This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Responsible tourism: Peru tailor made wildlife vacation
Travel and tourism can both benefit and damage the environment, the economy, the social structure, culture and communities in any country. We know how mass tourism, unrestricted hotel building, poorly devised tours and environmentally destructive activities can bring money flooding in and governments have, in a spirit of short termism, been tempted to accept them. But experience teaches us that in the long term this sort of uncontrolled activity can be detrimental to the country's development.
As a company we love Latin America and strive to protect the rural and urban landscapes which we take you to visit. We work with local operators which have a proven record in training guides to set a good example in their respect for their surroundings and pass on advice and encouragement to visitors on how to preserve the fragile environment in simple ways, such as by refilling a water bottle, disposing of rubbish responsibly, not disturbing local communities or wildlife and not purchasing items made from endangered animals or plants. When selecting accommodation, we give preference to hotels, lodges and cruise vessels which have a verifiable commitment to eco-friendly practices.
This family vacation, which we admit was inspired by the Paddington Bear movie, aims at increasing awareness across the generations of the precariousness of the habitat of much of the country’s wildlife, as a result of shrinking habitats, hunting and creeping urbanisation.
In the north of Peru, you will travel to Chaparri Reserve, a conservation area in the cloud forest not far from Chiclayo. Under the protection of the local community, this habitat is regenerating naturally, allowing threatened species to recover. At the lodge you have an opportunity to see spectacled bears in their enclosure, being prepared to return to their home in the wild, but also rehabilitated foxes, deer and condors. If you’d like to contribute to their work, you can adopt one of the bears; the Spectacled Bear Rescue and Rehabilitation programme at Chaparri currently has seven bears. It costs US$120 per month to care for each bear (this includes: food, veterinary care, maintenance of facilities and salary of the local community staff who look after the bears). You can adopt an Andean Bear at Chaparri for just US$50 per year and contribute to its care and possible future release into the wild.
At the Inkaterra hotel at Machu Picchu your family will have the exclusive opportunity of an optional visit to the spectacled bear sanctuary at the hotel. Here, rescued bears – one of which wandered on to the property - are recuperating before heading back into the wild. You pay a fee of $10 which is allocated to the care of the bears. Inkaterra, which also operates a jungle lodge in the Peruvian Amazon, has as its stated aims: “conserving the environment, preserving the native cultures, developing sustainable tourism in Peru.” In 2015 the company was shortlisted for the Pure Award for Conservation and Sustainability.
In Peru, we have worked with the same local suppliers for many years. They are keenly aware of our priorities and seek out accommodation and services which conform to our high standards with regard to environmental protection.
You start your family vacation by familiarising yourselves with daily life in Lima, where you'll be taken on a half-day guided tour of Lima's markets and street life. This excursion will give you a real feel for how daily life is managed in the huge city’s different communities. Instead of being insulated in a tour operator's vehicle you get around by taxi and local bus: Lima's crowded, chaotic transport system is an experience in itself!
In Cusco, you will visit the Chocolate Museum where you learn all about chocolate, cocoa being a major export product of Peru, where the beans come from and how they are processed to make fine chocolate. Here, you'll be able to have a go yourselves at making your own chocolate, embellished with nuts and coffee beans.
In the countryside around Cusco you have a guided adventure which will give you an insight into life in a traditional weaving community. Visit the Andean community of Huilloc and enter homes where you will observe the different traditional processes and techniques used in textile weaving. The culture and way of life here have changed little since Inca times. You can contribute to the thriving of these cottage industries by purchasing some of their intricate textiles.