Interesting article about tourism in East Africa
Check out this insightful article that discusses the benefits and drawbacks of ecotourism ventures run by outside companies, and presents an alternative: community-based ecotourism.
Check out this interesting article from the International Business Times about the value the UN is recognizing in ecotourism.
Find yourself surrounded by green mountains and dig into a plate of fresh trout and organic veggies as you share with the innovative small farmers of La Vega del Volcán. The Cooperative of La Vega del Volcano is made up of rural men and women committed to finding new ways to support their families without leaving home or harming the environment. This local development organization is supported by Mennonite Central Committee.
Guests can stay in the newly-built lodge with views of the whole valley, equipped with 16 rooms and hot water. There is also the option of staying in the home of one of the co-op families.
Both options cost Q30/$4 pppn; with the families, the guests have the option of trying out a traditional Mayan bath called the chuj or tamascal for an additional Q10/$1.50.
Meals are also available and range between $3-$5.
The “Trout Trail” Tour is 1.5km, 2 hour (light) hike, which includes the following stops:
Testimony of a Successful Producer: Froilan talks about turning the mountainous terrain into trout ponds and how he’s expanding his work.
Vega’s Natural Riches: Lisandro shows his land filled with Calla Lillies and the beautiful views of the Tacaná Volcano and the Cambaj mountain.
Hurricane Stan, Disaster, and Opportunity: Urbano shares how his family’s livelihood was threatened by Hurricane Stan, as well as how he has learned to take advantage of natural resources to support them.
Agro-ecology and the Future: Arnulfo and Mari give a tour of their organic farm and explain why it is so important to implement agro-ecology in the community.
Vega del Volcán sits at the feet of Tacaná Volcano, the second highest volcano in Central America. Apart from the “Trout Trail,” coordinator Gustavo Ramos can organize a hike up the volcano.
Add information on contacting MCC and the Connecting Peoples program for phone numbers and emails of local leaders of the co-op.
Guides from La Vega will meet guests in Sibinal, about a 2 hour bus ride from San Marcos, the head of the department. Visitors can easily find buses to San Marcos and the same for San Marcos to Sibinal. From Sibinal to La Vega, there is the option of taking a pickup (Q350/$45 for up to 10 people per truck) or hiking (three hours, moderate-difficult hike).
Making a Difference
Cooperative members receive income through acting as guides, cooks and housekeepers. Money from the tours is used to support the workshops and trainings in agro-ecology, trout production, nutrition, and community organization.
Gustavo Ramos: 502 5581 6055 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Connecting Peoples: email@example.com
This video illustrates that travel to ecotourism sites can be demanding and yet fulfilling. Ecotourism is for travelers who love true adventure.
Friends, check out next year’s 2013 Ecotourism conference taking place in Nairobi, Kenya next September! Take a look at the link for more information and how to register. http://www.ecotourismconference.org/
Experience the best of what the Northern High Andes has to offer with Andes EcoTours. From páramos to cloudforests, urban wetlands and Andean deserts, the Cundiboyacense region has everything a visitor needs to experience the natural joys of Colombia. Discover the ancient treasures left behind by the Musica people, admire Spanish colonial architecture, magnificent cathedrals and streets adorned with colorful artisanal creations, and get to experience the daily lives of community members as you join them in the countryside to help milk cows, learn more about coffee production, sugar cane, potatoes and flowers – or simply to compete in a traditional game of ‘tejo’. Andes Ecotours specializes in day trips from Bogotá, but can also help to arrange weekend getaways, farmstays and trips to various festivals around the region.
Andes EcoTours has partnered with the non-profit organization, SieChitá, to provide accomodations for international travelers. The guesthouse is located adjacent to our office in the heart of the oldest and most historic neighborhood in Bogotá. There are three rooms available with a shared bathroom, each of which have been decorated to represent a portion of Colombia’s colorful, cultural and natural heritage. All proceeds gained from accommodation help to support SieChitá and its work within the community.
Our ecotours provide visitors with the opportunity to actively experience a wide range of activities, including nature hikes through a diverse array of ecosystems, birding, canoe rides with local fishermen, photography tours, visits to cultural heritage sites, gastronomic immersions, hands-on workshops with local artisans and much more! We can also assist visitors in acquiring various volunteer/internship placements with our partners throughout the region.
Most major airlines offer flights to Bogotá.. From the El Dorado airport, visitors have various options for reaching our office and/or the guesthouse in La Candelaria. The best of these for first time visitors, is to wait in the designated taxi line upon exiting the building – this line ensures that you travel with a licensed, yellow taxi. The ride from the airport to La Candelaria is about 40 minutes and costs around US$20. AndesEcoTours can also help to arrange airport pick-up for travelers who prefer to use private transportation.
Making a Difference
Andes EcoTours works to ensure that the tourist’s experience goes far beyond being a simple observer to actively experiencing the land with its people. The communities we work with play a central role in all of our tours, allowing us to pave the way for a holistic visitor experience and better environmental stewardship. One of the ways in which we are making a difference is through our signature tours, a selection of well-thought out plans that have been designed to maximize community involvement and encourage activities that will ultimately lead to long-term sustainability within the region. Andes EcoTours has partnered with local community members, NGOs and other organizations to ensure that our tours leave positive and long-lasting impressions on both visitors and locals alike.
Carerra 3 #13-89, Bogotá, Colombia
Phone: (57) 310 559 9729