The impact of community-based ecotourism is contingent upon the community’s involvement in the development and management of activities, as well as their access to and the comprehensiveness of benefits. The ecotourism business owned by the Tacana Indigenous community of San Miguel in the Bolivian Amazon provides a model as to how Indigenous communities can harness social entrepreneurship to address economic, social, and environmental challenges. This article reviews the origins and development of this business, and draws on participant observation research, interviews, surveys, and economic analysis to illustrate the lessons learned and challenges faced. The findings are presented to inform existing and new Indigenous tourism ventures, policy considerations, and future research.


The authors are grateful to the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, the University of North Carolina, and the Indigenous community of San Miguel in Bolivia for their friendship. The authors gratefully acknowledge the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University for their support in this research.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The views in this research remain the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the institutions involved in the research.