Ecoroutes are routes of interest for ecologically-oriented tourism, generally developed along rural roads with some distinctive environmental value – for example, orchids, amphibians, butterflies, birds, landscape, etc. Such routes offer the necessary infrastructure and services to provide visitors with a quality experience of sustainable, community-oriented nature tourism.
This integrated development model of tourism and natural resource conservation helps strengthen local economies through community tourism services, creating employment and at the same time mitigating negative social and environmental impacts. Participating communities agree to reinvest part of the moneys earned into conservation activities and improvement of the Ecoroute.
The Ecoroute foresees various specific objectives that should be reached during the phase of implementation. Among the most important objectives are:
a) Construction of the necessary tourist infrastructure, including viewpoints, trails, information centres, and other elements of signs and interpretation.
b) Improvement of the scenic aspect of the Ecoroute through appropriate management of garbage around villages, and reforestation with native species in degraded areas.
c) The establishment of a system of security and travellers´assistance along the whole Ecoroute
d) The creation of a Strategic Tourism Plan for the Ecoroute, generated via consensus with and within the participating communities.
e) The generation of local human capital capable of providing quality products and tourist services that are profitable, and which help strengthen community organizations, and help people become actors in their own development.
At the end of the implementation stage, it is hoped that the Ecoroute will truly be promoting the conservation of the special flora and fauna of the area, that signs and interpretation all along the route will allow visitors to appreciate and value what is special about the Ecoroute, and that local communities will make use of the Ecoroute and what it offers to improve the quality of their lives through activities that do not negatively impact the environment.