Sustainable Travel in Nicaragua
Nicaragua was once considered a tourism backwater. But it is now emerging as a regional leader in sustainable travel. Eco tourism opportunities abound in Nicaragua’s protected areas – some 78 different regions that currently cover around 17% of the country’s land mass. Through visiting responsibly, eco travellers can enjoy the rich biodiversity of plant and animal life that can be found in the country. They can learn more about local culture, and appreciate the steps that are being taken to boost sustainability within the country.
But how can visitors ensure that they are a boon and not a bane? These simple tips for sustainable travel in Nicaragua should help you make sure you make a positive contribution, and don’t have a negative impact:
Stay Sustainably in Nicaragua
The first thing to think about when travelling to Nicaragua is where you stay. Choosing sustainable rural farm stay options can often be a great choice. And there are also plenty of sustainable resort options along the Emerald Coast.
Mukul, for example, is showing that economic growth in the tourism sector can go hand in hand with environmentalism, and social care.
Seek out options where environmental concerns are taken into account, and where locals are employed at fair wages, with good working conditions. Stay on farms that are demonstrating sustainable production and land management.
Remember, as well as just visiting, you can give back. For example, check out GRID Alternatives. They work to install clean cookstoves in rural households in Nicaragua which are already producing clean energy from GRID solar home systems. There are also plenty of other potential volunteering opportunities in Nicaragua to consider.
Eat Sustainably in Nicaragua
Speaking of farming, it makes a big difference if sustainable travellers seek out food and drink (including the local coffee, of course) which have been grown in the most ecologically sound and sensitive ways. And it is also crucial to buy direct from producers, to cut out the middleman and make sure funds can be funnelled back into sustainable practices.
Food in Nicaragua is often simple, filling, wholesome and free from packaging. Fresh, local and seasonal ingredients are easy to find. Many Nicaraguans cultivate their own food at home, and have backyard chickens – ‘gallina’ which are killed for special occasions. There is even a different word for these than for chickens bought in a store, which are called ‘pollo’. Living like locals can help visitors to avoid excessive consumption and eat in a healthier and more sustainable way.
Tour and Shop So Your Money Goes To Locals in Nicaragua
Sustainable and eco-friendly economic growth in Nicaragua depends on funds from tourism being channelled back into local communities. As you travel through Nicaragua’s breathtaking landscapes and visit its farms ands shops, make sure that you spend your money wisely. Put it into the hands of local, sustainable tour guides, shop keepers, farmers and business owners rather than buying tourist tat that comes from far away.
When you spend wisely, and support locals, you are not only lifting people out of poverty. You are also helping to ensure that they can practice more sustainably over the years to come.
Remember, the more you make an effort to travel in harmony with locals and local ecosystems, the more rewarding the experience will be. And the less negative impact your travels will have on the people and places you visit on your adventures.