Peru tour, Andes to Amazon

“This six day small group trip is an adventure by road and boat, from the Andes to the Amazon rainforest, to discover Peru’s unique flora and fauna.”

Highlights

Cusco | cloud forest | Cock-of-the-Rock clay lick | Andean foothills | Manu Wildlife Centre | bilingual naturalist guide | macaw clay lick | spot giant otters | hiking | canopy viewing from canopy towers | boat to Colorado Village | wildlife watching | Puerto Carlos | Puerto Maldonado

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type
Small group vacations
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travelers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Peru tour, Andes to Amazon

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

At the company location in the UK there are fifteen staff members. Of these, four work from home (no commuting), one who cycles twenty miles a day to & from work, and another cycles ten miles a day (in summer). The new office that was recently built is very energy efficient. It is well-insulated, the roof is shaded by trees which helps with the building not overheating during the summer months and therefore air-conditioning is not a daily requirement, and it has lots of natural light to reduce electric light usage whenever possible.

The company is located on a former farm and the directors grow fruit and vegetables which are shared with the team (apples, pears, blackcurrants, broad beans, lettuce, mint, courgettes, squashes etc!), so we keep our own footprint low. In addition, there are other members of staff that have home grown products that are available to their team members. As a company, we look to buy energy-efficient computers, and believe in recycling, so the latest computers bought have been both energy efficient and re-conditioned.

As part of our commitment to the environment we have a programme to plant trees in Tanzania, Malawi, Peru etc. through the company’s foundation. This was set up to help alleviate poverty, conserve endangered wildlife, and protect earth’s environmental diversity for the benefit of us all. All the projects have a link with tourism in some way, and many benefit the wider world as well as local people, through conserving areas of natural beauty. We don’t just look overseas when considering the environment, even at the office the team planted tress in the fields surrounding the buildings to celebrate the company’s 21st birthday in 2019.

As a company we think about our partners overseas carefully. Whereas it is not always possible for them, due to their locations in remote areas, the company ethos is to use properties around the globe that have a similar ethical stance to ourselves. If they can use local suppliers for their provisions, be it food or furnishings then they do, and all offer a variety of menus including vegetarian and vegan/plant-based options. Our partners support the use of solar/renewable energies, and many are looking at ways of switching their current supplies to more eco-friendly options in order to be more efficient. The use of solar, water and air are options in use or being explored, as well as grey water run offs. Energy efficient appliances and practices, card operated in room lighting, low energy bulbs, and a change in laundry practices, are all in operation, and show just a few of the initiatives used. Our partners also use local staff within their properties. Many live on-site in seasonal properties for example reducing the travel emissions of the company, many come from the local villages and communities surrounding the properties. This includes everyone from house keeping to management and the guides that are from the locale.

Due to the nature of the vacations provided by the company, it is impossible to eliminate all flights but where possible we use the minimum flight hours an itinerary can operate with. The packages we have on offer include rail portions in some areas, which keep emissions low, many walking options and shared transportation.

Environment

Cock of the Rock Lodge is owned by the Peru Verde Conservation Group, a non-profit non-government organization involved in rainforest conservation projects.

Manu Wildlife Centre is part owned by a non-profit group and private enterprises. The lodge relies heavily on workers from the local Machiguenga communities and provides jobs and training that help better the standard of living in the local villages. They are offered choice and opportunity that, prior to tourist, did not exist.

We were voted most responsible tour operator by UK NGO Tourism Concern. On average 75% of the cost of your trip with us - excluding flights - remains in the destination.

Group sizes are kept to a maximum of about 12 (less on some trips) to minimise our impact on the local people, the wildlife and the environment. Small groups tend to have much better dynamics, and allow you to get closer to the people, wildlife and places you are visiting. We promote a respect for local communities and their environment. Our guides will help you to understand and respect the areas and people you are visiting, which will help you to feel more comfortable and enjoy your experiences all the more. We try to ensure that the local people are happy to receive tourists in their home region, and are informed of the possible impact.

For every person that travels with the company, it plants trees through The Travel Forest initiative. Depending on where they plant and the requirement of the specific area, they plant either indigenous trees or a mix of indigenous and non-native species. Planting non-native seedlings may seem counter-intuitive but doing this can often help any remaining indigenous forest from being cut down (e.g. for fuel) as some non-native trees grow much more quickly than indigenous types. They particularly aim to save ancient or older indigenous forest, through offering an alternative option for fuel requirements of local communities. In addition to this benefit, their Travel Forest initiative helps with such things as planting for water-course retention, soil erosion, shade and even food – all depending on what is planted and where. They have planted almost 100,000 trees to date in various degraded locations including the Andean mountains in Peru, northern Tanzania and Malawi. This has always been done in conjunction with the local communities who plant and then tend the seedlings. Trees are far more important to the health of this planet (and us) than many people imagine. This global Travel Forest initiative can and does make a big difference.

In the office, we use environmentally friendly paper for the brochure and promotional/administrative materials. The folders are hand-made in Nepal from an environmentally responsible alternative to paper. Our ‘brochure’ format of a folder and inserts means that you only get the information you are interested in and therefore there is less paper wastage. A general recycling regime is adhered to, and energy consumption is kept as low as possible.

1 Reviews of Peru tour, Andes to Amazon

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 01 Jul 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


On the Andes to Amazon I believe it was the Manu Wildlife Center. It was a charming facility with nice staff. Of course, the wildlife that we were fortunate enough to see was fabulous. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable.

Unfortunately during our time in Peru I picked up a nasty bacteria & viral infection. I was admitted into the hospital for 3 days / 2 nights which was during a portion of our arranged trip. We were not able to drive from Cusco through the cloud forest, visit an indigenous village or spend 6 hours on a boat but Inka Natura was extremely accommodating in changing the trip so that we flew from Cusco to Manu.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


I felt the information provided by the tour operator and the briefing by the local operator, Inka Natura, was quite comprehensive so I can't think of any additional tips.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I believe it minimized the impact on the environment. I would have loved more interaction with the local population, however, with the reduction in trip it was difficult.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Paul was excellent at getting back to me quickly. He had a friendly email demeanour and I was happy with the service I received. Overall the vacation was magnificent. We hiked the Inca Trail (with a private group) and it was certainly the highlight of our 16 days in Peru.

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