This trip is run by a company which specialises in only Central and South America vacations. Typically you will be sharing your experiences with between 4-20 like minded travelers (depending on the trip and how many others are booked on it) and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are traveling alone, with your partner or with friends its good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travelers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as seeing new places, whilst being led by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic leader.
Responsible tourism: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia & Peru adventure vacation
This wilderness vacation takes you off the beaten track to visit out-of-the-way communities and landscapes where you can engage with local people and observe their way of life. We use a public bus service for the trans-Andean route from Salta to San Pedro de Atacama and use small-scale local suppliers in both towns to provide well-informed guides from the region familiar with their home territory.
We use public transport and low carbon methods of transport where possible - for example the public bus used from Salta to San Pedro.
The specific routes the drivers take over the salt flats are strictly adhered to. Once on the salt pans, you can see the darkened tracks of the vehicles which traverse them. If the jeeps were to take a random route, this would mar the scenery considerably and disturb the beauty of the area. They also adhere to strict speed limits despite having a free open space in front of them, so as to avoid accidents and more erosion.
We partner with local accommodation providers who have incorporated sustainability practices into their business. The hotel in San Pedro for example is built using traditional methods (adobe) in keeping with the town. The hotels on Salt Flats are small locally run traditional properties and the accommodation in Rosario conserves energy through small steps such as making sure lights are turned off when rooms are not in use, as well as larger investments such as the 40 solar panels imported from Brazil which are responsible for much of their energy needs.
During the crossing of the high altitude plains and salt flats in Bolivia the group stay with local family-run guesthouses in small villages which rely on the passing of the jeeps taking this route as their main source of income. Through repeated business they have been able to develop and improve the accommodation so as to provide the best possible service with the little resources they have. The route we take specifically allows for this, there are other routes where travelers stay in very isolated locations, meaning the staff often have to travel far by foot to accommodate their guests.
We take all of our rubbish with us to dispose in the town in Uyuni at the end of the salt flats expedition.
Where possible, such as on the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca and in La Paz, we encourage you to make purchases from local craftsmen dependent on these sales for their day to day living. Our hotels in San Pedro, the salt flats, lake Titicaca and La Paz are all locally owned and managed, with energy saving features such as solar panels, double-glazing and recycling facilities.