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A man and two women hiking amid a dense forest of large trees

7 Environmentally Friendly Activities You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Ritz-Carlton Resorts

Article by Dr. Richard Murphy 06.23.2016

To respect the environment is to enjoy it. That’s why The Ritz-Carlton partnered with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society to provide its guests with eco-friendly adventures. Whether visiting endangered blue iguanas or coasting the Hawaiian shore in an outrigger canoe, these educational excursions will delight kids and adults alike, at no cost to the environment. 

1. Snorkel the coral reefs of the Caribbean — day or night.

Discover first-hand Puerto Rico’s city under the sea: the coral reef. An Ambassador of the Environment Naturalist will guide you through the the shallow reef with a complex biota. Along the way, you’ll learn how the communities are connected, and what that means for both land and sea.

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A fish with wavy stripes and a slightly frowning lips swims underwater
Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico

2. Watch humpback whales play in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

More than 3,500 North Pacific Humpback whales take winter refuge in warm Hawaiian waters each winter. From December to April, join a Cousteau-trained Ambassadors Naturalist to whale watch and listen to their song with an underwater hydrophone — from the safety of a comfortable boat.

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Humpback whale in Maui
Kapalua, Hawaii

3. Paddle the mangroves of Grand Cayman in glass-bottomed kayaks.

Prolific near the equator, mangroves bridge the gap between sea and shore. The surreal labyrinth of trees provides a still sanctuary for adventurers both day and night. Don’t miss the upside-down jellyfish, which dance just inches below the glass-bottomed kayaks.

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Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

4. Photograph colorful tropical sea creatures.

Leave your phone behind and grab an underwater camera to document your trip’s favorite memory. Translucent water and 80-degree temperatures give you a clear view of the vast St. Thomas coral garden, home to turtles, moray eels, rays and countless tropical fish. (Yes, cameras are provided!)

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Turtle seen snorkeling in St. Thomas
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

5. Visit the endangered giant blue iguanas.

Head to the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park to learn about the dragon-like blue iguana in its natural forest habitat. As one of the most successful reptile recovery programs in the world, the wetland park has helped the blue iguana escape extinction. Guests receive a behind-the-scenes tour that’s sure to feature a free-roaming reptile or two. 

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Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

6. Hike a lush rainforest and spot exotic wildlife.

This diverse wetland ecosystem is home to some of Puerto Rico’s most exotic species. In this activity, an Ambassadors of the Environment Naturalist leads guests through the forest to discover the area’s unique reptiles, insects, plants and birds — and how they’ve all adapted to thrive together.

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A path winds through a forest of tall trees
Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico


7. Explore the shores of Maui in an outrigger canoe.

Explore Kapalua with your family in a traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe, which features lateral supports for extra stability. Learn about conservation and culture on this guided tour, which hugs the coastline for a never-before-seen look at Maui’s lush northwest tip.

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Outrigger canoe being pulled into the ocean in Kapalua, Hawaii

Kapalua, Hawaii