TROPIC is an award–winning ecotourism company specialized in providing high quality travel experiences in Ecuador’s most spectacular natural areas in the company of its native peoples.
At Tropic we offer our clients an unforgettable experience in a culturally sensitive style, while contributing to the conservation and sustainable development of the places we visit.
TROPIC grew out of the need for a tourism operator which could demonstrate that environmental protection and cultural respect can be compatible with running a successful business.
While many of Ecuador's (and the world's) most valuable and beautiful regions are falling victim to insensitive 'development' at the hands of the oil, timber and monoculture industries causing a tragic loss of biodiversity, now more than ever it is necessary to create viable economic alternatives which give value to this ecological and cultural richness.
At TROPIC we believe one of the best ways of conserving an area - whether it be tropical rainforest in the Amazon, paramo grasslands or Andean cloudforest, mangrove forests on the coast or the incredible uniqueness of Galápagos - is by taking people to these areas to experience their magic first hand.
Our naturalist guides are bilingual experts and committed conservationists. They always work with a local or indigenous guide, both to provide the visitor with a higher quality experience, as well as to ensure that the people who live in these special areas are benefiting economically from tourism and thus have an incentive to conserve their environment.
The interest and respect which our clients show for these indigenous communities also strengthens values and encourages the survival of traditional knowledge which has suffered erosion and unappreciation for too long.
In other words, we don't see ecotourism as a catchword for enticing unsuspecting conservation - conscious clients, but as an ongoing project for sustainable development in the world's last remaining natural treasures which provides abundant possibilities for cultural interaction beneficial for both sides.
So with TROPIC Journeys in Nature, you not only get excellent professional service from our experienced multi-lingual staff, but also the assurance that your visit to the Galápagos, the Amazon, the Andes and the Pacific Coast is having a positive environmental and cultural impact.
At least 10% of our profits is donated to environmental protection programmes in Ecuador, through our related nonprofit Acción Amazonía and including The Cuyabeno Defense Committee, the Amazon Defense Front, the Amazon Environmental Monitoring Network, the Huaorani Peoples' Organization (ONHAE), the Huaorani Community of Quehueri'ono, the Galápagos Guides Club and others.
By choosing responsible travel, you can have the fabulous vacation that you´ve dreamed of, while ensuring that your dollar are benefiting the environment and the local people at your destination.
What is responsible travel?
Responsible travel is travel with a purpose.
When choosing destinations, accommodations and tour operators, consider which ones work to protect the environment and benefit local cultures and communities.
Who travels responsibly?
Anyone can be a responsible traveler!
You can get back to nature, or bathe in luxury hike into the rainforest, or explore the city stay close to home, or travel to the exotic location of your dreams. Responsible travel provides many options, and is often very affordable.
* Responsible travel myths
Myth: I have to sacrifice quality and luxury of accommodations.
Reality: Many lodges, hotels and B&Bs have very high standards for quality and luxury. They bring nature and culture within your reach, while still assuring your level of comfort.
Myth: It´s expensive!
Reality: responsible tours and accommodations come in a range of prices, depending on the level of comfort and convenience you desire.
Myth: It´s too difficult to be a responsible traveler.
Reality: The internet maker it easy to plan and book responsible travel. When you arrive at your destination, there are simples steps you can take to make your trip environmentally and socially responsible (see “ While Traveling” on tear – off card).
Myth: It means traveling to tropical jungles.
Reality: responsible travel often brings to mind images of exotic tropical locations, but the reality is that destinations, accommodations, and tour packages exist on very continent.
* Traveler´s Philanthropy
Traveler´s Philanthropy is a growing movement of travel businesses that are helping to support community projects in host countries. Increasingly, hotels and tour companies are providing financial and material assistance to projects such as schools, health clinics, and orphanages.
Many are also giving tourists an opportunity to contribute to and even visit these projects. Like others, you´ll find you enrich your travel experience when you help contribute to the well – being of the places that you´re visiting.
For more information please visit:
Making informed choices before and during your trip is the single most important thing you can do to become a responsible traveler.
* Planning your Trip
With a little planning, you can improve the quality of your trip, while making a real difference to the people and places you visit.
Search the web: Look for websites specializing in responsible travel, ecotourism, or sustainable tourism.
Consult guidebooks: Choose guidebooks with information on your destination´s environmental, social and political issues, and read before booking. Guidebooks vary in quality, even within a series, but Lonely Planet, Rough guides, and Moon are among the best.
Make contact: Call or email tour operators that have firsthand knowledge of the place you are considering visiting. Check the websites of all accommodations.
Ask questions: Let tour operators/hotels know that you are a responsible consumer. Before you book, ask about their social and environmental policies. For instance. What is your environmental policy? What percentage of your employees are local citizens? Do you support any projects to benefit the local community?
Choose wisely: Are the businesses you're considering certified? Do thay have aco-label ratings, or have they won eco-awards?
What is Certification?
Have you heard of the AAA or 5 – star rating systems? These long – standing labels judge hotel quality and services. Over the last decade, many ´green´ certification programs have been created. These use independent auditors to rate the environmental and social impacts of hotel ( or other tourism businesses). They help travelers to make responsible choices. A growing number of companies have earned eco – labels. We encourage you to patronize those that have.
* What you can do while traveling
By exploring alternative travel choice, you can have a unique trip and avoid leaving negative marks on cultures, economies, and the environment.
At the hotel: Ask about environmental policies and practices. Talk with staff about working conditions. Does the hotel support community projects?
Language: Learn a few words of the local language and use them.
Dress: Read up on local conventions and dress appropriately. In many countries, modest dress is important.
Behavior: Be respectful of local citizens´ privacy. Ask permission before entering sacred places, homes, or private land.
Photos: Be sensitive to when and where you take photos/video of people
Always ask first.
Environment: respect the natural environment. Never touch or harass animals. Always follow designated trails. Support conservation by paying entrance fees to parks and protected sites.
Animal products: Never buy crafts or products made from protected or endangered animals.
Pay the fair price: Don´t engage in overly aggressive bargaining for souvenirs.
Don´t short-change on tips for services.
Buy local: Choose locally-owned lodges, hotels, and B&Bs. Use local buses, car rental agencies, and airlines. Eat in local restaurants, shop in local markets, and attend local festivals/events.
Hire local guides: Enrich your experience and support the local economy. Ask guides if they are licensed and live locally. Are they recommended by tuor operators?
We are honored to operate programs for several highly reputable companies and universities from all over the world, who share our conservation and business philosophy.
Additionally, whenever we visit the remoter regions such as the rain forest or the cloud forest we always include a local indigenous guide in our team. This not only enables our clients to learn of the cultural dimension to our natural areas, but it is one way we can ensure ecotourism is providing benefits for the people living in them.
Our goal with the company and our foundation is to provide support to native cultures in the efforts to withstand the pressures of assimilation and to protect the natural forests that are their livelihood and the essential elements of their cultural life.
We support community managed sustainable development programmes such as our new lodge developed with the Huaorani community: Huaorani Ecolodge, train nature guides, hold workshops to improve the quality of crafts and write the proposals to find the funds to make it all happen.
TROPIC’s community tourism projects directly employ 15 local staff, a number which will rise as new projects (i.e. Secoya Lodge) come on line. All are given a high level of training both before and during their employment. All other programmes involve local guides and operators.
Since the inception of the TROPIC project our objective has been the promoting and developing of community tourism projects.
Community projects: we have developed the Huaorani Ecolodge. Since the discovery of oil in the 1960s, the Huaorani have been forced to deal with the presence of oil companies and other outsiders on the land they have called home for at least a thousand years. The Huaorani, lead by Moi Enomenga, famous by articles in the New Yorker magazine and as the principle character in Joe Kane’s Savages (1995), believe that ecotourism is a mean to maintaining the integrity of their culture and conserving their rainforest territory.
Their first venture, and new Huaorani Ecolodge, inspires to protect and conserve this fragile region through sustainable practices. You could be one of the privileged few to visit the headwaters of the Amazon in the company of this culture, setting out an experience of a lifetime.
Tropic has supported the establishment of many other ecolodges in the Ecuadorian Clodd forest (Santa Lucía y Yunguilla) and the Secoyas Lodge also in the rainforest.
Tropic also has been working together with foundation which support the ecosystem; Rumiloma in the reserve Cayambe Coca.
In Galapagos, Tropic has developed responsible operations integrating the community of Puerto Villamil.
Tropic has been awarded several times (TO DO 97!; Ecotourism Showcase 2000; Best Sustainable project by LATA 2007 etc) due to their responsible operations and sustainable projects.
All our community tourism projects use local produce as a matter of principle. In all other programmes efforts are made to find local suppliers wherever possible
We support the local community by supporting them in the development of both their own tourism projects which provide both family and community resources and the small services businesses that are an essential support for those projects.
Are you involved in local fundraising events or raise awareness? If yes, please give details.
All TROPIC programmes are designed to raise awareness about the intrinsic value of cultural or natural attractions, or the necessity to preserve and support endangered peoples in their efforts to survive and protect their environments. All clients are provided with information, both written and aural on history of local cultures and flora and fauna and encouraged to support local communities.
TROPIC journeys are designed to be both enjoyable adventures and encounters with local people, cultures and environments. Local food and restaurants and meetings with local people and cultures are a fundamental feature of our journeys.
Do you encourage your guests to use public transport or local services? If so how and which ones? (If you have a bus stop or train station nearby then say that. We appreciate if your location is remote then public transport
Many TROPIC journeys are to remote areas where transportation options are severely limited by access and weather. Where transportation does exist, i.e. Galapagos Islands, the company has developed a walking tour in conjunction with the local community of Villamil on Isabella island.