Q & A with Kenneth Johnson D., General Director, EcoColors Tours, Cancún, Q.R., México. “Ecotourism in the Mayan World.” Half-day, full day, and multi-days excursions in the Yucatán Peninsula. Founded in 1996. Winner of the TripAdvisor 2016 Certificate of Excellence.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
I am a marine biologist with master's degree in business administration, and before this I was organizing trade shows.
WHO ARE YOUR PROFESSIONAL PARTNERS IN ECOTOURISM?
These are individuals who are highly committed towards sustainability, conservation, and environmental education.
We have unique land and water ecosystems here that need to be further researched for protection and use in a rational way. These environments include savanna, jungle, wetlands, and reefs. Guides and visitors talk about the importance of respecting nature especially during our tours of the Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve, Rio Lagartos, Puerto Morelos, and Yum Balam.
CAN TRAVELERS SUPPORT LOCAL CONSERVATION EFFORTS?
Yes, they can always help with funding, by volunteer work, and by promoting and sharing information about our projects with their friends.
We look for them at trade shows, at the universities, and so forth.
WHAT LANGUAGES CAN YOU OFFER TO GUESTS?
Quite a few – besides Spanish and English, some of our guides know French, German, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Hungarian, or Mandarin.
WHAT KINDS OF BICYCLES DO YOU OFFER FOR YOUR BIKE TOURS?
We use the Trek brand hybrid bicycles – styles for men, women, and for kids.
CAN GUESTS BRING THEIR OWN BICYCLES?
Yes they can.
Truly any of our trips are suitable for any person who wants to learn about and enjoy nature, culture, or adventure. My personal favorite is our Wildlife trip. You can see birds like flamingos, egrets, and ospreys, plenty of colorful coral reef fish, marine turtles, and during certain months of the year, you can see whale sharks or migrating monarch butterflies. Sometimes you might even spot a jaguar in the jungle.
PLEASE DESCRIBE OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS FOR YOUR MULTI-DAY TOURS.
These are usually 3-star rated hotels, a boutique hotel in some cases. It's two guests per room. Breakfast is usually offered in the mornings. An “American style” breakfast here means fresh fruit, juice, bread, eggs or pancakes.
WHAT IS THE ELECTRIC STANDARD?
It is 220 V [ you may need to bring a converter and adapter plugs ].
These are trips where we teach and interpret Maya culture. Our small group size enables us to provide real personalized attention to each guest and in-depth answers to any questions.
WHICH ARE TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL DISHES?
Those would be “Cochinita Pibil” (pork slow-roasted with anchiote paste, chillies, and citrus juices), and “Relleno Negro” (a spicy black soup with turkey or chicken, hard-boiled eggs, onions, peppers, and diced tomato).
You can read tons of reviews on our Facebook page or on TripAdvisor. Guests rate our guides very highly; they say the guides are so friendly and knowledgeable about the marine life, birds, and animals. They like the fact that our vans are clean and arrive for pick-up on time. They enjoy being outdoors, exploring caves, biological reserves, or visiting ancient ruins. Everyone who goes snorkeling with whale sharks in the open ocean say it was their most amazing experience - even if they were a bit scared at first. Whale sharks are huge, magnificent creatures, but they are not dangerous to humans.
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