Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ – 3 adventure travel stars

Ecotourism - a tidepool full of life

The wonders of a tidepool

Ecotourism, sometimes referred to as “green adventures,” have been one of the booming adventure travel experiences over the last couple of decades.

If you’re looking for travel and adventure that’s both ecologically and socially responsible, then this “green” experience should be at the top of your list. Not only will you see well-preserved flora and fauna, your visit will directly benefit the local peoples.

Do be careful when choosing an operator for this popular activity because some are known to be guilty of what is referred to as “greenwashing,” which is using the popular “ecotourism” label to attract business, but not living up to the standard.

Here’s a definition from The International Ecotourism Society that can help you decide if the choices you’re considering are “green” or “greenwashers”: “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.”

This natural experience is a lot of fun and a great way to learn about interesting places and peoples around the world. It’s a win-win-win proposition for you and the local people and everything in the local environment.

Risk Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ – 3 adventure travel stars

This is a nature-friendly soft adventure travel experience that anyone can enjoy. It’s really one of the great family adventures, and you can find excellent tours all over the world.

There’s really not much risk aside from the dangers inherent in the local environment you choose to explore. If you’re simply riding on a boat while a guide points out the interesting things that surround you, you won’t encounter much risk.

However, if you’re canoeing on a river in Pantanal, Brazil, you might want to refrain from dangling a foot in the water to cool off. A caiman might see it as an appetizer.

Keep in mind that you can get out in the sticks far away from civilization for some tours, and Mother Nature doesn’t guarantee your safety. Stuff happens out in wild places, so there is some uncontrolled risk involved.

Skill & Physical Factors
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ – 2 adventure travel stars

As mentioned before, eco tours are generally a pretty easy soft adventure activity. With that being said, there are exceptions that will tax your body when you have to reach inaccessible places and/or engage in activities like canoeing or trekking long distances.

There generally isn’t much skill involved if you do what so many others do by hiring a skilled guide. All you’ll need to do is follow their instruction. So the good news is that ecotourism is something that can be enjoyed by all.

Fun Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ – 4 adventure travel stars

When it comes to adventure travel, it’s all about the experience, and this one offers some of the best experiences out there, especially when exotic wildlife is involved.

You’ll see pristine environments and unsoiled lands and meets interesting peoples.

Imagine being in a lush, dim rainforest surrounded by exotic plants, rolling rivers and unfamiliar noises that seem to come from every direction. It can be a little spooky at times, but always exciting as you discover strange creatures and plants while a local guide shares with you the mysteries of a natural Shangri-la.

That’s just one of many environments to choose from. You may want to check out a marine environment or one up in the frozen north somewhere.

Popular places for ecotourism
  • Belize
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Dubai
  • Florida, USA
  • Gabon
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Kenya
  • Laos
  • Maui, Hawaii, USA
  • Mexico
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Uganda