Peru tailor made holiday, highlights

“The highlights of Peru in 14 days, with the chance to discover its people and culture, too, on homestays with local families and communities.”

Highlights

Lima | Arequipa | Coporaque Community village stay | Colca Canyon | Cruz del Condor view point | Lake Titicaca | reed island of Uros | Amantani Island homestay | communal cooperative in Taquile Island | cross the Andes | Wiracocha temple | Cusco | Pisac market | Amaru community | Ollantaytambo | farm homestay | cacao farm visit | train to Machu Picchu

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This trip is only for tailor made departures throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
For a real cultural immersion, time your trip to coincide with Puno
Trip type:
Tailor made. No min. age but not suitable for very young children.
Activity level:
Leisurely/moderate.
Accomm:
A range of options, depending on budget and preference.
Included:
Accomm., English-speaking guide, listed activities, transport (except local flights,)
Meals:
All breakfasts, 2 lunches.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
This trip takes you to some of the most ecologically significant parts of the country, including the Colca Canyon, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. In the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca your host families will let you know all about their connection to the land and how their homes and lives are built around the protection and conservation of each place. By staying with these families, you are supporting a form of tourism that makes use of existing houses and communities and the food you eat at these places will all be produced locally. The farming families beneath Machu Picchu will let you know all about their unique ways to reduce the impact farming has on the land, ways that have ensured the well being of the land, since farming was introduced by the Incas. Your money will ensure these communities can continue protecting their land.

During the trip, we take care to reduce our environmental impacts wherever we can, for example by encouraging the use of public transport and using modern fuel-efficient private vehicles. Our Peruvian partner run workshops with communities to explain the importance of protecting their natural resources to bring income from tourism.

As with all our holidays, the accommodation you stay at has been chosen to meet at least our basic environmental requirements. These include actively reducing energy and water usage and providing advice on how guests can reduce their own footprint through individual actions like turning off air conditioning and reusing towels. All the places you stay at buy their food locally, cutting down transport emissions and helping local farmers.

In the UK, we work hard to ensure that our own operations are as green as possible. Our electricity supply is 100% renewable, we use energy-saving lightbulbs and recycle all our waste. Being web-based, we run a nearly paperless office, send all information by email and do not print brochures. Our Peruvian partners also share the same philosophy by using paper as efficiently as possible, working on energy-efficient laptop computers and separating their office waste for recycling. In Huaraz this is done in conjunction with a local NGO which works with disabled people to create products made from waste materials.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

In Peru, we try to support local people in 3 ways. Firstly, all our trips are designed to include cultural activities and meet cultural conservation objectives, so that local people gain pride in their local culture through tourism. On this program you have the chance to visit and stay with the Coporaque, and Amantani communities, as well as a farming family and a day trip to the Amaru Weavers, who have organised themselves to create a village tourism centre where you can take part in activities like weaving and dying typical clothes and learning about traditional medicinal plants. Where you stay in communities overnight, we have you pay the money directly to the families. This ensures they get 100% of the money they charge for their services, making our tourism an invaluable supplement to their families income. Not only this but in all three communities the home stays are rotated, ensuring every member family will get their fair share of tourists. Where you are visiting a community on a day trip, like the Amaru weavers, we have ensured that the payment transaction is directly between our trusted suppliers and the community, again making sure they get 100% of the money and that the money they are paid is fair.

Secondly, all our holidays incorporate donations to community development funds or our partnerís development fund. This money is used to assist projects in different ways across the country, from education initiatives, to sponsoring a child leukemia and deaf children project, to supporting conservation projects and community clean-ups in jungle areas. On this programme, the fees go to support El Hogar de las Estrellas but we are also able to facilitate donations to individuals and communities you will meet, in a sustainable manner.

Thirdly, we emphasise the economic benefits that tourism can bring. As well as employment, fair salaries and on the job training provided by our Peruvian partner for their own local staff, our holidays support jobs directly and indirectly in tourism, for example artisans, musicians, donkey or lama drivers and farmers. When working with local people on our trips, our central principles are that they must be given a fair price for their services, we will never force tourism on communities and we will try to ensure that their new income from tourism is used in a just and sustainable way.

On top of this, the hotels we have chosen throughout Peru have to meet our minimum standards which include providing employment and training to local people, which helps to keep money within the local economy and equips them with valuable skills for the future. We look for hotels which give something back to the community through donations or selling local handicrafts. We also buy in services from diverse preferably indigenous suppliers wherever possible, helping spread the money from tourism to more people.

Climate

2 Reviews of Peru tailor made holiday, highlights

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 23 Jun 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Hiking the Inca Trail

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Ask for lots and lots of detail to be written into your itinerary. It would seem that even Responsible Travel companies are yet to fully empower their clients with detail about the experiences and tips on how to make the most of them.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Our trip across Peru definitely benefitted local communities, because much of our travel was hosted by them, and because we bought souvenirs directly from the makers. However, there were limited opportunities to reduce environmental impacts and support conservation. In addition, the interpretation did not address these subjects unless asked, and in some instances the guides claimed no issues, directly contradicting published research and campaigns in local areas.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The overall experience was brilliant, but it did not meet up to our expectations of responsible travel.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you very much for your review and the detailed trip notes that you have already sent us. As a professional responsible travel consultant your comments and advice are very useful and much appreciated.

We are very happy that you had a fantastic time overall, especially with all of the communities that you stayed with. We have taken on board your comments and are looking into how we can improve the information we give to our customers, further minimise our environmental impact and increase awareness of certain issues with our guides in Peru.

We are absolutely committed to maximising the positive impact of our trips and, whilst (as you mention) we work hard to share the economic benefits of our holidays with the communities we work with, in depth feedback such as yours really helps us to understand areas that we can improve upon, so thank you.

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The whole experience was superb - but if I had to pick one it was arriving at Macchu Pichu at 5.00pm after a day's hike to find it empty (it closes at 5.00pm so everyone had left). An empty Macchu Pichu was an unexpected surprise.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Hiking boots a must (we only decided to pack ours at the last minute) and to factor in the possibility of altitude sickness. We and a lot of people we met were affected. Also...not to eat ice cream off the street - three of us were hit by gastric problems as a result, requiring a doctor and 2 days wiped out.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


To some extent. You can never argue that a 12 hour trans-altlantic flight is going to reduce environmental impact, however I think the home stays and community visits would have helped. You perhaps need to make it clearer how much of our money actually goes to the community etc i.e if the cost of a home stay to us is £200 and the family only receives £30 then it's not such a good deal.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

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