Responsible tourism: Peru holiday, luxury small group
On our tour: During your "Gran Peru" Tour, you will visit several national parks, such as the Machu Picchu, Ollanytambo or the ruins of Pisac. A proceed of the entrance tickets will be used for conservational and preservation of this unique and fragile destinations. The hotels you will be staying at during the trip are all small and independently run, employing people from the regional or local community.
We will be travelling in small groups (aver. 12 people), which means having a rather minimal impact on the environment. We work closely together with our local operator who employs local group leaders, drivers and local site guides throughout all the services, who all know their areas well and can help educate guests on the environmental do's and don't of the areas they are travelling through. Experiencing the sights with somebody who has grown up in that particular region can result in a really special experience and itís a great way to learn more about the conservation efforts in the region as well as how to get involved.
Recently we have also started to work with ECOAN (Andean Ecosystems Association). The projects at ECOAN are unique in that they conserve not only endangered species and natural environments, a fair feat in itself, but also invest heavily in the preservation of high Andean cultures. All over the world the migration of traditional and sustainable cultures to the big cities in search for paid work has stripped them of their values and destroyed their eco-friendly way of living. To combat this, ECOAN is quite simply, planting trees. We will donate some proceeds you paid for the tour to ECOAN. Due to the donation, they have planted over one million tress in the Vilcanota Mountain Range to date.
In our offices: We really work hard to keep all our operations green! All our worldwide offices currently run on 90% green energy (we are working towards 100%) from hydro electric, wind to solar power. Being web based, we are close to becoming a paperless environment, brochure prints are at a minimum (and printed on a requirement basis) and all pre departure information is emailed. In our pre departure information pack, and throughout the orientation on site, we help you to minimise your carbon footprint on your tour, and help protect the diverse environments which we visit on this tour. This information includes simple advice on waste disposal and the offset of carbon emissions through our carbon offsetting program created for your journey with our company. We use energy saving bulbs in our work centres, and recycle all our waste. Our internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.
All our trips to Peru source as much as possible from the local community. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local produce is available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.
On our Gran Peru trip you will visit the famous markets of Pisac in the Sacred Valley. Here you will be able to purchase local crafts and textiles which will benefit to support their life in the Andes. People from this area live in remote communities and come to the market sell their handmade product to earn money to buy groceries and support their families. Later that day, you are able to have lunch at a local restaurant in the area before you continue our way to Ollantaytambo. You will have a guided tour through Machu Picchu with one of our local guides. All operations for this tour are done by locally owned companies, a fact we pride ourselves on. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. We source them due to their unique contact with the local communities we visit, as well as their knowledge of the lakes, fauna and flora you will pass on route. This will give you an insight into the history of this fascinating region.
At the end of the trip, you will be able to get to know the locals of the floating islands of Uros who continue to practice their traditional way of life. You will be able to visit their local markets and buy their craft. The money they earn from selling their local craft, will directly benefit their way of life. We can also assist you if you wish to visit community projects in order to get a lot more out of your trip. Most importantly a percentage of the funds generated from your tour to Peru (10%) will go back to our MAD charity and assist us in supporting the next generation and the environment they live in.
We currently work with 3 different charities, giving us a broad spectrum and diversifying where our funds go. So a percentage of the funds we will generate from our this tour will go directly to our Project of Peru. Project of Peru is a small, lively, totally voluntary charity offering food, clothes, shelter, education, health and fun to those who live in the childrenís refuge in the desert shanty towns of Lima. We also work together with ANIA in Peru which is a high profile Peruvian NGO which works with children and helps to teach them about their local environment and how to manage it effectively. We help these charities by fundraising treks, through donations as a company and through our clients.