Amazon and Cloudforest tour in Ecuador
Description of Amazon and Cloudforest tour in Ecuador
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetWe 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. We ask our travellers to also refrain from leaving cigarette butts.
Bringing a reusable water bottle is a great idea and if purchasing any snacks, it is best to avoid excess packaging. We visit many fragile ecosystems on our tour, from the Amazon, to the cloud forest and mangroves, to spot wildlife where it should be seen, in the wild.
The lodge we stay at in the Amazon is committed to preserving the environment. They use biodegradable products, minimise their use of water, and recycle and reuse materials. All of their metal is recycled from used containers. The roofs are made of tetrapak and polycarbonate recycled from old water containers. The thatched roofs come from sustainable harvests with methods that keep the palm plant alive and also provide sustenance for local communities.
The river transportation at the lodge is all managed by the local community and rowing activities are encouraged. This minimizes the use of fossil fuels. Their sewage system has a biodigestion treatment with anaerobic bacteria which degrades waste up to 85% to ensure it can be easily absorbed by the environment. Their wood comes from sustainable sources and the concrete they use is seven times less polluting than the standard, needing little preservation or maintenance. The waterproofing elements that it contains prevents polluting residues.
Solar energy is used to recharge batteries for mobile devices and cameras.
The lodge do their best to educate guests during their stay about the importance of conserving the tropical rainforest.
You have to be careful in Amazonian areas as although there are some fantastic conservation, rescue and rehabilitation efforts going on, there may also be 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.
PeopleKeeping money in local economies and supporting community-run projects is extremely important. We like to see small communities benefiting from tourism income and to ensure that our money doesn't just go to large hotel chains.
In Guamote, we support the Inti Sisa foundation by staying at their guesthouse which finances all of the activities run by the foundation. The foundation opened the doors of its educational centre in 1999 and offers educational support to the underprivileged local people in Guamote, especially women and young girls. The following workshops are provided at Inti Sisa: computer classes, sewing, music and English. We visit the educational centre, stay at the guesthouse and take part in a cooking workshop, not to mention we also experience many aspects of authentic Andean life by visiting the local market, the home of a weaver and the traditional ‘choza’ home of an indigenous family. Not only do we provide financial support to the Inti Sisa foundation thereby enhancing local education, but we also help to keep indigenous traditions alive and encourage them to flourish, by spending time among the local community and taking the time to learn about their crafts and way of life.
There are many instances throughout this tour where we spend time learning about the local way of life – for example, we meet communities in the Amazon where we take part in making cassava bread and learn about the remedies of the Amazon from a shaman, and we visit a working, family-run Hacienda in the Guayas province of Ecuador.
Using local guides also ensures money stays within local economies and means we will be treated to such 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.
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.