In recent years, such a direction as ecological tourism has emerged in the tourism business. It serves as the main source of income for countries such as Kenya and Costa Rica.
When one small country in Central America was named Costa Rica by the conquistadors who discovered it, which means "Rich Coast" favorable position, even their own army was not. All she had was a lovely rainforest. But it was the same as in other countries, which constantly cut it down and sold it. Then the inhabitants of Costa Rica decided that they would act differently - they would not cut down the forest. Let people come to them and admire its beauty, admire the variety of animals and plants - then they will come here again and again and leave their money here.
And there were a lot of people who wanted to see the beautiful virgin forest, and the residents of the Rich Coast invested the funds received not in the development of production, but in the construction of numerous hotels, restaurants, roads and training their youth in the best universities. More than a decade has passed since then - the neighboring countries of Costa Rica live in different ways, but even the most successful of them lag significantly behind the Rich Coast in terms of financial and social well-being.
This is how enthusiasts tell the latest history of the state of Costa Rica, which is now the world leader in ecological tourism. This small country decided to make the beauty of nature its main source of income, and thanks to this, it dramatically improved the quality of life of its citizens, absolutely not depleting resources and not destroying the environment. Today, Costa Rica's forests are protected by the government, and the history of this country is a clear demonstration of how wonderful and profitable ecological tourism can be.
Ecological tourism, first of all, is understood by many of us as such tourism that does not harm the environment. This definition, although correct, is not entirely exhaustive. Moreover, each of us understands the word harm as certain, special for each, concepts. Many of us believe that a poor tourist in jeans, sneakers and with a guitar on his shoulder, sitting by a fire and spending the night in the open air, does less harm to nature than his wealthy comrade, who enjoys all the benefits of civilization.
The US Ecotourism Society has given this type of tourism such a definition - "ecotourism is travel to places with relatively unspoiled nature in order, without violating the integrity of ecosystems, to get an idea of the natural, cultural and ethnographic features of this area." This type of tourism creates such economic conditions when nature protection becomes beneficial to the local population itself. If this short definition is deciphered, then one can understand that in order for tourism to have the right to be called ecological, it must meet some very stringent requirements and criteria.
Traveling is environmentally friendly if the transport used by tourists is environmentally friendly, the food they eat is healthy and environmentally friendly, and the diet always contains local products. Qualified guides on these tours take tourists to ecologically friendly cultural and natural landscapes. The program of the ecological tour necessarily contains not only visits to ecological trails, but also local history, natural history museums, eco-technology farms and, of course, familiarization with local ecological problems. Garbage here is not thrown into a general landfill, but is sorted and then sent to eco-technological processing.
Halts and especially bonfires can be arranged only in specially designated places. Plants, mushrooms, berries and any natural souvenirs can be collected only where it is allowed, and all hotels and other "shelters" for tourists are located in such a way that they do not disturb the local landscape and have a minimal effect on its appearance. They are built of harmless materials, their inhabitants consume energy and water not excessively, but economically, while all effluents and discharges are treated, and household waste must be disposed of. The tourists themselves treat local traditions with respect, strive to study and understand them in every possible way, and participate in solving environmental problems in various ways. Income from such tours is not withdrawn from the local budget, but contributes to its replenishment.
Such a detailed description explains that ecotourism does not imply a difficult journey with a huge backpack, but can be very comfortable. But all its participants and organizers clearly understand that this comfort should in no way strongly influence the virgin nature. And most often it is those tourists who travel as "savages" and leave bones in any place, cut trees for tents and generally use nature, absolutely not thinking about the consequences, and often bring serious damage to ecosystems.
At the same time, parks and reserves are ready to receive guests all year round, developing programs and routes that allow you to get acquainted with the untouched winter landscapes, to see nature at this time of the year in a completely different guise. Fans of winter ecotourism should start thinking about travel right now. Read about which protected areas you can go to in the coming months in our material.
The Caucasian Natural Biosphere Reserve is located near one of the country's main winter resorts - Sochi. Its location allows you to combine several types of recreation - to escape into the wilderness from a noisy coastal city or from a crowded ski slope.
The reserve is the largest in area and the oldest specially protected area in the North Caucasus with a diverse fauna and relict forests.
For the coming season, PA specialists have prepared a number of winter eco-routes that will delight visitors with snowy landscapes. Guests will be able to see both untouched forests and mountain peaks shining in the sun. For tourists, both one-day and multi-day tours have been developed, within which the reserve is ready to offer snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing and walking in the breathtaking beautiful winter places of the Caucasus.
Also nearby, not far from tourist sites, there is the Sochi National Park, on the territory of which more than 60 natural monuments have been identified and many historical and archaeological attractions have been identified. The main value of the park is its unique in beauty and richness of vegetation mountain forests, which occupy more than 90% of the area of protected areas.
There are not many places left in Russia where the cultural and natural heritage would be preserved so fully and multifaceted. One of these territories is the Kenozersky National Park.
Kenozero National Park has been successfully developing the direction of ecotourism for a long time and offers its guests several programs of winter visits and acquaintance with nature and traditions of the local population, including one-day excursions and multi-day thematic tours for children and adults.
The Russian North Park is another protected area where you can touch the country's cultural heritage, framed by the harsh northern nature.
The park is located in the Vologda region, within the Belozersko-Kirillovskaya ridge, between the Beloe, Vozhe and Kubenskoye lakes. In a relatively small area of protected areas, there are many unique natural objects, as well as a significant number of architectural and historical monuments.
The main local attractions include a number of federal monuments: the ensembles of the Kirillo-Belozersky, Ferapontov and Goritsky monasteries, as well as the Elias Church at Tsipina Gora. In total, over 70 historical sites have been preserved in the protected area.
From rainy morning St. Petersburg on a comfortable minibus "reconnaissance" headed north - towards the Karelian Isthmus, to Ladoga, hidden by fog, to the forest and lake lands, ancient fortresses and ancient national villages.
Ladoga cuts into the coast here with the tongues of bays, similar to small Scandinavian fjords, granite remnants are scattered on the water by hundreds of islets - Ladoga skerries. These skerries once gave shelter and protection to the inhabitants of Karelian villages from Viking raids. The Karelian land, through which trade and military routes passed for more than a thousand years, has preserved many historical treasures.
It was from here that the heroes-gods, heroes-people who inhabited the pantheon of northern legends - the world-famous epic "Kalevala", came to us. The great collector of Scandinavian folklore Elias Lönnort recorded the sagas of folk rune singers right here, in Ladoga. In the villages, the huts of Karelian peasants coexist with buildings that knew the pencil and the hand of famous architects from the time of the Finnish Romantic Art Nouveau. Protestant churches live next to Orthodox wooden chapels, and ancient pagan runes can be found on the stones of "ram's foreheads". In 1917 the great Nicholas Roerich and his wife arrived in Karelia and stayed in different parts of it until 1919. During this time, Roerich painted over 200 paintings.
The nature of Karelia is smooth. Lovers of the "Wow!" they will find what they are looking for here only when they come face to face with a bear. But even they, after a couple of days of communication with this world of forests, lakes and rocks, will certainly feel what poets, painters and composers were striving for here. The extraordinary harmony of northern nature, with its dull colors, special light, magical charm, embraces everyone here.
So - exploration! The word itself is not at all accidental. The purpose of the trip is to collect and discuss in detail the very first impressions of those who can take a fresh look at tourism in Karelia, evaluate achievements and present new ideas. The tour operator "ScanTour" built an expert intelligence as a comprehensive educational tour, where the participants were able to see several of the most interesting tourist sites in the Ladoga area, assess their attractiveness for travelers, infrastructure, and development opportunities. And it was a very correct decision, which opened the maximum possible panorama of the tourist brands of Karelia for the "brainstorming".
A small expedition made a short stop in Priozersk, visiting the Korela fortress, appreciating the beauty and uniqueness of the city of Sortavala - the tourist capital of the region.
The village of Kurkiyoki (translated as "Crane River") amazed with the small local history museum "Kiryazh", which contains a collection of unique ancient Scandinavian originals. Literally fifty meters from the museum, at the foot of Mount Linnamäki, almost on the side of the motorway, a burial of the 9th-12th centuries was found - jewelry, remnants of weapons, household items. Archaeologists described here the ancient settlements of Lopotti, Hämeenlahti, Rantalinnamäki, Jaamäki - that is, this land is simply filled with treasures, most of which have not yet been found. And in the chronicles of the XIV century, the village is referred to as Kiryazh, Kiryazhsky churchyard, and, according to legend, within its borders on one of the islands there was a fortress built not by anyone, but by the Varangian king Rurik with brothers Truvor and Sineus ...
In the Kurkiyoki Museum, patterned Karelian belts are woven, an ethnographic collection is collected with the help of local residents, national and children's holidays are organized - in a word, they create a special atmosphere of living folk memory. Nearby in the village, among centuries-old pines, firs and larches, there is a villa built by the great architect Lars Sonck in 1914 for his brother, the agronomist Karl Sonck. This is the only wooden building by Lars Sonck in Russian Karelia. Expert verdict: Kurkiyoki village will honor any tourist route.
The Ruskeala Mountain Park, where the "reconnaissance" reached by the evening, just recently became the owner of the honorable third place in the prestigious international travel award World Travel Awards. And this is a well-deserved recognition. Even now, on cloudy autumn days, the park is full of visitors, operating at full capacity with all its infrastructure - from the Ruskeala Express to an excursion to an underground lake - with its amazing light installations and magically beautiful music playing under the marble vaults. Akhvenkoski waterfalls - one of the pearls of "Ruskeala" - fascinate with the freshness and noise of the river water, which plays with the glare of the dim Karelian sun and from narrow hinged bridges seems to be running right at arm's length.
A tourist wishing to see the waterfalls of Vietnam will be amazed at their diversity. Quiet urban Kamli, Prenn and Dumbri, a huge Elephant - the forms of these natural objects are impressive.
Conquerors of unbridled nature, rock climbing fans and extreme lovers should look at the Tagu waterfall in Vietnam, whose waters fall to the ground 90 kilometers from Nha Trang. To see the wild beauty, the traveler will have to cross a turbulent mountain river.
An adventure in the form of a journey to Tagu is risky, requires physical readiness to challenge nature. A small 30-meter cascade is safely hidden in its stone shelter. You can admire its waters by making your way along a slippery path to the very bottom.
The three-level Baho waterfall (translated from Vietnamese - "three lakes") is located on the road to Zoklet beach, 25 kilometers from Nha Trang. The visitor can climb the upper cascades or relax at the foot, sunbathing in the scorching sun and swimming in natural pools.
The largest water cascade that flows into Lake Nyat is located a kilometer from the park entrance. The path to it lies through the dense jungle.
Lake Ba, where the second water slope flows, was formed due to the fall of a part of the rock. To get here, you need to be guided by the red marks on the stones along the way.
You will have to get to the smallest cascade and Lake Ni through huge boulders.
Entrance to the territory costs 100 thousand dongs. Working hours: 07:30 - 18:00.
Prenn in the tourist park
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