Best of Guatemala and the Yucatan holiday
Description of Best of Guatemala and the Yucatan holiday
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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.
PlanetThis trip is a real overland journey, using small minibuses to take us from Guatemala City to Playa del Carmen. Not only does this land-based style of travel allow us to reduce the negative impacts of air travel, but it also allows us to experience more of Guatemala and Mexico's rural, lesser-seen gems. By travelling in groups no larger than 18 people, we can travel in a more sensitive, non-intrusive way than in a large coach group.
We'll be travelling through many UNESCO-listed locations, including the important Maya sites of Tikal, Copan, Palenque and Chichen Itza. As much as possible, we really try to visit outside of peak times - particularly in places like Chichen Itza which start receiving lots of day trippers from the coast in the late morning. Staying near the site allows us to enter earlier and leave earlier, alleviating some of the pressure on the ruins. Our visit of course helps to fund the continued upkeep of these places, both in terms of the ongoing protection of the ruins and wild surroundings as well as keeping visitor amenities in good condition to ensure the continued sustainability of the site.
Our local leaders assist with encouraging to refill reusable water bottles at water refill stations and rest stops at restaurants. This actively reduces the amount of single-use bottles purchased and distributed.
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.
PeopleWherever possible we like to meet the people themselves and get to learn a bit more of their lifestyle, but only where we can be sure that we are not imposing on them. This is particularly important in the indigenous communities around Atitlan and Chichicastenango, where the Maya language and traditions continue to live and thrive to this day. Celebrations and customs are largely a private affair, but where there are ceremonies going on, it may be possible for us to share in them and so get an insight into the daily life of local people in both Guatemala and Mexico.
Our Tour Leader for this trip is Mexican, and in several places such as Tikal and Antigua, we employ local guides who are really knowledgeable about their respective areas. We also support a variety of other local businesses such as restaurants and cantinas, hotels and transport businesses, ensuring our visit benefits a wide range of people. 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.
We believe that learning about and respecting local people is an integral part of the travel experience. Why not brush up on your Spanish before you travel? Being able to chat with local people, even just a few phrases, shows great respect and will really enhance your experience!
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.