Discover South America
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We are a small, independent, UK based tour operator, specialising in affordable custom tours to South America. Our personalised service offers the security and convenience of booking through a tour operator in the UK, but also many of the benefits of booking direct with the locals. Working closely with our local partners allows us to offer flexible itineraries, excellent value for money, and specialised, authentic travel experiences for any budget. Our carefully chosen local partners follow sustainable tourism guidelines and in many cases are exploring innovative sustainable tourism practices in their own areas.
Member since: 23 Jan 2014
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
- Wherever possible we work directly with locally owned tour operators and hotels in each destination, who take pride in employing local people. In many cases these local businesses offer training and support the further education of their local staff.
- When our tours include a community visit, there is always a guide from the local community. These local guides suggest activities for our guests and share their culture and environment directly.
- Any meals provided are made with local ingredients wherever possible. Buying local products supports the economy and wider sections of the population benefit from tourism. Our guests also get to experience genuine local food.
- In 2012 we began a volunteer project supporting a community school in the Cusco area through a local charity.
- We give travellers advice on how to minimise any negative impact on the environment (see Responsible Travel Guidelines attached)
- We encourage visits to responsibly run lodges in the Amazon Rainforest. Eco-tourism is an important way for governments to earn revenue from their natural resources without the destruction and pollution of deforestation and mining.
- Where appropriate we make sure biodegradable and locally sourced cleaning products are used (particularly on treks)
- We make regular donations to local charities, including Arbio for the protection of the Amazon Rainforest
- In our UK office we minimise printing and recycle the paper we do use, as well as printer cartridges. We do not print brochures but publish all our tour information online instead and send our passengers electronic confirmations.
- By working with locally owned small businesses, we empower local people. They are not our employees but our partners and friends. We only work with suppliers who employ local staff and pay them a fair wage. ?
- Our local operator in Cusco has been a pioneer in improving working conditions for porter welfare on the Inca Trail, meeting and exceeding local regulations regarding pay, food, equipment and benefits.
- We and our local partners are deeply respectful and appreciative of local culture. We understand how important tourism can be in validating traditional ways of life. The fact that tourists are interested in, and impressed by, traditional skills and culture make people feel proud of them and keep them alive.
- All our passengers are provided with information on recommended locally run restaurants, shops and projects they can support while travelling
- We arrange visits to local communities where this is appropriate
- We support locally run initiatives to improve the quality of life not just for those directly employed in the tourist industry but for the benefit of the wider population. These include schools and community centres in the Cusco area of Peru.
Heather, a Brit, fell for S. America while studying in Uruguay, and went on to contribute to guidebooks while exploring the continent. She now runs this company with Aaron, a Peruvian guide who specialises in walking, canyoneering and rafting.