Cordillera Vilcanota trekking holiday in Peru

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
12 May 2017
£ 3139
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 May 2017 departure
16 Jun 2017
£ 3199
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 16 Jun 2017 departure
08 Sep 2017
£ 3139
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Sep 2017 departure
06 Oct 2017
£ 3139
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 06 Oct 2017 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

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, travelling 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 holiday, 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 travellers’ 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 holiday 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?
Travellers 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 holiday.

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

Less confident travellers
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 travellers 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 travellers!”
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.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cordillera Vilcanota trekking holiday in Peru

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our tour leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We believe in leaving no more than footprints. Our local partner contracts local tour leaders, guides, porters, cooks and drivers. This tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants and to purchase traditional crafts. Our entry fees also go towards maintenance of these significant cultural sites, therefore leaving a positive impact.

Accommodation and meals:
The four nights during the trek are spent in mountain eco-lodges. In exchange for allowing the lodges to be built on their land, the local Andean communities are shareholders, owning 20% of the project. The Chillca and Osefina communities also receive a fee for every trekker who travels there. The staff employed at the lodges are local villagers who have received skills courses and training in order to work as kitchen staff, house-keeping, maintenance and security personnel. The lodges practice sustainable development with the aim of preserving the local culture, rituals and customs of the native Chillca and Osefina communities. Meals on trek are freshly prepared by indigenous chefs using locally sourced produce.
For the remaining six nights of the tour we stay in small, locally owned hotels. All of our hotel managers have signed a sustainability contract which ensures they employ locals and endeavour to reduce waste. Where meals are not included, clients are encouraged to eat at authentic restaurants or to try snacks at local markets e.g. San Pedro market in Cuzco.

Local Craft & Culture:
A cultural interchange has developed between the eco-lodges and the Osefina and Chillca Andean communities, who participate in the visitor experience - sharing their knowledge, beliefs, ways of life and selling their traditional handicrafts. The villagers also greet trekkers on arrival to the first eco-lodge and give a warm welcome with a musical performance. There is also opportunity in the Sacred Valley and Cuzco to buy handicrafts. Our local guides are able to advise clients on which products to buy and which to avoid- for example, walking sticks made of wood are one to avoid as they are potentially a product of deforestation, and any pre-Inca or Inca relics are prohibited for sale.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with walking trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Treated drinking water is available in the moumtain eco-lodges so that clients can refill a single bottle.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

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