Our passion for delivering unsurpassed travel experiences is as strong as it is for promoting and protecting the communities and destinations we bring travellers to. Peru and Bolivia are spectacularly diverse countries, culturally and geographically. Both countries have delicate and endangered ecosystems and indigenous populations which we are proud to show our visitors for generations to come. In order to accomplish this, we need to ensure our impacts are minimized to ensure sustainability.

We call this conscious travel. We call this responsible travel. Responsible Travel Peru is at the core of our ethos.

Conscious travel is an ethos, one that touches every aspect of our business practice and the tailormade low impact trips to Peru, Bolivia and Galapagos that we design.

We are willing to engage in the conversation around Responsible Travel Peru with our travelers, travel designers, suppliers and local communities. So contact us on to let us know your insights if and when you have them, whether you have travelled with us or not.

Each travel experience comes with the promise that we have fostered relationships with local communities and suppliers whilst maintaining an utmost respect for nature and its surroundings. We are constantly working to deepen and enhance our practices. In recognition of our engagement, Aracari has been awarded the Butterfly Mark, by Positive Luxury. Find out more about our ‘positive actions‘.

We base our responsible travel Efforts according to four main Pillars of Sustainability: Social Good, Environmental, Ethical Business Practices and Philanthropy. Below are the actions we are taking which we invite you to discover.

Our specific commitments include the following:

  • Educating our travelers about best practice guidelines before their arrival. See an example of our Guide.
  • Ethical business practices favoring local initiatives
  • Minimizing environmental impact
  • Promoting and facilitating visits and media coverage to the community-run tourism projects we believe in

Social Good

There are numerous community-run projects which offer authentic and fulfilling travel experiences whilst promoting local entrepreneurship and the preservation of traditional lifestyles. Please find below some of the projects which we encourage our guests to visit and which we promote and include within our itineraries.

Tierra de los Yachaqs (Cusco – Sacred Valley Area)

We organise visits to local communities through the likes of community-based tourism initiative Tierra de los Yachaqs. Working with eight communities in the Sacred Valley, this organization’s mission is to preserve the history and traditions of local people whilst enabling them to support their economy with responsible, authentic and high-quality tourism. Read our account of the visits in the following blog articles: La Tierra de los Yachaqs: Community based tourism in Peru’s Sacred Valley and Tierra de los Yachaqs: An Afternoon with the Weavers of Amaru Community in Cusco.

Homestays: Luquina Chico (Lake Titicaca Area)

The community based tourism project at Luquina Chico, a small village on the Chucuito Peninsula, provides homestays on Lake Titicaca. It offers not only an authentic look into the lives of indigenous Aymara speaking Peruvians, but the proceeds from this well-managed initiative go directly towards alleviating poverty in the region and supporting the community financially. You can read about Marisol Mosquera’s visit to the community and low impact trips to Peru in the following blog post: Luquina Chico – Community Based Tourism on Lake Titicaca tours.

Centre for Traditional Textiles (Cusco – Sacred Valley)

Our guests often visit the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco, an organisation that works devotedly to retaining the heritage of local weaving traditions while offering a quality product which makes for an excellent local souvenir. We provide all our guests with a recommended shopping list as part of all the tailored low impact trips to Peru, Bolivia and the Galapagos we offer, contributing to the welfare of local communities and improving their quality of life.

Kusi Kawsay (Cusco – Sacred Valley Area)

Located in the Urubamba Valley, Kusi Kawsay, which means “happy life” in the native language of Quechua, values the traditional culture of native communities and is dedicated to uniting every aspect of the education of local children with essential aspects of their daily lives. Inspired by the Waldorf school pedagogy, Kusi Kawsay incorporates art, dance, traditional textile weaving and music as well as Quechua into the curriculum, bonding education with students’ cultural identities in an effort to promote high self-esteem. Our guests have the chance to visit the school and learn about this educational initiative from one of the founding parents of the school during an afternoon or morning in Pisac. Read about our visits to the school: The Latest from Kusi Kawsay School in the Urubamba Valley.

Environmental Responsibility

Reusable water bottles

All of our guests are provided with reusable water bottles as opposed to being given disposable plastic bottles throughout their tour as a way to cut down on the unnecessary damaging impact of plastic waste. This is just one effort we foster to protect our natural environment.

Recyclable Paper

All our materials are printed on FSC certified / recyclable paper.

Philanthropy

Some of our local partners have initiated, or are involved in, inspiring projects that promote education, nutrition and the environment. Below is a selection of projects we have actively supported through donations which we invite you to discover should you want to become involved or donate to. Should you have any questions feel free to contact us.

Supporting non-profits: Plant your future

Plant your Future is a non-profit organization based in Iquitos that disseminates sustainable agricultural practices in Amazon communities and plants trees to reverse damage caused by slash-and-burn agriculture; between 2012 and 2013 they planted 20,000 trees. Working directly with smallholder farmers in the Amazon of Peru, Plant your Future assists them with planting fruit and timber trees and other crops on deforested plots to recover the land and generate revenue for the farmers who sell the products at local markets. Interested in carbon-offsetting your trip? Donations to Plant your Future will allow them to continue planting trees that absorb carbon and produce oxygen while the local communities can reforest the Amazon and improve their quality of life with sustainable practices. Read: Plant your Future: Restoring the Amazon One Tree at a Time.

Queuña Raymi tree planting project

Aracari participated in a reforestation project on November 29th, 2014, working with local communities in collaboration with other tour operators in the Sacred Valley to plant 50,000 Queuña trees in one single day in the Lares watershed area of the Andes. 20,000 trees were donated by the organizers and money was raised through donations to plant the remaining 30,000, with each tree costing only three soles, or one US dollar, to plant. The ultimate goal is to plant a remarkable one million trees by 2020. Read more about the project in the following blog post: Queuña Raymi: Planting trees in the Sacred Valley to alleviate climate change.

Kukama Stories

In December 2016, Aracari supported a special charity event in Cusco – a recital of Kukama stories from a new book published in Kukama and Spanish. The Kukama ethnic group lives on the banks of the Marañón river and their language is disappearing. This project aims to highlight the importance of preserving their oral storytelling traditions and support the community in their struggle to protect their way of life along the river. Watch this video for more information about the Kukama community.

Colegio Sol y Luna

Colegio Sol y Luna opened in 2010 through the Sol y Luna Association, which was founded by creators, Franz and Petit. The school has grown to welcome 140 students from various towns in the Urubamba Valley ranging from ages 3 to 12 years old. Some students who live in remote parts of the Andes and can only access school by foot are welcome to stay at the “Niños de Jesús” boarding home from Monday to Friday. There, they are cared for and fed whilst being away from their homes for the week. We encourage our guests to ask about the school during their stay at the hotel Sol y Luna Lodge and Spa in Urubamba and to consider donating to support this worthwhile effort to make education more accessible to the Andean communities. Read more on the blog: Colegio Sol y Luna, Supporting Education in the Sacred Valley.

Ethical Business Practices

We take considered efforts to ensure we, and the partners we work with, follow ethical business practices and seek to align ourselves with the UNWTO’s Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for responsible tour operators.
We comply with local legislation and regulations including fair pay, ensure locals are given equal employment opportunities and are transparent with our sustainable business practices. We provide a guide to travelling with a conscience for all our guests to minimize any negative visitor impact. We actively promote travel experiences.

Our Partnership with “La Otra Ruta”

We have partnered with Videographers and non profit champions “La Otra Ruta” with the aim of galvanizing their effort to showcase some wonderful projects they have identified around Peru. These projects have been gestated and implemented by very special people in different parts of Peru whose common objective is to do good. If you are interested in visiting, donating or volunteering in any of the projects in the videos below or others in other region covered by La Otra Ruta, please contact us.
www.laotraruta.pe/videos

``La Otra Ruta`` videos
Llama Pack (Sacred Valley)
Un futuro en la Isla (Lake Titicaca)
Don Quijote (Lima)