Mountain Biking holiday in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

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2018: 1 Apr, 6 May, 3 Jun, 1 Jul, 5 Aug, 2 Sep
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Mountain Biking holiday in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Environment

It is our policy to carefully dispose of all waste. All non-organic waste is carried out and organic waste is buried at a suitable depth.

Food is purchased locally and we use food products with as little packaging as possible, and encourage cooking with Andean products. We cook with gas and use recyclable glass as opposed to plastic wherever possible.

We use public transport where possible, particularly important on the Lima to Huaraz leg (8 hours), as some people now use a flight to connect these two cities. We feel using the public bus helps to keep the carbon footprint for this leg as low as possible.

We stick to existing footpaths used by local farmers and workers, rather than searing new paths into the mountains, causing erosion.

Our guide in Huaraz is one of the most experienced, and is from the area. He, like us, wishes people to visit his homeland and see the mountains of which he takes great pride. Because of this, he is as committed to leaving no trace as we are.

Community

When out on tour we encourage learning about the country we are travelling in, the local culture of the teams we work with and the areas we pass through. Our guides hold informal talks with groups to inform about and discuss with them all aspects of local life. This helps understanding of the area and appreciation of the people who live there.

We stay in lots of very small, basic hotels, which are much more like homestays. Very few people visit these areas, so your money will go directly to help people in very remote areas.

Guides, cook, porters and all that help out are all locals, and wages earned help to stimulate the economy. We purchase food in and around the Huaraz area and from small shops as we cycle around, helping to redistribute the money tourism brings in.

Everyone is given a fair wage for the work they do, without skewing the local economy.

And since 2006 we have been able to support the Huchuy Yachaq community project in the marginalised neighbourhood of Hermanos Ayar, on the outskirts of Cusco, with the help of everybody who has travelled with us. We donate USD 3000 a year to this community project.

The project has been set up by volunteer social workers and teachers to provide much needed social and educational support to the children and families of this neighbourhood. Children are encouraged to attend study and games sessions held each afternoon and participate in holiday projects. Our contributions so far have paid for educational books and games, tables and chairs, improvements to the structure of the basic community owned building and the addition of functioning toilets, materials for the children to take to school, school books, holiday programmes.

And we are planting trees as part of a reforestation project in Peru.

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