If visions of crystal-blue water, white sandy beaches, and lush green hills sound like your ideal vacation destination, a trip to the British Virgin Islands might be just what the doctor ordered. Fortunately for environmentally conscious travelers, staying at a luxury resort doesn’t have to mean participating in irresponsible tourism. Case in point: Oil Nut Bay in Virgin Gorda. The resort works to preserve the island’s natural beauty and biodiversity. Guests can even head out on a snorkeling adventure that leaves the island even better than they found it.
When completed, Oil Nut Bay will have 180 villas, meaning half of the 400 acres of Oil Nut Bay will remain designated green space. The property prioritizes green energy, using solar panels to generate electricity for its water desalination plants, air conditioning, refrigeration, hot water, community lighting, and more. They use collected rainwater and a greywater desalinization process (a.k.a. reverse osmosis) to recycle water for landscape irrigation.
Guests can participate in eco-friendly activities like kayaking through mangrove forests in glass-bottom kayaks or snorkeling on coral reefs. But a unique, popular activity on the island is taking a turtle tagging trip, during which guests will freedive with a researcher to safely catch turtles. The turtles are measured, tagged, and released in partnership with the resort’s conservation organization. Guests who book the experience will receive information from the resort partner’s marine conservation team on how to track the migration paths of their tagged turtles once they return home.
In April, Oil Nut Bay also opened interactive nature center focused on the ecology of Virgin Gorda and the British Virgin Islands, along with tips and information on how visitors and locals can preserve and protect the environment. And kids and families staying at the resort can take advantage of the ONB ranger program, which rewards kids for activities like learning to kayak or practicing wildlife identification skills and helping the environment. Teaching kids to enjoy spending time in nature helps them become better global citizens and can help them be less stressed and do better in school.
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If you spend your time wisely, your relaxing vacation in the Caribbean could be as good for the planet as it is for you.