When an excessive number of tourists visit a destination and it results in damage to the local environment and historical sites as well as poorer quality of life for residents, it’s called over tourism – and it’s a very big problem for some of the world’s most popular destinations.
Discussions around the impact of tourism on destinations and the world at large are becoming more common. A recent National Geographic survey revealed that even travelers are increasingly aware of their impact and have a desire to do something about it. In that survey, 42% of US travelers were willing to prioritize sustainable travel in the future.
Organizations like Green Destinations are helping travelers make sustainability a priority. This non-profit foundation for sustainable destination development and recognition works with stakeholders on all levels to make green destinations more visible in the tourist marketplace. Their Top 100 Green Destinations list, for example, features destinations that are moving toward being more sustainable in innovative and effective ways.
There are 9 Peruvian destinations on this year’s list, and we’re going to tell you how you can fulfill your goal of traveling more sustainably and visit these destinations with Kuoda. But first, let’s have a look at exactly how important this award is.
Top 100 Green Stories
Green Destinations uses 5 guiding principles for their awards and certifications process. These are the GREEN values:
- Genuine: Supporting the authentic celebration of local culture and tradition.
- Responsible and Respectful: Avoiding exploitation of people in tourism and preventing over tourism.
- Economically sustainable: Involving the local business community and enhancing local community employment.
- Environment & Climate-friendly: Combatting the climate crisis, environmental degradation and pollution, whilst ensuring public health.
- Nature & Scenery friendly: Protecting scenic views, landscapes, natural habitats and wildlife
2021 was the 8th edition of the Top 100 Green Destinations stories competition. This competition encourages destinations to share their innovative and effective Good Practice Stories in order to inspire tour operators, travelers, and others to be more sustainable in terms of tourism efforts.
Green Destinations in Peru
There were 9 Peruvian destinations that made it to the 2021 Top 100 Green Destinations list. These were:
- Tambopata National Reserve, Madre de Dios
- Alto Mayo, Tarapoto
- Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Loreto
- Gocta and Kuelap, Amazonas
- Pomac Forest Historical Sanctuary, Lambayeque
- Tingo Maria National Park, Huanuco
- Lake Titicaca, Puno
- Sandia, Coffee Route, and Bahuaja Sonene National Park, Puno
- Colca Canyon, Arequipa
The Peruvian government has, of late, increased coordination with regional and local agents of tourism in both the public and private sector in order to improve processes for sustainable tourism. While carbon neutrality efforts at Machu Pichu have received worldwide attention, the appearance of these 9 destinations on the Green Destination Top 100 list demonstrates that efforts at achieving sustainability are taking hold across the country.
Sustainable Tours of Green Destinations with Kuoda
Those travelers who wish to be more mindful of their impact while they move around the globe have ample opportunity for green travel in Peru, which also offers a wealth of natural and cultural experiences.
Kuoda offers incredible experiences in 6 of the 9 destinations on this years Green Destination Top 100 list and you can learn more about each below.
– Tambopata National Reserve
The Tambopata National Reserve is a secluded 1,061 square-miles of preserved land crossed by the Malinowski, Tambopata, and Madre de Dios rivers in Southeastern Peru. It’s one of the most biodiverse places in the world, with over 100 species of mammals, 600 species of birds, and 1,000 species of butterflies.
Kuoda offers visits to the Reserve on our Jungle, Machu Pichu, and Lake Titicaca 12 day/11 night tour. On this itinerary, visitors can take a boat to the Tambopata jungle where they’ll have the opportunity to paddle down rivers and view exotic birds and wildlife.
Kuoda also has a 10 day/9 night Amazon and Machu Pichu tour, wherein we offer the opportunity to embark on a night-time jungle excursion. On this adventure, our guests have the chance to see the creatures that only come alive well after the sun has set.
– Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons on earth. Its ravine is 10,725 feet deep, which is nearly double that of the Grand Canyon. As spectacular as this canyon is to hike, it’s also home to cultural communities with ancient roots, some of Peru’s most captivating archeological sites, Andean condors and other wildlife, and even natural hot springs.
We have endless things to keep you fascinated while in Arequipa and the Colca Canyon. From trekking and rafting to wildlife watching and petroglyphs, Kuoda offers customized Colca Canyon trips that give you a chance to experience this part of Peru any way you want to.
– Puno and Lake Titicaca
Sandia, the Coffee Route, and Bahuaja Sonene National Park are all located around Puno. Situated at 4,000 meters, Puno is also the main access point for Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world and the birthplace of humankind, according to the Inca’s.
Kuoda has designed a Discover Southern Peru tour, where we travel via private driver from the Colca Canyon in Arequipa to Puno. If the drive along these roads deep into the majestic countryside of Peru didn’t impress you, then your private boat tour of the famous Uros floating reed islands will. After that, we can add a visit Taquile Island, which is known for its master weavers.
But this part of Peru could be a vacation all on its own, which is why we offer a host of options for a trip to Titicaca, including accommodation on the privately owned island of Suasi, private cultural tours and homestay experiences, and city tours around Puno.
– Gocta – Kuelap
Kuelap is a pre-Inca fortress that was built in 500 AD. It’s called the Machu Pichu of the North and it’s just as impressive, with 60-foot exterior walls and some of the most incredible examples of stone work in all of South America.
Kuelap is located in the northern Amazon outside of Chachapoyas and it’s a main feature of another pre-designed itinerary: the Chachapoyas-Kuelap luxury tour. This beautiful colonial city serves as the gateway to ancient archeological sites and jungle attractions, another one of which is also a member of the Top 100 Green Destinations list: Gocta.
Gocta is the third tallest waterfall in the world, and it wasn’t known to outsiders until 2005. Stretching 2,530 feet into the Peruvian Amazon sky, you can experience this stunning site via horseback rides or hikes, depending on how you’d like to personalize your trip.
– Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is 8,000 square-miles of incredible diversity. There are 109 species of land mammals, 400 species of birds, 60 species of reptiles, 250 species of fish, and over 1,200 plant varieties protected within these borders.
There’s a long list of ways to experience Pacaya Samiria with Kuoda. An Amazonian luxury cruise is an exclusive way to get there, where you’ll spend your days in the wild Amazon jungle and your evenings being fed delicious dishes and star gazing on the observation deck.
More About Our Commitment to Sustainability
More and more travelers are taking into consideration the impact that their travel has on local environments and communities. The Top 100 Green Destinations stories program features destinations that are using innovative and effective processes for achieving sustainability, and it’s an invaluable list to consult when you’re planning your next sustainable vacation.
This year, 9 destinations in Peru made it to the list, and Kuoda gives you exclusive access to 6 of them. But we’re a certified carbon-neutral company that really aims to be sustainable in all of our endeavors. Find out more about our certificates here.