Chile 13 day tour, Atacama, Lakes & Patagonia

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Chile 13 day tour, Atacama, Lakes & Patagonia

Environment

The company that organises this vacation is a multi-award-winning responsible travel company. They try to ensure that nothing they do at home (in UK) or abroad compromises the environment or wildlife or exploits people. They believe in ensuring that travelers are well-informed, as an informed traveler tend to be a more respectful and sensitive traveler. They also believe in giving back to the country, people wildlife and environments which are affected by tourism.

Our service supplier on the ground in Chile follows a strong corporate responsibility policy based around simple principles of providing responsible travel to their partners, to enhance local economies, respect the environment, value local traditions and customs and to at all times be respectful travelers. They follow The World Ethical Code for Tourism is the fundamental reference framework for responsible and sustainable tourism. This code is an all-encompassing set of principles designed to guide the main players in tourism development. Aimed at governments, tourism companies, communities and tourists alike, its objective is to help maximize the benefits of the sector, while minimizing its possible negative consequences for the environment, cultural heritage and societies around the world.

The lodge has been built as a sustainable property with innovative architecture which blends naturally into the landscape. The now revitalized pampa has benefitted from their conservation efforts and focus on minimizing their footprint, from the daily operation within the hotel, to excursions across the National Park. The company uses LED lighting and controls its thermal efficiency to reduce the cost of energy. They are also evaluating future renewable energy projects and plan to incorporate a kitchen-garden to help stock our kitchen. Additionally, in association with the Chilean Tourist Board and Forestry Association, the company actively supports an ambitious reforestation project which aims to plant one million trees across Chilean Patagonia’s national parks. During the construction of the lodge, to manage any environmental impact, landscape artists Catalina Phillips and Gerardo Ariztía, removed all the on-site vegetation, temporarily nurturing it in a greenhouse before replanting it around the hotel once the building work was complete. Today you can see the success of this work with visits from Guanacos, nandus, native birds and foxes, who make their homes here. For the guests, they also created a pathway that leads to the banks of the surrounding lake, so they can enjoy the beauty of Lake Sarmiento with its ancient limestone thrombolites without harming any vegetation along the way.

At their sister property, they are celebrating 10 years of sustainable initiatives. The sun offers its natural energy and water is highly valued. The property reuses it to irrigate our gardens, which themselves have been planted in recovered terrain. This property is the first hotel in South America to produce solar-powered electricity, with a hybrid system that meets the hotel´s daily energy demand. Thanks to a high-tech energy management system. Due to our solar plant, they now save 110,000 litres of diesel annually.

Every day, 100 percent of the water at the second property is extracted from their own well, to avoid tapping into the townspeople´s supply. The water is then treated onsite enabling them to provide their own water in the hotel. On top of this, they reuse the grey water for irrigation.

The tour operator is a multi-award-winning responsible travel company. Every person that travels with this company automatically has their flights carbon offset. This is done through The Travel Forest. The Travel Forest plants indigenous trees to offset the carbon emissions produced when you fly on vacation. Whilst this is the primary motivation for planting the trees, the project also works as a poverty alleviation scheme and aims to combat environmental degradation

The UK head office has a good policy of recycling, reducing and re-using (electricity, paper, plastic etc). They also buy only fair-trade goods such as tea, coffee, and use biodegradable detergents etc. They also make a point of buying only top eco-rated equipment (e.g. monitors).

Community

The second property is part of the dual education system at Likan Antai, a technical school where the company has taken on more than 40 young people as apprentices, under the guidance of experts in the fields of tourism, electricity and agriculture. They’ve also given graduates from this school employment within the organisation, thus supporting the local community in multiple ways.

Hotel AWA has a deep conviction that it is the role of the whole society to take charge and support institutions and foundations whose purpose is the same. Human, social and cultural development. For this reason, they have decided to support several foundations, including Conservatory of Music and Fine Arts of the South (COMBAS), a non-profit organization that promotes artistic and musical development in the district of Puerto Varas. They also support the Living & Happy Foundation which was set up to improve the quality of life of children who fight against cancer, The Foundation for Trust which fights against child sexual abuse, the Legacy Chile Foundation - Llanquihue Wetlands Project whose mission is to recover and conserve the ecosystems that border the city of Llanquihue and the Foundation for Overcoming Poverty to promote greater degrees of equity and social integration in the country that ensure the sustainable human development of the people who today live in a situation of poverty and social exclusion.

Hotel Cabana del Lago was the first 4-star hotel in Puerto Varas to obtain a "sustainable tourism distinction" in Chile from the start of its operation. They are a community hotel that prides itself on employing local people and using local sustainably produced produce thereby favouring the growth and economic well-being of the community in which they operate. The prioritize supplies from local producers and support sustainable suppliers, giving them preference over others, and they work with the city to help maintain it as a tourist destination and to preserve its historical and cultural heritage.

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