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Ecotourism in Brazil: Adventure, Nature, and Best Practice

Brazil has a somewhat complex relationship with the environment; it is famed for natural attractions such as the beaches, mountains, and jungle, yet also notorious for its challenging task of managing the rainforest. Brazil is becoming an increasingly popular destination, especially due to its natural splendour, so ecotourism is a significant part of the tourism industry.

Adventure Tourism

Brazil is a haven for adventurers of all levels of bravery, and attracts tourists by offering varying activities like canyoning, caving, windsurfing, sailing, climbing, and abseiling. Even more impressive is that many of these activities can be done within a reasonable proximity to main cities, like Rio de Janeiro.

Into climbing? Rio's famous Sugar Loaf is a great place to start, and only two hours outside of Rio is Serra dos Org?os National Park, one of the best spots for climbing in all of Brazil.

If you're more interested in getting in the water, any of the coasts are excellent for windsurfing and sailing, but some of the best are Rio Guaiba, and the coasts of Bahia and Cear?.

Head inland for caving, specifically to the Toca of Boa Vista in Bahia; it's the longest cave in the Southern Hemisphere.

If you're looking to do it all, Aventura do Brasil offers some spectacular adventure and activity tours that include kayaking, canyoning, biking, and rafting. These guys can also take you on nature tours, too.

Nature Tourism

When it comes to Brazil's natural wonders, the heavy hitters in this game are Iguassu Falls and the Amazon. Consequently, there are plenty of tour operators who transport tourists into the magical landscapes of Brazil. When looking to travel to these regions, consider doing so in an eco-friendly manner with one of these operators.

Specialising in multi-day ecotourism excursions throughout Brazil, Biosfera Brasil is one of the leading ecotourism operators in the country. Their excursions range in length and lead eager ecotourists to the Amazon basin, Iguassu Falls, Bonito, Chapada Diamantina, Fernando de Noronha, and Abrolhos, one of the most remote archipelagos in the South Atlantic.

Birdwatching is also a popular activity for ecotourists in Brazil, and many organisations, such as Aventura do Brasil, offer tours that incorporate birdwatching. However, for those avid aviary fans, Birding Rio is who you'll want to check out. They have tours ranging from one to twelve days, and focus on showing guests as many different types of species of endemic birds as possible.

It is particularly important that tourism to the fragile rainforest ecosystem is properly managed and operated, so as not to further degrade this stunning resource. Guests of Brazil and its rainforests should be conscious of this fact, and strive to visit in the most ecofriendly and responsible manner possible. By selecting dedicated ecotourism operators, specifically ones recognised by Instituto EcoBrasil, tourists can be confident in their travels.


Since the Rio 92 Earth Summit, Brazil has been at the centre of the environmentalism and, by extension, ecotourism debate, simply by being the host of the summit. The impact of that summit reverberated throughout Brazil, and had a significant role in shaping the establishment of an ecotourism movement in Brazil. The Instituto EcoBrasil is one of the products of that movement.

The Instituto EcoBrasil is an NGO that has emerged as a compass for sustainable tourism and ecotourism in Brazil. They are dedicated to developing Brazil as a reliable and sustainable destination for ecotourism, by becoming themselves a reliable source of knowledge and action on the development of ecotourism initiatives in the country.

Instituto EcoBrasil has been instrumental in a number of projects throughout the nation, including the establishment of guidelines for best practice in ecotourism in Brazil, in conjunction with FUNBIO, the Brazilian Fund for Biodiversity.

Brazil is an extremely progressive country when it comes to ecotourism, particularly with regards to the conservation and preservation of its natural landscapes and its biodiversity. The country is full of reputable ecotourism operators, as well as the excellent Instituto EcoBrasil, so visitors to Brazil should have no problem engaging in the ecoconsicous outdoor adventure activities that characterise ecotourism in Brazil.

Photo Credit: Main Image: maailmaparim; Rafting Image: whl.travel

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