This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Responsible tourism: Andes & Amazon vacation in Ecuador
We work hard to give back to the places and people that have inspired our company from the very start. This means that each component of your trip has been researched and chosen to support this commitment.
In Ecuador, our micro-grant program funded a new science laboratory at Maria Guarderas Primary School. Our grant went to the following: water and sanitary connections and materials, electric materials and connections, lab implementation materials. We also support reforestation projects in the Hacienda Santa Rita Ecological Reserve to regenerate forests that were adversely affected by wildfire and outdated practices of clear-cutting. This program has planted over 200,000 trees to date with a goal of one million trees. The forests provide crucial habitat for wildlife, protects the soil for productive agricultural use and the watershed that supplies the water to Quito. By traveling with us, you help to fund such projects.
Conservation at home is as important to us as conservation in the field. Our office promotes cycling and car pooling to work - winning our city-wide commuter challenge two years running. Those in big cities might be surprised to learn that only a few items like aluminum cans are recycled by the local sanitation company. Since that's not good enough for us, we pay for a private recycling service that collects all of our paper, plastic, cardboard, and cans. All of our paper is made from 100% post-consumer material and our brochures use soy-ink - an expensive but earth friendly alternative to traditional inks.
In the Amazon, we joined Rainforest Alliance for the “Conservation Alliances for Economic Viability.” The goals of this USAID approved project includes the preservation of at least 200,000 hectares of Amazonian rainforest in Ecuador -- combined with training and technical assistance to five community-owned lodges located in or adjacent to protected areas. The focus is on reducing negative impacts associated with tourism and reevaluating the most successful & practical practices of responsible tourism. Sustainable travel can be a strong player in not only maintaining areas already protected -- but also by expanding preservation into additional regions where the biodiversity and traditional local culture is threatened. The lodges participating in this program are located in the Yasuni Reserve, an area that is under constant threat from the oil industry as well as palm plantations.
The indigenous communities involved are looking to ecotourism as an alternative to big oil, and find a sustainable means by which the communities can receive an income while maintaining the integrity of their culture and conserving their rainforest territory. As a tour operator, our role is to provide direction and insight to help the lodges be both sustainable and responsible and find economic successes.