At Terra Incognita we believe that ecotourism can be a powerful force for good in the world, and seek to promote the best examples of ecotourism worldwide. Our growing community of people and organisations is creating positive change for people and planet through travel.

As a social enterprise, we believe in the power of ethical ecotourism and storytelling for positive change. In 2018 we ran Wildlife Blogger of the Year, which engaged over 24,000 people from across the globe, attracted nearly 100 entries and built a community of talented eco-bloggers, while raising awareness about wildlife and nature travel.

This year, Travel Blogger of the Year 2020 seeks stories that raise awareness about our planet’s incredible places and people, and help explore our connection with nature and each other through ethical travel.

The Power of Blogging

For most of us, stories began when we were young – read to us by our parents, passed down to us by our grandparents, read in our rooms, daydreamed in classrooms. They are a chance to imagine, share, reflect, interpret and learn.

However, in today’s fast-paced world storytelling is being lost – when it is needed most. From the documentaries and films that inspire us, to knowledge and values passed from generation to generation, stories are the universal language that bridges cultures and continents and creates connection, inspiration and positive change.

Bloggers are some of the greatest story-tellers of our time. They learn their craft on their own sites, and educate and inspire by sharing their thoughts, messages and experiences with the globe. Bloggers deserve more support, encouragement and publicity, and Travel Blogger of the Year 2020 is designed to achieve that.

Stay up-to-date with the latest competition news from Terra Incognita on our blog or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What you can win

We will award Travel Blogger of the Year 2020 to 4 winners and 8 Runners Up, in the following categories:

  • Judges’ Choice – Adult (19 and over as of 31st December 2019)
  • Reader’s Choice – Adult (19 and over as of 31st December 2019)
  • Judges’ Choice – Youth (12 to 18 as of 31st December 2019)
  • Reader’s Choice – Youth (12 to 18 as of 31st December 2019)

Judges’ Choice – Adult

The Winner will receive:

  • Travel-Blogger-of-the-Year-2020-prize-SWAROVSKI-OPTIK-binocularsA pair of SWAROVSKI OPTIK EL 8×32 binoculars (worth £1730.00). The small EL 32 binoculars fit perfectly in your hand, thanks to the EL wrap-around grip, and are the ideal choice where size and weight are important factors. They impress with top marks for optics and luminosity, as well as for an outstanding field of view.
  • At least one of over 10 sponsored tours in Costa Rica, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Romania or USA. You’ll have a trip of a lifetime with one of Terra Incognita’s approved ecotourism operators while using your writing skills to share your experience of ethical travel with a large global audience.*
  • Promotion and recognition as the winner of the Travel Blogger of the Year 2020, plus a winner’s certificate. Rocket-fuel for your blog, and your career!
  • A place on one of Transmitting Science’s courses, such as their Communicating Science Effectively course (approximate value 610 €). Transmitting Science has run more than 135 advanced courses on different topics related to Life Sciences, with the objective of sharing scientific knowledge.
  • A 450 € voucher for Natucate projects. Choose from educational travel adventures in 24 destinations across Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas with a ‘conscious travel’ approach.
  • Your winning entry published on Terra Incognita, one of the top wildlife travel blogs online.

The first and second Runners Up will receive:

  • At least one of over 10 sponsored tours in Costa Rica, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Romania or USA. You’ll have a trip of a lifetime with one of Terra Incognita’s approved ecotourism operators while using your writing skills to share your experience of ethical travel with a large global audience.*
  • A career boost from Conservation Careers – including a year’s Conservation Careers Academy membership and access to the Conservation Career Kick-starter online course (worth £199).
  • Promotion and recognition as a Runner Up of Travel Blogger of the Year 2020, plus a certificate. A huge boost for your blog, and your career.

Readers’ Choice – Adult

The Readers’ Choice Winner will receive:

  • Travel-Blogger-of-the-Year-2020-prize-SWAROVSKI-OPTIK-binocularsA pair of SWAROVSKI OPTIK CL Companion 8×30 binoculars (worth £970.00). These elegant binoculars with impressive optics fit perfectly in your hand to ensure you make the most of every sighting.
  • At least one of over 10 sponsored tours in Costa Rica, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Romania or USA. You’ll have a trip of a lifetime with one of Terra Incognita’s approved ecotourism operators while using your writing skills to share your experience of ethical travel with a large global audience.*
  • A 450 € voucher for Natucate projects. Choose from educational travel adventures in 24 destinations across Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas with a ‘conscious travel’ approach.
  • Promotion and recognition as a Winner of Travel Blogger of the Year 2020, plus a certificate. A huge boost for your blog, and your career.
  • Your winning entry published on Terra Incognita, one of the top wildlife travel blogs online.

The first and second Readers’ Choice Runners Up will receive

  • At least one of over 10 sponsored tours in Costa Rica, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Romania or USA. You’ll have a trip of a lifetime with one of Terra Incognita’s approved ecotourism operators while using your writing skills to share your experience of ethical travel with a large global audience.*
  • Conservation-Careers-logo-for-Travel-Blogger-of-the-Year-2020A career boost from Conservation Careers – including a year’s Conservation Careers Academy membership and access to the Conservation Career Kick-starter online course (worth £199).
  • Promotion and recognition as a Runner Up of Travel Blogger of the Year 2020, plus a certificate. A huge boost for your blog, and your career.

Judges Choice – Youth

The Winner will receive:

  • Travel-Blogger-of-the-Year-2020-prize-SWAROVSKI-OPTIK-binocularsA pair of SWAROVSKI OPTIK CL pocket 8×25 binoculars (worth £590.00). These practical, compact binoculars promise absolutely unrestricted viewing comfort and outstanding optical quality.
  • Promotion and recognition as a Winner of Travel Blogger of the Year 2020, plus a certificate. A huge boost for your current or future blog, and career.
  • Your winning entry published on Terra Incognita, one of the top wildlife travel blogs online.
  • A place on Animal Jobs Direct’s ‘Responsible Tourism Diploma Level 3’ online course (worth £499). Developed by award winning responsible tourism operators, this course is designed to be a career accelerator for those who wish to work in tourism / voluntourism sector and apply themselves to helping animal conservation or community development overseas.

The first and second Runners Up will receive:

  • Promotion and recognition as a Runner Up of Travel Blogger of the Year 2020, plus a certificate. A huge boost for your current or future blog, and career.
  • A £250 voucher for discounts on GVI experiences. Founded in 1998, GVI runs programs in 21 locations, in 13 countries around the world, each manned by their own staff and aligned to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the objectives of local partners.
  • A career boost from Conservation Careers – including a year’s Conservation Careers Academy membership and access to the Conservation Career Kick-starter online course (worth £199).

Readers’ Choice – Youth

The Winner will receive:

  • A £250 voucher for discounts on GVI experiences. Founded in 1998, GVI runs programs in 21 locations, in 13 countries around the world, each manned by their own staff and aligned to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the objectives of local partners.
  • A career boost from Conservation Careers – including a year’s Conservation Careers Academy membership and access to the Conservation Career Kick-starter online course (worth £199).
  • Promotion and recognition as a Winner of Travel Blogger of the Year 2020, plus a certificate. A huge boost for your current or future blog, and career.
  • Your winning entry published on Terra Incognita, one of the top wildlife travel blogs online.

The first and second Runners Up will receive:

  • Promotion and recognition as a Runner Up of Travel Blogger of the Year 2020, plus a certificate. A huge boost for your current or future blog, and career.
  • Conservation-Careers-logo-for-Travel-Blogger-of-the-Year-2020A career boost from Conservation Careers – including a year’s Conservation Careers Academy membership and access to the Conservation Career Kick-starter online course (worth £199).

Winners and Runners Up from the Adult Judged and Readers’ Choice categories will have the opportunity to choose from the following tours with Terra Incognita’s approved ethical ecotourism operators:*

A 5-day / 5-night Stopover Adventure with Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge in Panama (worth USD $1,050 – 1,375 per person) – available to TWO winners. The Panama Eco Lodge Vacation you will love! This adventure includes 5 days of guided activities and excursions including: Zapatilla Caves Beach, Kayak & Snorkel, Organic Chocolate Farm Visit, Canopy Tower Observation; Mangrove Kayak; Wildlife Spotting Hike; Coral Reef Snorkeling. It includes transfers between Bocas Town and Tranquilo Bay, meals and beverages at Tranquilo Bay (breakfast, lunch, appetizers, 3-5 course dinner, snacks and beverages), deluxe air-conditioned cabanas, and access to water and land activities from Tranquilo Bay.

 

A 5-night Photography Tour with Bunica Maria in Romania’s Danube Delta (worth 1,100 €). This company is run by a young family with two children, who decided to go back home, closer to nature, to traditions and healthy culture. Bunica Maria is a beautiful property, located 200 meters from the Danube River bank, in the village of Mahmudia, a gateway to the Danube Delta, Natural Reserve and bird paradise. The Danube Delta is regarded as one of the largest wetlands and the most extensive area of compact reed beds in the world. With more than 1200 species of plants and trees, 331 species of birds (it is estimated that 174 are breeding here), 100 species of fish, the Danube Delta is home to 98% of Europe’s aquatic fauna (3,400 species). This tour is for those who want a real wildlife photography experience. It includes:

    • 5 nights of accommodation
    • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) – traditional Romanian style fish dishes
    • 4 days of boat trips. There will be two trips per day: one in the morning, before sunrise for “the blue light” and one in the afternoon before sunset for “the red light”. We can arrange also “a one day trip” in the area for landscapes, forests, sand dunes, plants and flowers. Every day the route will be different.
    • Tourist access permits in the Danube Delta

 

A 3 day / 2 night Lago Tres Chimbadas tour with Inotawa Expeditions in the Peruvian Amazon (value USD $352). Since 1998, the family business Inotawa has preserved an area of forest in the Peruvian jungle of Madre de Dios. Inotawa is an ecotourism lodge, developing projects for the preservation of the environment and its local culture. The Lago Tres Chimbades tour includes:

    • Three Chimbadas Lake
    • Piraña fishing
    • Visit to the parrot clay lick La Torre (The Tower)
    • Visit to a local farm (‘chacra’)
    • Mirador Bahuaja (lookout)
    • Walk in a private conservation area
    • Nighttime boat tour to see nocturnal fauna
    • Exhibition of conservation projects
    • Pick up and drop off from Puerto Maldonado airport
    • All transportation by land or river
    • All entries to the attractions
    • Private room with private toilet
    • All 3 complete meals
    • Local profesional bilingual guide

 

Two combined tours – Rio Celeste and Wildlife & Waterfall with Guana Adventures in Costa Rica (approximate value USD $295) – available to TWO winners. Celeste River is a river in Tenorio Volcano National Park of Costa Rica and notable for its distinctive turquoise coloration. The Celeste River also borders several hot springs and has one large waterfall. It takes about an hour to hike to the waterfall from the park’s entrance. During the hike you will be pleased to see many examples of Costa Rica’s flora and fauna. On the Wildlife & Waterfall tour you’ll visit a hidden gem, the magnificent Llanos Del Cortez Waterfall, surrounded by a sandy, gold-speckled beach and lush rainforest, where you can swim and relax. After this you’ll drive to enjoy a typical lunch with a beautiful view of the Miravalles Volcano. Then, located on the slopes of the Tenorio Volcano, you’ll enjoy a nature walk through the rainforest with many stops to see the variety of flora and fauna, including two-towed and three-toed sloths, in the surrounding tropical rain forest. This is an excellent opportunity for observing birds, butterflies, frogs, monkeys, orchids, and become immersed in the splendour of the tropical jungle.

 

A Classic Dolphins & Snorkeling Tour with Changing Tide Tours in Costa Rica (value USD $420; 1/2 day) – available to TWO winners. Changing Tide Tours is dedicated to high quality ecological tourism, offering boat tours to experience nature as it happens on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica! Enjoy a fun, informative, 25+ mile guided tour as the Golfo Dulce (‘Sweet Gulf’) serves up its many magical wonders. Dolphins, whales, sea turtles, coral reefs by boat and snorkeling! This 4-5 hour tour includes:

    • Boat transport
    • Naturalist guide
    • Snorkeling mask
    • Drinking water
    • Snacks (fresh fruits, chips & dip)

 

A Golden Future Boat Tour with Abel Tasman Eco Tours in New Zealand (value NZD $219). Join Abel Tasman Eco Tours’ signature Golden Future Boat Tour, a fun and relaxing journey through the ecosystems of the Abel Tasman National Park. You’ll explore the wondrous islands, forests, beaches, rivers and seas of Te Tai Tapu (The Sacred Coast). Your expert guide is a trained biologist and will ‘open your eyes’ to the rich history and ecology of this stunning area. Includes

  • A tour from magical Marahau, the gateway to the park.
  • Flexibility and friendliness.
  • The personal touch: let us know your interests and we will provide!
  • Small groups and your own water taxi ‘Zeehaen’ skippered by your world-class guide.
  • Yummy hot drinks and snacks.
  • Inlets, rock pools, open sea, predator free islands.
  • Marine mammals, land and sea birds, fish, plants, invertebrates and more.
  • An easy and stunning guided walk around Pitt Head ecological island, with incredible views.

 

Two combined tours – Boat Assisted Kayak ECO Tour and Mangrove Tunnel Kayak & Canoe Tour – with Everglades Area Tours in the Florida, USA (value USD $249.90). Everglades Area Tours is a family owned business that has been providing intimate, guided boating, kayaking and walking eco tours since the late 1990s. The 3 1/2 – 4 hour Kayak ECO Tour opens the remote areas of Everglades National Park to you. It combines the best of a boat tour, a kayak tour and a walking tour, using a dedicated kayak transport boat to comfortably and safely transport you to some of the most beautiful and remote areas of the Park. The Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Eco Tour in the afternoon is a completely different experience in a completely different Everglades ecosystem – taking you to brackish “lakes” whose waters are a mix of “sweet” fresh water and salt water. These lakes, surrounded by mangroves, are refuges and nursery grounds for herons, egrets, stilts, ducks, wood storks, spoonbills, alligators, otters and a gamut of fishes. This is where the Everglades transitions from freshwater to saltwater and is a wonderful place to experience.

 

Two combined tours – Whale Shark Trip and Espiritu Santo National Park with Whale Shark Diaries in Mexico (value USD $220). Whale Shark Diaries is focused on helping to gain a better understanding of the endangered whale shark. They contribute to collaborative research, conservation and educational activities to increase the level of awareness and protection for this socially and economically important species. They host informative trips for environmentally conscious individuals and groups to learn about the biology, life-history and conservation status of these gentle giants.

On their whale shark tour you’ll join a marine biologist on a trip to swim with whale sharks in their natural habitat in La Paz Bay, learning about the biology, life history and conservation status of this endangered species while directly supporting their conservation. Then make a journey to Espiritu Santo, an amazing archipelago where the desert and the sea merge in striking contrast. The highlight of the trip is visiting a sea lion colony at Los Islotes, a pair of tiny islets that support approximately 400-500 individuals. You’ll enjoy the opportunity to swim with these playful creatures and view the surrounding coral reefs before heading to one of several awe-inspiring beaches for snorkeling, relaxing and lunch. Includes lunch, refreshments and National Park fee.

 

A tour for TWO people from Ecoterra Expedition’s Tour Catalogue. Ecoterra Expeditions was created as a result of more than 20 years experience in Costa Rican tourism. Their personalized services with small groups give their clients the assurance that when traveling with us they will be enjoying a true contact
with nature. They invite you to discover the wonders of their beautiful country with them. Their experienced team awaits, with open arms, to make your visit a unique and unforgettable experience.

 

Please visit the Terms & Conditions page for more information about the sponsored trips and experience prizes.

Meet our Sponsors

Travel Blogger of the Year 2020 is generously sponsored by:

Travel-Blogger-of-the-Year-2020-sponsor-logos

The Benefits of Entering

Travel Blogger of the Year 2020 is here to celebrate great story-telling. All entrants will be offered the following benefits as part of the Terra Incognita Eco-Blogger Network:

  • Reach an international audience. Have your profile featured on Terra Incognita, alongside your latest blog posts, and links to your own site and social media channels.
  • Join our blogging community. Be part of a global community of storytellers and influencers to exchange ideas, get support, collaborate and increase your profile.
  • Publish your work. Have the opportunity to publish guest posts on the Terra Incognita blog, with full author credits and links to your site.
  • Take your blogging to the next level. Find opportunities for paid blogging work from verified ethical tour providers.
  • Display the Travel Blogger of the Year Entrant’s Badge on your blog. Showcase your entry to the world.

How to Enter

Step 1. Like us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (@TerIncogEco)

Step 2. Submit a story about your favourite place on Earth in 800 words or less.

Step 3. Share your story to boost your chances of receiving a Readers’ Choice Award.

The deadline for entries is Midnight on 31st December 2019, and the winners will be announced on 31st January 2020.

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If you have any questions, please email hello@terra-incognita.travel.