the Panama Canal.
- Costa Rica - the Costa Rican Combo Arenal Volcano / Ecotermales and Rainforest Adventure (from $150 per person) includes a trek into the Costa Rican rainforest, a birds-eye view of lava erupting and oozing from the active volcano, Arenal, and tender touch of sultry hot springs to conclude the experience.
Travelers should visit Viator.com for full tour details, as well as the Viator Travel Blog featuring travel inspiration, advice and recommendations.
Viator is the world's leading online resource for travel experiences, providing access to more than 5,500 tours, attractions and activities in 450-plus destinations in 75 countries. Viator - the Latin word for traveller - offers travelers a one-stop shop to plan, research and book trip activities with helpful resources like customer reviews, star ratings, suggested itineraries and the Viator Travel Blog. Viator's in-house travel experts have picked respected and trusted local operators to ensure a quality experience, value and service, all backed by Viator's low-price guarantee. Founded in 1995, Viator sells its products directly to consumers at www.viator.com and through its global network of more than 1,000 affiliates that include major hotel and airline companies, online travel agencies, city-specific sites and more. Through its collection of company operated and affiliated sites, Viator welcomes nearly 2 million visitors per month. Viator is headquartered in San Francisco with regional offices in Sydney, London and Las Vegas.
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