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: Peru, Bolivia & Chile adventure vacation
On this vacation we strive to provide good quality, comfortable accommodation but without compromising our ideals of using locally run eco-conscious properties. We use an eco-lodge on Sun Island, (Posada del Inca Eco-Lodge), Lake Titicaca, and our hotel in San Pedro de Atacama has solar panels and wooden pathways allow for the traditional flood irrigation of the surrounding farmland.
In environmentally sensitive areas such as Machu Picchu, local guides explain the importance of keeping to paths and designated routes and not interfering with or infringing upon the local habitat. The specific routes the drivers take over the salt flats are strictly adhered to. Once on the salt flats 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.
The hotels used on this traverse of the salt flats and high-altitude plains are constructed using salt bricks taken from the flats, stones taken from the mountains and concrete missed with the sand taken from the desert respectively. As the salt is recovered naturally this not only provides key employment in the area but also allows for buildings which are in keeping with the surrounding atmosphere and landscape.
Our hotel in Machu Picchu, El Mapi, belongs to the Peruvian owned chain Inkaterra which is a pioneer in sustainable tourism and promotes scientific research for the conservation of ecosystems and Natural Resources funded by Ecotourism, as a replicable model for local communities; offering authentic experiences, capturing, disseminating and educating about the culture and nature of Peru. They aim to define and respect authentic cultural, social and environmental values, including: using environmentally friendly products and maintaining good communication with suppliers, using energy and water efficiently, and providing adequate waste treatment, developing continuous improvement in their management and process controls by minimizing negative impacts and providing experience in the formulation of standards and creation of protected areas.
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, as well as the best known highlights.
Our aim is to familiarise you intimately with a rich indigenous culture, introducing you to local markets bursting with produce and crafts, such as that at Pisac in the Sacred Valley and the indigenous market in La Paz. Our excursions to pre-Columbian and Spanish archaeological sites are designed to help you appreciate the value of this heritage and the need to conserve it; our local guides are recruited for their comprehensive knowledge.
One of our hotels, Pakaritampu in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, supports a local community project providing food for local people of limited income. The El Mapi hotel used in Machu Picchu is part of the Inkaterra chain who respect authentic cultural values and invest in the local community by:
•Creating professional development opportunities and encourage the recruitment and training of local staff. •Developing an ideal work environment providing better living conditions than those covered by labor law. •Developing activities in accordance with current legislation, such as corporate, tax, labour, and the concepts of sustainable development. •Developing contingency plans for natural, social or financial disasters. •Encouraging the development of local communities, taking into consideration their environment and culture. •Being a replicable business model of low initial cost and high positive impact on local populations