Peru Eco Adventure & Cultural Trips is a travel company located in Cusco, Peru. This travel company does not appear to be a member of the International Ecotourism Society, but does claim to be an eco-travel provider. Several tour options are available through this company including rafting, trekking, mountain biking, and tours of the Manu-Jungle, Lake Titicaca, and the Inca Trail. These tours vary in duration and location within Peru, providing a wide-range of tour options.
Peru Eco Adventure & Cultural Trips was founded by a Peruvian native, Alvaro Sabogal, who actually served as a guide for my parents when they hiked the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu ten years ago. He has worked in the field for sixteen years, possesses several tourism related degrees, and is currently completing his degree in Sustainable Tourism and Ecology. Alvaro prides himself on implementing sustainable tourism practices, especially in areas such as the environment, culture, history, nature, and adventure. His staff is also well trained in providing ecological adventures. This company supports the local community by hiring local staff members and supporting local businesses, markets, and people during their tours.
According to their website, Peru Eco Adventure & Cultural Trips is committed to sustainable tourism. There is a portion of the website that is dedicated to describing their sustainable tourism practices, in addition to their sustainable projects. From the information gathered from their website, it appears that this company follows various ecotourism fundamentals as outlined by Pamela Wight. The most predominate fundamentals addressed by this company are, “It should provide long-term benefits – to the resource, to the local community, and to industry (benefits may be conservation, scientific, social, cultural, or economic)” and “It should involve acceptance of the resource on its own terms, and in recognition of its limits, which involves supply-oriented management” (Wight, p.3). Despite the focus on these two specific fundamentals, the following information contains elements that overlaps other ecotourism fundamentals as well.
The website emphasizes, on several occasions, this company’s dedication to long-term benefits for the resource, local community, and industry. According to the website, by participating in one of their tours, “You will be supporting our cause: To protect and preserve both the natural environment and landscape of this country, as well as the traditional cultural heritage and future welfare of its local inhabitants” (“Peru Eco Adventure”). This company continuously refers to their dedication to not only preserve the natural environment of Peru, but to also protect and positively impact the local heritage, culture, and people. “…[O]ur tourist activities are pointed toward recovering and revitalizing cultural traditions through human interaction in harmony with social development” (“Peru Eco Adventure”). In addition to numerous projects this company has implemented to protect the natural environment (which will be discussed in further detail), they clearly promote projects that benefit the local people. These include programs to protect and provide training programs in the areas of folk art, handicraft activities, agriculture, in addition to providing local education and health care. This company also helps to educate the local population about the environmental condition, and the importance of recycling and engaging in biodegradable activities. Peru Eco Adventure & Cultural Trips also notes that they also “take special care that our porters and staff receive the best conditions and treatment… and that the women of the community, who are gifted weaver and crafters, are fairly and generously paid and remunerated for their work” (“Peru Eco Adventure”). Such information provided on their website indicates this tour company’s work towards long-term benefits for the resource, local community, and industry.
This Peruvian company has also accepted the resource on its own terms, recognized its limits, and is promoting projects which involve supply-oriented management. “In South America, and Peru in particular, we are poignantly aware that our once seemingly endless natural resources are dwindling at an ever-increasing rate. It is of the essence to act now – first and fast- before the ‘point of no return’ is reached” (“Peru Eco Adventure”). From this statement, it is clear that this tour company recognizes the environment’s limits and has identified that action is necessary. Their dedication to this cause is demonstrated by their projects to raise environmental awareness and concern, to influence action to protect and conserve these areas. In this portion of their website, various environmental issues are addressed. A large issue that Peru is currently facing is deforestation, which includes logging and slash and burn techniques. These practices are rapidly depleting the forest and causing other adverse effects such as accelerated erosion, a decrease in wildlife, and a decrease in oxygen that is created from these forests. Scarcity and pollution of water is also another large issue facing Peru. With contributing factors such as global warming and receding glaciers, water is becoming more scarce, but unfortunately, much of the rivers and water sources are becoming polluted instead of conserved. Although these are large issues facing this country, Peru Eco Adventure & Cultural Trips is implementing programs to assist in these dire situations. They are making a stand to stop deforestation and support reforestation projects. In addition, this company is working with authorities and the local population to stop pollution to protect their rivers and water sources. Since this company offers rafting and kayaking tours down the Vilcanota River, this effort is also essential in maintaining their business operations, in addition to the environmental benefits it provides. This company is making an effort to address these issues so that it may be protected for future generations.
Despite not being a member of the International Ecotourism Society, it appears that Peru Eco Adventure & Cultural Trips has clear intentions to fulfill their claim as being an ecotourism provider. Not only does “eco” appear in the name of their company, but portions of their website and tours are dedicated to sustainable tourism and sustainable projects that protect the environment, culture, and people of Peru.