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 recommend lodges and Galapagos boats which go a long way to make sure they are having a positive impact on their environment.
In the Amazon we recommend the following lodges:-
Sacha Lodge - Sacha Lodge is an Ecuadorian company which generates employment to about a 100 families. Most Lodge employees come from local communities making Sacha the largest tourism-sector employer in Ecuador's Amazon region. This not only brings direct economic benefits to these communities, but also provides them with a practical alternative to harmful activities such as logging and oil exploration. In addition, having employees work as native guides offers them the opportunity to share their ancestral knowledge with others plus an incentive to continue passing it on to their children in a changing world.
Napo Wildlife Centre – 100% community owned, which means the community receives all of the net profits. The community has a democratic political structure that has decided how funds will be spent. The primary expenditures are for education and health care. The community does not maintain any debt from the construction of the lodge. All employees, whether from the community or not, are paid market salaries for the jobs that they perform. Members of the Añangu community make up between 85-93% of the total workforce at the lodge at any given time.
Yachana Lodge is set in a private reserve, partly funded by Rainforest Concern. Profits support a community education and development foundation. The Lodge won the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler 2004 Ecotourism Award.
In the Galapagos we recommend:-
Eric, Letty & Flamingo – These Galapagos boats are owned by Ecoventura. The company is dedicated to preserve the ecological integrity of the Islands for both its scientific value and economic benefit. Through their ongoing various conservation efforts and projects, including SmartVoyager, CarbonNeutral, the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund (GMBF), and installation of TRABOLD oil filter system they are able to achieve their goal and at the same time support their claim as a responsible tour operator.
The ultimate wildlife trip to the Amazon and Galapagos
From US $6190 16 days excluding flights