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Discover India's top 3 best ecotourism destinations

Explore India's ecotourism hotspots: Hampi, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Learn how to travel responsibly and make a positive impact with ecotourism in India.



Ecotourism in India offers remarkable encounters and bring constructive change on our planet. From teaching in Kottayam, helping on farms in Dakshina Kannada, or living at a holistic center in Karnal - there are many ways to explore India while making an ecological difference. 

Discover some of the best ecotourism destinations across India such as Hampi, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and more. Get tips for responsible ecotourism travel including how to prepare for your trip with this comprehensive guide about ecotourism in India.

Ecotourism in India: what is it? Why is it important?

Ecotourism is a type of travel that concentrates on the natural world, sustainability, and conservation. It’s an approach to travel that allows you to experience nature while minimizing your impact on the environment. Ecotourism activities include:

  • Bird watching and wildlife viewing
  • Camping in natural areas and hiking trails
  • Cultural visits to local villages or indigenous communities 
  • Educational tours about the environment.

Ecotourism has a lot of advantages, both for humanity and the natural world. For instance, it can help protect habitats from destruction by conserving biodiversity, offer economic opportunities to local communities, propagate sustainable practices and create consciousness among travelers about environmental issues.

In India, trekking in the Himalayas and visiting national parks with their abundance of wildlife are some of the best ecotourism activities. Other popular tours include scuba diving off the coast of Hampi or Kerala where you can explore coral reefs teeming with vibrant marine life, or whitewater rafting down river Ganges which is considered sacred by Hindus all over India. 

Visitors may also participate in volunteer programs offered by Worldpackers where they exchange skills with locals while living in ecological projects, NGO's or holistic centers, providing them a unique insight into Indian culture and traditions. 

The growing popularity of ecotourism in India

Ecotourism in India has experienced a surge of interest over the last ten years, drawing travelers from around the world to its captivating landscapes and diverse culture. The country’s vast range of wildlife reserves, national parks, beaches, mountains and forests make it an ideal destination for those seeking a more sustainable travel experience.

Ecotourism in India has seen a sharp rise due to its varied geography and deep cultural history. Also, various Indian states have implemented initiatives to encourage ecotourism such as establishing protected areas and building eco-friendly infrastructure. 

This has made it easier for tourists to access some of India’s most beautiful spots while helping local communities benefit economically from tourism activities. Moreover, there are now numerous organizations that specialize in organizing ecotours across the country – making it even simpler for visitors to explore India responsibly.

Ecotourists can go to some of India's most spectacular destinations, such as Kerala's backwaters, Karnataka's rainforests, Andhra Pradesh's villages, Uttarakhand’s snow-capped peaks, Rajasthan’s desertscapes, Goa’s pristine beaches and Sikkim’s meadows and riverside trails. 

For those looking for an authentic experience in nature without compromising on comfort or safety standards – Himachal Pradesh with its Himalayan passes and Arunachal Pradesh with its remote mountain villages provide the perfect opportunity. 

The increasing appeal of ecotourism in India is a demonstration of the striking beauty and variety found in its scenery, customs, and wildlife. With Worldpackers' opportunities, travelers can now experience all that India has to offer while making a positive impact on local communities through volunteering projects. 

Best ecotourism destinations in India

1. Ecotourism in Kerala

Kerala, a state in India’s tropical Malabar Coast region, is renowned for its palm-lined beaches and backwaters. It's also home to numerous ecotourism sites like the Silent Valley National Park

Here visitors can explore the area’s diverse flora and fauna while enjoying activities such as trekking, boating or bird watching. There are also plenty of cultural attractions like temples and palaces to explore. Kerala is the perfect spot for those seeking a distinctive excursion that blends natural wonders with cultural attractions.

2. Ecotourism in Hampi

Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its ancient ruins and captivating scenery created by wind erosion, is an increasingly popular ecotourism destination in Karnataka. 

Its ancient ruins are surrounded by hills dotted with boulders that have been intricately carved by wind erosion over time, creating a stunning scenery for visitors to marvel at. From spotting tigers and elephants in Bandipur National Park to exploring these captivating ruins, eco travellers will be sure to get their fill of nature and culture on this trip.

3. Ecotourism in Andhra Pradesh

If you're lucky, you may spot endangered species like the blackbuck antelope while exploring wildlife reserves located throughout Andhra Pradesh. For those seeking a more active experience, rappelling down cliffs and mountain biking through dense forests can be enjoyed near Araku Valley, where one can also get to know local customs firsthand from friendly locals eager to share their stories with you.

These three states all have something special on offer when it comes to ecotourism - whether you want an adventure filled holiday full of outdoor activities or just some peace and quiet away from hustle and bustle, these destinations have got something for everyone. 

With so much beauty and diversity on display, India definitely deserves its place amongst the top global tourist spots when it comes to ecotoursim experiences, so don't forget your camera because this trip will be worth capturing every moment.

Volunteer with ecotourism in India with Worldpackers

Worldpackers is an online platform that connects travelers with volunteer opportunities all around the world. India has seen a surge in popularity of Worldpackers, due to its cost-effectiveness and adaptability

Indian Hosts can offers a wide range of benefits, from accommodation and meals to language classes and travel tips. Through this platform, volunteers can gain valuable experience while helping out local communities in need.

You can find free accommodations at hostels, guesthouses, homestays, farms and other unique locations across the country. They also provide meals at most locations as well as access to Wi-Fi, so volunteers can stay connected during their travels.

Try to look for hosts that also provides language classes, in that way, you can learn a little Hindi or another regional dialect while volunteering abroad. Finally, they can provide comprehensive travel advice and safety precautions such as what vaccinations are required before entering certain areas of the country and how best to protect yourself.

Volunteers have a lot of possibilities when it comes to projects available through Worldpackers in India, ranging from teaching English at schools to working on organic farms or conservation initiatives such as planting trees and building water systems for villages without access to clean drinking water. 

One major benefit offered by volunteering through Worldpacker’s is the opportunity to immerse oneself into Indian culture while giving back directly by aiding local communities who may not have access to resources otherwise provided by government organizations. 

This type of hands-on approach allows volunteers to make a real difference while gaining invaluable life experiences along the way. Furthermore, because these trips are often low cost (or even free), travelers are able to get off the beaten path and explore regions rarely visited by tourists which adds yet another layer of personal growth potential.

Volunteering with Worldpackers in India is an excellent opportunity to acquire meaningful knowledge and have a positive effect on the local population. For those looking for an immersive cultural experience, India offers a range of ecotourism destinations ideal for enriching their travels.

How can you be a responsible ecotourist?

When travelling to India, it is essential to observe and abide by the local cultural norms in order to show respect for the people and places you visit. Respectful behavior should always be practiced when visiting any destination, but this is especially true in India where cultural norms are deeply rooted in tradition. 

As an ecotourist, it’s essential that you show respect for the people and places you visit while on your trip. This includes being aware of how you dress, refraining from taking photos without permission, learning some basic phrases in the local language and understanding different religious practices.

Minimizing environmental effects is a fundamental element of responsible ecotourism. Simple steps such as bringing reusable water bottles or bags can make a big difference when travelling around India. You should also try to avoid single-use plastics wherever possible and dispose of rubbish responsibly by using designated bins or recycling points whenever available. 

Finally, supporting local businesses and communities is another way to ensure that your trip has a positive impact on its surroundings. This could include:

  • Buying locally produced souvenirs from small shops 
  • Eating at restaurants run by locals instead of international chains
  • Opting for public transport over private taxis 
  • Volunteering with Worldpackers who have projects all across India

By doing so, you will help create economic opportunities for those living nearby as well as preserving traditional cultures that may otherwise be lost due to tourism development pressures.

Exploring India's natural splendour through responsible ecotourism can be a rewarding experience that benefits both the local populace and environment. To ensure you have an enjoyable and safe trip, it is important to prepare properly for your ecotourism adventure by researching your destination, packing appropriately, and getting vaccinated.

Keep reading: ecotourism jobs: discover the world through nature 

How to prepare for an ecotourism trip to India?

Before embarking on an ecotourism journey in India, it is important to be adequately prepared. Whether you’re planning a trip for yourself or with friends and family, the following tips will help ensure your journey is as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Research your destination

Before booking your tickets, take some time to research the destination you plan on visiting. Check out local attractions and activities available at your destination such as national parks, beaches and temples, so that you can make an informed decision about what type of experience you would like to have while there. 

Look also into any potential health risks associated with the area such as mosquito-borne illnesses or water contamination. 

Pack appropriately

Once you’ve decided where you want to go and what type of experience you would like to have while there, start packing accordingly. 

Bring items that are suitable for outdoor activities, including sunblock, insect repellent and long sleeved shirts and pants made from natural fabrics like cotton or linen which provide better breathability in hot climates than synthetic materials.

Take care of your health

Before travelling abroad, it is essential to consider vaccinations and other preventive measures for a safe and enjoyable experience. For instance, avoid drinking tap water unless it has been boiled first and opt for cooked food instead of raw vegetable and meat. 

It's always good to frequently wash hands particularly after using public restrooms and wear protective clothing when outdoors especially during peak mosquito hours (dusk till dawn). Moreover, if you are coming from an infected area outside India, then yellow fever vaccination may be mandatory prior entering the country - check with your doctor beforehand. 

In conclusion, these tips should help ensure a safe yet memorable ecotourism experience in India whether it's trekking through the Himalayas or exploring its rich cultural heritage. So don't forget them next time round.

Traveling to India with Worldpackers

Worldpackers offers an incredible opportunity for travelers and backpackers to volunteer in India in exchange for accommodation, food, and cultural experiences. From Kerala to Karnataka, there are plenty of eco-friendly destinations with amazing sights and activities that can be enjoyed responsibly by following some simple tips such as respecting local customs, minimizing your environmental impact, and supporting local businesses. 

Before taking off, it's essential to gain knowledge about the area you're traveling to, pack suitable clothing based on the weather of your destination, and get any required vaccinations. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your ecotourism adventure today. With Worldpackers, you can volunteer with local communities and help make a positive impact on the environment while having life-changing experiences. 

Whether it be exploring Hampi or living in a Holistic Center in Karnal, ecotourism offers travelers an opportunity to have meaningful encounters that will stay with them for years to come. With this guide, you are now equipped with the knowledge to make your ecotourism trip to India a rewarding and exciting experience that will bring you closer to nature.

Want to learn more about planning your trip? By subscribing to the WP pack plan you have unlimited access to +120 courses at Worldpackers Academy, the travel school made by travelers! Follow @solanomundo for more travel content. 

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