Atacama Desert tour, private departure

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Atacama Desert tour, private departure

Environment

We are strategic in considering every aspect of this itinerary in order to create the most eco-friendly, but still authentic, tour we can offer. For instance, the Terrantai lodge (meaning people of the earth), was built using materials taken from the earth and the surrounding desert. The architecture uses techniques developed thousands of years ago. The walls of the lodge consist of individually selected stones placed with care and adobe prepared under the hot sun.

We only use local guides who have a thorough knowledge of the area and environment we travel through. Both our guides and our travelers are all versed in and practice “Leave No Trace” principles (taking all litter with them) and ensuring that fragile land is not interfered with.

Conservation practices in our own office are just as important to our operation as preservation efforts during our tours. Cycling, walking, and car pooling to work are promoted so much that we have once again been named winner of our city-wide commuter challenge! Our small city only offers recycling of a few items such as aluminum cans. However, we pay for private recycling services to collect all of our paper waste, plastic, cardboard, and cans. Our office paper is made from 100% post-consumer material, and our customized brochures use soy ink, which is an earth friendly alternative. We make sincere efforts to reduce our impact on the environment here at home just as we do in our destination countries.

Community

Throughout this trip, you are accommodated by local, naturalist guides. Our escorted trips use local guides and support staff exclusively. Guides’ training and background varies throughout our tours. But one thing remains consistent: their enthusiasm, professionalism, friendliness and knowledge of the regions. Many of the local guides we use hold degrees in their region's history, biology, archaeology or a related field. Certification programs are required; many also participate in an apprenticeship before they are allowed to lead tours on their own. All guides are thoroughly researched and hand-picked by our staff or a trusted affiliate.

We base our hotel selection on the following criteria: being locally owned and operated, built in a sustainable manner, having a desirable location, safety, cleanliness, and ranging in size from 12-20 rooms where possible. This helps to ensure small group size, which in turn helps minimize local impact. Lodges that use innovative practices to improve upon their sustainability and mitigate any environmental impacts are given special preference.

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