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Green vacations: 10 sustainable places that don't cost the Earth

— eXtreme Hotel, Kitebeach, 57000 Cabarete, Dominican Republic; +1809.571.0330

  1. Inkaterra, Tampopata National Reserve, Peru

Peru's remote Tampopata National Reserve is home to the Inkaterra Guides Field Station, formerly a research location and now open to travelers and volunteers from around the world.

The rainforest retreat leads conservation projects overseen by the not-for-profit Inkaterra Asociación (ITA) including the study of flora and fauna. Four cabanas with private terraces provide more comfortable accommodation than you may expect, while there are larger pavilions for shared living.

Wildlife-focused outings include a canopy walkway high above the forest floor, boat trips and visits to the Gamitana Model Farm, where ITA works in conjunction with local communities.

Inkaterra, Andalucía 174, Miraflores L18, Lima, Peru; +51 1 610 0400

  1. Best of Myanmar Tour, Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel promise big adventures to small groups, all under the umbrella of genuinely responsible travel. Their tour of the best Myanmar has to offer stresses that sustainable tourism is critical to preserve the relatively new and underdeveloped destination.

This means their Myanmar trip is fully carbon offset, to the tune of 577 kilograms per passenger.

They use local transportation and accommodation, including a stay at the country's first community-based tourism project in Myaing where local villagers provide meals and activities, in a project run by ActionAid.

  1. Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve, South Africa

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve is an 18,000-acre wildlife reserve lodge 170 miles from Cape Town in the Cederberg Mountains. Conservation and working with communities are common threads among lodges across Africa, but they take it up a notch at Bushmans Kloof.

There's waste water processing, sustainable organic farming and energy-saving initiatives, but it's through protection and reintegration of endangered species that they've made their mark. Notably, the reserve is home to the Cape Mountain zebra, saved from the brink of extinction, while there are more than 130 rock-art sites, which are more than 10,000 years old.

Extensive community participation includes supporting schools, clinics, youth camps and even the refurbishment of a museum.

Bushmans Kloof, Clanwilliam, Cederberg Mountains, Western Cape; +27 21 437 9278

  1. Turtle conservation, Kyrenia, North Cyprus

The northern coast of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus is largely unspoilt, with Alagadi Beach a particular draw for a special type of visitor -- endangered green and loggerhead turtles.

It's estimated that as few as 400 green and 2,000 loggerhead females breed in the entire Mediterranean, so conservation work by the Marine Turtle Research Group, led by Britain's Exeter University, is critical.

Volunteers are welcome, primarily students from undergraduate to PhD level, but non-students are also accepted. It's a long-term commitment -- up to three months -- and all volunteers need to contribute to cover food and accommodation. Given issues including habitat loss and climate change, the odds against young turtles making it to adulthood are as low as one in 1,000.

Cyprus Turtles; 5 Barbaros Sokak, Gonyelli, North Cyprus; +905488868684

  1. The Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula boasts an extraordinary claim as the "most biologically intense" place on the planet. That translates as 2.5% of the world's biodiversity in an area half the size of Rhode Island.