Guatemala holiday, small group
Description of Guatemala holiday, small group
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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.
PlanetGuatemala has many fragile areas under protection from various bodies, including UNESCO, and we travel through several of these during the tour. The Biotopo del Quetzal reserve, for example, is a vast area of protected cloud forest that shelters the endangered quetzal as well as many other species of bird and plant life. Our visit helps to fund the continued upkeep of the park, both in terms of the ongoing protection of the wild habitats as well as keeping hiking trails and visitor amenities in good condition to ensure the continued sustainability of the site.
We also visit the UNESCO heritage sites of Tikal and Copan, one of the Maya civilization's biggest and most important sites. Our Tour Leaders and local guides always brief customers carefully on how to act in the site - our packed lunches are carefully taken out with us and recycled, and we encourage customers not to buy single use water bottles by using a water cooler on our transport so that travellers can refill their own bottles. As well as preserving the integrity of the ancient sites, this behaviour also continues its positive impact throughout the rest of the trip.
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.
PeopleGuatemala is one of the only remaining places where the living Maya culture can be truly experienced, and during this trip we engage with many small communities to gain a deeper understanding of their history. For example in the highlands around Nebaj, we stay among the Ixil people, where few other travellers go. This is a rare opportunity to learn about the traditions of this rural community, who were one of the country's many indigenous societies to be isolated and subjected to terrible violence at the hands of the right-wing government during the 80s and 90s. Importantly, our visit here, as well as to other similar communities around Atitlan and in Chichicastenango, help to ensure that the indigenous Maya communities can continue their traditions. By spending our money in locally-owned restaurants and by purchasing typical crafts such as weavings and ceramics, the local economies are bolstered and traditions are more likely to thrive.
Our Tour Leader for this trip is Guatemalan, and in several places such as Tikal and Antigua, we employ local guides who are really knowledgeable about their respective areas.
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.