Travelers who feel responsible for ensuring their trips do not harm their destination’s people, environment, or economy are traveling by strict ecotourism codes, where tourists seek to preserve the natural environments they visit. Similar to the same belief system Balinese Hinduism follows, that nature is the source of life while teaching their traditions and beliefs from one generation to the next. Ecotourist and Balinese Hindus share this same respect towards nature and are a big reason why ecotours are emerging everywhere in Indonesia. They offer an alternative way of travel for those wanting to become more responsible for their vacations. Several non-profit organizations have created tours that help their cause directly or simply want to help the forests, oceans, beaches, animals, children, and the air we breathe. Voluntourism, meanwhile, allows travelers the chance to “give back” while on vacation. For example, there are several organizations that bring people together for weekly beach clean-ups in Canggu like Trash Hero , Ocean Mimic , Make A Change World , and a few others.

While you and hundreds and thousands of tourists alike take solace in Bali when daily life becomes too much, remember this article before coming to soak in the culture which flows through its beaches, rivers, forest, and it’s Balinese people.

Twelve Steps To ecotourism in Bali

  1. A good ecotourism guide should help you get up close and personal with awe-inspiring features of the natural environment without leaving a destructive footprint on either the ecosystem or Bali’s cultural heritage.
  2. There are no excuses not to travel responsibly in Bali
  3. Don’t give money to street kids
  4. Stay away from “chasing” dolphin tours.
  5. A good ecotourism guide should help you get up close and personal with awe-inspiring features of the natural environment without leaving a destructive footprint on either the ecosystem or Bali’s cultural heritage.
  6. An ethical ecotourism operator should allow travelers to enjoy natural wonders without marking or exploiting them in the name of adventure.
  7. When exploring a new place, responsibility also falls on you, the traveler.
  8. Select accommodations that are committed to sustainable and ethical business practices.
  9. Ecotourists can contribute to the restoration and regeneration of natural assets in their chosen destination in many ways.
  10. Ecotourism opportunities are a fantastic way to become acquainted with a new destination
  11. Select responsible hotel and tour companies, as some of the ones listed below.
  12. Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times

Balancing adventure with environmental consciousness might require a bit more effort from you, but it will make for spectacularly memorable encounters that leave a lasting positive impact. To help you plan your next green vacation, we’ve rated the best ecotourism experiences in Bali – why not add them to your bucket list?”

Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism In Sumatra

Situated in the Northern region of Sumatra, Indonesia, only a short 1-hour flight from Asia’s hub of Kuala Lumpur, lies one of the most bio-diverse places in the world – The Gunung Leuser National Park. Home to the second-largest concentration of orangutan, as well as many other endangered species like the Sumatran tiger and rhinoceros, the Gunung Leuser National Park has become their sanctuary and the people of this region have become their guardians.

Locals practice responsible tourism that aims to protect the forest and its inhabitants. Many of the rainforest regions of Indonesia are destroyed by deforestation and although some are protected from logging under federal law, illegal logging practices still occur. Tourism acts as an alternative income for many people here who have moved away from illegal means of income.
By visiting the region and participating in eco-tourism activities such as trekking, tree planting and water rafting you are supporting the guardians of the Gunung Leuser, and you have the chance to get up close with the beautiful orangutans that call this place home.

This unique adventure in North Sumatra offers an exclusive opportunity for you to get hands-on with ongoing conservation efforts in remote villages and forest restoration sites. In addition to soaking up the culture and discovering the breath-taking beauty of this friendly and welcoming Indonesian island, you will also be involved with a number of tasks such as permaculture, restoration of former palm oil plantations, preparing new tree nurseries or identifying and recording native plant life in newly flourishing areas. You also have the opportunity to visit the superb Leuser Nature School which aims to incentivize local farmers to become guardians of the forest by providing free education for their children in exchange for their involvement in forest restoration and protection efforts. All your hard work is rewarded with three relaxation days in Bukit Lawang including a jungle walk in search of wild orangutans.

You Can Book Tour here: A different Travel Company
Tel: +44 (0)788 169 86 23
Email: [email protected]

 

Bali Sea Turtle Society (BSTS)

The Bali Sea Turtle Society or BSTS is a charity group that aims to protect sea turtles. Six out of seven sea turtle species around the world are threatened or endangered by either getting caught in fishing gear or plastics in the sea or consumed by curious foodies around the world. Their eggs are also consumed in a lot of developing countries due to the false belief that they are an aphrodisiac. Shells are also turned into jewelry while the plastic in the ocean and global warming is always a threat. BSTS has organized tours that directly support their efforts to save the turtles. Visitors volunteer alongside local researchers, supporting a variety of activities in Bali. Researches move the eggs to a fenced-off hatchery which is under 24hr surveillance in efforts to keep them away from poachers and once they’ve hatched, they will release the turtles into the ocean. Volunteers walk the beach with researchers which is very helpful since there are only a couple of paid researchers. Under the supervision of researchers, volunteers also help measure sea turtles, collect and move eggs and release baby turtles to the ocean. Since BSTS began its efforts in 2001 they’ve helped save more than 800,000 hatchlings in Bali. It would be hard to stop global warming all by yourself so why not participate in an experience that directly reduces poaching.

Unfortunately, sea turtles are still being hunted and sold in certain parts of Indonesia despite laws that protect these gentle creatures. BSTS works with local communities and tourists all over the island to protect sea turtles by educating communities about the dangers of hunting turtles into extinction for illegal trade. Anyone can join hatchling releases for free and you can also donate by purchasing their documentary DVD, “A Journey Back to the Sea” for Rp 100,000. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to BSTS’ conservation efforts.

Bali Sea Turtle Society (BSTS)
PO BOX 3434 Denpasar 80034 Bali
0811 3882683

Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF)

In 1997 a Balinese ornithologist founded the Friends of the National Parks Foundation. FNPF  protects the wildlife, restores habitats, and educates local communities through projects that protect the forests in the Kalimantan region in Bali’s Mt. Batukaru as well as forests in the Nusa Penida Island. Dr. Wirayudha and his conservation group are working painstakingly to breed the critically endangered Bali Starling. If you’re interested in supporting the FNPF, take your family on one of the FNPF’s eco-tours.  The volunteer component offered by the FNPF, designed for travelers, is a way to showcase the work being done by Sustainable Harvest and its local partner families. During the trips, volunteers work alongside small scale farmers, supporting their efforts and also helping to build solar latrines, plant trees, or construct wood-conserving stoves. All proceeds from guests are “donations” and 100% of the money is used to fund FNPF’s project work.

KALIMANTAN
FNPF takes groups on traditional Klotok boats into the Tanjung Puting National Park, the optional choice of camping in tents in the rain forest. You will visit the rainforest and see orangutans, hornbills and other wildlife as you cruise gently up the Sekonyer River into the National Park. FNPF encourages tourists to take walks into the rainforest and see their reforestation projects, meet the local village communities; and to also see how mining and palm oil plantations are threatening the region.

NUSA PENIDA, BALI
The FNPF Centre is located on a beach on the north side of Nusa Penida, close to the village of Ped. They have 3 twin rooms, 1 single room, and a dormitory for larger groups which is nestled directly in the middle of the forest. Expect to be visited by wild birds, visit their nursery or snorkel at an amazing coral reef. There are plenty of interesting things to see and do on Nusa Penida, you can rent a motorbike and tour the rest of the island while there. “volunteer in Bali on Nusa Penida

NEXT STEPS IF YOU WANT TO STAY WITH FNPF ON NUSA PENIDA
If you would like to stay at our Centre in Nusa Penida, then please CLICK HERE TO APPLY and send the application form to [email protected]
Friends of the National Park Foundation (FNPF)

Jl. Bisma No. 3, Ubud
0828 972 096 33

Bali Sharks, Serangan Island

Bali Sharks was founded by Hawaiian surfer Paul Friese in 2011 and was initially known as the Serangan Shark Project. Friese started his mission to protect sharks after learning about the prevalence of poaching in the area. Together with his friends, Friese helped turn poachers into tour guides, giving the local community a source of income without destroying wildlife. Today, Bali Sharks offers one of Bali’s most unique fundraising projects: swimming with the sharks! Bali Sharks’ marine tour is perfect for kids of all ages and is 100 percent ocean-friendly. Wouldn’t it be a fun excursion to let the kiddos swim with juvenile sharks? Of course, guests swim in a safe and controlled environment to observe these magnificent creatures in all their glory. The facility also offers a free nursery tour to kids below five years old! Together with Gili Eco Trust, these sharks are kept in a nursery for rehabilitation until they are ready to be released again into the wild.

Bali Sharks Eco tour is 3 hours w/ transportation and meal provided. Tour includes Turtle Conservation Center, Marine Garden, and the Shark Nursery. Guests are allowed to feed and swim with sharks. Baby turtles releasing is seasonally from June into October. This is a family-friendly activity for all ages. Species include Black & White Tip Reef Sharks and sometimes Bambu and Wobbegong (carpet sharks.)

Bali Sharks
Agus Bar & Restaurant, Serangan Island, Denpasar
0361 996 5101

Raja Ampat Biodiversity Resort

Raja Ampat is an archipelago of islands, located just off the tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula in Indonesia’s West Papua province. It is an unmissable ecotourism destination as it is pristine because it is difficult to get to, but entirely worth the effort. The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International claim that 75% of the world’s marine species live here on the islands. Raja Ampat is one of the most beautiful destinations in Indonesia and one of the greatest ecotourism places in the world. It is very popular with divers and has a lot to offer any traveler wanting to travel off the beaten path.

Biodiversity is a passionate Eco Resort in Indonesia, they are passionate about the environment, minimizing their impact and developing a sustainable future. There are currently no formal rules regarding Sea Turtle capture or nesting area protection in the Raja Ampat Regency, but Biodiversity is trying to change that. They continue to educate the local community about alternative proteins in their diet other than sea Turtle meat and eggs. Sea turtle monitoring programs are a high priority and they hope the data they collect will provide key information to help establish an official ruling for the protection and conservation of Sea Turtles in the area. Coral reef conservation is also another passion of theirs, the following are rules they go by:

  • We promote safe diver and snorkeler practices
  • We do not sell shell or coral local crafts
  • We promote the use of reef-safe sunscreens
  • We safely dispose of our rubbish
  • We regularly do beach clean-ups
  • Our boats do not anchor on reefs, we use mooring lines here on our house reef
  • We only buy Line-caught fish and no reef fish.
  • We have set up and are maintaining Coral Nursery to help with reef restoration
  • We are planning an artificial reef

Website : https://rajaampatbiodiversity.com/en/
[email protected]
+62 (0)813 39 600 553

E-Bikes Bali Electric Bicycle Tours, Ubud / Sanur

Choose from 3 different electric bike tours, Ubud to Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Ubud to Tirta Empul Water Temple or Sanur to Ubud Adventure.  Cruise on your eco-friendly electric bike on back roads through local villages, rice fields and some of Bali’s most spectacular scenery.  Visit temples, local Balinese family compounds, coffee plantations, rice terraces, and Bali’s majestic countryside. This is a great way to see Bali while leaving a smaller carbon footprint.

E-bikes are bicycles with a battery-powered “assist” that comes via pedaling and, in some cases, a throttle. When you push the pedals on a pedal-assist e-bike, a small motor engages and gives you a boost, so you can zip up hills and cruise over tough terrain without gassing yourself.

You can book by just clicking on the bike tour  you want above

Contact: https://www.ebikesbali.com/contact-us-2/

Soul Surf Project, Legian Beach

There are hundreds of surf lessons all around the coast of Bali but why not help a great cause while you’re learning how to surf at Legian beach! In this experience, you will learn your basics of surfing in a safe way, together with our partner and sponsor RipCurl School of Surf. The class lasts approximately 1.5 hours and they provide a standing guarantee, meaning that they guarantee that you will be able to stand on your board by the end of the lesson. This is a chance to support a local NGO working with local underprivileged children and leave a positive impact behind after your holiday.

This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to Foundation soul surf project Bali (Yayasan Bali Bersih).

Westerlaken foundation focuses on improving human and children rights in Indonesia. At this moment the foundation finances impactful research especially on children’s rights within orphanages on Bali. In cooperation with other foundations, movements, NGO’s and GO’s Westerlaken foundation finances research and initiatives to protect the coastal and marine environment by raising public awareness, campaign, research and fight against captivity.

Westerlaken foundation finances the work of Yayasan Bali Bersih, the Indonesian counterpart of Westerlaken Foundation, which is actively engaged in providing first response to standings and emergencies of stranded dolphins, whales and sea turtles and actively campaigns against dolphin captivity in Indonesia. Westerlaken Foundation assists Jakarta Animal Aid Network and Dolphin Project in the savings and relocation of the ex-Melka resort captive dolphins. Westerlaken foundation actively finances relief to people affected by the 2018 Lombok earthquakes.

Their surf school is usually booked so make sure you pre-book way before you arrive in Bali.

Contact them here https://www.soulsurfprojectbali.com/contact
Book here: BOOK SOUL SURF
OR BOOK ON AIRBNB

Plataran L’Harmonie, West Bali National Park

West Bali is popularly known for its national park, a rainforest, dry savanna, acacia scrub, and lowland forests, as well as more montane forests in the higher center. One hundred and sixty species of birds have been recorded in the park, including the near-extinct Bali Starling, Bali’s only endemic vertebrate species. Mammals found inside the park include Banteng (bull), Javan Rusa (deer) and Indian Muntjac deer, as well as Wild Boar and Leopard Cats which are both quite common but seldom encountered.

Social Responsibility

Plataran L’Harmonie works with the local community to drive community development: the three-layer system program supports local farmers by introducing a sustainable and productive agricultural system and promotion a long-lasting partnership; the Bokashi Fertilizer Production program produces an organic fertilizer from horse manure and provides it freely to local farmers, and the Love Nature Education Programme provides environmental education in seven elementary schools around the west Bali national park. Visitors are welcome to learn about and participate in Plataran L’Harmonie’s conservation efforts: the Scientific Education and Research Centre (SERC), a unique learning environment to share knowledge about the preservation of biodiversity, community development sustainability, and cultural diversity Plataran Bali Starling Sanctuary, a conservation facility for the critically endangered Bali Starling; and an Endemic Tree Planting Programme that nurtures the native ecosystem that is fast disappearing in other parts of the island.

Contact: PLATARAN L’HARMONIE – WEST BALI

West Bali National Park, Jl. Raya Seririt – Gilimanuk, Gerokgak, Singaraja,
Bali 81155, Indonesia.
T. +62 361 411 388

Written by: Gerry Winik

“Tourism is not the problem but contributes to the solution, tourism is used to actively protect nature”