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Ecotura is a company created 10 year ago by 2 environment journalists. We organize outdoor activities (walking and horse back riding) under the Iberian wolf and wild horses flag. The intention is promote these species and helping to them conservation. For accommodate our visitors we rebuilt (maintaining the traditional materials and look but with all the comfort of the present) a small and traditional stone hamlet that will provide a live museum experience to our guest about the traditional life in this mountains.
Member since: 06 Mar 2017

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

Like we explain in the environment responsibility text box, to run our project/business we try to leave in the region the most economic value possible. Most of the meals of our visitors are made in the local restaurants, the drivers that we use to make the long airport transfer are locals, the people that work in our hamlet first rebuilding it and after that helping the maintenance are local. During our activities we work as translators to promote the talk between our visitors and the local people like shepherds and farmers. They usually tell a lot of interesting stories about the wolf and other animals. And of course we try to buy most of the goods for the houses in the local traditional small stores. The hay and cereals for our horses come from the local small farms. Most of the horses that we use in our rides are from the local breed and they was bought from local families.

Environmental responsibility

In our region when we talk about protecting environment most of the times this mean educated the local people and promote a better relation between them and the nature. This company was created with this goal 10 years ago after we come here to make a documentary for television about the Iberian wolf . We are inside the Peneda Gerês na-tional Park, with 43 years of existence, but for the local people the nature and wildlife is something that means the opposite of the city progress that they all aim and is something to use and take profit without look the consequences. This happened because this areas are very isolated and the culture of the people is very low. The methods that they use for exploring the land are similar to the medieval age methods and this are the only way that they know. Killing the wolf with poison , shooting the wild horses or putting uncontrolled fire are some of the examples. Showing to them that the local nature, the wolf and the other wild species are appreciated by others in the world and that they can have some extra incoming is a well known recipe for change the local minds in a positive way. So this project/business is the first important thing to be consider when we speak of environment responsibility. But of course that is very important that the project can run in the more sustainable way possible. So we create several rules: We don´t give any plastic water bottle to our clients. Our water is very good so we ask everybody to bring a bottle and refill it here. The bathrooms in the houses have only showers, no bathtubs to avoid spend a lot of water in the bath. The cisterns have, obviously, 2 buttons for manage the water with more or less flow depending of the use. The houses have explanations that the clients can read and asking to close the doors when the heater is connected to save the energy. We make always very small groups of visitors to avoid make pressure in natural places that we visit and we manage our tours in a way that we almost don´t need to use the car.

Maybe the most important species for the maintenance of our ecosystems are the bees. The number of bees are going lower in the world because of the use of pesticides and several disease so we start to create bees and the produced honey we offer in the breakfast . We offer to the locals , free of charge, the organic waste generated by our horses encouraging less use of chemical fertilizers. Some more things will appear in a short future.

Social responsibility

Our company starts as a nature conservations project that after a while, and because financial reasons, had the need to run as a business. Our goal is always maintain the visitors well informed about environmental and social issues of the region. After a confirmed booking we send to the client by email a PDF file with all the information about the national park and the conditions that they will find after the arrival. In the rooms the visitors will find a small book with a presentation and with several explanations about why we have some rules, like close outside doors when the heater is connected or why the bathrooms don´t have bathtubs. During the tours we always organize the day by day in a way that the visitors can have more knowledge about the local traditions and all the natural and historical inheritance of the region. To amplified the knowledge of our visitors we are preparing a new project. This project will work as a online museum of the national park. Among several issues that our visitors will find there we highlight our trail cameras project “Ver natureza” (direct translation “ watch nature”). With this project we monitor the local wildlife and every week we upload new pictures and videos with some pedagogical comments.

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