Rainforest Ecotours
 

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Ecotourism is one of the major weapons  in the fight to save rainforests all over the world. The ecotour industry brings income to local peoples and at the same time both educates visitors and inspires them  into becoming allies to save the rain forests.

This except from the website Greenspan presents the argument for ecotourism quite clearly: "Over 10 million people live in Brazil's Amazon jungle. The Brazilian government is trying to crack down on deforestation, but inhabitants of the Amazon say it's a matter of survival, so the government is trying a different tactic: ecotourism - spending millions to develop tourism centered on nature. "People can make money from the rain forest without destroying it," said Aldenir Paraguassu of Brazil's Environment Ministry. "It's just a matter of showing them how."

Tourists hire local guides to learn about the rain forest, and to journey up river, where they visit remote villages, and buy handicrafts made by those who live here. They stay at hotels that range from luxurious to primitive. The ecotourism boom has created hundreds of new jobs, and put money in the pockets of local residents. Those involved in ecotourism are now looking at the rain forest differently. Itís the reason visitors are here spending money. Environmentalists hope that as the industry grows - creating more jobs, and bringing in more money - fewer Brazilians will feel compelled to cut, clear, and burn the world's largest rain forest."Photograph by Liza Schillo, Liza's Reef

There are essentially two kinds of ecotours: guided and volunteer vacations. On the guided tours,  you will be staying in relatively simple and clean thatch-roof huts, some with communal bathrooms, usually in a remote rainforest location. Daily excursions by foot and boat into the surrounding rain forest is standard. Volunteer vacations are just that, vacation in which you volunteer your services to help out, typically field research. Accommodations are usually Spartan but you will have time off to take excursions locally and to relax.

 

DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind that the organizations on this list do not come with the personal endorsement of  Lee Pantas and are presented only  to help others in their search for a rain forest eco-tour.  It is highly recommended that you do thorough research and comparison, and get references, before signing on to any one eco-tour.

The International Ecotourism Society

Africa
Mabira Forest Reserve   Based in Uganda

Amazon River Region -South America
Butterfly Ecotour  Based in Ecuador
Cofan Eco Tours  Based in Ecuador
Crees Rainforest Eco-Tours & Expeditions   Based in Peru
Earthfoot Ecotours  Based Internationally
Ecotours by Agnes  Based in Canada
EQ Touring  Based in Ecuador
Greentracks Rain Forest Ecotours  Based in Colorado
Hooked On Adventures  Based in California
International Ecotourism Society  Based in Washington DC
Journeys International  Based in Ecuador
La Selva Amazon Tours  Based in Ecuador
Margarita Tours  Based in Peru

Mashaquipe Eco Tours  Based in Bolivia
Orquidea Tours  Based in Peru
Pachamama Alliance  Based in California
Pantiacolla  Based in Peru
Save The Rainforest Ecotours  Based in New Mexico

Tambopata Ecotours  Based in Peru
Wasai Lodge and Expeditions  Based in Peru
Workaway Ecotours  Based in Bolivia

Australia
Kensington Tours  Based in Australia
Off Beat Eco Tours  Based in Australia

Belize
La Terrazas Resort Ecotours  Based in Belize
Save The Rainforest Ecotours  Based in New Mexico

Borneo
Organgutan Eco Tours 
Based in Borneo
Sukau Rainforest Lodge  Based in Borneo

Canada
Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours   Based in British Columbia

Caribbean
Rain Forest Adventures   Based in Miami

Costa Rica
Canopy Tour   Based in Costa Rica
Crocodile Bay Resort Eco Tours   Based in Costa Rica

OSA Travel 
Based in Costa Rica
Rain Forest Adventures  
Based in Miami, Florida
Save The Rainforest Ecotours  Based in New Mexico
Southern Explorations   Based in America

Tours Costa Rica  Based in Costa Rica
Tours Paradise  Based in Costa Rica

Dominican Republic
Explora Ecotours  Based in Dominican Republic

Guyana
Guyanatours   Based in Guyana
Rainforest Tours  Based in Guyana

Hawaii

New Zealand
Foris Eco-Tours  Based in New Zealand

Panama
Rainforest Awakenings   Based in Panama
Save The Rainforest Ecotours  Based in New Mexico

Sri Lanka
Rainforest Rescue International Ecotours  Based in Sri Lanka

Thailand
Wild Thailand  Based in Thailand