Planning a trip to Latin America? Whether you’re heading back to the vibrant Latino lands of the Americas or you’re organising your very first trip, here’s how you can travel to Latin America and make a difference while you do. Ecotourism focuses on sustainable travel; a way in which travellers explore the world’s natural environment without putting pressure on global resources.
“Responsible travel is not only better for our world, it’s also more interesting and memorable. Responsible tourism is the future of travel” – Simon Reeve, author, TV presenter and broadcaster.
Although not in the forefront of most travellers minds, ecotourism in Latin America does exist and should be considered! The following tour operators organise responsible travel expeditions throughout the Americas that not only enrich your experience but leave little impact on the natural world you are set to explore.
Put yourselves in the shoes of Attenborough as you join a real-life scientific exhibition exploring the impacts of climate change in the lush forests of Costa Rica.
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity takes you on a 9-day adventure to the La Selva Biological Station & Tirimbina in one of the world’s most biodiverse countries.
Spot monkeys, peccaries, beautiful tropical birds and possibly catch a glimpse of the elusive Jaguar as you explore the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica all the while helping Earthwatch scientists study the complex relationships between caterpillars and parasites. Researching these strangely fascinating creatures gives scientists an understanding as to how climate change is impacting the imbalance of biodiversity in the region.
Join Earthwatch’s epic scientific adventure in Costa Rica here.
If Mexico calls your name and you’d like to gain your PADI scuba diving certification, why not put it to good use and participate in a marine conservation project at the same time?
You can do that with GVI; a responsible tourism operator with a focus on global wildlife conservation expeditions and community development programs.
You’ll be based in a small town south of Cancun on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. After you’ve gained your PADI Open Water certification, you’ll be exploring the Mesoamerican coral reef; the second largest reef system in the world. Take part in underwater coral reef surveys, assist in debris removal and participate in environmental education programs.
GVI’s Marine Conservation Expeditions run for 4 weeks. You’ll be living in basic accommodation, but who cares about fancy hotels when you’re participating in global conservation projects? Sign up here.
If wildlife conservation doesn’t float your boat as much as community work does, consider another form of ecotourism; teaching in lower-income communities.
There are many volunteer teaching projects you can join in Latin America but if your strength is art, why not join a GoEco’s creative community development initiative; Teach Art and Paint with Children in Rio.
Fly into Rio; the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and share your artistic skills with kids in the favelas! The program incorporates teaching art classes in a school as well as painting vibrant murals on the streets. What more could a creative explorer yearn for?
The above suggestions are merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If you want to travel to Latin America and make a difference, find an eco tour to suit your travel style and budget via the Responsible Travel or Sustainable Travel International websites.
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Feature image credit: GoEco
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