Complejo Ecoturistico Chalalan

Latin American countries are responding to the world’s call for destinations that respect the natural environment and educate visitors. In Bolivia, an existing backpacker camp in the remote jungles of Chalalan is being enhanced to ­accommodate ecotourists drawn to the area’s stunning ­landscapes and biodiversity. Conservation International funded this project for the 250 ­residents of San Jose, a village near Chalalan, to own, ­manage and operate the ecolodge and ­approximately 500 acres as part of a larger plan to build a sustainable economy. The villagers’ ­participation was essential to ensuring a realistic and relevant final ­master plan, so Design Workshop conducted the ­planning process on site. Local customs and building ­techniques served as a framework for the plan, which calls for ­additional dining, lodging and interpretive facilities, a trail system, trained local guides, a biological research station and an informal birding program.