2017: 14 May, 9 Jul, 10 Sep, 19 Nov 2018: 7 Feb, 25 Apr
Responsible tourism: Peru vacation, colours of Peru
We really work hard to keep all our operations green! All our worldwide offices currently run on 90% green energy (we are working towards 100%) from hydro electric, wind to solar power. Being web based, we are close to becoming a paperless environment, brochure prints are at a minimum (and printed on a requirement basis) and all pre departure information is emailed.
In our pre departure information pack, and throughout the orientation on site, we help you to minimise your carbon footprint on your tour, and help protect the diverse environments which we visit on this tour such as Machu Picchu and the Tambopata National Reserve where Refugio staff offer lectures covering conservation threats which gives our guests a better understanding of the environment. These information include simple advice on waste disposal and the offset of carbon emissions through our carbon offsetting program created for your journey with our company.
Recently we have also started to work with ECOAN (Andean Ecosystems Association). The projects at ECOAN are unique in that they conserve not only endangered species and natural environments of Peru, a fair feat in itself, but also invest heavily in the preservation of high Andean cultures.
With the help of our donations (from funds generated from your tour), ECOAN have planted over one million tress in the Vilcanota Mountain Range to date. Polylepis forests, endemic to the high Andean region are vital in reducing soil erosion, retaining nutrients and sediments, and producing a vital amount of oxygen to the area.
More trees means more forest which means more water, food and shelter, the three key ingredients for survival for both wildlife and local farmers who often relocate to cities when crops start to fail.
All our trips to Peru source as much as possible from the local community. From our knowledgeable local guides, to the locally produced meals and the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local produce is available.
All operations for this tour are run by locally owned companies, a fact we pride ourselves on. Hotels used are all locally owned and we try to choose where possible hotels which hold the same values and understand their responsibilities to the local environment as we do.
Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. We source them due to their unique contact with the local communities we visit, as well as their knowledge of the lakes, fauna and flora you will pass on route. This will give you an insight into the history of this fascinating region. For example, on this trip you will visit the floating islands of Uros and Taquile where you will be able to meet local people living in a traditional way and support them through the purchase of crafts and weaving products. Later on, we will visit local markets in the Sacred Valley, where we can buy local cuisine, crafts and textiles to support their daily life.
We can also assist you if you wish to visit community projects in order to get a lot more out of your trip. Most importantly a percentage of the funds generated from your tour to Peru (10%) will go back to our MAD charity and assist us in supporting the next generation and the environment they live in. We currently work with 3 different charities, giving us a broad spectrum and diversifying where our funds go. So a percentage of the funds we will generate from our “Colours of Peru” tour, will go directly to these. The first is our Project of Peru - a small, lively, voluntary charity offering food, clothes, shelter, education, health and fun to those who live in the children’s refuge in the desert shanty towns of Lima.
We also work together with ANIA in Peru - a high profile Peruvian NGO which also works with children and helps to teach them about their local environment and how to manage it effectively, as well as the GVI Foundation in Australia which works on several development projects in Latin America and around the world. We help these charities by supporting fundraising treks, through donations as a company and through our clients and customers who also volunteer their time and expertise.