Are you the kind of tourist who prefers the tropics, beach or mountains? In terms of ecotourism, this post presents 5 destinations for responsible vacations in the middle of nature. Considering the social and environmental
Are you the kind of tourist who prefers the tropics, beach or mountains? In terms of ecotourism, this post presents 5 destinations for responsible vacations in the middle of nature.
Considering the social and environmental impacts, one must practice tourism responsibly.
The term responsible (or sustainable) tourism encompasses a form of tourism mainly focused on discovering nature, which is called ecotourism. This way of travelling promotes responsibility towards the natural environment (reasoned use of resources such as water, reduction of waste…) and cultural responsibility for the indigenous populations and the valorization of the local economy.
Ecotourism has been in vogue in recent years, but the mass tourism of the 80s and 90s has caused disappointments and much damage in hosting countries such as Spain, Egypt or Thailand. Nowadays, many tourists, alone or in groups, are trying to return to a more authentic and environmentally friendly way of discovering a country.
Ecotourism can be practiced in all countries of the world. Even Dubai is among the top 10 ecotourism destinations on the National Geography channel!
Here is a selection of 5 destinations where you can practice ecotourism.
Ecotourism destination #5: Brazil
Brazil has many natural riches and some marvels of gigantism: the Igaçu falls, the Amazonian forest, the Rio bay… Forget these “classics” and go to the West of Brazil to the Pantanal, the world’s largest swampy area.
Here you can observe crocodiles and marsh fauna, including many species of birds and fish. You can travel there by canoe or on horseback to observe the wildlife and the unique spaces of this region.
Ecotourism destination #4: France
To discover natural areas of great richness, go to France. You can prefer the train, the bus or even the bicycle to discover beautiful places in France.
The French national parks are particularly appreciated destinations for ecotourism with preserved nature, welcoming lodgings and rich cultural heritage—for example, the Ecrins National Park in the heart of the Alps.
You will be able to practice many outdoor activities such as climbing, canyoning or hiking. You will also discover the unique fauna and flora of this place: more than 1800 species of plants, 210 species of birds and 64 species of mammals. Among them, you can observe chamois and ibexes.
Ecotourism destination #3: Guadeloupe
Still in the French national parks, but leaving far away for more exoticism, visit Guadeloupe, designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1992: part of the islands is classified as a national park, and many nature reserves mark out the rest of the land and sea territory.
The National Park of Guadeloupe includes a marine part where you can observe many fish and marine mammals or enjoy its beaches’ crystal clear waters.
On land, too, many nature activities are on the program: the Soufrière, a still-active volcano that you can discover on foot, and the numerous waterfalls, such as those of Carbet, where you can swim…
Ecotourism Destination #2: Canada
Canada and its large wooded areas are a privileged destination for ecotourism. The country has 36 national parks and the largest transboundary park in the world on the border with Alaska.
To take advantage of the many lakes and rivers, you can hike, canoe or raft, observe birds, bears, wolves, caribou, etc., but also meet the First Nations people (Native Americans).
The best time to discover Canada is, of course, during the legendary Indian summer when the forests are decked out in vivid colours.
Ecotourism destination #1: Costa Rica
Costa Rica is the destination par excellence for ecotourism. This small Central American country, bordered by two oceans (Atlantic and Pacific), has been committed for several years to respect the environment and defend its natural resources against mass tourism and industry.
More generally, the country is exemplary in terms of sustainable development: it abolished its army in 1948, no longer has any zoo on its territory, produces almost 100% of its electricity from renewable energies… A dedicated biological buffer between North and South America, it benefits from exceptional biodiversity: 12,000 species of plants, 850 species of birds, including the rare quetzal and the flamboyant toucan, not to mention the varieties of butterflies, monkeys, turtles, crocodiles, felines, reptiles, amphibians including tiny frogs in stunning colours, more than 160 mammals and countless freshwater and marine fish.
Mountains, volcanoes, beaches, torrents, rivers, lakes, forests…: with 30% of its territory protected, Costa Rica has enough to make ecologically responsible travellers dream.
You can, of course, hike with local guides and stay in an eco-lodge or in a local house to enjoy the exchanges with the local community.
That’s it. You have the 5 best places to go on ecotourism. Remember to share your experience below.