Peru small group tour, Andes and Incas

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2019: 6 Jul
2020: 4 Jul

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Peru small group tour, Andes and Incas


We must always keep the environment at the forefront of our minds and take all litter with us, disposing of it responsibly in big cities and towns. Bringing a reusable water bottle is a great idea and if purchasing any snacks, avoid excess packaging. We offer an optional extension to visit the Amazon on our tour, to spot wildlife where it should be seen, in the wild. You have to be careful in Amazonian areas as although there are some fantastic conservation, rescue and rehabilitation efforts going on, there are also organisations posing as rescue centres, that definitely do not have welfare of the animals or conservation at heart. If you see any animals being kept in captivity, report this to relevant organisations and don’t have your photo taken with captive animals. If you are offered mahogany, or ‘red gold’ as it’s sometimes called, even if it’s a small item, just pass. Peru is one of the world’s biggest exporters of mahogany and the industry is very destructive and exploitative. The industry contributes to the deforestation of virgin rainforest and the stripping of indigenous communities’ homes and rights to survive.


Keeping money in local economies and supporting indigenous communities and family-run projects is extremely important. We include homestays in our tours, where we spend time with local communities, taking the time to learn about their culture, traditions and way of life. Staying with these communities in their homes not only helps to keep indigenous traditions alive but makes sure that small communities benefit from tourism income and that our money doesn't just go to large hotel chains. If bringing gifts, one must be sure not to go over the top, as reciprocating is part of rural Peruvian culture, or ‘ayni’, meaning ‘today for me, tomorrow for you’. Excess gift giving hinders this ethos if people feel they can't reciprocate. Speaking Spanish and also dabbling in Quechua, the language of the Incas, will surely bring a smile to local people’s faces and they will appreciate it if we are making an effort.

Using local guides also ensures money stays within local economies and enables valuable, in-depth and honest knowledge which you perhaps wouldn’t get from a western guide. It also means we are keeping carbon emissions down.

Shoe-shining is a popular way for children living in poverty to earn some money. If a child really looks like they are in need, then have your shoes shone but be careful as some children are sent out to work by their parents and are not street children. Travelling light is also a good idea as you can buy woolly winter clothing in Peru and this puts money into local coffers. Avoid synthetic fakes and opt for real alpaca wool jumpers. Real alpaca wool loses its shape a bit when stretched and is slightly greasy to touch.

Most people like to take photos on their travels, and it’s sometimes easy to forget that the photogenic person in front of you may not want their picture taken. We always ask if it’s okay, and respect their wishes if they say no. It is also best to refrain from taking photographs in churches, especially in the Andes.

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