Top 5 Ecotourism Destinations you must see in Latin America
Natural destinations in Latin America are a perfect option for those with a free spirit and a brave heart. Wildlife is waiting for you! Nothing is more enjoyable than seeing the wonders of Earth with your own eyes, feeling what nature has to say as it warms your body or blows your hair. In this article, we will recommend to you our Top 5 ecotourism destinations you must visit in Latin America if you consider yourself a nature lover. We ensure a life-changing, luxurious experience.
When it comes to peace of mind, nature has its ways to make us achieve it. There is nothing more nourishing for our spirits than getting to see what the world has to offer. To think outside the box, we must open our minds. Can you think of a better way to do so than by exploring the planet we live in?
Adventure tourism is a challenge, but those who overcome it gain strength in the soul, braveness, and a long list of incredible experiences. The world is way more interesting than the bunch of buildings and coffee shops we are used to living with.
First stop: Puerto Madryn, Argentina
For a fresh start, let’s go south. Puerto Madryn is an Argentinian city, part of Patagonia. In this exotic paradise, you can do everything you’ve dreamt of: you can go scuba diving, walk with penguins, learn to windsurf, or go trekking!
It is famous for being the capital of scuba diving in Argentina, thanks to the immense variety of marine flora and fauna. While exploring the ocean, you will see anemones, octopus, starfish, groupers, seals, and many more sea species.
But if you don’t quite feel like going underwater, there’s always the option of joining the dolphin and whale sighting. From the security of a sailing boat or a catamaran, you will get to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Whales are seen from June to December, and dolphins from December to April, so you should take this info onto account if you plan to visit them.
Now, there is also a beautiful project going on in Puerto Madryn: back in 1999, a chest was sunk in Puerto Madryn’s water, filled with messages for the future generations. According to plans, it is to be opened in the year 2100, could you imagine the reaction of future people reading what their great grandparents had to say?
Recommendation: Tourists have an important impact on these animals and their habitats. To ensure the safety of both you and them, avoid touching sea animals if you decide to go scuba diving. Animals don’t appreciate humans touching them and can get really scared or stressed over it. Also, do not take starfish out of the water, it kills them even if you put them back.
Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Though it is a small town located in the north of Costa Rica, it is a preferred destination for tourists thanks to its exotic features. Also called La Fortuna, this is a perfect place to relax and achieve some peace of mind.
However, it is also possible to go on captivating adventures around the area, including the sighting of exotic birds and monkeys. Along many of the remarkable things about La Fortuna, the Arenal volcano is one of the most exciting parts. This volcano is located in a national park with the same name, and it’s a total must-visit for everybody who loves ecotourism in Latin America.
Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal is the name in Spanish. It offers a stunning view of lava runs and petrified lava, together with the most exotic and vivid fauna you can imagine.
Its proximity to the volcano also provides La Fortuna thermal waters that will get you to relax and connect with your inner self. Locals claim that these thermal waters have an excellent impact on health: they can reactivate the metabolism and remove toxins from your body through perspiration. And, of course, they will soften any tense muscle. The most acclaimed spas are Baldí and Tabacón. There, you will get to relax while appreciating a mesmerizing view of the volcano.
Windsurfing, kayak, rafting, trekking, and fishing are also popular activities amongst tourists. There is an activity for every kind of adventurer in La Fortuna!
Suesca is another perfect natural destination in Latin America. Fans of adventure tourism will love Suesca. It is just about an hour away from Bogota, Colombia’s capital. This makes it a perfect getaway from the city. If you need some fresh air, its nearby mountains will give you a perfect solution.
Suesca is ideal for those adventure seekers who don’t fear learning new outdoor activities. There, you can bungee jump, try rappelling, and even learn how to rock climb in an enthralling rock wall more than 120 meters high.
It is full of places to discover and fun things to do. Mountain biking will surely leave you breathless, but just because of all the stunning landscapes you’ll get to see. Nothing beats a rocky paradise like Suesca.
Hiring a tour guide or enrolling in a group tour will surely make a better experience, showing everything Suesca has got to offer. From a majestic lake to freshen your body to extreme sports from the hand of the best teachers and instructors. Even just going for a walk to think things out is an adventure in Suesca.
Its cold weather that goes from 48.2 to 69.8°F only makes it even more lovely. At night, after a day of wandering, if you decide to stay, you have beautiful and cozy cabins to enjoy a hot coffee. And, even better, you’ll get to join a beautiful view of the starry night, can it get any better?
Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia
We already visited part of the Argentinian Patagonia in our first stop, but it is also necessary to mention the Chilean portion. While you may think about blocks of ice and a white scenario, it is not quite right. Torres del Paine is a National Park filled with both mountains and glaciers, but also colorful lakes and green paths.
Torres del Paine National Park was declared the eighth world wonder back in 2013. This award can be easily explained by looking at the majestic Grey, Pehoé or Sarmiento lakes, or Cuernos del Paine, part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. The truth is that anything you decide to do here will become a life-changing experience because of the landscapes or the diverse fauna that you’ll encounter. With a little bit of luck, you’ll get to see fierce felines such as pumas, but also lots of unusual animals, being the Guanaco (from the same family as alpacas and llamas).
Torres del Paine has two important circuits for its visitors: Circuit “W” and “O.” If your budget can handle it, we recommend the Circuit “O” since it is the most spectacular and complete one. It is a trekking challenge only suitable for the brave.
It lasts eight days, covering a total of 57 miles. Though exhausting, it is highly appreciated by the tourists, being that the trekker will enjoy the view of, for example, the Grey Glacier and the Southern Ice Field. A total gift for the eyes.
A softer destination could be Sarmiento Lake, the biggest one in the Park. It depicts a deep, brilliant blue that will captivate anyone. In the background, Almirante Nieto Mount stands proudly.
Two hours away, there’s Laguna Amarga. We encourage you to follow the straight path that separates the two water bodies since along the way, you’ll see the most iconic animals that inhabit this Park. We can name the already mentioned guanacos, eagles, hawks, and hairy armadillos among the tourist’s favorites. Pumas are not usual, and their sighting is an omen for success, so if you happen to encounter one, consider yourself lucky. By far, one of the best natural destinations in Latin America.
Bonito means “pretty” or “beautiful” in Portuguese, which already gives a vague description of the place. It is a tropical forest fantasy and has nothing to envy other touristic spots in Brazil. Its beauty relies mostly on the rivers that are found there. Crystal waters that allow you to see up to 131 feet through are the home for very colorful freshwater fish.
These rivers represent an exquisite and colorful view, varying from blue and green to brown and red right in front of our eyes. On top of that, small and big waterfalls are all around the place and are ready for you to discover them.
Hiking and scuba diving are just two of the dozens of activities you can do in Bonito. There’s a perfect spot for those who love mystery: Abismo Anhumas, or Anhmuas abyss. If you’re interested in rappelling, then 236 feet down a crevice might sound interesting for you. As you go down and down to the center of the Earth, a beautiful lake starts appearing right in front of your eyes, featuring some natural sculptures and conic structures. You can practice scuba diving in the lake if you have a certification, and an instructor must be with you all the time.
One of the most remarkable things about Bonito is the variety of its fauna. Wildlife sighting goes to a whole new level in Buraco das Araras, which got its name due to the number of macaws that live there (it is translated to macaw hole). But macaws are not the only animals you’ll get to see. There are various kinds of monkeys and other birds, only 33 miles from Bonito. Make sure to grab your camera!
If you plan on visiting Bonito, here is something you should now: the rainy season is the best time to visit Bonito, from December to March. Around this time, rivers are full, and the water level rises in contrast with May and August, the dry season, when everything becomes arid. Try to avoid visiting during these months.
The importance of conscious travel
Adventure and ecotourism could be the door for great unforgettable experiences that you’ll enjoy both living and remembering. It is equally important, though, that you make sure to be as conscious and respectful as possible. Flora and fauna must be protected and preserved at all costs.
It is important to be gentle with these places we love to maintain their magic and beauty. We recommend avoiding feeding the animals you see, even if you are encouraged by other tourists. The truth is that animals in touristic places get a large number of health problems by overeating. They can also develop aggressive behaviors (towards humans or other animals) by competing for food, not to mention that if you are not sure of their diet, you can end up poisoning them. We know it can be hard to resist, but you will be doing them a great favor.
Support local communities by buying souvenirs in artisan shops. Nothing is more rewarding for them than granting you a good souvenir of the place, and you’ll be supporting small and medium businesses!