Peru & the Galapagos vacations, tailor made

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Peru & the Galapagos vacations, tailor made

Environment

During this trip, we spend a couple of days in the Amazon jungle. Our accommodation when staying in the park is in a remote jungle lodge - the Tambopata Ecolodge. The buildings and cabins of this ecolodge have been built from wood and thatched woven leaves. There is no electricity at present - lamps and candles are used at night, but some buildings run on solar energy for lighting. Water in each room comes from the Gallocunca stream found towards the rear of the lodge, which is then chlorinated for bathing purposes.

When visiting the Galapagos islands, we embark on a 5 day cruise around the islands. This area is of huge biological importance, so we ensure that our travelers are aware of the potential impact we could have on the area and wildlife found there. Our travelers are given full briefings by our local guides as to how best to minimise their impact upon the environment, including disposing of litter properly, not to unduly disturb the wildlife and to not damage plants.

To ensure that our groups have minimal impact upon the environment we work with our local team to ensure that all guides and drivers receive extensive training on sustainability policies, from not dropping litter to ensuring that natural habitats are respected when trekking or exploring the countryside. We also work with hotels and accommodation providers to offer guidelines on how best to have a low impact upon the environment, from water and electricity conservation to responsible methods of waste disposal.

In our UK office we recycle extensively, from paper and envelopes to ink cartridges, plastic bottles and food packaging, with dedicated recycling bins. We minimise our use of electricity by turning off appliances and using energy efficient lightbulbs, and our toilets use reduced water cisterns to minimise our use of water

Community

We only ever use local tour leaders and guides on our trips; not only does this mean that travelers get local insights that they might not get from a westerner, but it means that the communities we travel through benefit directly from the presence of tourism. When visiting smaller villages, we encourage our travelers to purchase local products from handicraft markets, for small-scale vendors to gain income from tourism.

This doesn't mean one guide from start to finish, but guides from the various places visited on the itinerary, ensuring that it really does filter down to that micro-level.

We tend to avoid including meals on our itineraries, and encourage people to get out of the hotels and spread their spending among local businesses, again meaning that the benefits are spread a bit more equitably.

We visit a number of historic sites on this itinerary, and the entrance fees that we pay here place a vital role in ensuring that their heritage is maintained for generations to come.

We make an effort to stop at small villages along the way to gain further insights into local culture. These are carefully selected to ensure that our presence is welcome, rather than obtrusive, and we discuss with local elders how best to show our appreciation in terms of appropriate donations.

All travelers are issued with detailed guidelines about how to travel responsibly, and are given notes on local culture and customs, so that they are aware of appropriate behaviour throughout their time in Peru and the Galapagos.

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