By Company director Carmen Portella Ernest. “Many people will remember us as Lanzarote Active Club. The tours began back in 2007, with my simple wish to enjoy Lanzarote with others and get active together. My passion was always for the great outdoors and nature, but through the years our small team gained more and more knowledge which lead us further into the conservational aspects of Lanzarote. We have been lucky to attract some great minds to our tours, enabling us to not only share knowledge, but also to grow roots and connections with like minded people. Our love for Lanzarote and the rest of the ‘Los Chinijos’ UNESCO protected islands has expanded way beyond simply wishing to enjoy nature and get active.
In late 2014 we decided that it was time to evolve and present ourselves in a different way. The first shoots of The eco Insider Tours were already present, but it would take us just under 2 years to fully understand and develop our new venture.”
It’s important to understand that Lanzarote Active Club does still exist! The Geo Tours, Walks, Bird Watching, Wine Tours and Marine Excursions which we currently offer are all the same tours which have been fine tuned over the last 10 years. The Lanzarote Active Club name is now 100% dedicated to our island residents. We run monthly group visits to a number of interesting cultural centres and geological sites under the umbrella of LAC, so it’s never goodbye…
Some may ask what the future holds for the new ‘Eco Insider Project’. Firstly we will continue in an organic direction – Building on ethical tourism, sustainable travel, ecotourism, pioneering sustainable mentalities and building on the conservational projects which we are already directly involved in. Our volunteer work with the bird protection charity, ‘Desert Watch’ is very exciting, and seems to be taking a wonderful new turn. (You will have to stay tuned to learn more about this!).
We’re a social bunch –
With a passion for the natural world, our team are committed to the sustainability of our environment.
Carmen concludes: “The original vision I had with my little team back in 2007 still stands strong. Getting up close and personal with the nature of Lanzarote. Learning of the unique flora, fauna, Geological facts, birdlife, animal life, surrounding marine life and of course the ubiquitous cultural elements, including the amazing local gastronomy.
I feel blessed to share all of this and more within our day to day tours. We are still a very small team, and we have no plans to grow any bigger. Our excursions are and will remain bespoke and personal. The main difference between 2007 and 2017 onwards is the final conclusion, that the word ‘Active’ has more than one meaning to me now”
The Eco-Insider team
My original intention was only to build a small touristic company. I’ve since spent years in the midst of nature, growing my knowledge of Lanzarote geology, island wildlife, flora & fauna. As my awareness of the environment grew, I felt that it was not enough to admire nature in a passive way.
There has been much talk of sustainability recently, especially by the authorities. Some projects are made on time, but time is not on our side for the radical changes which are required.
Sustainability must come from each of us, applying small (or large) changes in our day to day. We cannot wait until the government “does something”. There is no time.
Responsibility towards the environment and the conditions of our own survival is something that every family, every company, and every organisation should commit to. It is not the easiest or the most economically efficient, but it is the only thing that makes sense. Eco Insider is our own contribution to that change.
I’ve been surrounded by nature lovers since childhood. My mum was a biology/geography teacher, so she was forever taking us on walks. She would always explain details about local plants and creatures. These outdoor adventures formed my interest at an early age.
I later gained a biology and chemistry degree in teaching, which has been helpful for my guiding work. Since moving to Lanzarote and starting work with Carmen back in 2007, I’ve submerged myself in the unique world of the local vine growing. Lanzarote wine production has become a passion! I also love taking photos of landscapes and local birdlife. It’s a privilege to share my knowledge with guests.
My career goal has always been to pursue my passions. I was so incredibly lucky to find a place like Lanzarote where I could fulfil this, and work with my varied interests. These interests include wildlife, geology and wine. All of my favourite topics are abundant on this island, and this is a marvellous place to bring them all together.
Meeting Carmen, who I define as ‘the most complete Lanzarote encyclopaedia’, gave me the opportunity to develop my knowledge within a fantastic team. Within my job I can to transmit the wonder I feel every time I step out onto the Lanzarote landscape. From Volcanoes to Vineyards, the incredible effort by the islands past inhabitants to make life possible in such a difficult environment – never ceases to impress me. This is a story I love to share.
I was educated at a Tourism & Travel college, where I gained qualifications in many areas of the travel industry. I had originally only planned to work in Lanzarote for six months with a UK Tour Operator. Here I am 20 years later!
As the years have passed I’ve become increasingly interested in eco tourism. Im proud to have been working with Carmen and her team for over three years. My role as their social media and marketing manager has opened a new level of appreciation for this beautiful island. I feel extremely proud to be a part of their transition from Lanzarote Active Club to eco Insider Tours.