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.  



Machete Tours is an eco-tourism operator based in Cuzco, Peru.  This company is a recent member of the International Ecotourism Society, as of 2012.  They provide a wide variety of “cultural, wilderness and activity tours in South America” such as hiking (including the Inca Trail), tours of Machu Picchu, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, mountain expeditions, climbing, Amazon River cruises, rafting, jungle expeditions, off-road programs, and beach vacations (“Machete Tours”).  Machete Tours has been providing tours for eleven years, and focuses on exposing tourists to the natural beauty and diverse culture of South America.  Since Machete Tours is a member of the International Ecotourism Society, they have demonstrated that they fulfill the standards to be recognized as an ecotourism provider.  The two most prevalent ecotourism fundamentals demonstrated 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 provide first-hand, participatory, and enlightening experiences” (Wight, p.3).

From information provided on their website, Machete Tours demonstrates that they have established long-term benefits for the resource, local community, and industry.  They assert that “travel services are monitored for good practices and environmental sustainability - maintaining maximum benefit for both local people, clients and the surrounding regions” (“Machete Tours”).  Included within this commitment to sustainability is sharing the income generated from tourists with the local communities and protecting traditional cultures in the area.  The website also describes a project which benefits Peruvian school-aged children.  This program, called “The Hans Christiansen Library Project” provides books (and other supplies and financial assistance) for school-children that live in remote areas of Peru.  Since these children do not have access to such resources, Machete Tours encourages their tour participants to contribute to this cause (by donating books, supplies, or financial assistance) during their visit to positively impact the local community.  Machete Tours is also dedicated to protecting the natural environment.  They began their ecotoursim operations in the Amazon Jungle “in and around the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Manu Biosphere Reserve” (“Machete Tours”).  During their tours, this company is determined to provide “an incentive to keep the rainforest and its wildlife in a pristine state - a truly long-term vision that contrasts against logging and mining operations that provide short term financial benefits but long-term destruction and poverty” (“Machete Tours”).  Clearly, this ecotourism provider considers the necessary long-term benefits for the local people and environment in their operation.

Machete Tours also provides first-hand, participatory, and enlightening experiences.  This  practice is quite apparent after visiting their website, which contains a quote at the top of the page stating, “We believe that love and understanding for nature comes through living amidst it” (“Machete Tours”).  The goal of their tours is to provide exposure to these areas that will positively alter the manner in which tourists view these areas, and the environment as a whole.  Peru is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world with deserts, rain-forests, icy mountains, and volcanos.  With such diverse, natural beauty, “Machete Tours can guarantee ethical adventures that are both rich and inspiring” (“Machete Tours”).  Touring any of these natural environments is capable of providing an enlightening experience for tourists.  During their tours, this ecotourism company also asks their travelers to become conscious of the amount of water, electricity, and materials/resources they use during their stay, as shortages can be a common occurrence in this area.  Tourists that travel in such a manner and have incredible experiences and exposure to nature will come away with a great appreciation for the natural environment.   

Based on the information provided by their website, Machete Tours’ classification as an ecotourism provider and member of the International Ecotourism Society is justified.  The manner in which they facilitate their tours coincides with ecotourism fundamentals and is in the best interest of the local environment and community.   



References and Works Cited

(n.d.). Machete Tours: Peruvian Travel Ecotourism. Retrieved from http:// www.machetetours.com/ 

(2012). Peru EcoAdventure & Cultural Trips. Retrieved from http:// www.cuscomachupicchu.com/

(1990-2012). The International Ecotourism Society. Retrieved from http://www.ecotourism.org/

Wight, P. (1993). Ecotourism: Ethics or Eco-Sell? In Journal of Travel Research. Retrieved from https://learn-uu.uen.org/courses/103289/files/8260235/

5/16/2014

Hello thank you for the comments.i would like to know how i can join this group International Ecotourism Society with my company.

Álvaro Sabogal
Manager Guide
Peruecoadventures and cultural trips

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