Peru and Galapagos Islands luxury vacation

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Peru and Galapagos Islands luxury vacation

Environment

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 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.

A luxury vacation doesn’t mean an irresponsible vacation. Indeed, you travel in a way which has a low impact on the environment, it’s usually just you and your guide in a small vehicle, you don’t descend on a site en masse. Top-end accommodation too frequently demonstrates environmental and social responsibility; it has the financial resources to adopt eco-friendly practices and support local community campaigns.

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.

Hotel B in Lima is a stately, luxurious member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux portfolio. But it has been created from a sensitive refurbishment of a belle époque pavilion in the heart of the Barranco district, a protected historic area on the Pacific coast. Its renovation was planned with a view to preserving and showcasing its rich architectural heritage. Hotel B draws its inspiration from the Bohemian atmosphere of the surrounding district and exhibits works by contemporary Peruvian artists.

Inkaterra hotel at Machu Picchu – Inkaterra 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. As guests, you 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.

Your first class boutique hotel in Cusco, a restored and refurbished colonial mansion, is also owned by Inkaterra. For over 30 years, Inkaterra has pioneered and promoted sustainable tourism in Peru. As a result of its long history as a world leader in sustainable development, Inkaterra now receives support from the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group, the United Nations’ Global Environmental Facility, and the National Geographic Society.

Your ultra-luxurious hotel in Quito is another refurbished mansion, fitting in seamlessly to the Ecuadorian capital’s colonial core. Conscious of the community of which it is a part, the hotel is outfitted with sustainable features including solar panels to lower energy use for heating water and electronic room keys. Movement sensors have also been employed throughout the service areas of the building. The hotel separates its waste and participates in local recycling schemes. Since 2009, the hotel, in conjunction with its neighbour the Casa del Alabado museum, has paid for the daily cleaning of Plaza San Francisco and Calle Cuenca.

The Galápagos Islands emerged in the Pacific Ocean six million years ago following a spate of volcanic activity and, isolated from the continental mainland, have become home to unique plant and animal species. Giant tortoises, iguanas, penguins, frigate birds, waved albatross and blue-footed boobies and a wealth of rare flora all thrive there. Today, the Galápagos Islands are at risk due to a growing human population. Overuse of limited natural resources and the introduction of invasive alien species and disease add stress to an isolated island system already beginning to experience the effects of global climate change.

Your luxury cruise yacht, the Eclipse, is operated by Ocean Adventures. Your cruise is on a small craft, which means there is minimal impact on the environment. The following eco-friendly equipment practices are in place on the Eclipse: special filters in engines in order to reduce the need to change oil and lubricants; a sewage treatment plant; on-board desalination plant, special equipment for the adequate treatment of organic waste; separation of waste material and its correct disposal; biodegradable cleaning materials, guest shampoos and soaps; complimentary water bottles, with refill stations available throughout the vessel. The crew has been trained in environmentally responsible operating practices

Ocean Adventures is a partner of Sustainable Travel International, which “works with communities, companies, governments and organisations to create a better path forward — one that leads to clean beaches, protected parks, economic justice, cultural preservation and the engagement of millions of travelers who want to be part of the growing, global movement to make the world a better place through their choices of where and how they travel”.

Community

Hotel Sol y Luna in the Sacred Valley of the Incas is a traditionally designed mountain lodge with luxury stone cottages set within its flowery gardens. Its ochre colours blend in well with the magnificent scenery. The hotel is a proud member of the Pack for a Purpose initiative, which allows guests to make a lasting difference to the community at their travel destination. You are encouraged to leave space in your luggage to bring school or medical supplies for local children and families. The hotel supports a number of projects in the local communities of the Sacred valley, in the sphere of education, art and sport. One of its primary projects has been the establishment of the infrastructure for the school in the village of Palccaraqui. Others include a school for disadvantaged children, a home for children arriving in Urubamba from remote communities in search of education, a cultural centre and a course in hospitality. Sol y Luna sponsors the Colegio Intercultural Sol and Luna, a multicultural educational project for the children of the nearby town Urubamba, offering personalized education in a multicultural environment with children of different origins.

Your first class boutique hotel in Cusco, a restored and refurbished colonial mansion, is also owned by Inkaterra (see above). For over 30 years, Inkaterra has pioneered and promoted sustainable tourism in Peru. As a result of its long history as a world leader in sustainable development, Inkaterra now receives support from the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group, the United Nations’ Global Environmental Facility, and the National Geographic Society.

Since 2008, hotel Casa Gangotena in Quito has also been involved in several neighbourhood projects, such as the award-winning community initiative Heritage Guardians, which focuses on neighbourhood integration, the value of heritage and traditions, and 'routes' for visitors to meet locals and experience their lives and ways. These routes are today part of the "life-seeing" experiences that the hotel offers its guests in order to explore and get to know this fascinating historic neighbourhood.


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