Incas and Intrigue Peru tour
Description of Incas and Intrigue Peru tour
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If they could, people would probably come in their millions to Peru to admire the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, situated at 2,430m in the Per...
The name 'Peru' conjures up images of jagged mountain peaks circled by rare condors, the mysterious Nazca lines, sacred Lake Titicaca and its Aymara-i...
Small group tours:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modeled 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. Those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
Planet and peopleAccommodation and Meals:
We will spend most nights in hotels and a night in a Hmong Hilltribe lodge, which have been awarded the best community award for 2 years due to its efforts to preserve the hilltribe culture through their architecture and interior design and also ensuring that they employ locals. We also try to choose hotels that demonstrates environmental, social or cultural achievements. For example, one of the hotels used was certified by EarthCheck, the world’s leading sustainable environmental benchmarking and certification, clearly proving their environmental and social efforts.
This trip is predominantly focused on food hence, there are plenty of opportunities for clients to try local delicacies in both locally owned restaurants and street food vendors. There will be several visits to local markets such as the floating market and the Kanchanaburi market where clients can sample authentic thai desserts and snacks. In Ayutthaya, we will stop by a street food stall for roti sai mai demonstrations, a thin pancake wrapped around delicious, fine strands of thin-spun cotton candy. Clients are also encouraged to try Kaho Soi, a yellow wheat noodle dish in curry broth, a northern Thai signature dish.
We also have several cooking classes and meals in Kanchanburi, Bangkok and in a local village home, Mae On, where the group will do authentic Northern Thai cooking and prepare a Khantoke dinner. Through this cooking class, we benefit the local farms and plantations around it as the group will visit and buy ingredients needed for the cooking class, thereby creating employment opportunities in the village.
Local Craft & Culture:
We are dedicated to supporting local communities and the continuation of the craftmanship and traditional ways of life that make Thailand’s culture so rich and exciting. For example, we visit a local Hmong village where locals from nearby hill tribe villages are employed to perform traditional songs and dance. This provides these communities with an avenue to share their long and proud history of culture with younger members of the community and outsiders whilst stabilising income generation. Here travelers can also see demonstrations of how crafts have been handmade for centuries and have the opportunity to purchase gifts and clothing. Our local guides will be able to advise clients on what they can buy and what should be avoided as it is illegal to buy any goods made from elephant bone or food from endangered species such as shark fin.
We also visit the historic city of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO world heritage site founded in 1350, which was said to be one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan areas during that time. We get to appreciate the archaelogical ruin and immerse ourselves in the rich history and culture of the once prosperous kingdom.
On this trip, we visit the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai to help provide some awareness of work being done with Asian elephants in Thailand. The park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center in Northern Thailand where you can volunteer and visit to help. We have been involved in dozens of rescues which have allowed a herd of elephants to thrive. The park provides a natural environment for elephants, dogs, cats, buffaloes and many other animals under their care and engages with local communities, educating them on animal welfare. Purchasing souvenirs here, making a donation or by merely learning about this issue, our business is very beneficial for these gentle giants.
A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help clients understand how they can help reduce their impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from our visit.
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
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