This year stay away from the rowdy crowds of students on Spring break and enjoy authentic bonding experiences with your travel companions. Whether you are traveling with friends, family or maybe future family, we’ve got a selection of places to travel to which won’t be filled with beer pong players AND give you great spring break bragging rights. After all, how many folks on their getaways get to swim with manta rays or take cooking lessons in Morocco? So, if instead of drinking too much beer you prefer to swim in the bubbly hot springs of Dominica, read on to find inspiration for your next eco-friendly Spring Break!
Manta Rays and Water Sports Galore
Reethi Faru, a luxury escape on the secluded island of Filaidhoo is a unique, tropical island paradise where the clear, blue waters kiss the white sand. With bungalows sitting atop the Indian Ocean, it’s easy to dive right into the refreshing waters from your very own deck.
The Maldives are the home of the endangered South Asian Monsoon Manta Ray, and the Reethi Faru Resort has started a Manta ID Project to contribute to the mission of raising awareness about these fantastic creatures and their habitat. Each manta has unique spots on its underside, guests on manta snorkel and dive trips with the resort’s dive team are encouraged to capture and share their images with the resident marine biologist. The photos are then sent to the Manta Trust.
Besides this unique marine wildlife preservation project, there’s a ton to do around Reethi Faru: from paddle boarding, moonlight sailing, kite surfing, to dolphin safaris and fishing Maldivian style, this atoll of over 1,000 coral islands is a true paradise for water sports lovers!
Volcanos, hot springs, and champagne bubbles
The unspoiled beauty of the island nation of Dominica consists of sparkling waterfalls, volcanic mountain peaks, and underwater champagne bubbles. Wait. .. underwater champagne?
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to swim in champagne, well, head to Dominica! Underwater volcanic activity means that along Champagne Reef, bubbles of hot water are constantly rising from the ocean floor, just like in the glass of your favorite sparkling wine!.
When on Dominica hike the Waitukubuli National Trail which crisscrosses the entire island. Or, hike past the Valley of Desolation to the top of a volcano to see the Boiling Lake. Because of the high temperature of the water, it’s often shrouded in steam. Just wait a few moments for the wind to clear the steam away. There are plenty of hot spring-fed streams to take a dip in on the way up and down. The town of Wotten Waven is also known for having numerous hot springs to try out.
A trip to Dominica is also a chance to visit its indigenous people, the Caribs. There are a number of villages where you can get a glimpse of their culture, art, and daily life.
While in Dominica, stay at the eco-friendly Hotel The Champs. All rooms and the bar at the hotel face the West. Enjoy a Kubuli (the local beer) or a rum punch while you enjoy the sunset.
This Spring break discover the secrets of the Moroccan art of blending spices to create flavorful dishes and stay in a traditional house (ryad) inside the walls of the old town of Fez.
The architecture and décor of Ryad Mabrouka has been carefully renovated to maintain its original features while adding all the modern and sustainable comforts. The interior courtyard with sculpted plasterwork on the columns, cedar wooden doors, a babbling fountain, as well as colorful Moroccan mosaic opens onto a garden of roses and citrus trees. From the rooftop terrace there’s a panoramic view of the “Médina” and the neighboring countryside.
While the look of the hotel may be old Morocco, its ideals are definitely new. The staff is trained in sustainable practices, rainwater is collected, and bathrooms are equipped with water-saving devices like tap-aerators and eco flush toilets.
When it comes to the kitchen, the cook uses local and seasonal products to prepare typical dishes such as couscous, pastilles, and of course, tagines. But there’s more for foodies to love! The hotel organizes cooking classes upon request. Head off to the open-air market with a local chef to learn about products used like lemon pickle, argan oil, and dried fruits and experience how Moroccans do their daily grocery shopping. Then it’s back to the kitchen for a cooking lesson followed by sampling of what was made. Yum!
While most are bent on indulging their senses with 24 hr partying, you can feed your spirit with the eternal beauty of one of the most stunning archeological complexes in the world at Angkor Wat.
Conveniently located in the nearby city of Siem Reap, the eco-friendly Anjali Hotel offers a “Discover Angkor” experience. On the first day, get your Vespa scooter to visit local markets, Buddhist pagodas, and ride through the rice fields in the countryside.
The next day it’s off to the famous Angkor temples of Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Prohm and Ta Keo in a car with an English speaking guide. Back at the hotel enjoy a rejuvenating massage at the hotel’s spa and unwind from a day of excursions and discoveries.
Whenever possible, the Anjali Hotel supports local sustainable businesses. The amenities trays are produced by Cambolac, a Siem Reap based handicraft company that designs and manufactures lacquer ware souvenirs.
They employ vulnerable folks and hearing-impaired young adults to hand paint their products. The wastebaskets are produced by OSMOSE, a non-profit organization promoting environmental education and social support.
The rattan baskets at the hotel are hand woven by a group called Manava. Started by local Cambodian women, it offers a stable and financially viable future.