More than just a nature vacation, ecotourism is an approach to vacationing that, while often misunderstood, is beneficial to both society and the environment when practiced correctly. The Ecotourism Society defines it as “responsible travel to natural areas [that] conserves the environment and improves the welfare of the local people.”

Ecotourism has grown rapidly since the 1980s as awareness of humans’ impact on the environment has grown. For many destinations, such as Costa Rica, Nepal, Kenya and Antarctica, ecotourism is not merely a socially conscious fad, but a major industry driving local economies.

In South America, a myriad of options for ecotourism exist in the Andes, the Amazon or the Galapagos Islands. Watching gorillas in Uganda or birds in Kenya, exploring the snow leopard’s environment in India or swimming with humpback whales in Tonga are all intriguing ecotourism choices. Just be sure to find a responsible tour operator or guide.

Articles About Ecotourism

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