In January, 27 NATOUR project participants took part in a one-week Ecotourism Training Camp. The activity took place in the Lakes Region and consisted of a training and capacity transfer camp for the realization of this project. On the first day all participants were welcomed by INACAP and were able to learn more in depth about the development of tourism in Chile and particularly in the Los Lagos Region, a destination with a marked ecotourism vocation. After that participants had the opportunity to visit the Osorno headquarters and part of the group visited the paleontological and archaeological site of Pilauco, where the oldest human footprint in America was found, with a date of 15, 600 years.
On the second day, the group visited the mythical Island of Chiloe and were able to reinforce their knowledge and learn much more about the area while enjoying the beautiful view of birds, sea lions and bottlenose dolphins. After that all partners learned by a local guide about the community tourism experience in the Islotes de Punihuil Natural Monument (a home to a colony of penguins, and a great diversity of fauna) and the geography of Chile regarding tourism, exchange of knowledge and challenges. Later that day the partners met the colony of penguins and seabirds and had a moment of connection with the biodiversity in this protected area. The afternoon session was dedicated to a trip towards Caulin Bay (large intertidal wetland). In this natural sanctuary the partners were able to connect with the biodiversity of the place, through “birdwatching” and lessons.
During the third day, the NATOUR delegation had the opportunity to visit the Vicente Perez National Park, the oldest in Chile, created in 1926. There they were able to visit the emblematic attractions Petrohué River Falls and Todos Los Santos Lake as well as the Petrohué Lodge. In the afternoon the partners were able to delve into the fundamentals of interpretation, moreover there was a workshop given by the University of Freiburg, linked to module 4 of the diplomat. In the end the group visited the slopes of Osorno volcano, one of the geologically active volcanoes in Chile. In this place the partners carried out some group dynamics offered by the DUOC UC team.
On the fourth day, the camp team visited the emblematic Alerce Andino National Park, part of the Temperate Rain Forests Biosphere Reserve of the Southern Andes, whose main object of conservation is the Alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides), an ancient conifer known as the “sequoia of the south” declared a Natural Monument of Chile. There the group was able to participate in workshops given by the INACAP team, with practical content associated with modules 1,2 and 3 of the diploma course, linked to the principles of ecotourism, guiding techniques in nature, the design of tourist experiences, among others. In the end of the day, a mini practical workshops on the design of tourist experiences was held, with a focus on ecotourism.
The last day of the Training Camp Natour Cile 2023 was held at the DUOC UC headquarters in Puerto Montt. The representatives of the University of Freiburg gave the closing of the interpretation workshop and the group had a joyful lunch and shared memorable moments and lessons.
This was the second of three Ecotourism training camps within NATOUR project.