Costas Christ

of National Geographic Traveler

Costas Christ is an award-winning travel writer and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler magazine, where he pens the “Trending” column. Follow Costas on Twitter @CostasChrist.

In addition to his work with National Geographic, Costas's articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Virtuoso Life, International Herald Tribune, and the Sunday Times of London, among other publications.

One of the world's leading sustainable tourism experts, Costas's work and travels have taken him to more than 125 countries across six continents. He has been recognized along with Dr. Jane Goodall, Ted Turner, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as one of 50 Global Visionaries working to save the planet.

Costas also serves as chairman of the National Geographic World Legacy Awards, which honor companies, organizations, and destinations on the leading edge of positive change in the global travel industry.

Fishing for Sustainability in Peru

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In the 1950s, Peru’s Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was a famous rod-and-reel outpost—the world record black marlin, weighing 1,560 pounds, was caught here. Ernest Hemingway visited, along with other celebs. Now the classic coastal village and some 2,500 square miles of ocean around it could become part of a new ecotourism project—or be turned over to more oil drilling platforms.

Keeping it Simple in the Cyclades: Ios

As a new generation of Greeks reclaim their heritage, they’re looking past overtouristed islands like Mykonos to quiet stunners such as Ios. Reachable only by boat (including a daily ferry from Santorini), this 42-square-mile island in the Cyclades archipelago largely retains its traditional way of life, making it a welcome alternative to its more built-up neighbors.

Airstreaming the Pacific Coast Highway

A few weeks ago, I challenged myself to embrace a different kind of travel. Despite having spent two decades traversing more than 100 countries in all manner of ways, I had never been in an RV. And yet, hitting the road in one of these self-contained mobile domiciles is exactly how thousands of fellow travelers see the world. What was I missing?

The New Heart of Old Athens

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The pillars of the Acropolis are glowing in sunset gold and crimson glory as I meander down Ermou Street to Monastiraki—a pedestrian enclave in the heart of old Athens. The lively scene is a far cry from the smoggy, traffic-clogged city I remember in my youth. Now Athens is the place to be.

When Tourism Goes Wrong

In 1979, I was a young backpacker in search of paradise. I found it in southern Thailand. Lost on Ko Phangan, I stumbled upon the brilliant sands of Haad Rin. I stayed there a month, made a hand-drawn map of its location, and vowed never to let the secret out. But others discovered it. Today Haad Rin represents tourism gone wrong.

Shoot One to Save the Rest?

In early 2014, the Dallas Safari Club, a Texas-based hunting outfit, came up with an unconventional idea for protecting the critically endangered African black rhino: Auction a permit to shoot one and donate the money for conservation. What kind of precedent does this set—and what are enlightened travelers to do?

Brazil’s Nature-Made Star: Bonito

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It’s not easy to get out from under the shadow of a place like Brazil’s Pantanal—a natural wetland bigger than England and home to a biodiversity bonanza of such rare species as the tapir and the jaguar. Yet the town of Bonito, on the Pantanal’s border, is emerging as one of Brazil’s favorite adventure outposts­.

7 Steps to Becoming a More Sustainable Traveler

In the course of my travels—and my career as a promoter and practitioner of sustainable tourism—one question comes up again and again: “What can I do to be a more responsible traveler?” So I thought I’d pen a primer. Here are seven things globetrotters can do to lessen their impact on the planet.

My Sustainable Travel Manifesto

Some people look for the pool. Others head to the concierge. Me? The very first thing I do when I arrive at a hotel is stand in the lobby and take a visual 360. Can I tell what country I’m in (or even what continent I’m on) from the décor, the staff uniforms, the architecture?…

Sustainably Delicious: Maine Lobster

Generations of “lobsta” families form the backbone of villages dotting Maine’s rugged coast, where they haul traps in the cold Atlantic waters. The good news? The Marine Stewardship Council has certified Maine lobster as among only 10 percent of fisheries worldwide that are sustainable.

Seeing Travel in a New Light

I consider travel an enlightening experience, but it never occurred to me that beams of light might change the way we travel. Recently, lighting scientists (yes, they exist) have dissected the specific wavelengths of electric light to better understand how they affect our bodies. “Hotels will offer guest rooms with lights that help us to…

China’s Green Leap Forward

A confession: I don’t play golf, partly because I’m unable to reconcile my conservation work with a sport also known for habitat destruction, massive water consumption, and heavy use of chemicals. Now the sport may be about to take a big step, in a surprising place.