Prize-winning eco-travel books

Looking for a great gift for a fellow traveller, or maybe to put on your own wish list? Planeta.com, the global journal of practical ecotourism, has released its list of nominees for Book of the Year.

Any of these recommended guides is worth a read. You can also go to Planeta’s site and vote for your favorite.

Some of Planta’s nominees are scholarly works, others are general about-the-environment books. Here’s a few of the travel-guide selections that I think are most likely of interest to you Eco-TravelLogue readers:

The New Key to Costa Rica” sets the standard for environmentally and socially responsible tourism guides, says The Nature Conservancy. The book offers complete coverage of sights, lodging, dining, and outdoor adventures, including wildlife viewing, parks and reserves, surfing, fishing, horseback riding, and diving. Lodgings are rated for their efforts in protecting an environmental, economic, and cultural balance.

Living Abroad in Nicaraugua” provides a special focus on how and where to volunteer and participate in sustainable community work. Other guidebook nominees are the “Footprint South American Handbook 2007,” “Costa Rica, The Bradt Travel Guide,” and “Argentina, The Bradt Travel Guide.”

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Also nominated in the general travel category are two books that focus on sustainable travel around the world — Tourism Concern’s “Ethical Travel Guide” and Lonely Planet’s “Code Green.” I have copies of both of these books and find them both well worthwhile. Both have introductions and sidebars that explain what sustainable tourism is all about and why it matters. The Ethical Guide has lots of brief listings, on black and white pages. Code Green gives each entry a two-page spread with color pictures and a discussion of responsible travel credentials. My advice… get ’em both!