Jetting off this year? Good! But remember, where you touch down affects more than your next Facebook album-in fact, your travels can have a dramatic effect on the local economy. If you want to spend your hard-earned dough in countries that have values mirroring your own, look no further than this year's installment of Berkley-based non-profit Ethical Traveler, which judges developing nations based on social welfare programs, environmental protection efforts and human rights records.
In the slideshow, you'll find this year's top 10 nations to visit-in alphabetical (not merit-based) order.
Chosen for: proactive environmental policies aimed at reducing natural degradation and a peaceful transition of power to a president known for his interest in the underprivileged and the environment.
Chosen for: improvements in human development, including property rights, monetary freedom and management of government spending, emphasis on "greening their economies and implementing sustainable development programs" and spotlighting responsible tourism.
Chosen for: top notch human rights laws, including "the most liberal LGBT rights in South America; same-sex civil unions are recognized, gays are allowed to serve openly in the military, same sex adoption is legal and anti-discrimination laws are in place to prevent discrimination for sexual orientation and/or gender identity."
On Sunday night, a fiery ball of light ignited across the darkened skies of the northeastern United States, illuminating the heavens in a momentary flash of eerie daylight.Read Story >
Residents and tourists capture photos of crashing waves, flooding and devastation from Odile in Baja California.Read Story >