Sustainable and ethical travel has transformed from a niche sector within the field of travel to an industry-wide priority and global movement, one which has been core to the ethos of Aracari since the company was founded in 1996.
Peru boasts an array of eco-lodges and hotels with minimal environmental impact including luxury hotels that not only adhere to principles of sustainability but have been recognized for their efforts with international awards. The Posada Amazonas Lodge is one of such properties. It is owned by an indigenous community, the Ese-Eja, in Infierno, and managed in partnership with Rainforest Expeditions. The rainforest isn’t the only area where one can find environmentally-friendly accommodations: the luxury hotel Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo is one of our top choices in the Cusco region and has won various awards for sustainability, such as the award for Conservation at the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in 2012. In the Colca Canyon, home of the famous condor, the Colca Lodge is a romantic 5-star hotel by the river that offers thermal pools for guests to enjoy and has an ecologically sound floor-heating system, using geothermal energy to heat the rooms.
We are always on the lookout for projects directed by local communities that have incomparable insights into the environment and culture. When we become involved with communities, projects and organizations, whether it’s through donations, participating in events or sending guests to visit, it’s important to stay in touch and maintain a relationship in order to evaluate their ever-changing needs so that our support can be most effective.
One of the organizations we work with is La Tierra de los Yachaqs. Located in the Sacred Valley, their mission is to preserve the history and traditions of local communities while enabling them to support their economy with responsible, authentic and high-quality tourism. This consists of travellers visiting the communities and participating in local customs, traditions and practices, such as learning traditional weaving techniques. We also support and encourage guests to visit local schools such as Colegio Sol y Luna and Kusy Kawsay. 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. While traveling with Aracari, if you would like to visit the school in Pisac, there is an opportunity to learn about its foundation and development from one of the founding parents.
In addition to the communities you can visit, there are events where we partner with other operators, organizations and communities to make an impact locally. One such event is the annual tree planting called Queuña Raymi where 50,000 Queuña trees are planted in one day with help from volunteers and 500 Quechua-speaking locals from the Ollantaytambo district of Cusco’s Sacred Valley. We enjoy participating in these events because not only do the locals gain economically and are empowered to facilitate change within their communities, but travelers get a more authentic experience that is contributing to sustainability.
We promote what we feel to be the most worthwhile initiatives. For more information, please visit our website and check out our blog articles. While on a tour of Peru, we encourage you to check out firsthand the causes that you can support and the impact of this support.