In the jargon of the '90s, "ecotourism" combines the spirit of adventure and exploration with the concern for maintaining the health of our natural, cultural (and historical) surroundings -- and preserving them for ourselves and generations to come.
Caribbean nations have recently jumped on the ecotourism bandwagon with great enthusiasm. The result is a profusion of awareness and preservation programs throughout the region to bring its overall product to an optimum level for visitors.
There's new and greater concern for ecological issues within the hotel community and active participation in ecotourism conferences focused on exchanging applicable state-of-the art information and techniques.
American Express sponsors an annual series of Caribbean Historic Preservation Awards. Islands Magazine offers citations for the development of Ecotourism projects. The Caribbean Hotel Association recognizes hoteliers implementing major environmental awareness efforts.
Historic restorations throughout the Region are at an all-time high. Societies and foundations have been organized (or reactivated) in most destinations to interpret and catalog the culture. Museums are being upgraded.
Marine park development is burgeoning, to the delight of divers and snorkelers who are practicing proponents of the "look, but don't touch" school of underwater exploration.
The protection of endangered species is a major concern. Birdwatchers, botanists, hikers and bikers take to the hills, delighting in nature Caribbean-style.
Consult destination listings for reference to specific attractions.