Inca Trail trekking holiday, alternative route
Description of Inca Trail trekking holiday, alternative route
Join this tailor made trek to the mountain citadel of Machu Picchu and enjoy the chance to celebrate and learn more about the hard working and often under-appreciated porters who work here, on this Inca Trail trekking holiday, alternative route.
This holiday trekking the Inca Trail gives you the chance to learn more about the lives of the porters, who are descendants of the Inca who built this amazing trail, and to benefit from their ancestral knowledge and deep experience of this beautiful part of the world.
You will trek for four days and camp along the trail, but the porters will set up camp and cook for you. Spend your first night in the porter community of Huayllaccocha, where the porters and their families will stage a fiesta in your honour. Relax and get to know your new friends, enjoy dinner and dancing with them and then get a good night’s rest before the trek. There will be lots of fascinating Inca sites to visit along the route, and on your final morning, you’ll rise early to enter Machu Picchu via the spectacular sun gate.
PlanetDuring our Inca Trail tour we take care to reduce our environmental impacts wherever we can, for example by travelling on trains and using modern fuel-efficient private vehicles. Of course, as most of this programme is on foot, you will be saving a significant amount of carbon emissions compared to driving everywhere. We follow best environmental practice when trekking, including taking all rubbish back for proper disposal, reusing water bottles, sticking to established trails and not disturbing the flora and fauna by picking flowers or feeding animals. Your entrance fee also goes towards protecting and conserving this fragile ecosystem, but please note that trekking permits are increasingly restricted by the government to prevent erosion and overuse, so be sure to book in plenty of time (minimum 3 months ahead in peak season).
Our Peruvian partner is putting in place a local carbon offset scheme, in cooperation with the Huascarán National Park and other organisations in Huaraz, to mitigate those emissions that cannot be avoided. They also run workshops with communities to explain the importance of protecting their natural resources to bring income from tourism. A good example is the Yacu Tayta project in the Pacaya-Samiria reserve, where fisherfolk have implemented conservation practices for more than 16 years, showing that tourism can actually enhance conservation.
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.
PeopleIn 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 the Inca Trail, this is especially important because most visitors only encounter local porters as beasts of burden, too often badly treated and underpaid. You have the chance to stay with a community of porters at Huayllaccocha on your first night, a unique opportunity to enjoy local hospitailty as well as enhancing the porters’ self-respect and dignity.
Secondly, all our holidays incorporate donations to community development funds or our partner’s 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. 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. In particular we try to use diverse and preferably indigenous suppliers, such as for guiding, portering and buying food, helping to spread the money from tourism to more people. 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.
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