Manakin Nature Tours, the best birdwatching and wildlife photography tours in Colombia and Latin America.

Enjoy nature with us! Is not just Birding, are amazing nature holidays!


Enjoy nature with us!

Is not just Birding, are amazing nature holidays

COL: +57 (321) 884 5359
Manakin Nature Tours Latin America

Manakin Nature Tours

Business mentorship program, Palafitos Villages of Colombia, transforming a violent past into biodiversity and landscape

“Manakin Nature Tours has been nominated as one of the finalists in the 4th Edition of the Responsible Tourism Awards by WTM Latin America, in the category 03: Best initiatives to promote socio-economic impact and peacebuilding through tourism.”
World Travel Market Latin America is a leading event in the travel and tourism industry that brings together professionals from around the world to discuss trends, opportunities, and challenges in the sector. WTM Latin America promotes responsible and sustainable tourism, recognizing and rewarding best practices in the industry.
In this context, Manakin Nature Tours is embarking on the BUSINESS MENTORSHIP PROGRAM of the PALAFITOS VILLAGES OF COLOMBIA, with the aim of promoting responsible tourism and contributing to peacebuilding through tourism.
Manakin goes beyond being a travel agency; we aspire to serve as a model of a company dedicated to nature conservation and social development. We believe that the success of tourism for the country lies in the inclusion of all stakeholders in the value chain, while striving for sustainability, responsibility, and respect for the environment.
Manakin Nature Tours focuses on three areas of action with the purpose of fostering high-quality tourism, with social responsibility and a firm commitment to environmental conservation. Our primary focus is on operating birdwatching and wildlife observation tours, always collaborating with destinations that promote the preservation of natural environments, sustainable resource management, and the provision of top-tier tourism services.
In one of our lines of work, we focus on consultancy activities, primarily developing training courses in tourist guiding, advising on business creation, conducting tourism feasibility assessments, biological inventories, and scientific research. This line not only provides us with the opportunity to develop social responsibility programs but also serves as a source of inspiration for new projects and ideas.
Our flagship initiative, the Business Mentorship Program, arises from the need to create new tourism products in destinations with great potential, such as the Palafito Villages of Colombia in this case. We train local entrepreneurs to develop quality tourism operations tailored to customer needs. This program not only benefits communities by promoting their development but also represents a medium-term investment for companies that implement these types of programs.
In October 2022, as part of the Sustainable Landscapes – Heritage Colombia project, supported by the European Union and implemented by Invemar (José Benito Vives de Andreis Marine and Coastal Research Institute), Manakin Nature Tours received an invitation to provide training in birdwatching tourism. During this training, we were able to appreciate an impressive potential in birds, biodiversity, and nature in the area, as well as a historical, cultural, and experiential richness that deserved to be highlighted and leveraged, not only by the national tourism industry but primarily by its residents. Additionally, we identified several local tourism enterprises that stood out in their communities, committed to the development of their region and eager to progress.
In this context, the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia in the department of Magdalena, stands out for its resilience and survival in a biodiversity paradise that has been affected over time by multiple issues. These challenges, combined with the isolation of two of its most emblematic communities, Nueva Venecia and Buenavista, with 5000 inhabitants, have limited opportunities for education and socioeconomic development in the so-called Palafitos villages of the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta. Despite this, these fishing communities, deeply rooted in history, culture, and natural wealth, demonstrate a determination to progress, even though their presence and potential are barely recognized at the national level.
What was accomplished? Over the course of 8 months, in collaboration with Invemar, a business mentorship program was conducted alongside local enterprises in stilt villages. It encompassed over 400 hours of training, led by 11 experts, aimed at bolstering these enterprises in various areas. The program was structured into 6 strategic steps:
1. Legal Compliance in Tourism Operations: We conducted a legal diagnosis of each enterprise and provided guidance regarding the documentation required for the execution of tourism packages and the establishment of tourism businesses.
2. Brand Identity: We developed a strong corporate identity, encompassing both narrative and imagery for each enterprise. Collaboratively, we designed a distinctive symbol and created visual material to support it. Additionally, photographic and audiovisual content was generated for future promotional and advertising campaigns.
3. Product Development: We created tourist products based on the community’s daily life, customs, and natural and historical richness.
4. Tour Planning, Operation, and Execution: We constructed strategies to add value to the offered service and defined specific procedures for each stage of the tourism activity. Additionally, training was provided in guiding techniques and operational skills to ensure exceptional tourist experiences.
5. Marketing and Sales: We provided guidance and instruction on costing, marketing, and selling tourist products. Together, we explored various marketing channels and developed strategies for costing the products, ensuring their competitiveness and quality.
6. Connection with the National Tourism Sector: We encouraged association and participation in national events, fairs, and business rounds. Additionally, we promoted active participation in tourism marketing channels to expand their reach and presence in the market.
As a result of these mentorships, there was a contribution to positioning this location, its community, and its way of life on the national tourism map of emerging destinations, making it now one of the most promising ones on the Colombian Caribbean coast. Manakin spearheaded this process, involving all participants for mutual benefit and in line with the program’s objectives.
An inspiring case that illustrates the results of the program is “Viajando con Gaby,” an enterprise led by Gabriela Moreno in Nueva Venecia. Thanks to the mentorship offered by the program, Gaby and other local entrepreneurs, such as Paraíso Veneciano, Brisas de Venecia, Ciénaga y Palafitos con Amed, as well as Edrulfo el Artesano, have managed to stand out as representatives of their communities in both regional and national fairs. Additionally, they have had the opportunity to participate in the operation of both national and foreign companies, thus contributing to local and regional tourism development.
We are now faced with an even greater challenge: replicating this mentorship program in the five regions of the country, such as Vista Hermosa in Meta, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and Serranía de Perijá in the Colombian Caribbean, and even in Latin American territories. Additionally, we have recognized the importance of strengthening governance processes, community association, conflict resolution, and social development as key aspects of the program.
We are actively seeking support in social and economic development funds to expand our activities and continue promoting community development through sustainable tourism.Principio del formulario
We are grateful for this nomination, which acknowledges our commitment to responsible tourism and peacebuilding through tourism. We will continue working to achieve significant changes through tourism so that it not only benefits all parties involved but also contributes to the sustainable development of our country. Thank you all for your support!

Post a Comment

You don't have permission to register
Open chat
Need Help?
Do you have questions?