This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Tailor made holiday
This trip is run by a company which specialises in only Central and South America holidays. It can be tailormade to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. The length of stay, standard of accommodation and even the itinerary can all be amended and tailored to suit your preferred style of travel and budget. Quality and value are the hallmark of these trips.
Responsible tourism: Peru on a shoestring, tailor made
Travel and tourism can both benefit and damage the environment, the economy, the social structure, culture and communities in any country. We know how mass tourism, unrestricted hotel building, poorly devised tours and environmentally destructive activities can bring money flooding in and governments have, in a spirit of short termism, been tempted to accept them. But experience teaches us that in the long term this sort of uncontrolled activity can be detrimental to the country's development.
As a company we love Latin America and strive to protect the rural and urban landscapes which we take you to visit. We work with local operators which have a proven record in training guides to set a good example in their respect for their surroundings and pass on advice and encouragement to visitors on how to preserve the fragile environment in simple ways, such as by refilling a water bottle, disposing of rubbish responsibly, not disturbing local communities or wildlife and not purchasing items made from endangered animals or plants. When selecting accommodation, we give preference to hotels, lodges and cruise vessels which have a verifiable commitment to eco-friendly practices.
In Peru, we have worked with the same local suppliers for many years. They are keenly aware of our priorities and seek out accommodation and services which conform to our high standards with regard to environmental protection.
We encourage you to offset the carbon emissions generated by your travel, and the funds raised are funnelled into our chosen projects. Each of these has two aims: to reduce carbon emission and to help alleviate poverty. In the recent past we have contributed to the installation of solar panels in Panama and the planting of maya nut trees in Guatemala. Our current project, the Atitlán stove programme, supplies fuel-efficient stoves to communities around Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. By the end of 2014, 573 stoves had been delivered and installed in the homes of families around the shores of Lake Atitlán.
We like to practice what we preach and in our London office we are assiduous in our recycling, use low energy bulbs, print on both sides of the paper and even set our washing up machine on a short cycle! Many members of staff come to work by bike and we all offset the carbon emissions of our staff travel to Latin America. Two of our staff are active members of the Latin America Travel Association’s LATA Foundation which raises money to support social projects throughout the region.
We pride ourselves on delivering our clients truly authentic and unforgettable experiences in Latin America. This good value holiday takes you to the grass roots of Peruvian rural society in an attempt to open a dialogue between visitors and local working people and their families.
In this endeavour, we give you the opportunity to visit local markets. Filled with intricate hand-made tapestries, clothing and handicrafts, they demonstrate some of the great traditions of craftsmanship that has been handed down through generations. Here, Pisaq market in the Sacred Valley, and the stalls in Machu Picchu village are laden with locally manufactured items which make interesting gifts to take back home. Your money goes directly to members of the local community. On this tour you also visit the Uros reed islands on Lake Titicaca where you are invited to support the islanders by buying their artisan crafts. Here you will also be able to ride in a reed boat and appreciate the fishermen’s way of life.
We also take you on a boat trip to the remote island of Taquile where around 1,500 Quechua-speaking Indians continue to wear (and weave) their traditional hand-woven dress. The island is devoid of roads and vehicles. Visits to the island are closely monitored by the islanders who welcome tourists and the financial benefits they bring, but are careful to preserve their traditional way of life and are resistant to unplanned change. You continue by boat to the indigenous village of Luquina Chico on the Chucuito Peninsula. Here, a community-based tourism initiative has strict controls over visitor access. Your time here allows you to get to know some of the inhabitants and learn more about their way of life.
The hotel we stay at in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Casitas del Arco Iris was established by Dutchwoman Helena van Englelen. All proceeds are invested in the education, healthcare and training of deprived children and young people in the local area.
We also give you a glimpse of the underbelly of city life, beyond the veneer of prosperity which otherwise can be the only aspect perceived by visitors. In Cusco you stay at a modest hotel - also founded by a Dutchwoman, Jolanda van Del Berg who founded the Niños Unidos Peruanos Foundation. On a guided tour you visit the charity’s operations centre, where the provision of daily hot meals, warm showers, medical/dental care, homework and sports lessons for 500 extremely disadvantaged children in Cusco is funded and organised. There is no charge and no request for money; donations are accepted from anyone who wishes to contribute to the project's continuing success.