Montana Glacier National Park
Image 1 of 17
There are 26 stunning glaciers in this park on the border between Montana and Canada, including the 410-acre Harrison Glacier, the largest formation in the protected wilderness, and Many Glacier, a key destination for avid hikers. Unfortunately, rising global temperatures mean that number is far less than the 150 glaciers found here at the end of the 19th century. How to visit: In addition to the park’s environmental management plan, the National Park Service suggests visitors walk or cycle through the park where possible, use the free shuttle over their own vehicles and use reusable or recyclable materials during their stay to reduce their effect on the delicate environment.
Bangkok Food Markets
Image 2 of 17
A fresh yet spicy green papaya salad, proper stir fries, mystery morsels grilled on skewers: Bangkok is known for having some of the best street food going. But whether the roadside stalls will be allowed to continue serving up their delicious morsels is a point of contention: the government reversed an initial decision to ban the vendors in mid 2017 but how long this truce holds is anyone’s guess. How to visit: Source your dinner from a street not being targeted by clean ups: street vendors are currently still permitted on Yaowarat and Khao San Road.
The Dead Sea
Image 3 of 17
Visitors flock to this vast body of water to enjoy the novelty of being incredibly buoyant in its depths – at around 34 per cent salinity, it’s one of the saltiest places on earth but the water level has been dropping about a metre a year since the mid 20th century. How to visit: Once you’ve had a dip, spend extra time exploring other natural wonders nearby. Climb the Masada ruins in Israel or stroll by the springs and stream at En Gedi Nature Reserve.
Everglades National Park, Florida
Image 4 of 17
Traversing the watery paths of this steamy wetland is an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the US. But the very thing that makes this 600,000-hectare reserve special also makes it vulnerable to the elements. Increased water salinity is throwing off the natural order and the ecosystem is becoming more vulnerable to hurricanes and other damaging events. How to visit: Seek out an eco-friendly tour provider that aims to preserve the fragile subtropical spot. Look for operators that take extra environmental steps such as promoting hikes or kayaking over motorised tours.
Image 5 of 17
Who hasn’t dreamt of a romantic gondola glide down one of Venice’s curving canals? But regular flooding and an influx of daytrippers are changing the nature of the city. How to visit: Rather than visiting the city for a single day or disembarking from a cruise ship and confining your exploration to St Mark’s Square, spend a few nights on the island hunting down teeny trattorias and authentic bars run by locals in unexplored neighbourhoods, away from the main canal.
Image 6 of 17
The Amazon is home to one tenth of the world’s known species: jaguars, macaws, black spider monkeys, plus almost 400 types of reptiles and 40,000 plant species. Though 40 per cent of its total area is classed as “protected”, this rainforest is hugely susceptible to deforestation. How to visit: Take a guided tour to see just some of the unique wildlife hidden in the trees with eco-friendly operators that help to fund its preservation.
The Congo Basin
Image 7 of 17
It sprawls across six African countries, has been home to humans for 50,000 years and protects endangered wildlife such as forest elephants and lowland and mountain gorillas. But this dense forest is under threat from logging and the animals from poaching. How to visit: Support the WWF-backed Dzanga-Sangha Ecotourism Programme. The park’s entry fee is used for park management, to fund a government program to develop tourism and to the community to promote sustainable resource use.
Field of Light, Uluru
Image 8 of 17
Originally meant to close in early 2017, this illuminating outdoor exhibition near Uluru has been extended until 2020 so you have two more years to book your visit. Created by Bruce Munro, this installation features 50,000 light-filled glass spheres peeking above the spinifex. How to visit: Explore Uluru from the base with an indigenous guide; traditional owners ask that visitors don’t climb the sacred site. The climb will permanently close in 2019.
Ujung Kulon National Park, Indonesia
Image 9 of 17
It’s not the World Heritage listed-park on Java that’s in danger of disappearing but the Javan rhinoceros that calls it home. It’s estimated there are only about 60 of these critically endangered creatures left. How to visit: Though you’ll have to be incredibly lucky to spot one while touring with an eco-friendly company that helps to support conservation work, there are plenty of other reasons to visit the largest protected area on the island, including a greater chance of seeing a long-tailed macaque, a Javan leopard or a banteng bull.
Image 10 of 17
It might have come to fame thanks to the animated movie of the same name but wildlife lovers have long known that Madagascar is one of the best places to spot some of the earth’s strangest creatures. In particular, the 587-square-kilometre island is home to the wide-eyed endangered Silky Sifaka lemur and the Ploughshare tortoise. But deforestation is destroying the forest habitats of these quirky creatures. How to visit: Organise any visits through a responsible tourism operator and stay in hotels that have Fair Trade Tourism certification or that support Malagsy. Ask for local guides for any activities or tours.
Big Sur, California
Image 11 of 17
Scan the skies for California condors, look out to sea to spot migrating whales: this stretch of the State’s eastern coastline is a worthy road trip destination. The route between San Francisco and Los Angeles is an iconic journey but the experience is changing. Wildfires have stripped parts of the forest and landslides closed large chunks of the road throughout 2017. How to visit: Never light fires outside of the designated camping zones and hike or cycle over driving where possible. Monterey County heavily promote sustainable travel – visit their website for suggestions.
Magdalen Islands, Quebec
Image 12 of 17
The Magdalen Islands, also known as the Îles de la Madeleine, are a scattering of isles in Canada’s Gulf of Saint Lawrence, around a five-hour ferry crossing from Prince Edward Island. Its jagged edges are a mix of chilly beaches and dramatic grey and red sandstone cliffs, the latter of which is susceptible to erosion. The sandstone is constantly changing shape, with storms and winds whipping the rock each year. There are predictions it could get worse as the walls of protective sea ice further out melt in coming years. How to visit: Make sure to check out where you are – and aren’t – allowed to venture and book a tour with a reputable, local operator.
Image 13 of 17
The 1200 little islands that make up the Maldives are exactly what holidaymakers imagine a tropical getaway to be like: white sand beaches, dramatically clear seas, overwater bungalows perched above coral reefs filled with marine life. But rising sea levels threaten to drown the low-lying landmasses in the coming decades. How to visit: The Maldives are aiming to be a low-carbon country. Assist by staying at energy-efficient hotels – Soneva, for example, is 100 per cent self sufficient when it comes to water collection.
Wildflowers, Queensland and South Australia
Image 14 of 17
You’ll have to be quick to catch this phenomenon. After heavy rainfall, the red dunes of the Simpson Desert National Park, close to Birdsville in Queensland, bloom into a blanket of wildflowers. The wildflower season in August 2016 was considered especially spectacular so keep an eye on the weather forecasts for the next sustained substantial downpour and cross your fingers these floral fields spring up again. How to visit: It should really go without saying: don’t pick the flowers as souvenirs.
Mosquito Bay, Puerto Rico
Image 15 of 17
On the island of Vieques, tiny plankton called dinoflagellates lend the inky water an electric blue glow. Their light show has been dimmed several times in the past thanks to disruption the sensitive water chemistry that allows these microscopic creatures to thrive. If you want to see this bay light up, one of three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico, organise a visit soon in case it fades again. How to visit: Swimming in the bay is no longer permitted – sunscreen, perfumes and other chemicals we put on our skin is thought to damage the dinoflagellates. Kayak the waters with a licensed tourism operator instead.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo
Image 16 of 17
It came to fame in the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi and is one of the world’s best examples of a bustling early-morning wholesale market. But if you want to take a six-am wander through its tuna-lined aisles, you’ll need to visit before the end of 2018, when the government moves the vendors to a new location ahead of the 2020 Olympics. How to visit: As fascinating as the auctions may be, remember that this is how the wholesalers make a living. Try not to interrupt the sellers and be discreet if you’re snapping the frenzy.