Responsible tourism tips
Here are some ideas to becoming a responsible traveller. It doesn't take much, but it will make all the difference to your travel experience, as well as the country you will visit.
So before you leave for Ecuador, consider the following ideas:
- Read some of the information on this website: we specialize in responsible travel in Ecuador. We might be able to point you in the right direction.
- Read guidebooks: find a guidebook that shares information about the country and its environmental, social and political issues. Lonely Planet and Rough Guides are good places to start.
- Ask around: do you know people who have visited Ecuador? Can they give you some ideas? Of course, if that's not the case, feel free to contact us!
- Choose your destination carefully: have you thought about the quality of the hotels you picked in terms of sustainability? Have they received awards or certifications from reputable eco-friendly institutions? Some touroperators are more conscious of the environment than others. Look at their website and ask them to see if they are a responsible touroperator.
If you are already in Ecuador, consider using the following tips to becoming a responsible traveller.
- By exploring alternative travel choices, you can have a unique trip and avoid leaving negative marks on cultures, economies, and the environment.
- Be respectful of local citizens' privacy. Ask permission before entering sacred places, homes, or private land. Ecuadoreans are very hospitable, but mainly to people who treat them with respect.
- Be sensitive to when and where you take photos/video of people. Always ask first. Since Ecuadoreans are religeous and appreciate their privacy, this is the right way to do.
- Learn a few words of the local language and use them. You can do this at one of the many Spanish schools in Quito . Or go to one in other areas.
- Choose locally-owned lodges, hotels, and B&Bs. Use local buses and car rental agencies. Eat in local restaurants, shop in local markets, and attend local festivals/events.
- Avoid obvious displays of wealth or handing out money. Such activities create immediate barriers and build resentment between you and local people. Especially in the countryside Ecuadoreans don't have a lot of money to spend. So try to blend in.
- Minimize the use of resources. Don't insist on a daily bath, because water is a scare commodity in Ecuador. Just like electricity. Even in major cities electricity is not always available.
- Remember that Ecuadoreans have different ways of thinking about the concept of time, this just makes them different not wrong - cultivate the habit of asking questions (rather than the Western habit of knowing the answers). Latin America is a bit more laidback than most western countries.
- Enjoy your time in Ecuador!