Bolivia photography and adventure holiday

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Bolivia photography and adventure holiday

Environment

Our services while traveling in Bolivia are run by established tour operators, hotel, and lodges. In the Uyuni Salt Flat we have certified drivers and guides who understand the value of tourism, nature preservation and our coexistence with spectacular endangered wildlife. Our operations, which go beyond the Uyuni Salt Flat, have been designed to avoid leaving waste, misuse precious water, or polluting fragile destinations in the remote Bolivian Altiplano which is, technically speaking, a dry and isolated High-Andean desert where there are temporary or permanent wetlands with healthy populations of nesting flamingos and other terrestrial fauna that survive in some of the finest and rarest habitats on Planet.

The region is slowly accomplishing advancements in responsible tourism, not as fast as we would like, but we do our best as tour operators with decades of nature tourism experience to offer good quality services and safe operations that will not be a threat to the environment and its wildlife, neither living cultures and traditions of the Quechua and Aymara people that inhabit this part of South America.

We visit the award-winning Chalalan Ecolodge, in the heart of Madidi National Park, built on Lake Chalalan and fully surrounded by tall pristine Amazon rainforest, home to an impressive array of wildlife which is easy to see. The lodge was built using local materials and traditional low-impact Quechua Tacana architecture technology. Rooms are equipped with comfortable beds and bathrooms with hot showers which have good views of the surrounding ancient rainforest and the beautiful lake. The ecolodge is fully powered by solar panels and used waters from bathrooms and kitchen, as well as solid and organic waste, which are properly treated to avoid environmental impacts with the forest or the underground waters. As a whole, this lodge was designed to offer a close experience with the intact forest, including a deck with great views of Lake Chalalan - the perfect place to enjoy sunrises and sunsets or to swim in its fresh waters or gently paddle a canoe.

In addition, our tours also use a low-impact trail system of over 20 km, covering many habitats surrounding Lake Chalalan and the hillsides. Canoeing the lake and the trail system are great to access viewpoints and to facilitate the exploration and make wildlife sighting even easier without infringing on their habitat. Local guides have been trained by us to enhance your experience without impacting on wildlife. Tourism is so far the best justification for preserving rainforest, previously threatened by logging, hunting and extensive slash-and-burning activities following precarious colonization schemes that are the main source of destruction of the Amazon and disappearance of indigenous cultures.

Community

Most of our partners in business are locals or even native people who make a living from tourism. In the case of the Altiplano and the Uyuni region, where besides the detrimental mining, very marginal low-yielding agriculture, or limited llama and alpaca breeding, there is no other major economic alternative that gives substantial permanent employment like tourism. We are very proud to be part of the good side that actively works preserves the nature and cultures of Bolivia, as we have done since 1995 in partnership with nationals and America Tours Bolivia. We help our clients feel part of this responsible approach while visiting nature destinations, world heritage sites and places still inhabited by living cultures.

Similarly in Uyuni, we have been working in nature tourism in the Bolivian Amazon since 1995, helping the implementation of the award-winning Chalalan Ecolodge where some of us worked training locals as part of a large conservation and sustainable development project in Madidi National Park and the San José de Uchupiamonas Community. W

e have been sending thousands of travelers to Lake Chalalán since 1998. Later, as tour operators, we have supported the efforts of hundreds of families who live inside Madidi National Park, who previously lived depending on low-yielding agriculture and without access to good education and health. This has changed in the last 15 yrs since several families have secured their gains and supported their families for a better future.

The Bolivian Amazon is facing difficult times due to deforestation driven by illegal selective logging, cattle ranching, illegal coca plantations, failure of speculative development projects or poorly-designed colonization programs. We are committed to maintain our business approach to support families of the San José de Uchupiamonas Community which besides still being isolated also faces a big threat of cultural extinction. We have hope that tourism could help to save the economies and cultural identity of these peoples or guardians who still inhabit healthy ecosystems and phenomenal landscapes with incredible biodiversity.

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