Responsible tourism: Lima to Rio overland truck tour
We are dedicated to minimising the effects our trips have on the environment, and are committed to trying to reduce, re-use and recycle as much as is possible, both out on the road and back in our offices in the UK.
All our trips follow our strict environmental guidelines that encourage the respect of natural resources, waste minimisation and recycling wherever possible. In this part of the world water conservation management is extremely important. All of our trips follow these guidelines: - Waste water is disposed of away from fresh water sources
- Toilet areas are always away from sources of fresh water
- Each truck carries sufficient drinking water (approx 350l) this makes the purchase of individual plastic bottles of drinking water unnecessary - By travelling in overland truck we are completely self-sufficient meaning that we do not have to take water or other environmental resources away from the local populations. Aside from water conservation we follow these environmental guidelines: - For cooking we generally use gas instead of wood, a cleaner fuel and leaves natural resources for local people
- Local fuel sources are used but they must be from plentiful resources and not where it would encourage local people to squander resources or compete with local peoples need for precious supplies
- All our trucks conform to UK emission controls when they leave the UK
- All our trucks are regularly serviced and maintained ensuring that trucks run as efficiently as possible
- Passengers and crew are encouraged to use rechargeable batteries for items such as cameras, personal music systems etc. These can be charged from mains supplies or on our trucks as we travel.
Community Inca Trek Project
On this you have the opportunity to take part in a trek through the Andes that goes above and beyond the well-known tourist Inca Trail. This community-based tourism project centres around two remote communities situated high in the Peruvian Andes near Urabamba.
Machu Picchu and the “classic” Inca Trail trek have become such big business in recent years that hundreds, if not thousands of trekkers, now trek this route every day. As an alternative, this trip offers a unique community based trekking experience - you will trek Inca trails through stunning unspoilt mountain scenery and visit Machu Picchu whilst participating in a project that’s having a positive impact on local people’s lives at a grass-roots level.
The key idea behind the project has been to develop a responsible, sustainable and ethical trekking programme – i.e. one that genuinely benefits the host communities we trek through via education, income generation, and environmental initiatives, whilst protecting the communities from exploitation and giving them ownership over how their environment is used.
The project continues to go from strength to strength, with 70% of people travelling with us in this region choosing to participate in the Community Inca Trek rather than the hugely popular classic “Inca Trail”. In the last 12 months, our company and passenger donations have amounted to around US$10,000
Key achievements of the project so far: - Refurbishment of school buildings in Quishuarani and Cuncani
- Employing full-time teachers at each school
- Provision of essential school equipment
- Ongoing health education & nutrition programme
- Improving medical provision in both communities
- Development of official camping areas
- Re-forestation micro-project in conjunction with ECOAN: planting of 7500 Quena trees in areas in danger of extinction We are committed to ensuring that we have a positive impact on the local communities we travel through and believe that local culture and communities must be an integral part of our trips. We recognise that we are guests of the local communities we travel through and strive to make these communities into our partners.
One of the unique benefits of travelling overland on a trip such as this is the wealth of opportunity for interaction with the local people and communities. Whether camping out on the edge of a remote village, or staying as guests of local people as part of a homestay, you will have plenty of opportunities to engage with the locals and learn about their culture and way of life. We also aim to benefit the communities we travel through by making sure we shop for food and other provisions in local markets and small shops along the way – and by staying in small, locally owned guesthouses and hotels.
On sections of this trip we visit parts of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina that don’t see mass tourism. We camp in local villages and stay in small locally owned hotels and refugios or lodges (basic hostels). Not only will you see the ‘real’ country but your money will be spent at a grass routes level benefiting local communities.
Whilst in Argentina, we spend 3 nights as guests on a traditional Argentinian estancia, riding out with the local gauchos and finding out about their daily life, food and family traditions. Welcoming us as tourists to the estancia has helped to generate an important income stream which is now helping to fund a local school in this area – a real achievement that is genuinely benefitting the children in these remote communities.