Finding those unforgettable guided tours in Peru is a must when you’re planning your dream trip to South America. From seeing the world wonder of Machu Picchu to exploring the Amazonian rainforest and everything in between, a guide will help make these excursions extra exciting every time! But how do you make sure the tours you choose have a positive social impact?
Planning a responsible trip is just as important as planning a fun one, especially when traveling to destinations with such a rich history and delicate ecosystem. If you’re looking to travel to Peru, there are a few things to remember while planning an itinerary that’s good for you and for the destination! Here are five ways to ensure your bucket-list trip is full of fun that’s sustainable and empowering for Peru.
– Go on excursions that support indigenous communities
While traveling through Peru, there are so many unique places you’ll want to visit. Known for its diverse landscapes and fascinating history, this destination offers an abundance of excursions for all travelers, no matter where their interests lie. History and culture lovers can explore the ancient remains of the Incan empire, adventure lovers can trek the Andean mountains, nature experts can explore the Amazon, and more. However, it’s important to acknowledge the communities that have lived in these communities long before we even knew about the wonders of Peru.
As you dream up your itinerary, be sure to consider including guided tours in Peru that directly support the indigenous communities throughout each region. There are a few things you can look for to be sure you are working with a responsible tour guide. Some companies use the funds earned to provide financial support to indigenous communities. This may be by providing jobs to indigenous peoples, developing education programs in the communities, or other forms of support that help fuel positive growth for locals.
Or, if you want an even more direct way to leave a positive impact while traveling, look for companies that leave a lasting positive impact on indigenous communities. These types of tours immerse you in local culture better than anything else, and allow you to mingle with native residents, shop for artisanal products, and have a one-on-one interaction with the communities you’re supporting.
– Add a homestay experience to your Peru itinerary
One of the most immersive guided tours in Peru you can have is a visit to a local resident’s home. Whether you want to go deeper into Peruvian culture for a few days on your luxury getaway, or you prefer to live as locally as possible for your entire vacation, home experiences are a great way to learn about this destination in a responsible way. Choose to add a unique daily life immersive experience to your itinerary, which is a great way to take in the culture of local communities while learning about their customs first-hand. You’ll often be invited to spend time working side-by-side with them, cooking a meal, or exploring their community, allowing you to get as much insight as possible about each community.
For example, instead of taking a quick tour of the floating islands on Lake Titicaca, you can actually spend the day with the Uros people living on the islands! During this home experience, your host will teach you how to harvest the reeds that make up the foundation of the islands, go on a canoe ride around the lake, and even set up the fishing nets they need to catch their breakfast. Few travelers get to spend this much time with this small and special community, making this one of the most unique guided tours in Peru that also directly supports the Uros people!
Peru is home to dozens of indigenous communities. If finding a home experience is something you’re interested in, there are so many unique cultures throughout the country to learn about while staying with the locals. It’s a one-of-a-kind memory you won’t be able to get with any other type of excursion.
– Shop for artisanal, local souvenirs
Obviously, you’ll want something to remember your epic Peruvian getaway. Instead of buying some random souvenir in the airport on the way home, make sure you shop locally for handmade, artisanal products as you travel! Not only will the quality be one hundred times better, but you’ll also be boosting the local economy and supporting Peruvian artists.
There are plenty of different places to find locally made souvenirs if you’re in the mood to shop. If you’re exploring the vibrant capital of Lima, make sure you spend a few hours roaming the stalls at The Inca Market. Every Thursday, one of the biggest markets opens up to sell leather goods, textiles, pottery, and even Incan shoes.
You can also support local vendors by buying edible souvenirs like Peruvian chocolate or locally distilled Pisco! Smaller treats like this make excellent gifts or just a delicious reminder of your travels. After going on a tasting tour sipping Pisco sours in Ica, grab a bottle to take home with you any time of the week! Or pick up some rich Amazonian chocolate after your jungle adventure so you can savor your trip a little longer.
– Work with guided tours in Peru that support conservation efforts
One of the dangers of the tourism industry is that some guided experiences do not make any effort to preserve the destination or ecosystem they are exploring. Be wary of booking any tours when you do not know their stance on sustainability, conservation, or development projects that have positive social impacts.
Booking the best-guided tours does not immediately mean booking the one with the most reviews or highest number of stars. If you want to be a responsible traveler, you need to do a little more research about the organization’s mission. There are select tour companies, hotels, and travel opportunities that truly prioritize sustainability and will make it very clear on their website.
– Create a curated trip with Kuoda for the most responsible social impact
If you’re passionate about making your Peru trip as sustainable and positive as possible, let us help plan the itinerary! Our team is passionate about building meaningful social projects in South America that improve the local communities and, in turn, help you have a better vacation. When these destinations are empowered and treated with respect, tourism can carry on thriving and provide travelers with unique experiences year-round!
When you plan a trip with Kuoda, you’re guaranteed to get a responsibly crafted itinerary that will help preserve the wonders of Peru for years to come. Finding the best local guides, sustainable hotels, ecotourism experiences, and excursions to support indigenous communities are just a few of the ways we promise to make your trip to Peru extra incredible. Connect with us about your dream excursion so we can make it a reality!
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