You may wonder what exactly is Eco-tourism. The definition according to Wikipedia says that “Eco-tourism is travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas that strives to be low impact and small scale.” To keep it as simple as possible, we have decided to follow this definition and included all the travel with close contact to nature in this category. It means that active holidays such as hiking and biking can included in Eco-tourism, or it can simply lead you into areas where you can observe the wonders of the nature.
When it comes to Eco-tourism, Brazil has probably more to offer than you may know. It’s not just about the Amazon region with river cruises and rainforest hikes. There are more than 50 national parks in Brazil, covering different biodiversities. Together with Amazon, an another excellent place for wildlife observation is the tropical wetland of Pantanal (world’s largest wetland of any kind) located mostly in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. These large areas are extremely rich when it comes to flora and fauna, making them dream destinations for lovers of wildlife.
The inner parts of Brazil offer also many interesting sites for hiking and longer walks in the nature. Just to name few, the national Parks of Chapada dos Guimarães (Mato Grosso), Chapada dos Veadeiros (Goiás) and Chapada Diamantina (Bahia) with number of waterfalls, caves and grottos attract visitos world wide. The charm of these areas does not consist only of the beautiful nature, many of them have also an interesting history to tell. For example pre-historic paintings can be found from the The National Park of Sete Cidades located in Piauí.
Some totally one in kind Eco-tourism destinations, such as the Falls of Iguacu, National Park of Lencois Maranhenses and archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, can be found in Brazil. The attraction of Iguacu Falls is based on the power of the water and unique biosystem, which has been included in the World Heritage list of Unesco. With no doubt this is one of the most visited Eco-tourism destinations of Brazil. Lencois Maranhenses, that represents a unique natural phenomenon, is a large area covered by dunes. Due to the approximity of the Amazon basis this area receives regular rainy season, when freshwater collects in the valleys between sand dunes, spotting the desert with blue and green lagoons that reach their fullest between July and September. The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, that lies in the Atlantic Ocean has unique underwater life with many rare species and is home for two endemic birds. Thanks to the environmentally concious local population, Fernando de Noronha has managed to preserve this vulnerable nature and even tourism of the island is highly controlled.