Andean Trails is a specialist, independent UK-based tour operator, operating a wide range of small group and private tours across South America and Namibia.
Kathy Jarvis founded the company back in 1998 after falling in love with South America as a tour leader and guide book writer.
Through our fixed group departures, as well as individually created tailor-made itineraries, we aim to share with you the spectacular wilderness areas, fascinating native cultures and diverse wildlife of this spellbinding continent.
We offer everything from active tours and expeditions to more leisurely holidays.
All of our UK office staff have lived and worked for many years in South America, so we can give you a personalised service based on plenty of first hand experience.
We are fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and German.
Read more about us.
Your Financial Protection
Andean Trails is fully compliant with European tour operator regulations. Financial security is guaranteed through our ATOL bond (6275) and our solicitor-managed Trust Account.
Tailor Made Trips, Custom Tours and Private Treks
Increasingly we are asked to put together tailor made tours, customised trips and treks for independent individuals and groups.
Our first hand experience and intimate local knowledge, together with a network of high quality local guides and agents, allow us to create an authentic itinerary to meet your precise specifications… just get in touch, and we can discuss the options.
Small group tours
Andean Trails is in favour of responsible tourism. By limiting the size of our groups we aim to minimise environmental impact and achieve greater flexibility.
Our normal group-size is between 6 and 12 plus a leader, although some groups extend u to 16 people.
The typical age range is 25-55 with similar ratios of couples and singles, males and females. You will find yourself travelling with like-minded people; experienced trekkers, mountain bikers and climbers, as well as relative novices.
Most of our trekking, biking and jungle expeditions are fully supported, meaning you need only carry a small pack with items needed during the day, such as a camera, binoculars and waterproofs.
The rest of the luggage is transported by porters, donkeys or a support vehicle. We find that while on trek, a certain level of comfort is appreciated. We are generally accompanied by a team of local staff who set up camp and cook for us.
On trekking expeditions, kitchen, dining and toilet tents are usually provided (where possible).
Our group tours are led by a locally appointed leader or a native English speaking-guide living in the country you are visiting. All have long-term experience in the field.
Our leaders and guides have been chosen primarily for their knowledge of the areas they work in and their fluency in English and Spanish.
While on trekking, climbing and jungle sectors of the tour, our groups are always accompanied by an experienced and appropriately qualified local guide.
Andean Trails promotes responsible tourism and tries to make only a positive impact on our destination landscapes and communities.
We are involved in a number of organisations which work to protect and conserve the areas we visit. Andean Trails is committed to contributing on a regular base to three NGOs in Peru. (Amantani, Huchuy Yachaq, ECOAN).
We are also members of a variety of organisations that work in nature and wildlife conservation – John Muir Trust, the Galapagos Conservation Trust, the LATA Foundation, Rainforest Concern, and Tourism Concern.
All our staff trips are carbon neutral and we encourage others to do the same by sending a donation to Rainforest Concern or Trees For Life.
We believe that a sense of adventure and an open mind are the most important things you can bring with you.
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+44 (0)131 467 7086
+44 (0)131 554 6025
The highlight of our holiday was the amazing trek and being in such a remote location surrounded by the most majestic, beautiful mountains. It was absolutely awesome.
Accommodation: It was great in Lima and comfortable in Huaraz with a fantastic rooftop breakfast!
Food: The food on the trek was excellent - we are vegetarian and the cook (Estaban) provided us with delicious, creative and beautiful food throughout and plenty of it. He was like a magician, conjuring up the loveliest food whilst camping in a remote setting.
Guide: Our trek guide (Yunmer) was great. He was extremely informative, had a great sense of humour and was really enthusiastic. He helped carry Jane's water and bag at times - not that we asked him to. He insisted! I have recently had my collarbone plated and he was keen to relieve me of the burden of carrying anything to heavy.
Trek staff: Our donkey / horse driver (Gusman) was brilliant, hard working and quietly helped around camp, setting up, taking down and moving us from one home to the next. The trekking team as a whole were exceptional, really supportive and kind and worked really well together.
Overall organisation was excellent. We felt we were in good hands and looked after well both before and after the trek.
Acclimatising: Acclimatisation walk around Huaraz with Rodolfo was a perfect start to the holiday. Rodolfo is extremely reliable, efficient, well informed and a lovely person. It was great to gain a little insight into the people and culture of the region.
The acclimatisation walk to Laguna Churup with David was another fantastic day. David has been living in the mountains for many years and shared some of his experience and knowledge with us as we surveyed the landscape of peaks, glaciers and lakes.
Benefitting local communities: The local people benefit from the presence of tourists as we provide them an income. Visiting tourists encourages everyone to look after and help maintain this pristine environment- those in the remote communities and also our own trekking team. Visiting tourists also need to respect this. The local people were very grateful that we visited them and also very grateful to Andean trails for their support. They encouraged us to return or send other friends and family. We had some great interactions with our little team and a lot of fun. Sharing our time with these lovely, charming people was very special and we felt that they benefitted as well as us.
Overall: We would strongly recommend anyone who loves nature, being outside and has a sense of adventure to do it.
It is a very special, magical place. Having seen people undertaking the trek unsupported, we felt that having a supported trek was perfect for us as we could really enjoy just being there.
Jane & Greg Windsor, Aus, Sep 2019
» Cordillera Huayhuash Trek, Circuit Walk
We had an absolutely amazing trip and everything was perfect.
Highlights – there were loads of highlights. We loved Quito – especially the morning we went up the Teleferico. We could see for miles over the city to snow capped Volcanos beyond. Our Equador guide and driver were brilliant – Miguel and Memo. They went out or their way to make sure we saw as much as possible – we wouldn’t have seen or learned as much without them. We saw humming bird, toucans, tangers and a fantastic bird of prey sanctuary that wasn’t on the original schedule.
The Galapagos Islands were amazing. Again we saw so much and the guides were brilliant. They were so enthusiastic about their islands, the animals and conservation.
Accommodation etc – the hotels were all excellent. We loved the quirkyness of the hotel in Quito. The staff were very helpful and friendly. The Septimo Paraiso eco lodge in the cloud forest and the Hacienda Las Palmeras near Otavalo were great – the food at Las Palmeras was really excellent. The airport hotel was spotless and friendly but the set meal of Spaghetti bolognese wasn’t great to be honest. We ate in some lovely restaurants and the guides picked some lovely places to stop for food.
Sol y Mar on Santa Cruz was lovely too.
We loved Hotel Albemarle on Isabela. It was a perfect place to spend 5 nights. The rooms were comfy, clean with lovely balconies and views. There were some really good local restaurants, especially Coco surf, recommended by Tania, our Isabela guide.
The company that did our trip to Los Tuneles were fantastic. The guide was so enthusiastic and determined that we would see loads of wildlife. He took loads of photos with his gopro then downloaded them all for us for free when we got back. The lunch on the boat that day was chicken and rice which all three of my kids said was the best lunch they’d had all holiday. It might have been because they were all cold and knackered – they even took the hot sweet tea on offer.
I hope we benefitted the local communities. We enjoyed our trips to the coffee plantation and the chocolate factory and certainly brought plenty of chocolate and coffee back with us. I would like to think that the money we spent goes in someway to help conservation efforts and to keep the cloud forests and the Galapagos Islands as special and unique as they clearly are.
We picked Andean trails because you are based in Scotland and seemed to understand out requirements and came up with a perfect sounding itinary. Flying from Galsgow via Amsterdam worked well and for us was definitely the quickest and easiest way to get there.
Everything worked out perfectly. We had a totally brilliant time. I think it is all still sinking in...
L. Keany, UK, Aug 2019
» 4-day Ecuador Family Holiday
South America Travel Special - mailchi.mp/cad4bbf7fc36/south-…
1st November, 2019 3:14 pm
The Patagonia National Park in the Chilean region of Aysen was formed in 2018 and is the combination of the Lago Jeinimeni National Reserve, Lago Cochrane/Tamango Reserve and the Parque Patagonia also known as Patagonia Park in the Chacabuco Valley. The latter was created by Conservacion Patagonica, a nonprofit incorporated in California whose mission was to protect Patagonia’s wildlands and ecosystems. The National Park covers an area of over 300,000 hectares. Doug and Kris Tompkins Conservationists Douglas Tompkins, the founder of The North Face and Esprit, and Kristine Tompkins first visited the Chacabuco Valley in 1995 and …
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