Frequently Asked Questions

Browse through our collection of FAQs (and their answers of course!) just by scrolling down and clicking over the + symbols when you want to read the answers.

Alternatively, utilize the table of contents to swiftly navigate to the section that captures your utmost interest.

Kindly take note that we have recently expanded our operations from Peru to Ecuador (including Galapagos) and Costa Rica. Some information may still refer to Peru as the primary destination, as well as some links leading to Peru-related details. Rest assured, we are diligently updating these FAQs. Soon, you will find the information you need tailored to your specific destination.

Excursion Platform

What is the Excursion (or Platform) Section?

The Platform Section is a curated collection of the most sustainable and immersive excursions along all our destinations.

Our team handpicks these excursions to ensure that they provide unique experiences for travelers, while also prioritizing sustainable tourism practices.

What types of excursions are available in the Platform Section?

We offer a variety of excursions, including day tours and multi-day tours. These excursions cover a range of activities and destinations, such as trekking, cultural experiences, wildlife watching, and gastronomic tours.

How do you select the excursions in the Platform Section?

Our team carefully researches and selects excursions based on several criteria, including sustainability, community involvement, cultural immersion, and unique experiences. We work with local partners who share our values and are committed to impactful tourism practices.

What makes the excursions in the Platform Section sustainable?

We prioritize sustainability in all of the excursions we offer. This means that we work with local partners who are committed to responsible tourism practices, such as reducing waste, conserving natural resources, and supporting the local economy.

How does booking an excursion from the Platform Section support local communities?

Many of the excursions in the Platform Section are designed to support local communities by providing economic opportunities and promoting cultural exchange. By booking an excursion with us, you are helping to support local communities and contribute to sustainable tourism practices.

Can I customize an excursion from the Platform Section?

Yes, many of the excursions in the Platform Section can be customized to meet your specific interests and needs. Simply contact our platform team to discuss your customization options.

What is included in my trip?

Every tour or trip has a field specifying every item included, and excluded in the price. For longer trips please refer to the PDF itinerary which you can ask for through the Enquiry form. 

Items not specifically indicated as included, are generally not included. Examples are international flights, early check-ins or late check-outs (unless stated otherwise), souvenirs, laundry, tips, insurance and other personal expenses, and those items marked as optional or “Your Cost”. Optional excursions should be booked in advance.

What health and safety measures are in place for excursions in the Platform Section?

We prioritize the health and safety of our customers and local partners. We work with local partners who adhere to strict health and safety protocols and follow all government regulations. We also provide our customers with comprehensive health and safety information before each excursion. For more information on this subject, check out the corresponding section below.

What if I have questions about my excursion or need assistance?

Impactful Travel is dedicated to providing excellent customer service. If you have any questions or need assistance before or during your excursion, you can contact our platform team for support (or simply e-mail us to platform[at] We are here to help you have a memorable and sustainable travel experience.

What happens to the commission that Impactul Travel earns?

Impactful Travel earns a commission for each trip we sell, which varies according to destination, duration, and type of trip. This commission allows us to cover our operational costs and generate a reasonable profit margin.

How will the communication during my trip be?

If you book an excursion through the platform, this service is not included. You can still try to buy a SIM card yourself upon arrival at any of our destinations (not every shop wil allow foreigners to buy one). Nevertheless, you can reach the tour provider directly by responding to the previous emails or using the phone number as provided in those emails. Be careful with roaming costs! Preferably use an internet-based service to call, for example Whatsapp or Skype.

Booking from the Platform

How do I book an excursion from the Platform Section?

To book an excursion on the Impactful Travel platform, simply browse our selection of excursions, select the one you are interested in, and follow the steps to book and pay for your trip online.

How far in advance should I book?

This is different for each tour. For most tours, you need to book at least 72 to 48 hours in advance so that we have enough time to coordinate with the service providers. Longer tours might need even more anticipation. If you need to book on short notice and the website doesn’t allow you, please contact us as soon as possible: but we can’t make any promises!

Is the price valid for next year?

If you book very far in advance for the next calendar year, probably not. If this is the case, drop us a line.

We try hard to get the next year’s prices on time, but even governmental places (like archaeological sites) publish next year’s prices in the last months, or even last weeks, of the current year. 

How can I see the prices for a tour for my amount of travellers?

If you want to see the price for your situation, please select an amount of travelers (number of adults, children, etc) in the booking form, on the right side of the tour page (or the bottom on the mobile version). You will then see the total price for your group size and date right above it. For some tours, the price will change according to the chosen package. 

If the booking form is not yet visible for the tour you’re checking, please fill in the enquiry form and we’ll solve it!

(Price will only be shown on dates with availability.)

How do I cancel a booking? What are the fees involved?

In case you would have to cancel the reservation, we unfortunately need to charge you costs which we can not get back. These include administrative and personnel costs to administer cancellations. We ask you for your understanding. These are the conditions:

  • By canceling your tour 30 days (or more) before starting the tour: Impactful Travel charges 10% of the total amount, excl. flights. Additional charges may apply when you have to change the date. This is out of our control. Please note: in case of a refund, an administrative fee for bank costs will apply.
  • By canceling your tour 29-16 days before starting the tour: Impactful Travel charges 25% of the total amount, excl. flights;
  • By canceling your tour 15-5 days before starting the tour: Impactful Travel charges 40% of the total amount, excl. flights;
  • By canceling your tour 4-3 days before starting the tour: Impactful Travel charges 60% of the total amount, excl. flights;
  • By canceling your tour within 48 hours before starting the tour, we need to charge you 100% of the total amount, excl. flights.

Certain costs such as tickets for the Inca Trail in Peru might not be covered under the above arrangement because these are non refundable. We will inform you honestly about these exceptions.

Custom Itineraries

What is the Customized Section?

The Customized Section is where you can plan the perfect travel itinerary with our travel designers. Our expert trip planners will work with you to co-create a unique travel experience that meets all your travel desires.

How do I start planning my customized itinerary?

To start planning your customized itinerary, simply contact our team of travel designers. They will work with you to understand your interests, travel style, and budget, and then create a unique itinerary that meets all your needs.

How long does it take to plan a customized itinerary?

The time it takes to plan a customized itinerary varies depending on the complexity of your trip and the number of destinations you want to visit. Our travel designers typically work with clients for several weeks to ensure that every detail of the itinerary is perfect.

What types of experiences can I include in my customized itinerary?

You can include a wide range of experiences in your customized itinerary, including cultural experiences, adventure activities, culinary experiences, and more. Our travel designers will work with you to understand your interests and recommend experiences that align with your travel desires.

How do you ensure that my customized itinerary is sustainable and impactful?

We are committed to promoting sustainable and impactful tourism. Our travel designers work with local partners who share our values and are committed to sustainable tourism practices. We also prioritize experiences that promote cultural exchange and support local communities. For more information on this subject, check out the corresponding section below.

What is the cost of a customized itinerary?

The cost of a customized itinerary varies depending on the destinations you want to visit, the experiences you want to include, and the level of accommodations you prefer. Our travel designers will work with you to create an itinerary that fits within your budget.

Can I make changes to my customized itinerary after it's been finalized?

Yes, we understand that travel plans can change. Our travel designers are happy to make changes to your itinerary, as long as it’s feasible and doesn’t affect the other aspects of your trip.

How do I book my customized itinerary?

Once your customized itinerary is finalized, our travel designers will provide you with all the information you need to book your trip, including accommodations, transportation, and activities.

How will the communication during my trip be?

If you book a custom itinerary or a tour longer than six days, we will provide you with a local SIM card and also add you to a private WhatsApp Group, allowing us to communicate almost every moment with each other. You can buy credit for calls and data usage yourself (we will provide instructions) and use your own (unblocked!) phone. You can give the number to someone back home for emergencies, but please be aware that text messages and phone calls from abroad don’t always arrive. It is better to use an online chat/call app like WhatsApp to ensure the best communication with your relatives back home. The remaining credit at the end of your trip cannot be returned.

General Practical Information

What should I pack for my trip?

Please refer to our articles What to Pack for your Trip to Peru

or Essential Packing Tips for Your Ecuador and Galapagos Adventure

for all your questions about packing for your trip.

Whether you’re going to the jungle of Ecuador or the mountains or Peru, you’ll find the answers you need.

What is the best time to travel?

Peru and Ecuador are tropical countries with marked seasons and varied topography that make their climate a highly variable aspect along their whole territories.

For Peru:

December, January, and February are summertime, which is generally characterized by rains along the country except for the coast. This is a period of time where most of the touristic activities are not recommended.

On the contrary, the winter time comprises July, August and September on the coast, while the rest of the country is suitable to visit. Of course winter also is accompanied by lower temperatures along the country, but the northern coast and the jungle are always exceptions, as weather varies little. This is for instance considered the high season.

Remember that during your briefings your travel specialist, as well as local guides, will give you all the necessary advice. In this article we’ll help you decide on the Best Time to Travel to Peru.

EEcuador and Peru share some similarities in terms of seasons. However, due to Ecuador’s unique location right on the Equator, its climate can exhibit both exceptional consistency and extreme fluctuations. Understanding this, it’s natural to have concerns about your trip. To alleviate any worries, we have compiled the essential information in a comprehensive guide: The Best Time to Travel to Ecuador.

Do I need a tourist visa?

Your passport will be the main travel document you will have to carry with you during your visit to Peru and Ecuador. Citizens of most countries won’t have the need for visas but check with the Peruvian/Ecuadorian consulate or embassy in your country before traveling.

Do I need personal travel insurance?

Impactful Travel strongly recommends all travelers to have a good travel insurance, which includes mountain activities, for the duration of the trip. If it can cover costs in case of molest, social unrest, natural disasters and/or covid-related costs that would be preferable.

Why do I have to hand in passport copies?

To comply with Peru’s tax rules (and sometimes, to buy tickets for you), we are legally required to hand over a copy of each traveler’s passport to the Peruvian authorities. If we don’t have your passports (and correctly), we will have to Late Charge you 18% sales taxes (on some tours). We’d rather have you spend that money in a local restaurant or on a typical souvenir from Peru! Find out more about how to safely share your passport in this article.

We are diligently compiling detailed information regarding the passport requirements for traveling to Ecuador. In the meantime, each traveler will receive personalized information through direct communication via email.

What is the currency in Peru/Ecuador

The currency in Peru is the sol (PEN). U.S. dollars are also widely accepted in many places.

In Ecuador, the official currency is the U.S. dollar.


Where can I exchange my money?

You can exchange money at banks, exchange offices, and some hotels. ATMs are also widely available.

How much money should I bring for my daily expenses?

Keep in mind, though, that each traveler is unique and the following information only acts as a reference point. Categories are based on two people traveling together. If you travel with more people, it’s normally cheaper.

Wise budget, $100 – $125 per day per person: nice 2-star hotels and homestays, group excursions. 

Flexible, $125 – $150 per day per person: Nice accommodations (2-3 sometimes 4 stars according to preferences), private excursions, unique experiences. 

Superior$150 – $175 per day per person: superior accommodations, more unique experiences, frequently in private services. 

Luxury: $175+ per day per person: Only boutique, 4 and 5-star accommodations (where available), unique special excursions, excellent gastronomy, etc.

How much should I tip guides and drivers during my trip?

  • Private drivers, private guides, and restaurants expect tips. These are not very large and depending on what you thought of the service that was granted.
  • For example, for a good guide you can pay between 10 and 15 dollars a day (as a group: not per person), for a good driver (for a whole day) half.
  • Drivers who are not private don’t expect a tip, nor a taxi ride in a city.
  • In restaurants between 5% and 10% of the total amount.
  • Group tour guides can expect a tip, but less than a private guide. For example, count on 2 to 5 dollars per person.
  • Other people who really improve your travel experience (the private driver who tells a lot, nice family, etc.) you can show your appreciation by giving something.
  • With local host families, instead of a tip, you can also think of a gift: for example, a game for the children (also promotes the interaction!), school material, some sweets from your country or something of your own place of residence, your company or school.

As a general rule, tips are always optional!

Gime me more, I want to know more!

About Peru (find information about Ecuador below)

Language: The official language of Peru is Spanish, but many people also speak indigenous languages such as Quechua.

Time zone: Peru is in the GMT-5 time zone.

Climate: Peru has a varied climate, with the coastal regions being dry and desert-like, the Andes being colder and drier, and the Amazon being hot and humid.

Food and drink: Peruvian cuisine is diverse and delicious, with many unique flavors and ingredients. Try the ceviche, lomo saltado, and pisco sour while in Peru.

Transportation: Taxis and buses are the most common forms of transportation in Peru. Be sure to negotiate the fare with taxi drivers before getting in.

Electricity: The electrical outlets in Peru are typically 220 volts and normally A and C types or a combination of them. Bring a converter if necessary.

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is widely available in most hotels, restaurants, and cafes in major cities.

Dress code: Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and bring warm clothes if traveling to high-altitude destinations.

Etiquette: Peruvians are generally friendly and hospitable. It’s polite to greet people with a handshake or kiss on the cheek.

Festivals: Peru has many colorful festivals throughout the year, including Inti Raymi (Inca festival of the sun) and Carnaval.

National parks: Peru has many national parks and conservation areas, including Manu National Park and Huascarán National Park.

Souvenirs: Look for traditional handicrafts and avoid souvenirs of animal origin and true archaeological pieces.

About Ecuador

Language: The official language of Ecuador is Spanish, but indigenous languages such as Kichwa and Shuar are also spoken.

Time zone: Ecuador is in the GMT-5 time zone, except for the Galapagos Islands, which are in GMT-6.

Climate: Ecuador has a diverse climate due to its geographical variation. The coastal areas have a tropical climate, the Andes are cooler and more temperate, and the Amazon rainforest region is hot and humid.

Food and drink: Ecuadorian cuisine is rich in flavor, with popular dishes like ceviche, llapingachos, and locro de papas. Don’t miss trying the traditional drink called canelazo.

Transportation: Taxis, buses, and trolleybuses are the common modes of transportation in Ecuador’s cities. Negotiate the fare with taxi drivers before starting the trip.

Electricity: The electrical outlets in Ecuador are typically 110 volts, and the plugs are type A and B. Consider bringing a voltage converter and adapter for your electronic devices.

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is readily available in most hotels, restaurants, and cafes in major cities and tourist areas in Ecuador.

Dress code: When visiting churches or religious sites, it’s advised to dress modestly and conservatively. Pack layers, as temperatures can vary depending on the region.

Etiquette: Ecuadorians are known for their warmth and friendliness. It’s customary to greet people with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek. Politeness and respecting personal space are valued.

Festivals: Ecuador celebrates various vibrant festivals throughout the year, such as Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun) and the colorful Carnival celebrations.

National parks: Ecuador is home to numerous national parks and reserves, including the famous Galapagos National Park and Cotopaxi National Park.

Souvenirs: Look for unique Ecuadorian handicrafts, such as Panama hats, colorful textiles, and tagua nut carvings. Avoid purchasing souvenirs made from endangered species or genuine archaeological artifacts.

Health & Safety

Which vaccines are recommended?

Visit a travel doctor who can give you professional advice on what vaccinations may be necessary. Some routine vaccinations are obligatory, like DTP, Hepatitis A and B. If you go into the Amazon jungle, a yellow fever injection is obligatory and malaria recommended. (Official CDC info here.)

Even if the following article refers to Peru, similar advices are to be carried when traveling to Ecuador:
Read more on how to stay healthy when traveling in Peru here.

Finally, please make sure you have a valid COVID-19 vaccination. Although it is not obligatory anymore, the chances of an infection are to be taken seriously when your itinerary includes flights or long bus rides (which they all do). Our guides and drivers would be grateful, too.

What if I have pre-existing medical conditions?

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, please let us know when booking or making an enquiry. We will work with to create a tour that suits your requirements.

What if I have dietary restrictions or allergies?

If you suffer any allergy o dietary restrictions, make sure to inform us during checkout and we will take the necessary precautions. Our local partners are used to catering for different kinds of travelers; even in the local communities you can eat gluten-free, vegan or with nut allergy. We do need to know in advance though, please, because the coordinations do take time.

Am I going to be safe during my trip?

Over the years, Peru has developed as a stable and friendly country for all visitors. At the same time however, there has been a growing division between the poor and rich population. Since tourists are likely to attract attention, it is wise to travel ‘low profile’ avoiding to show valuable items (cameras, iPods, wallets, smartwatches) and watching your luggage closely at all times.

In Ecuador, similar to Peru, there is a growing wealth disparity between the rich and poor populations. To ensure personal safety the same recommendations are advisable. 


Is tap water in Peru/Ecuador safe to drink?

No, in most cases it is not. Mineral water is available everywhere but the most ecofriendly manner (and also cheaper on longer trips) is to use a water filter. There are many options, like water bottles with built-in filter, filter pumps or UV filters. Make sure they also filter/kill viruses and bacteria.

We also recommend to download some refill apps like: Tap, MyMizu, Refill, RefillMyBottle, Closca and find stations near you to get free or cheaper safe to drink water.

In the meantime, you can read the following post as a reference How to stay healthy and happy when traveling in Peru

How to avoid altitude sickness?

Most cities and attractions of Andean countries are located high in the mountains. During a standard itinerary through, you will sleep many nights above three thousand meters (11.000 feet) above sea level and occasionally reach altitudes well above four thousand meters (13.000 feet).

Altitude sickness is usually a problem for travelers who ascend too quickly; for example those who fly or take a bus directly into Cusco or Huaraz from lower altitude levels. Although not everyone is equally affected by the altitude, it usually takes a few days for the body to adjust to the low oxygen levels. You should be aware as well, that even if you have been to high altitude destinations before without having any problems, that does not mean you won’t have them this time. Our reaction to the altitude can change throughout our lives. Therefore, upon arriving, it is possible that you experience shortness of breath from only minor physical exercise as well as dizziness, insomnia and a loss of appetite. Make sure that you always drink enough: the rule of thumb is to drink at the very least one liter of water per day for every 1.000 meters.

Apart from drinking a lot, be attentive to not dehydrating yourself either: don’t drink too much alcohol or coffee, protect yourself from the very strong sun, take it easy and if you sweat: drink even more! Your food habits are also important: don’t eat too heavy the days before you will travel to higher altitudes.

Practical Information for families

Can I travel in Peru/Ecuador with young children?

We advise against traveling through Peru with children under the age of 6 due to the high altitudes and long travel distances involved. A similar guideline applies to Ecuador, although the distances can be considerably shorter. We believe that from (more or less) 8 years onwards, children will understand much more of what’s going on, will be able to keep themselves safe and will enjoy and value the experiences much more. 

We have designed hundreds of family trips in the past, for families with kids of all ages. We love to design itineraries that take into account the wishes, restrictions and budget of each family (member) and put all our knowledge and experience at work to get the most satisfying result. 

You can find some recommended family-friendly tours and activities here. However, we really recommend you to contact our team of travel designers to custom design a family trip for you. It’s not much more expensive whilst we will improve the experience for all family members a lot because we can cater to the specific needs of your family. 



What are the visa requirements for traveling to Peru/Ecuador with family?

Citizens of many countries, including the US and EU, do not require a visa for visits up to 90 days. Check with your local Peruvian embassy or consulate for specific requirements.

According to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, citizens of the United States and European Union countries do not need visas for visits of up to 90 days. Additional information can be found on their website (

What vaccinations are recommended for traveling to Peru/Ecuador with family?

First of all, make sure to consult with a medical professional for personalized recommendations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that travelers to Ecuador receive the following vaccinations prior to travel: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and B, and influenza. Some travelers may also consider getting vaccinated for meningococcal disease and rabies. Additionally, all travelers should make sure their routine vaccines are up-to-date.

The vaccinations recommended for traveling to Peru with family include Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Rabies, and Tetanus. The CDC also recommends that individuals receive routine vaccinations such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP), and the yearly flu vaccine.

What is the best time of year to travel to Peru/Ecuador with family?

The best time to travel to Peru with a family is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. This is especially important if you plan to visit Machu Picchu, as the rainy season can make trekking difficult.

The Best Time to Travel to Ecuador with family is from June to September. This is the country’s dry season, and while the temperatures can be quite hot during the day, there are usually pleasant breezes in the early evening. This is also a great time to visit as many of the national parks and reserves are open for visitors. In addition, it is a good time for outdoor activities like kayaking, rafting and hiking.

The Best Time to Travel to the Galapagos Islands with family is from June to December. During this time, the temperatures are mild and the wildlife viewing opportunities are plentiful. This is also when the dry season occurs, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and hiking.


What are some family-friendly activities in Peru/Ecuador?

Here is our dedicated page to the subject

But in general, some family-friendly activities in Peru include visiting Machu Picchu, exploring the Amazon rainforest, visiting Lake Titicaca, and participating in cultural activities like weaving and cooking classes.

Family-friendly activities in Ecuador include venturing to the Galapagos Islands, exploring the Amazon Rainforest, and engaging in cultural experiences like traditional crafts and indigenous village visits.

What should families pack for a trip to Peru/Ecuador?

Families should pack comfortable clothing and shoes for exploring, warm clothing for high-altitude destinations like the Andes, sunscreen and insect repellent, and any necessary medications.  More about this subject here,

What to Pack for your Trip to Peru

and here:

Essential Packing Tips for Your Ecuador and Galapagos Adventure

What are some safety tips for traveling to Peru/Ecuador with a family?

Travelers should take precautions to avoid pickpocketing and theft, especially in crowded areas. It is also recommended to drink bottled/filtered water and avoid uncooked foods to prevent illness. More about this subject here, How to Stay Safe and Healthy when traveling in Peru  (As a general rule, the same tips can be used for Ecuador).

What is the best way to get around Peru/Ecuador with a family?

The best way to get around Peru/Ecuador with a family is by private transportation, such as a rental car or private driver. Public transportation can be crowded and difficult to navigate with children. But if you are seasoned travelers and enjoy the adventure of traveling like locals, public transport can be quite an immersive experience.

What are the emergency numbers in Peru?


Police/City watch (Serenazgo)105
Firemen 116
Ambulance 106


Police 101
Ambulance 131


What is sustainability?

Sustainability is a term that is widely used, but easily misunderstood. An integrated definition of the concept refers to the ongoing process of preserving society and the environment. It is about making responsible use of the world’s resources, and avoid to negatively influence future generations. The capacity for the biosphere and humanity to co-exist.

Simply explained, sustainability is about assuring the permanence and maintenance of material and non-material resources and heritage (environmental, economic, socio-cultural) of the planet across generations.

For more info you can read our blog 4 things to know about sustainable and community-based tourism.

Tourism can be a force for good in our world, playing a part in protecting our planet and its biodiversity, and celebrating what makes us human: from discovering new places and cultures to connecting with new people and experiencies.” António Guterres – UN General Secretary

What does sustainable travel mean?

Sustainable travel means traveling in a way that has a positive impact on the environment, economy, and local communities. This includes supporting local businesses, minimizing waste and pollution, and respecting cultural and natural resources.

Why do you call itself a sustainable tour operator?

This is a great question, very well answered by our sustainability reports (among many other  posts in our Blog) but please take into consideration that before being Impactful Travel our brand only covered Peru, and it was called RESPONSible Travel Peru, that is why you still see the following titles with our former name

En Route Towards Sustainability in 2019
RESPONS Sustainability Report 2022


Find all the articles published in the category Sustainability here.

Do you have any certifications or proof of your sustainability efforts?

We are Travelife certified at partner level since 2019, meaning that we report about all of our processes every other year assuring that we keep at least a minimum level of sustainability strategies in place at all times. Moreover the Travelife platform allows us (staff and even our suppliers) to train ourselves with updated on-line courses that nowadays match our education needs with the overall aim of reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We are currently working on obtaining the Certified level of Travelife.

How can I support sustainable tourism?

You can support sustainable tourism by choosing eco-friendly accommodations, eating at local restaurants, buying locally made products, and using public transportation or walking whenever possible.

How can I be a responsible traveler?

These are a couple of good blogs we recommend to any traveler in the quest to be a responsible one:

To what project does my money go if I buy any particular tour?

Some tours include a certain contribution (monetary or specific items) to a directly related cause in their price. For the rest of the cases, yearly incomes contribute to the enlargement of our fund that we democratically distribute among our favorite social and environmental causes after nomination and votation. Sometimes this money is more quickly used if an emergency occurs, like a natural disaster, personal accident, or a pandemic, and we see if it is an opportunity to take action and provide an immediate relief to those affected.

How can I directly participate in an social/environmental activity?

When planning your itinerary, let your Travel Designer know about your desire to participate in social/environmental activities, and she or he will certainly provide you with all the possibilities according to your route and time of your visit. You can plant trees. Or volunteer at an Animal Rescue Center. In terms of social activities, these are generally a bit more difficult as it usually takes longer stays for you to enroll in such activities but some non-profit hotels offer short tours to their project sites or you can partake in an activity with NGO’s that offer art workshops.

How can I minimize my environmental impact when traveling?

You can minimize your environmental impact by using refillable water bottles, avoiding single-use plastics, supporting conservation efforts, and following Leave No Trace principles when hiking or exploring natural areas.

What are some eco-friendly accommodations?

Some eco-friendly accommodations include lodges and hotels that use renewable energy, have water conservation practices, and support local conservation efforts. Look for certifications like Rainforest Alliance, Travelife, Green Globe, TourCert among many others.

What is CBT and why is it sustainable?

Community-based Tourism (CBT) is normally understood as tourism taking place in rural areas where families, part of a community, or the whole community are involved in the tourism economic chain. The idea is that the visitor is able to experience first hand the way of living of a community, or family group, staying at their houses and participating in the daily activities. This kind of direct interaction without the need of intermediaries (or very little) allows a meaningful connection and positive exchange between host and guest. CBT is by concept a small-scale activity, an alternative income for a community or family, and it is not restricted to the rural areas, as there are examples of this kind of tourism inside cities where very particular realities take place.

We invite you to read: 4 things to know about sustainable and community-based tourism

How can I support local communities when traveling?

You can support local communities by visiting community-based tourism projects, buying locally made products, and hiring local guides and services. This helps to create economic opportunities and support cultural preservation efforts.

What is Slow Travel?

Slow travel means to stay longer, to be a dedicated traveler, to immerse yourself in the destination, to embrace the cultural and natural aspects of the place your are visiting. To have the time to learn and to be reciprocous, to leave a mark but not leaving traces. To move by more friendly ways of transportation even if they may take longer.

Can I take photos and videos of the local people?

Everyone directly involved in your visit, like the hostfamily, the local guides or families you visit during excursions, are usually fine with pictures. If you make a really nice (family) portrait and you promise to send it to them, make sure to fulfill that promise!

As to anyone not directly involved, like other community members you meet on a hike, it would be kind to ask them first if it’s OK to take a picture. If the picture is great and/or they’re a little uncomfortable, it’s OK to give a little tip if they are doing you the favour of posing or allowing you to take your photo. 

Showing the resultant picture is always nice if you have the time! 

What cultural considerations should I be aware of when traveling?

It’s important to respect local cultures and traditions when traveling. This includes dressing modestly when visiting religious sites, asking for permission before taking photos of people, and avoiding activities that exploit animals or people.

Why I should not take pictures or handle wildlife used as pets?

Normally, these animals are taken while young from their natural environment, most of the times (if not always) this involves killing adults and/or high rate of death of individuals by inappropiate manipulation or a lack of proper care. The remaining animals used for display are normally not healthy, malnourished, stressed, mistreated and abused.

Why is opting for vegetarian/vegan food considered sustainable?

Livestock farming has become so prevalent, unethical, artificial, and unhealthy that cannot be considered sustainable at all. Cattle ranches take up a lot of space. To provide that space, forests are cleared at an alarming rate. Furthermore, the amount of water needed for the production of meat is (especially beef) overwhelming. This is a big problem considering we are running out of water in many places of the planet. The amount of Greenhouse Gas Emissions naturally produced by cattle (methane) is enormous, as well.

The conditions, in which animals in most farms live are inhuman and insanitary, causing stress and illnesses. Therefore, most animal products result from an unbearable amount of hormones and antibiotics injected into them, which makes the consumption of these animals quite unhealthy for us, too. The production of animal protein is much very inefficient in terms of energy and resources. We need a lot fewer resources to produce the same amount of vegetal protein.

When it comes to seafood, the situation is similar. Shrimp farms are located in coastal areas next to mangroves. The mangroves have to be destroyed for the sake of the farms, even though they are very important CO2 absorbers. Many fishing vessels overfish and destroy entire ecosystems with their techniques, which lead to a lot of endangered species ending up as so-called “bycatch” (= fish that will not be sold on the market but still be killed during the fishing process). There are even vessels guilty of slavery.

For these and many more reasons, vegetarianism and veganism are considered sustainable. If you want to make a difference but struggle to avoid meat and fish completely, try making changes step by step. Start by avoiding beef, which emits most CO2, and fish, as of the great role our oceans play in our planet’s health.

Is veganism only about not eating animals?

It is basically about not consuming animal products in any way. Besides not eating animal or animal-derived products, strict vegans also refuse the use of leather, fur, or any other product of animal sources for clothing, decoration, furniture, or even entertainment. The overall idea is not to cause harm to animals.

Why is eating local products and products of the season considered sustainable?

Opting for local and seasonal produce supports the producers in the immediate area, avoiding competition from big far-away markets that have better trading conditions. Moreover, it avoids transportation and unnecessary cooling of the products. Thus, we can cut down on energy and emissions.

What are sensitive activities?

Sensitive activities include:

Captive animal attractions
Wildlife watching and visiting protected areas (including parks)
Marine activities (snorkeling, diving, sport fishing, whale, dolphin, and turtle watching)
Visits to indigenous and traditional communities
Visits to cultural and historic sensitive sites

I have more questions related to sustainability, where can I address them?

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