If youíre looking for adventure, an opportunity to travel with like-minded travellers and to get off the beaten track then this type of trip is for you! We will sometimes be covering long distances over a period of a few days but will then most often be camped up for a few days with opportunities for adventure activities, visiting local communities, time in a town or city to chill out or wildlife viewing experiences. The roads are sometimes bumpy and you need to expect the unexpected! This type of travel is through regions where things can change and experiences are more important than luxury Ė borders sometimes close and there may not always be hot water in the showers! You will generally be camping out under the stars, sometimes out in the bush, but generally more on campsites. (Our South America and Central Asia trips also use small locally-run hostels and guest houses). The trips are fully participative so you will be involved shopping for food in local markets, cooking for your group (on a rota system), collecting water and setting up camp. If youíre not confident about doing any of these things beforehand, donít worry our crew are there to help you and youíll be good at it by the time you finish!
You will be travelling on one of our own purpose built overlanding vehicles with up to 24 travellers, many of whom will be travelling on their own. It is a great way for solo travellers to travel. We have lost count of the number of travellers who have met their future spouse on one of our trips! Our vehicles are fully equipped with tents and cooking equipment and are designed for great all-round viewing and a sociable seating plan. You will be accompanied on your trip by a Driver and Tour Leader and, depending on your trip, we often use local guides at sites of specific interest for more detailed information.
This type of travel will provide you with a plethora of memories and stories to tell, new-found travelling companions and friends and a well-exercised spirit of adventure!
Responsible tourism: Peru & Ecuador family holiday, Lima to Quito
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.
Your Galapagos visit will also be supported by specialist guides who help you get the most out of this unique wildlife viewing opportunity, in a way that will have minimal impact on the wildlife and it's habitat.
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!