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What is an Eco Adventure?

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  • Written By: J.M. Densing
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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An eco adventure is a trip that combines adventurous activities and means of travel with environmentally responsible methods. The destinations and activities vary widely and can include canoeing on the Amazon River, hiking in a tropical rainforest, or a safari in Africa. Destinations are typically remote and provide few amenities; travelers need to be sure to have a good guide with them. Eco adventures are usually relatively intense, physically demanding trips designed to highlight the natural beauty of the destination and to disturb the environment as little as possible. Ideally, an eco adventure either leaves no trace of human disruption behind or contributes towards environmental conservation.

An eco adventure combines the trends of adventure travel and eco tourism to appeal to the environmentally conscious visitor. The adventure part of the trip usually involves physical exertion and an element of risk. The eco tourism component focuses on appreciating the beauty of the natural environment in a way that doesn't disturb the area. Some trips incorporate volunteerism and focus on conservation efforts or on ways to help the local communities in or near the destination being visited.

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There is tremendous variety to select from for a traveler who wants to take an eco adventure. The destinations are usually relatively remote areas with an abundance of natural beauty. A popular destination is South America, with its tropical climate, coastal areas, rainforests, rivers, and mountains. Trips often feature canoeing, diving, hiking, mountain climbing, and other physical activities. Often the accommodations are very basic including camps located in the wilderness.

Another popular eco adventure destination is Africa, with its unique plains and savannahs. Trips often involve safari adventures and visiting and helping native villages. Other common destinations for eco adventures include wilderness areas of Alaska, Asia, and Australia. Activities vary depending on the destination, but these trips usually allow the visitor to spend plenty of time outdoors in natural settings.

The typical eco adventure takes place in a remote destination with few amenities. Travelers often stay in rustic accommodations or camps, and transportation is far from luxurious. An experienced, knowledgeable guide is vitally important on a trip of this kind. The guide should watch out for the safety and well-being of the travelers and be able to deal with any emergencies that may arise.

An eco adventure shouldn't harm the environment in any way. When they camp, eco travelers leave nothing behind, even taking their garbage with them, and try to leave camp sites exactly as found. When used, vehicles are as ecologically friendly as possible. Any organizations involved with the trip, such as those providing lodging, food, or transportation, are supposed to use ecologically sustainable practices. Many trips take this aspect a little further by having visitors participate in conservation efforts or by using a portion of the funds from the trip to support the environment.

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