This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Responsible tourism: Andean tailor made holiday, Buenos Aires to the Atacama desert
During this trip, we use local transport where possible to reduce our carbon footprint. Examples of this are taking the local bus on Day 5 to then take the train to Uyuni.
On Day 8, we visit Laguna Colorada, which has been declared a RAMSAR wetland site. This is an internationally important site for birdlife and the entrance fees that we include in our trip costs play an important role in the conservation of this site.
In the Atacama Desert, we explore by 4-wheel drive vehicle and are careful to stick to the designated tracks where they exist, so that we do not upset the fragile ecosystem that exists here. Our travellers are fully briefed on how to behave in this unique environment so as not to degrade it for future visitors.
To ensure that our groups have minimal impact upon the environment we work with our local team to ensure that all guides and drivers receive extensive training on sustainability policies, from not dropping litter (which unfortunately is commonplace here) to ensuring that natural habitats are respected when trekking or exploring the countryside. We also work with hotels and accommodation providers to offer guidelines on how best to have a low impact upon the environment, from water and electricity conservation to responsible methods of waste disposal.
In our UK office we recycle extensively, from paper and envelopes to ink cartridges, plastic bottles and food packaging, with dedicated recycling bins. We minimise our use of electricity by turning off appliances and using energy efficient lightbulbs, and our toilets use reduced water cisterns to minimise our use of water
We only ever use local tour leaders and guides on our trips; not only does this mean that travellers get local insights that they might not get from a westerner, but it means that the communities we travel through benefit directly from the presence of tourism. When visiting smaller villages, we encourage our travellers to purchase local products from handicraft markets, for small-scale vendors to gain income from tourism.
This doesn't mean one guide from start to finish, but guides from the various places visited on the itinerary, ensuring that it really does filter down to that micro-level.
In all of our pre-departure notes we include extensive information about how to travel sensitively and travellers are given guidelines on local culture and customs.
We encourage our travellers to stop at small villages along the way to gain further insights into local culture. These are carefully selected to ensure that our presence is welcome, rather than obtrusive, and we discuss with local elders how best to show our appreciation in terms of appropriate donations.