As an in depth specialist tour operator to Ecuador, responsible tourism is at the very heart of what we do. To us, this means much more than a simple donation to a charity for each client. We try to build long and constructive involvements with local guides, guest houses, wildlife lodges, and hotels, in the course of which we, and our clients, can make lasting wide-ranging contributions to the wonderful places and people we engage with. In this itinerary we use several lodges that fit with this philosophy perfectly, employing local guides and bringing long-term benefits to the local community.
We are the first tour operator in the UK to form a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance to work towards the implementation of best management practices in sustainable tourism. In real terms this means that we are working with hotels who are making a positive impact on their local community – socially, environmentally and economically.
In this itinerary we use a number of lodges who are dedicated to making a positive impact on their environment. In particular, Cabañas San Isidro is dedicated to forest conservation and owns land adjacent to its property. Private friends and donors together with Mitch Lysinger (of San Isidro) became partners in conservation and co-landowners when they acquired 550 hectares (1,210 acres) of mature forest to connect to Cabañas San Isidro's already existing 620 hectare reserve. This was a major victory for the area because it halted impending deforestation as well as formed a nexus to the Antisana Reserve, one of the largest forest reserves in the country. This momentum has surged on and the Napo Andean Forest Foundation was established with the aim of continuing important land purchases of the area for the purpose of conservation.
Cabañas San Isidro maintains a vital role as one of the front-runners on Ecuador's east-slope with respect to tying together land acquisition and protection projects, serious biological research, community involvement and world-class nature tourism in one of the most ecologically sensitive and important zones that the country has to offer.
Termas de Papallacta was the first Ecuadorian land-based company to attain certification in sustainable development in accordance with the standards as set out by Smart Voyager, Rainforest Alliance and the Conservation and Development Corporation. Termas de Papallacta strives for active cooperation with the Terra Foundation so that its objectives with regards to the local community and the conservation of the environment continue to be met.
In Chugchilán we stay in a private guesthouse ensuring your money goes directly to the local economy and the local community benefits from your stay. This itinerary also includes walks in several national parks which charge entry fees towards their conservation.