Suppliers- On this trip we work with local suppliers that share our environmental values. Our local partner that runs our Inca Trail Trek for example, has a strong commitment to the local environment and to looking after their guides and porters. Many of the porters and guides have to travel in from outlying areas and as such the Company have built a house for them to stay in pre and post Inca Trail so they are not having to travel long distances before and after the trek.
The Amazon Jungle Lodge we stay at has a huge commitment to sustaining the local environment. Their guides are a mixture of biologists, tourism professionals and community members and the remoteness of the lodge means that it is a two and a half hour boat ride into the Lodge and the buffer zone of the 1.3 million hectare conservation site. Your visit will also include a visit to a local farm, where just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose-that you will learn about! Similarly, your guides will inform you of the medicinal uses of the wild flora too. During the evenings, the guides will also talk to you about the conservation projects and threats in the Reserve, if you're not out looking for caiman! Your guides will fully inform you of how to encounter the jungle, with minimal environmental impact.
Transport-travel during this trip will be a mixture of private transport and public buses and trains. We prefer to use public transport when possible to avoid the emissions of another vehicle on the road and to enable greater interaction with local people and a generally more authentic travel experience!
Our aim on this trip is to put as much of the trip costs directly back into the local Peruvian community and economy as possible. All the hotels and hostels we use are small, family-run three star establishments. The restaurants and cafes we use are all locally run Peruvian establishments. We do not use large international chains. Our trips are led by local Peruvian guides, generally by Ricardo, who has been working with us for a number of years.
One of the highlights of this trip is obviously trekking the Inca Trails to Machu Picchu. This trek offers opportunities of employment to large numbers of the local community. Porters, cooks and guides are required. However, much of this employment is poorly paid and working conditions are not good. The local company we use to organise our trails has a commitment to the welfare of their porters-providing them with a professional wage and health insurance.
Your Tour Leader will tell you the best places to buy local crafts-from alpaca socks to silver jewellery! They share our enthusiasm for supporting local artisans and skills! Our Tour Leader is a native Peruvian, so is ideally placed to help explain the local culture and teach you a bit of Spanish. There is also an opportunity to attend a local language school before your trip starts-the more you can communicate with local communities the more you will get out of your trip!