Sustainable eco-tourism is a responsible approach to travel that prioritizes protecting and preserving the environment and local communities. This type of tourism encourages the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources while providing economic and social benefits to the local communities. It is focused on minimizing the negative impact of tourism on the environment and promoting a balance between protecting natural resources and providing meaningful experiences for visitors. One of the fundamental principles of sustainable eco-tourism is to minimize the environmental footprint of tourism activities. Another important aspect is ensuring tourism’s economic and social benefits are shared fairly with local communities. This can be achieved by supporting local businesses and economies and working with local communities to promote sustainable tourism practices. Additionally, sustainable eco-tourism is about providing visitors with authentic and meaningful experiences that are respectful of the local culture and environment.
Leave No Trace (LNT)
We highly encourage all hikers to closely follow the Leave No Trace principles, a set of guidelines designed to minimize the environmental impact of outdoor activities. The name sums up the intent of the guidelines– enjoy nature in such a way that you leave no trace of your presence. “Take only photos, leave only footprints.”
Plan Ahead and Prepare:
- Minimize packaging waste and bring along trash bags.
- Plan a realistic route for your group, allowing plenty of time and energy to find a suitable camping place.
- Keep your group size small or split a larger group into two.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surface:
- Walk only on established paths to avoid causing erosion.
- Camp in designated areas without disturbing flora and fauna.
Dispose of Waste Properly:
- Pack out everything that you pack in.
- Carry a trash bag and deposit all trash in proper receptacles, including organic waste (orange peels, egg shells, etc.).
- Go at least 60 m (200 ft) away from water, camp site and trails to urinate or defecate.
- Dig a hole 15-20 cm (6-8 in) deep to dispose of solid human waste.
- Throw used toilet paper in a trash bag to pack out or bury it, do not throw on the ground or burn.
Minimize Campfire Impact:
- We do not advise using campfires at all on the Jesus Trail, due to dryness of the region and lack of adequate firewood.
- Use a camping stove for food preparation.
- Don’t feed or approach wild animals.
- Store food and garbage securely, so that animals do not get into trash and eat things that are damaging to their health.
Leave Anything You Find:
- Respect history– do not damage or remove pieces of historical structures.
- Do not take or move rocks, plants or other natural objects.
- Do not build, dig, stack or otherwise mutilate the natural surroundings.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors:
- Keep your voice down so the sounds of nature prevail for the enjoyment of others.
- Respect other people using trails and facilities.
- Be kind and polite to locals as you walk through their towns and near their properties. Remember that you are a guest, and treat locals as your generous hosts!