Galapagos & Ecuador tailor made holiday

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

Responsible tourism: Galapagos & Ecuador tailor made holiday

Environment

Travel and tourism can both benefit and damage the environment, the economy, the social structure, culture and communities in any country. We know how mass tourism, unrestricted hotel building, poorly devised tours and environmentally destructive activities can bring money flooding in and governments have, in a spirit of short termism, been tempted to accept them. But experience teaches us that in the long term this sort of uncontrolled activity can be detrimental to the country's development.

As a company we love Latin America and strive to protect the rural and urban landscapes which we take you to visit. We work with local operators which have a proven record in training guides to set a good example in their respect for their surroundings and pass on advice and encouragement to visitors on how to preserve the fragile environment in simple ways, such as by refilling a water bottle, disposing of rubbish responsibly, not disturbing local communities or wildlife and not purchasing items made from endangered animals or plants. When selecting accommodation, we give preference to hotels, lodges and cruise vessels which have a verifiable commitment to eco-friendly practices.

Your accommodation in the Galápagos Islands is at Finch Bay Hotel, where you will be impressed by their commitment to sustainability. It makes sense that in an environment as ecologically fragile as the Galápagos, you minimise the impact of your visit as much as possible. Rather than sending you on a cruise, this holiday focuses on land-based activities, an aspect of the holiday which means your carbon footprint will be lower. The hotel itself has won awards for its environmentally friendly policies and in 2016 it was chosen as the World’s Leading Green Hotel at the World Travel Awards. Water-saving initiatives include collecting rainwater for purification and use; watering the gardens at the coolest times of day, monitoring their water system to avoid leaks; and it is the only hotel in Puerto Ayora with its own water treatment plant. Guests are encouraged to help with energy-saving efforts by switching off lights when they are not needed and setting your air-conditioning to a warmer temperature. You can also take part in the public beach-cleaning initiative which occurs every day.

Included in this holiday is the entrance fee for you to enter the Galápagos Islands National Park: by paying this fee you will be directly contributing to the conservation, protections and maintenance of the islands.

In Otavalo you will be staying at Hacienda Pinsaqui; built in 1790, it is one of the oldest haciendas in Ecuador. This historic building has a deep connection to South America’s past: Simon Bolívar himself would stay here when he journeyed from Bogotá to other parts of the continent in his quest for independence. Though much of the buildings were destroyed in an earthquake in 1867, many original features do remain and the sense of history you get from staying here is palpable, and provides you with an understanding of the region’s cultural heritage.

Community

We pride ourselves on delivering our clients truly authentic and unforgettable experiences in Latin America and immersing them in the culture of the places they visit. In Otavalo you will have the opportunity to visit the famous market which brings people from all over the surrounding area to the town to sell their goods. This is a weekly cultural event which epitomises the Otavaleños’ entrepreneurial and enterprising spirit: here you will be able to support their lifestyle by purchasing their hand-crafted products and engaging in the ‘market’ way of life.

This holiday also gives you the opportunity to book some activities locally. In the Galápagos you will have three days at leisure where there are plenty of excursions on offer: whether you choose to visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre where you can learn about the conservation efforts being undertaken to protect the giant tortoise, or partake in low-carbon activities such as kayaking, snorkelling or hiking, by choosing to enhance your holiday with these experiences, provided by reputable local operators selected by our trusted partners, you can help support the local economy in the Galápagos.

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