Guyana and Suriname holiday
Description of Guyana and Suriname holiday
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Small group tour:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
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.
PlanetThis trip predominantly takes place in Guyana and Suriname's interior, in the Guiana Shield. We spend time in protected rainforest reserves and national parks, which house an astonishing number of endemic species of bird, plantlife, insects and frogs among others - the biodiversity of this area is frequently studied by groups who visit the area on scientific research programs working alongside Guyanan experts. Our own trip uses local guides from the areas surrounding the parks, who are all well educated in the sustainable use of the parks' resources. They help to educate our groups on the problems faced by the national parks in terms of logging and mining, and also the small measures that we can take to manage waste and conserve water when staying in these areas.
The fact that most travellers to this area are going specifically for the pristine nature means that the hotels we use strive to operate sustainably and in keeping with this environment. For example, at the Eco Torarica hotel in Paramaribo, they use energy-saving lighting, limit plastic as much as possible (for example by using hessian bags to package the natural soaps found in the room), and recycling everything. They also have a water-saving policy and received, in June 2012, the Travel Life Gold Award for Sustainability.
As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.
PeopleDuring this trip, we use local guides throughout and recommend group meals in small, locally-owned restaurants as well as spending money on traditional handicrafts in markets or while visiting small communities en route. What's more, several of the hotels used, as well as our local supplier in Guyana, are part of the CATS Partnership, which stands for 'Community and Tourism Services'. This is an indigenous community tourism project, established in Guyana's interior, which links the Amerindian community of Surama, the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and several other lodges and tourism bodies together. It has created a model of ecotourism that has brought economic success to a very remote area of the country, providing local opportunities for indigenous communities and providing funding for conservation efforts.
We stay at the Surama Eco-Lodge and Atta Lodge, which are both part of CATS. All of our guides in this area are from the indigenous communities. These work opportunities encourage younger members to stay in the area rather than going to Georgetown to seek work, and means that their culture and traditions are kept alive.
As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.
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