Before Your Trip
The perfect ecotourism probably does not exist, but everyone can play their role by following these simple recommendations during their stay, so it can help us preserve our natural and cultural heritage for many more years. Plan your route to minimize carbon emissions - travel by train or public transport whenever possible.
Minimize your flight time and your stopovers - the worst amount of carbon is emitted during takeoff and landing. Ask your tour operator for information on responsible tourism policy. Be sure to receive information on how to minimize environmental impacts and support the local economy.
Read about the local culture and learn some words of the local language - travel with respect and you will gain respect. Eliminate your excess baggage - Disposal of waste is difficult in remote locations and especially in developing countries. Ask specific advice from local people to make a responsible trip to your destination.
Ask the administrator of the Ecolodge if there are any useful gifts you can leave for the hosts, locals or school.
During your trip
Prefer trips and services that demonstrate a high social, cultural and environmental responsibility. Remember that low prices mean low wages for workers and obviously poor service quality. Buy local rather than imported products. Try to put money into the hands of local people; Consuming products made locally is a good alternative. As much as possible try to stay in lodges owned by local communities. Hire the services of a local guide and find out more about the local culture and life, and they earn an income.
Do not buy products made from threatened species, hardwoods, furs, bones, feathers or old artifacts. Respect the local culture, its traditions and sacred places, remember that people have different ways of thinking and concepts of time, this makes us different and not wrong - cultivate the habit of asking questions. Do not treat people as part of the landscape, if you want to take a picture of local people, ask them first and respect their wishes. Learn a few words of the local language and keep in mind the customs and norms.
Respecting the rules can improve your travel experience and thus be better received by the local population. Use public transportation, rent a bike or walk when convenient - it's a responsible way to get to know the local people. Make reasonable use of water - it is very valuable in many countries and tourists tend to use much more than the local population. Comply with the rules of the protected area, which prohibit the use of any type of weapons and even machetes.
Hunting and logging are strictly prohibited in all tourist areas. Protect the fauna and flora. Do not touch or disturb wild animals. You can transmit them human diseases. Think about what happens to your trash. Use biodegradable products and drink water from a filtered bottle. Be sensitive to the scarcity of resources such as water, fuel and electricity.
Upon your return
Write your tour operator with comments or comments about your vacation, and in particular include all suggestions on reducing environmental impacts and how to increase the benefits for local communities. Finally, if you have promised to send photos or gifts to the local population, remember to do so. Many promise and do not meet everyone.
WHAT OUR GUESTS HAVE TO SAY
We spent 3 nights at Chalalan and have recommended it to everyone we have met since! We are budget travellers but decided to splash out on a stay here and did not regret it for a second. The location is idyllic - 5 hours by boat away from civilisation and right in the middle of stunning rainforest. The lake at the lodge is an added bonus - bathwater temperature and the most beautiful of locations. The sunset trip across the lake by canoe was a highlight of the stay - by far the best way to see the wildlife as it is completely untroubled by the silent canoe drifiting past.