When you think of an internship, chances are you imagine a young collegiate making photocopies and going on coffee runs. But what about spending two weeks living large (while getting your hands dirty) at some of Costa Rica's best eco retreats, including Lapa Rios on the Osa Peninsula, the Fica Rosa Coffee Plantation & Inn, or the chic new Kura Design Villas (pictured) on the Costa Ballena?
Cayuga Collection, the company behind eight pioneering eco resorts in Costa Rica and Nicaragua (and 2010 Global Vision Award winner) is accepting applications for what it calls "The Best Internship in the World," open to anybody with extensive travel experience and interest in getting a behind-the-scenes look at how luxury and sustainability can be compatible. According to Cayuga cofounder Hans Pfister, the successful candidate will be "a well traveled person or couple who can put our blend of high end service and responsible tourism to the test." In other words: "age doesn’t matter, attitude does."
The World Economic Forum just released its 2013 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index, a report that evaluates 140 destinations across the world based on safety and security, environmental sustainability, and cultural and natural resources, among other "pillars" of tourism.
Among the findings:
° Switzerland is the best overall place in the world for tourism.
° In a further blow to its floundering travel industry, Egypt ranks last for safety and security, behind Yemen (139) and Pakistan (137). Kenya is ranked no. 135. Finland, meanwhile, is the safest place to travel.
There are two things that Guam is particularly famous—or infamous—for: its residents love of Spam, and the area's snakes. According to some experts, Hawaii—another Spam-lovers paradise—is just one unlucky plane ride away from becoming a den of vipers, too.
Both canned processed meats and snakes arrived in Guam right after World War II, courtesy of the armed forces (the Spam as non-perishable meals; the snakes as stowaways on ships). Since then, Guam’s now-thriving brown tree snake population has been responsible for decimating the local bird population, gnawing on power lines, biting lots of folks, and generally giving Guam a bad name.
Surfers will travel far and wide in search of the perfect pipe. For Florida native Louis Wilson in 1974, this meant a two-month drive from Miami to the then-shack village of Tamarindo, Costa Rica.
In this new episode of the Reserve Channel's series, EX-PATS, host Savannah Jane Buffet catches up with Louis on his love for riding waves and protecting the saltwater jungles of Costa Rica. His passion for conservation led him to open up one of the oldest eco-tourism destinations in Central America, Hotel Las Tortugas. Forty years later, Louis and his fellow ex-pat wife, Carrie, are still living la pura vida amongst the leatherback turtles and tiger-herons.
Check out the full episode for more on Louis' quest to conserve Tamarindo.
Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Do you know a travel company that's making a difference?
Each year, Travel + Leisure recognizes the standard-bearers for responsible tourism in our Global Vision Awards. From airlines that are lightening their footprints to hotels that are investing in the communities around them, the winners represent travel's best ideas for a better world. (You can find the 2012 Global Vision Awards here.)
Please drop a note to TLGlobalVision@aexp.com if you know of a company or organization that should be among this year's winners. The deadline for the 2013 Global Vision Award application, available here, is April 1, 2013.
Photo: Editor Nancy Novogrod speaks with the jurors and winners of the 2012 Global Vision Awards at the annual luncheon in October.
EX-PATS, the Reserve Channel’s new YouTube series, showcases people who've abandoned the home front to pursue their passions in a more exotic culture.
In this next episode of EX-PATS, host Savannah Jane Buffet takes a trip to Placencia, Belize to visit Pam and John Solomon. After living the fast life in New York City, the couple decided to resign to paradise, packing their love for food and drink, and opening RumFish y Vino restaurant in this Belizean fishing village.
Now parents, Pam and John are thrilled to be raising their daughter, Libby, in a country where farm- or sea-to-table is the only way to eat. Press play to catch the island breeze.
Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Together with CNN, Travel + Leisure's multi-platform series 100 Places to Eat Like a Local combines iReports from you, television spots, chef recommendations, and editor finds to spotlight the best local food around the world over the next few months.
This week, we are highlighting a Detroit restaurant (brought to you by iReporter ProMich) that goes above and beyond the farm-to-table concept. In 1976, Rina and Adriano Tonon decided to take an old apple orchard and transform it into a five-acre garden adorned with Italian herbs and vegetables. Years later, Café Cortina is a prospering model for younger restaurants aiming to be organic and sustainable. The basil, rosemary, Swiss chard and 80 year-old heirloom tomato plants make the dishes at Café Cortina as delicious as they are healthy.
Home to some of Europe’s last remaining reindeer herds, Norway’s windswept Dovre Mountains, about five hours north of Oslo by car, now offer a warm and visually stimulating spot for design pilgrims and animal lovers alike: Tverrfjellhytta. Commissioned by the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Foundation and designed by cutting-edge architecture firm Snøhetta, the site appears to be made of weathered driftwood (actually, it’s pine, sculpted by shipbuilders using computerized milling technology). Inside, the organic-looking benches face an expansive glass wall—the ideal perch for taking in a few real-life reindeer games.
Ilaria Venturini Fendi may be a scion of the Roman fashion dynasty known for its leather handbags and furs. But for her, luxury is I Casali del Pino, the organic farm she owns 30 minutes from Rome, where she’s opening an agriturismo this fall. The cozy inn’s 19 rustic-chic rooms are furnished with wrought-iron beds, salvaged tiles, and under-floor geothermal heating. The eco ethic is nothing new for Fendi: her accessories company, Carmina Campus—which is also run from the farm—creates totes out of “upcycled” materials (venetian blinds; mosquito nets). There’s a restaurant serving dishes such as lemon-ricotta ravioli with pine-nut pesto. And the pecorino cheese on the menu? That’s courtesy of Fendi’s own flock of Sardinian sheep. 39-06/3089-5688.
Out of all the places to have a farming renaissance, who would guess uber-urban Hong Kong? But it’s true: concerns about food safety in China coupled with a rising interest in the provenance and quality of ingredients has sparked action. HK Farm is a 4,000-square-foot rooftop farm in industrial Ngau Tau Kok started by a group of artists and designers, with plans to expand. Zen Organic is a former pig farm that a pair of siblings inherited and turned into one of the city’s most sought-after sources of produce. Down with pollution and in with the greens!