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Ecotourism in Latin America Directory

Piedra Blanca Ecotourism Project

Name of Lodge or Ecotourism Project: Piedra Blanca Community Ecotourism Project

Location: Ecuador - Piedra Blanca, which is one hour walk / by horse from San Luis de Pambil, which in turn is 6 hours by road from Quito, and three hours from Guayaquil.


Year Established: 2004

Tourism activities: Trekking in the rainforest, trekking into the Andes, rafting in ancient design traditional rafts, birdwatching, horseback riding tours, excursions to local markets and local villages. The virgin rainforest and our unique adventure rafting expeditions are our main attractions.

Ecolodge / Accommodation details: The ecolodge sleeps up to 20 people. In addition, tourists can stay with a local family.

Responsible tourism practices. How is impact upon the local environment minimized?: The local population is being taught the importance of conserving the natural environment. We attempt to minimize all environmental impacts when tourists visit, and strictly control visitor numbers.

How is the local community involved?: The local community manages the ecotourism project - everything is owned and run by the local community. All guides are local guides, and all income from the community ecotourism project is destined for the local community. Part of the income from the project is destined for a community fund is used that is shared amongst the entire local community as they see fit.

Does the presence of ecotourism leave a positive impact upon the local environment and community? If so, how?: Yes. The local population is encouraged to conserve their rainforest as tourism provides alternative incomes for the local community. Part of the income from the ecotourism project is used for local reforestation purposes.

Who owns the lodging facilities (ecolodge)? Is it communally, or individually owned?: Everything is owned and managed by the local community.

Further information: There are various volunteering opportunities available, including an ecotourism project advisor position and opportunities for teaching English.

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