The natural marvels of South America are, quite possibly, the main tourist attraction in our continent. Who hasn’t dreamed of climbing the Patagonian glaciers, exploring the trails of the Amazon and discovering the paradisiacal beaches that are hidden in this part of the world? Living these unequaled experiences through ecological tours offers travelers a truly deep immersion in these spectacular sites, while preserving every place in the hopes that our planet won’t continue suffering from excessive pollution.
Few days away from celebrating the International Mother Earth Day (April 22), we’ve chosen the best ecological tours in Colombia, Argentina, Chile and the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro to encourage travelers from around the world to choose these sorts of excursions during your trips, and thus join the initiative of hundreds of international organizations that work tirelessly to reach the “right balance between the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations [promoting]harmony with nature and the planet”.
The walk through the Iguazu Falls is one of the most requested ecological tours in Argentina / Photo: Daytours4u
Ecological Tours in Colombia
Colombia stands out as the South American destination that, seeking its tourist identity, has made an important commitment in the promotion of ecological initiatives. In its main cities, replete with a charming and diverse natural exuberance, there are eco tours for all preferences, ages and budgets.
In the surroundings of Bogotá, the Colombian capital, there are two emblematic trails that no traveler should miss: the East Hills Hiking Tour and Hike to La Chorrera Waterfall. The level of difficulty for both activities is intermediate and it’s recommended to carry out the activity after 2 days of having landed in Bogota to get properly adjusted to the altitude of the city.
In Medellín you can also take an Ecological Hike through the Andean forest, but the best outdoor activity in the city is to spend the day at the Arví Ecotourism Park. It’s a place for adventure; where you can partake in ziplining, water bikes, cycle-mountaineering, horseback riding and hiking.
Ecotourism in the Amazon is the king of ecological activities in Colombia / Photo: Daytours4u
For lovers of both the sea and ecological tourism, the Eco-Adventure in San Andrés is ideal: it’s a kayak tour and navigation through the mangroves and swamps that offer natural protection for the island’s ecosystem. Those who prefer the mountains should take advantage of the Eco Tours in the Coffee Triangle, to discover unique places such as the Botanical Garden and the Butterfly Garden of Quindío, the Cocora Valley, the streets of Salento and other small towns in the region.
Ecotourism in the Amazon is the king of ecological activities in Colombia: navigate the Amazon River, the largest in the world; exploring through the jungle and learning from the indigenous communities how to protect the nature against the pollution of man are just three of the most fascinating experiences that tourists can experience here.
Ecological Tours in Argentina
Much of the natural beauty of Argentina has been safeguarded for decades by the National Government and regional governments, so their tourism activity aligns with preservation requirement. Patagonia is an example of this, therefore, all of the animal sighting activities in Puerto Madryn and Ushuaia are designed to take care of the habitat of the animals that reside in this part of the world, such as southern whales, penguins, sea lions and more than one hundred species of birds.
Those who are looking for hiking should know that if there was ever a country for walking for hours and discovering unimaginable places, that would be Argentina. Especially its mountainous areas in Bariloche, El Calafate, Ushuaia and Mendoza which provide tourists seeking to get in touch with nature with the opportunity to do so in a big way. You can hike through glaciers, lagoons and extensive valleys.
The walk through the Viedma glacier is one of the most amazing hiking options in Argentina / Photo: Daytours4u
In Mendoza there is also an interesting project for those looking for ecotours in Argentina. This is the Sustainable Tour in Valle de Uco, which consists of discovering how the peasant communities develop their own sustainable projects, driven mainly by women. They have a farm of organic products, a winery of handcrafted wines and a craft workshop Huarpe; a native town dedicated to creating beautiful daily use objects with materials from the area.
In the north of Argentina, especially in Salta and Jujuy, almost all the tourist offered is created to take care of the environment. The Going Around The Heights Tour is one of the classic activities, which includes Quebrada del Toro, Santa Rosa de Tastil, San Antonio de los Cobres and Salinas Grandes, Purmamarca and Cerro de los Siete Colores. The more adventurous have the option of the Bike Tour through the Jungle, an experience for raising adrenaline and, most important of all, it’s eco friendly.
In the province of Misiones stands the spectacular Iguazu Falls National Park, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. It is one of the most requested ecotours in Argentina, which can also be seen from the Brazilian side. Another lesser known option, but equally interesting to discover in Iguazu, is the Visit to the Guaraní Community, a two-hour tour of the missionary forests that surround the falls and that have been inhabited by the native people.
Buenos Aires is an excellent city to travel by bicycle, discover it by pedaling! / Photo: Daytours4u
Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital, also has eco friendly tours for visiting the classic tourist places in the city. You can choose between bike tours or walking tours through Palermo and Microcentro. It is also an option to complement an ecological excursion with Argentine culture and politics through the Political Tour: Traces of Buenos Aires.
Ecological Tours in Chile
Like Argentine side, Chilean Patagonia is a protected area, where ecological tours abound. The Magdalena Island Walk with Penguins is the favorite among tourists. From April to September you can enjoy a fascinating show of 150,000 penguins, southern gulls and sea lions that fill the island and enjoy the comfort of the perfectly preserved habitat.
Santiago de Chile, like most of the South American capitals, can also be traveled by bike. The offer ranges from a day tour through the historic center and a night tour around the best of the city, to a wine tour by bike through the Maipo Valley. In northern Chile, specifically in San Pedro de Atacama, eco tours are also the order of the day. You can explore the desert by bike or walking, discover the high plateau lagoons and the famous geysers, and enjoy the interesting Astronomy Tour in San Pedro de Atacama to learn about the constellations and how to recognize the main stars.
The Atacama Desert in Chile is a destination to test our physical condition on the bike / Photo: Daytours4u
Ecological Tours in Rio de Janeiro
The Marvelous City is a green destination and one of the best ways to explore it’s by walking and cycling. The Best of Rio de Janeiro on Foot is one of the favorite walks among tourists: it’s a 7-hour excursion in which you visit the Christ the Redeemer and the Pan de Azúcar mountain, and important historical sites such as Praça XV, Largo da Carioca, Arcos da Lapa, Escadaria Selarón and the Municipal Theater.
The most fun activity to do on bike is the Parks and Beaches Tour, which starts on the beaches of Ipanema and continues towards the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon; you will also go through Urca and take a walk under the Sugar Loaf. The tour ends with a visit to Vermelha and Copacabana beach, one of the best known in the world.
Travelers wishing to test their physical condition can choose hiking tours to climb the Sugar Loaf or Pedra da Gávea, or to walk to Corcovado and Ilha Grande. The reward of seeing the great expanse of the Marvelous City is worth the effort.
Knowing the best of Rio walking is the best way to experience the true culture of Rio de Janeiro / Photo: Daytours4u
Ecological tours in South America aren’t limited to just these countries. Uruguay, for example, has excursions in Punta del Este, Montevideo and Colonia that take place in private; one of the most famous being the Sierra de las Ánimas Walk, chosen by Daytours4u as one of the 6 energetic destinations in South America America to start 2018.
At Daytours4u we celebrate the International Mother Earth Day today and every day, promoting responsible tourism to ensure harmonious coexistence with our planet. Let’s preserve our natural beauties and enjoy all the charm that South America offers us!
By: Keilma Rojas, Web Content Editor at Daytours4u