Accommodation and meals:
We spend 13 nights in hotels and 1 night in a homestay on an Amantani Island. Our chosen hotels are locally staffed and owned, therefore supporting local employment rates and ensuring that clients’ investment remains in the area. The homestay at Lake Titicaca is a great opportunity, offering an authentic experience with the Amantani community, whilst also benefiting them financially. Where meals are not supplied, guides will be able to recommend local cafes, restaurants and markets to get a bite. Local specialties to look out for include ceviche (a spicy dish of fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a stir fry) and hearty soups.
Local Craft & Culture:
There are several chances to support craftsmanship on the tour, including with the Amanti people who sell produce and various handmade souvenirs. By buying something we are providing an avenue of income for these people. There is also an optional opportunity in the Sacred Valley where clients can eat a traditional meal in the village and buy handicrafts. Our local guides are able to advise clients on which products to buy and which to avoid- for example, walking sticks made of wood are one to avoid as they are potentially a product of harmful deforestation activity.
A Fair Deal:
We have been working with our local partners in Peru for around 20 years. They are extremely committed to staff welfare and to protecting the environment. All staff is paid a fair wage and receives proper treatment by their employers in exchange for their incredibly valuable local expertise. They are also encouraged to put environmental protection practices into use in their own communities - regular training courses are held for all staff to increase their understanding of how to protect their natural and cultural heritage. This should filter through to clients in briefings, which help to minimise detrimental effects on the people and environments we visit.
If clients arrange in advance through a leader, there is the opportunity to visit the Rainbow Centre in a free time slot. The Centre is a school for children with special needs and those who have suffered abuse or neglect. It provides education, physiotherapy and a supportive caring environment for around 40 children and is run by Peruvian registered charity Kiya Survivors. The staff at the centre also provides advice and support to the local community on a range of social issues, and their work has raised awareness and acceptance of children with disabilities in this traditionally conservative region. Our local operators have been working with the centre since its inception 10 years ago, and over the years our donations and those of our clients have supported the centre’s craft shop, given a lifeline to an outreach programme so staff can visit children in remote villages, and funded the purchase and installation of a pizza oven which allows the students to make and sell their own pizza.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.