As a global operator, we take our role in the tourism industry very seriously. We recognise the impact that tourism has on local communities and the environment, and we plan and operate all our tours with this front of our minds. We believe that every tour operator must be responsible in the way they conduct their business, to ensure the welfare of all people and the conservation of the environment.
We are committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way we provide our travellers with real life experiences. These values are more than just words on a page; they are ingrained in our culture and the daily operations of every office and every trip. In addition, we expect our staff and travellers to demonstrate the principles of responsible travel - respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development.
We believe that responsible travel is about the attitude you take with you and the choices you make when travelling - to respect and benefit local people, their cultures, economy and the environment.
This trip gives you plenty of opportunities to get to know the culture and vibrant history of Latin America. There are numerous chances for local interaction as we cover so much ground using all means of public transport. Youíll be surprised how much you can learn from a friendly local who strikes up a conversation during your journey.
Your leader and the occasional local guide will be able to direct you to many local eateries throughout the trip, helping you discover real local fare at real local prices. All travellers are encouraged to explore with the group and on their own, learn a few words of the language and interact with the locals as much as possible.
Local guides are employed to help explain as much as possible about the cultural differences and the historically significant places that we visit. This also allows us to appreciate the importance of preserving and respecting these sites and to help us minimise the impact of our visits.
There are plenty of opportunities to support local merchants in the markets and stalls that we pass along the way. We can purchase traditional handicrafts from local artisans and learn more about the importance of preserving these crafts.
As company our responsibilities donít stop when our tours end. Our own in house foundation has been in operation for over 10 years; a not-for-profit fund that has distributed over AU$3 million to more than 70 non-government organisations since 2002, from health care, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development and in environmental and wildlife protection. Donations come from our travellers and are then matched by us dollar for dollar.
A project supported in Brazil is the Roupa Suja Project (UMPMRS) which aims to improve the lives of the families living in the Favela in the Roupa Suja neighbourhood through education.
We are proud to be a carbon neutral company. We offset all our global carbon emissions and offer a carbon offset option to passengers booking their flights through us. Through these schemes, significant financial contributions are being made on behalf of our business, suppliers, staff and travellers to internationally certified carbon abatement projects, equating to over AU$1 million since 2007. Since then, we have offset over 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. That's equal to approximately the amount of carbon that 2,796,047 trees would absorb over 10 years, or taking over 4,753 passenger cars off the road for an entire year!
We invest in internationally accredited offset projects that are based in our biggest destinations. These projects not only offset our emissions but they also improve the environment of the local communities by providing an alternative to fossil fuels and therefore produce less pollution.
Our current project is the Alize «amseki wind farm in Turkey. The wind turbines produce approximately 82,000 MWh of electricity annually and in doing so prevents 52,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere each year.
Whistle-stop tour across South America's highlights
From £5299 32 days excluding flights