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Ecotourism in Chile

Once thought to be the least sustainable country in the world because of its exploitation of natural resources, Chile is slowly becoming more aware of the importance of protecting its environment.


Ecotourism in Chile seeks to conserve its natural areas and raise environmental awareness. A number of natural reserves work to provide activities that respect nature and show visitors unique flora and fauna. For example, Pan de Azucar, a national park in the Atacama region notable for historical and archaeological richness, strives to learn how to better sustain its maritime ecosystems by collecting samples. Like many national parks and reserves in the country, Pan de Azucar has a camping area, eco-lodges, mini-market and restaurant to facilitate responsible tourism.


Eco-tours are becoming popular in Chile. Adventure Life Journeys prides itself on small-group travel and exploration of local cultures and landscapes, while Amerika Venture undertakes ecological studies of various environments and also documentary production.


Environmental education is also becoming more important in Chile, demonstrated through various campaigns by the Agricultural Ministry, dating as far back as 1965. Hoping to raise awareness about the threat of forest fires, a campaign accordingly dubbed “Forestín,” used the image of the puma to alert the public to the danger of fires not only to Chile’s flora but also to its fauna. This image later changed in 1976 to a Coipo, a type of beaver, to depict an animal that lived in the trees. The campaign became so successful that the Coipo became the national symbol of the protection of forest resources and is today used in schools to educate Chilean children.


Corporación Nacional Forestal (Conaf), the governing body of all national parks, promotes sustainable forest management. It offers services to various groups of visitors based on the effects of tourism on wildlife and how they can be more responsible.


Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Chile: Geography of Easter Island, Geography and Climate, Climate in the Reserva Nacional Lago Palena, The Bio Bio Region, Geography and Climate Overview.

By Abigail Foulkes
I`m living in Quito and working for Viva having just enjoyed three months traveling in South America. I love music and play the guitar and flute...
07 Jul 2009

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