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Horseback riding at the foothills of Cotopaxi volcano

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Quito, Ecuador to give a presentation at the Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC). Many speeches and declarations were made during the conference, but the most notable was when the Minister of Tourism, Sandra Naranjo, announced that Ecuador was partnering with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to create standards for sustainability in tourism.

A fantastic step forward indeed! But, what does that mean to you as a traveler?

As you consider traveling to the beautiful country of Ecuador, here's some practical examples of boutique hotels located in the Cotopaxi region that are already implementing standards of sustainability, namely Hacienda El Porvenir, Black Sheep Inn and Chilcabamba Eco Lodge.

Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Nilufar sheikh
    Nilufar sheikh says #
    Sustainable Travel Through Cot...
    Sandra Naranjo, the Minister of Tourism announced that Ecuador collaboration with Global Sustainable Tourism Council about Creatin
  • Stacey Stovall
    Stacey Stovall says #
    Missed you at ESTC
    Hello Irene! I must have missed you at the ESTC in Quito. You and I talked a year or so ago re: your project to gather data on eco
  • Irene
    Irene says #
    RE:Missed you at ESTC
    Hi Stacey, It was a beautiful venue for a conference, but difficult to find people. Happy to share my ESTC presentation with you,

Recently, I read an article on CNN entitled '3 undeniable reasons to explore Mexico' that discussed the notion that “the drug violence that grabs most of the headlines shouldn’t define a country so rich in world-class attractions”.

Having visited the states of Chiapas in 2011 and Veracruz in 2012, I completely agree with that sentiment.

Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Wild Florida
    Wild Florida says #
    Mexico often times isn't tainted by the restraints of technology - great post!

Although a small country, Belize is host to more than 87 distinct types of ecosystems, which make ecotourism and agriculture the lifeblood of its economy. Slightly larger than Massachusetts, Belize is located in Central America at the southeastern tip of Mexico and east of Guatemala. The parliamentary democracy, which is part of the British Commonwealth, is well known for its Mayan temples, tropical rainforests and boasts the world’s second longest barrier reef.

Costa Rica is sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama and is often called “the Switzerland of Central America” due to its politically stable democracy, technological advancements, high literacy rate, high standard of living and medical facilities, and no standing army. About the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined, ecotourism is the lifeblood of this relatively rural country with its vast areas of protected lands.

The country comprises only .01% of the earth’s landmass, yet is home to 5% of the planet’s biodiversity. With more than 10,000 identified plant species, 880 bird species, 9,000 butterfly and moth species, and 500 mammal species including capuchin monkeys, poison dart frogs, and sea turtles, there's much flora and fauna to observe.

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