Andina Travel was founded with the objective that our travel programs have a beneficial impact on the people and places we visit. From our inception, we have been committed to supporting local communities through sustainable development, respecting the natural environment by minimizing impact, contributing to other local conservation efforts, and continuously improving our operational standards and practices as responsible travel providers.
As tour operators and travelers we can make choices before, during, and after travel that maximize benefits and minimize negative impacts to the places and people we visit. This does not mean that the quality of the overall travel experience must suffer. Actually, responsible travelers often have more fulfilling experiences by making positive contributions and respecting local cultures.
Our aim is to apply sustainable travel guidelines to our business practices and to continuously evaluate and improve our operations based on these standards. We also hope to raise awareness with our clients on sustainable travel issues and what they can do to travel responsibly. (Please see our Traveler´s Tips below)
Andina Travel is a professionally-licensed Peruvian business with the following authorizations and accreditations:
- Licensed and Accredited Travel Agency by the Peruvian Ministry of Industry and Tourism
- Officially-Licensed Inca Trail Operator by the UGM (Managing Body of the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary)
- Andina Travel is committed to following the triple-bottom-line of sustainable tourism outlined by Sustainable Travel International. Please read what we are currently doing in each of these three areas:
- Environmental Practices
- Socio-Cultural Practices
- Economic Practices
- Office Recycling: we use both sides of our paper for printing and only print when necessary; we also separate paper, plastic, glass, and inorganic waste and take it to the city’s recycling center
- We accept recyclable materials from tourists in our office and are listed as a Green Business Cusco by South American Explorers Club
- We offer bottled water for free in our office and encourage clients to refill their water bottles instead of buying plastic bottled water
- We provide bottled water to clients at the beginning of treks in order to discourage them for buying plastic bottled water for the first morning of treks (we provide boiled water during the rest of the trek)
- We follow Leave No Trace guidelines at our campsites and along the trails
- We organize and participate in clean-ups for treks and local rivers
- For our treks, we provide reusable cloth bags for our snacks instead of small plastic bags
- We use biodegradable soap and dishwashing liquid for treks and other tours
- We are currently analyzing the carbon emissions produced by our office and on our tours and are finding ways to reduce and offset these emissions
- We purchase food in bulk for our treks and tours when possible
- We provide education and training for our staff on the company’s environmental policy and practices
- Together with the ECOAN ( a local conservation non-profit organization) and Dragoman Overland UK we have donated 5000 polylepsis (Queuna) trees to areas in danger of extinction in the Lares Valley
- Together with Dragoman Overland UK we have contributed to the construction and maintenance of toilets in the communities of Quishuarani and Cuncani to discourage environmental contamination by tourist groups
In collaboration with Dragoman Overland UK and their clients, we have created the community-based project of Tarpuy Yachay. This project is currently involved in the following activities to assist the communities of Quishuarani and Cuncani in the areas of health, education, and environmental conservation:
- Construction and improvement of campsites in Quishuarani and Cuncani for conservation and economic viability
- Donation of tools for harvesting crops and help with harvest
- Building of greenhouses to improve agricultural production and nutrition
- Provision of teacher in each community to cover more students
- Improvement of school facilities and donation of materials such as text sets, books in Quechua and Spanish, desks, chairs, blackboards, pens, paper, etc..
- Construction of community center in Cuncani for villagers to display weaving methods and display wares. This center will also serve for cultural and educational exchanges/training.
- Provision of nutritional breakfast at school for community children attending school.
- Reforestation to protect native flora and fauna in danger of extinction and to provide alternative resource for cooking firewood.
- Visits by health care providers to evaluate children and provide medical supplies to school
- Donation of warm clothing, blankets, personal hygiene items (towels, toothbrushes, soap)
For our porters who work on the Inca Trail, we fully and willingly comply with the Porter Law 27607 and its Regulation (D.S. 011-2005-TR) by providing them with an agreed upon professional wage, by paying wages on a weekly basis, by providing them with tents for sleeping on trek, by providing them with proper protection from the elements, by providing plentiful meals that coincide with their normal diets, by providing them life and accident insurance, by not exceeding the weight limit of 20K per porter, and by showing them the respect they deserve as an essential part of our business.
- We are a Peruvian company that employs only Peruvian personnel, promoting local industry and growth
- We respect our employees as an essential part of our business by paying them a fair and timely wage, investing 5% of our profits for community-based development and training, and providing assistance to our employees when needed
- We pay taxes to the Peruvian government. Many local businesses avoid this and thus contribute to a weaker economy and slower economic development
- We invest in our employees through training and education