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Sustainable through Peru

A guest contribution by Kaya Herkersdorf

Majestic peaks, deep green jungle and imposing ruins - when you think of Peru, magnificent images involuntarily appear in your mind's eye.

A condor flying through the Colca Canyon. A herd of alpacas in the plateau. Dugout canoes gliding through the rainforest. The colorful traditional costumes of the Andean people, the sound of panpipes and veils of fog that come off Machu Picchu.

Once everything - but sustainable!

Peru is almost three times the size of Germany. Between the coast, the Andes and the rainforest, everything is possible for travelers, from beach holidays to getting to know the Inca culture to jungle adventures. But how can visitors, locals and the country itself benefit from tourism in the long term?

Next stop: Gringotrail

Almost every tourist on his trip through Peru wants to hike on ancient Inca trails, see the sunrise over Machu Picchu and fly over the Nazca Lines. The typical tourist route through their country is already known among Peruvians as the “Gringotrail”, an allusion to the popular Inca Trail.

Alpacas in the highlands of Peru

Providers throw themselves up with offers for hotels and excursion routes through the Sacred Valley. If you really want to get to know the country, you don't have to do without the main attractions, but you should take the time to carefully choose accommodation and guided tours! Otherwise you end up too quickly in a group of more than twenty travelers who are guided from one place to the next as if in a mass check-in.

Unobstructed view of Machu Picchu

Social and environmental sustainability in Peru

Everyone benefits from good social interaction. Of course, as a traveler, you cannot see how much profit everyone is making or whether they are getting a reasonable salary. Often it is only after the first night in the accommodation or on a guided tour such as the Inca Trail that it becomes clear under which conditions the employees work. Some questions can always be asked as rough guidelines for social and ecological sustainability:

1. Will my money stay in the country?

By avoiding large hotel chains and choosing small, owner-operated accommodations, locals can benefit better and travelers can experience Peru more intensely. Community-oriented tourism strengthens regions in Peru sustainably and enables authentic insights.

Travelers at a community on Capachica Island in Lake Titicaca

2. Who will also benefit?

Some providers and tour operators support environmental, social or educational projects in the country, which in turn can be visited by travelers. Ideally, community-oriented tourism supports projects that represent an additional source of income for the population. Regardless of this, you should be able to go about your everyday life.

3. Is my organizer CSR certified?

Who his Trip to Peru planning with an organizer should pay attention to the CSR seal, which guarantees compliance with social and ecological aspects beyond the legal requirements. In the case of the South America tour operator viventura this means, for example, that we rely on ongoing cooperation with local partners. Training ensures that all tour guides meet the requirements.

4. What happens to my garbage?

In Peru you often have to watch plastic bottles and disposable packaging being thrown out of the next bus window into the river or into the middle of the landscape. On the Inca Trail, all organizers are obliged to carry all rubbish back down to the valley. However, where there are no regulations, none are followed.

A group in the Colca Valley: Here, too, all rubbish has to be taken back with you

Well-trained tour guides can provide information on the extent to which waste recycling is possible in the relevant region. There are usually no recycling options for glass bottles, only plastic bottles are often offered. If you don't want to constantly buy new bottles, you should have your own with you - and of course take other rubbish with you.

5. Where does my food come from?

Quinoa, kiwisha, aguajen and chia seeds – Peru is bursting with the so-called superfood. Stocking up on regional ingredients such as potatoes, rice and corn and enjoying local specialties should therefore not be a problem.

Ceviche, the Peruvian national dish

You should be able to do without imported finished products, which you can still get throughout the country, during your trip! Canned mushrooms from China? Better to stick to pisco and ceviche...

Vamos Peru!

The deeper the connection with a region, the more intense the experiences become. If you travel to Peru, you shouldn't miss any opportunity to let the locals show you their world. Harvest cocoa beans, roast coffee, try guinea pigs once, drink Chicha Morada and let yourself be drawn into the spell of the country by a colorful celebration.

Unforgettable. Authentic. Sustainable.


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