Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.”
The main goal of this type of tourism is minimizing the physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts that travel can have on an environment and its people. It highlights the importance of conservation, protection, and respect for land, resources, and communities when we’re abroad.
Bolivia is home to millions of acres of virtually untouched nature as well as communities with deep indigenous roots. But the environments and people of this country are threatened by agriculture, ranching, erosion, mining, and hydroelectric power, amongst other things.
Although, in recent years, the Bolivian government has made more of an effort to protect this rich land and its people, continued effort is required- and a huge part of this has to do with ecotourism.
Be part of the move toward greener, conscious travel with these top 5 Bolivia resorts for ecotourism.
– A Little About Bolivia
Bolivia is a land-locked country in central South America. The fifth largest country on the continent, it’s actually relatively small, with a land area of not much more than 424,000 square miles.
But for such a small place, its topography is hugely diverse. Here you’ll find the spectacular mountain landscapes of the Andes, the hot and dense Amazon jungle, high and dry plateaus as well as low lying wetlands. It’s these dramatic variations in landscape and climate that make Bolivia one of the most biodiverse places in the world in terms of its flora and fauna.
Beyond the natural world, Bolivia is also home to a massive population of indigenous peoples. Indeed, more than half of the nearly 9-million people living in Bolivia are indigenous. These are descendants of people who lived here long before the arrival of the Spanish. Many of these people live in small, rural communities, speak limited Spanish, and still practice some pre-Colombian traditions and customs.
It’s this unique natural and cultural landscape that make Bolivia a place worth protecting. And the best way to do that as a tourist is to stay in one of many eco resorts, Bolivia.
– The Top 5 Bolivia Resorts for Ecotourism
As a tourist, the best way to promote ecotourism is to choose tours, tour agencies, and accommodations that are committed to sustainability and the protection of the environment and local people. If you’re headed to Bolivia, we’ve done the work for you. Below are Kuoda’s recommendations for the top 5 Bolivia resorts for ecotourism.
1. Boutique Eco-Resort & Spa Allkamari, La Paz
This Boutique Eco-Resort and Spa located just 40 minutes outside of La Paz is where mountain adventure meets spiritual renewal. Tucked into the Andes mountain range, it’s the perfect eco-resort from which to explore the beauty of these ancient peaks and relax and unwind come the evening.
From Allkamari, you have access to a multitude of high-altitude hiking and cycling trails, canyon rappelling, and mountain climbing experiences. Miles of Inca trails run through this part of the country and you can easily reach sacred lakes and mineral springs on foot. On your off-days, sign up for a relaxing yoga class or book an appointment in the spa, where you can indulge in hot stone and Thai massages, facials, body scrubs, and aromatherapy.
2. Posada Del Inca Eco-Lodge, Titicaca
Isla del Sol, or Sun Island, sits atop the highest navigable body of water in the world: Lake Titicaca. Perched at almost 12,500 feet above sea level, this lake is believed to be the birthplace of the Inca Empire – and the energy of that history is infused into every aspect of Posada del Inca Eco-lodge.
Likely the nicest accommodation you’ll find on the island, this retreat is rustic but spectacular. The impeccably-restored hacienda is complete with colonial-style rooms, furnished with reclaimed wood and powered by solar energy. You’ll lose service on the hydrofoil cruise over to the island, allowing you the opportunity to lose yourself in stunning vistas of Lake Titicaca and the snow-capped Andes mountains in the distance.
3. Madidi Jungle Lodge, Rurrenabaque
Madidi National Park is one of the most biodiverse places on the entire planet. Home to record-breaking numbers of plants and animal species, it’s one of the largest protected areas in the country for good reason. But there are a few ways to experience the remarkable scenery and flora and fauna of this part of the Amazon jungle without making a harmful impact.
Among these is Madidi Jungle Lodge, a low-impact, rainforest eco-venture that’s sustained by the local indigenous people. Your adventure into Madidi begins with a 3 hour boat ride from Rurrenabaque and down the Tuichi river. Sleeping amidst the howling of monkeys, eating regional dishes prepared with local produce, and relaxing in cabins reflecting the traditional housing style of the Amazon, this nature retreat Bolivia immerses visitors in the culture and wildlife of the jungle.
4. Chalalan Ecolodge, Madidi National Park
Bolivia is one of the best places to access the Amazon rainforest – which is why we’ve included a second option for eco resorts Bolivia located in the jungle. And this is one of our favorites in all of Bolivia. Let us tell you why…
Chalalan Ecolodge is 100% owned and operated by the indigenous people of San Jose de Uchupiamonas. Another eco resort that can only be reached by boat, this one sits on the River Beni. The entire structure is built from local materials and using traditional building styles. It’s surrounded by virgin rainforest, the sounds of exotic birds, and the buzzing of life that’s so powerful you can feel it. The lodge offers themed walks, guided hikes, forest interpretations, birdwatching, wildlife spotting, canoe trips, and night hikes, all guided by the most qualified indigenous guides around.
5. Kachi Lodge, Salar de Uyuni
Salar de Uyuni are the largest salt flats in the world. They sit at over 11,990 feet high, in the high plateau region of the Andes mountains. While it rains, the flats turn into a gigantic mirror that plays tricks on the both the human eye and camera lens. When its dry, the huge octagonal formations in the land make you feel like you’re on another planet.
One of the most famous destinations in Bolivia, you can expect it to be busy when you visit. But to have the salt flats to yourself, you can book a stay at one of six glamping domes at Kachi Lodge. The first resort of its kind on the flats, Kachi Lodge is a sustainable venture that’s committed to the conservation and protection of the local land and people – and they do it all while providing one of the most luxurious experiences you can have in Bolivia. Bespoke furniture, cozy pellet stoves, and little details like handmade woven blankets made of naturally dyed llama and alpaca wool, make this retreat one of our favorites.
– Exclusive Access to More Eco Resorts, Bolivia
As one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, Bolivia’s flora and fauna are more than deserving of our attention. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to participate in the protection of this land, wildlife, and culture while you’re traveling here.
Choose from one of these 5 incredible Bolivia resorts for ecotourism, as highly recommended by Kuoda. Or find out more about what we offer in this jewel of South America here.