Responsible Tourism & Eco-Friendly Travel | EF Ultimate Break
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At EF Ultimate Break, our Responsible Travel initiatives focus on three main commitments: to protect the environment, respect wildlife, and support the communities we visit. Our culturally immersive trips uphold each of these commitments to work towards a more sustainable world—now, and for years to come.

Protecting the environment

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Respecting wildlife

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Supporting communities

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It’s simple. Planet Earth is our home (also a fantastic docuseries). When we travel, we leave footprints wherever we go. And it’s up to all of us to be mindful and respect the environment.

What we’re doing

We're committed to improving the sustainability of our trips by embracing eco-friendly practices, supporting local conservation efforts, reducing and recycling waste, and working with local suppliers to design eco-friendly activities that minimize our footprint.

Whether it’s planting trees outside the Santa Elena Cloud Forest in Costa Rica or snorkeling (with reef-safe sunscreen) off the coast of Baru Island in Colombia, we are constantly evaluating and improving our experiences to lessen our impact on the environments we visit. EF Ultimate Break is also proud to be part of EF Education First's Hello Zero commitment, an initiative to remove all the carbon EF has emitted since its founding in 1965.

Hello Zero

A path to remove our carbon footprint

Learn more

Our favorite eco-friendly activities

  • Visit Tikal National Park, an ancient Mayan city in present-day Guatemala, and walk among the remains of temples, palaces, and pyramids with a local guide.
  • Plant some trees outside the Santa Elena Cloud Forest in Costa Rica.
  • Snorkel around Cayo Arena mangrove, an ecoregion in the Dominican Republic that feels like paradise on Earth.
  • Stare in wonder at the sheer power of water at Pailon del Diablo, or “Devil's cauldron,” a waterfall in the Ecuadorean Andes.
  • Check out the giant wild tortoises on Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos, and then cool off with a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Las Grietas.
  • Go sky high as you explore Machu Picchu, the Inca citadel situated 8,000 feet up in the Andes mountains of Peru.
  • Hike through Colombia’s Chicaque Natural Park, and keep an eye out for sloths, birds, and butterflies.
  • Slow down with a lazy river float through a series of sacred Mayan caves on the southern coast of Belize.

What you can do

7 eco-friendly travel tips, brought to you by our travelers

Eco-friendly adventures

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Encountering animals in the wild is one of those classic “omg, is this really happening?” moments we all hope for when we travel. But there is a right way to enjoy the experience (selfies are totally cool—as long as they’re in the wild and you keep your distance), and then there’s a wrong way.

What we’re doing

We are proud to work with the non-profit organization World Animal Protection to implement animal welfare guidelines throughout all our trips worldwide—because truly experiencing a destination should not mean harming the animals that call it home.

We rely on guidance from World Animal Protection and align with the 5 Freedoms of Animal Welfare

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from pain, injury, or disease
  • Freedom from fear and distress
  • Freedom to express normal behavior

All five must be met in order for an activity to meet our standards at EF.

What you can do

6 tips for taking the perfect animal selfie

Take a trip on the wild side

Before we can truly enjoy new cultures, we must seek to understand them. And no, that doesn’t mean reading a Wikipedia page or watching some vlogger on YouTube and calling it a day. It means taking time to learn the customs, norms, and traditions of the communities we visit. A thoughtful traveler is a genuinely curious traveler.

What we’re doing

We're committed to providing economic, social, and environmental benefits to the communities we visit. Your travel experience with us directly supports local businesses and livelihoods, and along the way, our Tour Directors teach you about the importance of local production and heritage. We collaborate with the communities in which we live, travel, and work to preserve local cultures and encourage sustainability.

Activities that support communities we visit

  • See how coffee is planted, harvested, and roasted at a coffee plantation in Costa Rica.
  • Join a local guide on a street art tour of the Candalaria neighborhood in Bogota, Colombia.
  • Eat and dance to your heart’s content at a traditional Caribbean dinner and dance lesson in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.
  • Grab a late dinner and sample some local ouzo at a taverna in Athens.

What you can do

5 ways to put communities first while traveling

Engage with locals on these trips

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