Dominica benefits from its marvelous biodiversity, and has chosen to make ecotourism (and the conservation and preservation practices that go along with it) the foundation of its economic development. Dominica has lush jungles for hiking and mysterious rivers for exploring, and visitors can meet Carib Indians and even walk in the footsteps of Capt. Jack Sparrow -- some of the wilder scenes in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were filmed here.
Americans are not generally known for their restraint when it comes to development, so St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a pleasant surprise. Just twenty square miles, the island is devoted primarily to National Parks, and has some of the best beaches and finest snorkeling in the world. Most of the eco-resorts here are modest, more akin to campgrounds than resorts, generally speaking.
No rainforests on Bonaire – the center of this island's green ecosystem is its waters, especially its coral reef, which has been aggressively protected since the 1970s. As one of the world's premier diving locations, careful preservation of the sea isn't just a perk – it's a business necessity. Bonaire's commitment to sustainability is strong: Wind energy is slated to power half the island this year, with bio-diesel fueling the rest. There are no true eco-resorts in Bonaire, either, but small hotels like Captain Don's Habitat are serious about preserving the marine eco-system that makes Bonaire the go-to spot in the Caribbean for SCUBA.
With barrier reefs, jungles, mountains, rainforest, and the largest cave system in Central America, Belize has a vast concentration of natural wonders. Luckily, it's also invested in conservation; as such, the country has fast become one of the premier eco-tourism destinations in the world and home to a number of eco resorts.
Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula isn't all Cancun Spring Break mayhem. It's also home to a number of quiet, carefully tended eco-preserves, where ancient Mayan ruins have lain hidden under thich jungle vines for centuries. Attractions include the highly accessible Xcaret Eco Park near Cancun-- something of the Disney World of ecotourism, but mostly in a good way.