In a world that is rapidly changing due to warming temperatures, rising sea levels, and other environmental issues, there are many destinations that are soon to be impossible to visit or may simply vanish. We gathered a list of the top five destinations that you must visit while you still can. We encourage you to travel sustainably and to see the world in a responsible manner by limiting your carbon footprint and overall environmental impact.
In this current political climate, no one knows how much longer it will be possible to visit. Also, with Fidel Castro’s recent death, many Cubans feel that they might be closer to a Cuba Libre! However, increased tourism may impact Cuba’s ability to retain its rich cultural heritage. It could soon be a place of big hotels, fast food chains, and lose its cultural identity. Only time will tell but, for now, we recommend that you plan a visit to Cuba sooner rather than later. The New Year is almost here…why not make this a resolution?
Ice caps are melting as we speak! This is bad news for all of us. Antarctic ice sheet decline has been evident since the 1940s and the fact that it’s irreversible is heartbreaking. West Antarctic ice sheet is already melting from the inside, and it is looking like an accelerated collapse. As eloquently stated by Ian Howat, associate professor of earth sciences at Ohio State, “It’s generally accepted that it’s no longer a question of whether the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will melt, it’s a question of when.” Don’t procrastinate in planning a visit for you will miss seeing Antarctica altogether!
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
Its coral is diminishing—population explosions of coral-eating starfish suck away the coral nutrients, plus storms and acidification of oceans have increased the speed of decline. Coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef has dropped by more than half over the last 27 years, according to scientists. This is truly detrimental since coral reefs play an important role on the marine ecosystem as sources of food and protection for young fish. Besides, it’s not just in Australia; they are currently under threat around the world for similar reasons.
Its lagoon is deteriorating and it’s sinking under water, little by little, throughout the centuries due to a major threat: the extreme high tides known as “acqua alta.” Acqua alta is when the water level at high tide is over 90mm (3.54 inches) above normal. There is a history of many floods having occurred in Venice over the years that have resulted in evacuations. For example, the most common occurrence are the floods around Piazza San Marco, where even a “normal” high tide can cause some flooding. Venice has thus far survived this threat, but we recommend visiting now, before it becomes the lost city of Venice.
The Galapagos Islands
Some species of animal and plants are only indigenous to the Galapagos and cannot be found anywhere else in the world (many are in danger of extinction). In order to protect the species, tourism is already limited. Ecuador is such a fascinating place to visit (rich culture, amazing food and literally the “middle of the world”) that the country in general, and The Galapagos specifically, should already be at the top of your bucket list!
Now, we leave it to you to go and discover all of these amazing destinations before it’s too late. We all know the saying that “life’s too short,” but in this case, it’s even more true for these fading gems around the world.