Ecotourism Guide

Ecotourism - © Frits Ahlefeldt

The Ecotourism guide is an introduction in to the world of Ecotourism, what it is, the principles behind it and ideas of where you can go. Ecotourism is essentially responsible travel that seeks to help conserve the environment while benefiting the local communities. There are a number of principles used in Ecotourism among these are trying to minimise the impact of tourism. Ensuring the environment and local cultures are respected. Encourage conservation and give incentives for this, ensuring local communities benefit from the fruits of tourism. Over the past few years the concept of Ecotourism has become more popular and there are now travel providers that cater for those who wish to practice this.

Intertwined in to Ecotourism is sustainable travel where the current needs of tourists are met without detriment to the future opportunities for both tourists and local communities. There are a number of measures travellers can take to help sustainable travel when travelling to help minimise negative impact and support local communities and the environment.

So where can you go? For those that like beach holidays Vassiliki in Greece offers a great getaway and boasts a great beach and water sports facilities. It is sustained by the small locally owed businesses. You can enjoy this destination on a small to medium budget and is only a few hours from the UK.

Mission Beach at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia offers independent travellers a cost effective rainforest eco-lodge. Set in lush tropical rainforest overlooking the Coral Sea and designed to minimally impact on the environment. The rainforest is listed as a World Heritage Site, so you will know you are somewhere a bit special.

The Inca Trail in Peru will appeal to those seeking a bit of adventure, while the trekking is done in small groups and accommodation is provided for in small locally owed establishments. See the Inca empire monuments, marvel at the history and scenery and finish off at the Amazon rainforest. This is one adventure not to be missed.

In North Africa Egypt offers a great chance for ecotourism, there is so much to see and do. You can see the pyramids and mummies, go on a Nile cruise, ride on camels and swim and snorkel in the Red Sea. By staying in smaller locally owed accommodation that is of a high standard you can do your bit to help sustain the ecotourism in the area.

Cape Town in South Africa offers a wonderful nature reserve on the famous garden route. The Garden Route luxury accommodation offers the visitor a luxurious stay with plenty to do. There are golden sandy beaches for relaxing days on the beach, you can also feed elephants, go on lovely cliff walks, enjoy dolphin-watching on wonderful beaches. Enjoy boat trips up the river, see the local craftwork and see a monkey sanctuary, so will not be short of things to see and do.

Cuba offers an ecotourism retreat in the island of Cayo Levisa, it is a smaller, less known island and is a hidden treat. Enjoy the unspoilt beaches and the peace and tranquillity that will have you relaxed and refreshed. With the diverse scenery, plenty of wildlife including many species of birds, old colonial cities, world famous music, white sandy beaches and fascinating people, Cuba offers a lot more than meets the eye.

Travellers have a number of options regarding ecotourism, there are new projects being set up in destinations around the world offering travellers more choice. Destinations overseas mean having to take flights, the environmental impact of this can be reduced by ‘off setting’ carbon emissions. By aiming to ensure tourism benefits both the traveller and local communities in a sustainable way ecotourism aims to ensure we can all continue to benefit responsibly from tourism.

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