Slow down and enjoy the differences…. you’ll be back home with the familiar soon enough.
Enjoy being away
Here are some of our suggestions on how to get the most out of your trip to South America.
It makes a lot of sense to start enjoying your holiday even before you leave home. We suggest you do some reading and learning about where you are off to, by tapping into the many sources of information that are out there, books, blogs, travel web pages, maps and so on. If you spend some time learning about the places and cultures which you are going to come across – it can only enhance your experience.
If you don’t speak any Spanish why not sign up for a language course before you go. If you make the effort to meet and talk to the local people in their own language it will add to your understanding and enjoyment. If you are off to highland Peru then you could try learning a few words of Quechua – that will impress the locals.
We suggest you are sensitive to the behaviour, beliefs and customs of the local people.
If you want to take photographs of people, always ask first, they may not like it. It is worth remembering that you are just one of many visitors.
Laws of land ownership and access may be different from your home country, so don’t assume you can walk anywhere you like. Always ask.
Also of course we recommend that you respect the laws of the country you are travelling in.
Witches market, La Paz
We always try to support small local businesses and therefore to support the local economy, rather than large chains. If you buy local produce then you will be helping the local economy, drink locally made beer or fruit juice rather than imported brands and buy and eat locally grown food.
There may be some flexibility in prices when buying crafts, especially in local markets. Some haggling will be expected. But we recommend you haggle with humour and not aggressively.
You may encounter some begging. We suggest, rather than giving directly to individuals, donating through a charity, clothes, goods, money will always be welcome, and there are many worthwhile organisations that would welcome any help at all. Many kids do not have access to dentists so please don’t give out sweets.
Most South American countries do have a tipping culture, so bear that in mind. Some people rely on tips.
Do try to minimise your environmental impact.
There is very little recycling in South America, so try to minimise use of plastic, single use batteries etc. Turn off lights, power, air conditioning etc when not in use. Resources are limited.
Follow guidelines at popular sites in order to help preserve local wildlife and habitats. Stick to footpaths and don’t buy products made from plants or animals.
Mountain streams are often drinking water so avoid using soap and washing in the water. Carry all rubbish out with you form the mountains,
Do not pollute or bathe in rivers. Often those streams will be someone’s drinking water source further down river.
Never leave rubbish, pack out what you bring in, leave no trace, and even better leave a campsite in as good or better state than you found it.
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The whole trip was just incredible; the planned itinerary went smoothly, everything was perfectly organised and I could not think of any better way to have visited this beautiful country. The cruise on Galapagos Islands obviously was the highlight. Lost in paradise!
The accommodation/food/guides on Coral 1 were amazing! The crew was super nice and we had a lot of fun! The guides had great knowledge to share and the itinerary was super exciting and interesting. During my time on the cruise I talked a lot to the crew members that were all locals working for the conservation of the Islands, I got great insights on the people and culture of the country.
I am super happy to have chosen Andean Trails for my trip and so grateful for the help of Kat, she gave me great recommendation and helped me in the best possible way with the planning of my trip.
Marie Becker (France), July 2022
» Coral I & II Galapagos Cruise Yachts
We had a brilliant time , we loved it and managed all the mountain climbing! Our group was fantastic and also the guides .
We celebrated our wedding anniversary and both our birthdays - they managed to arrange cakes for our birthdays and we had such great laughs with everybody.
Shirley & Colin Whittaker (UK), Mar 2020
» Salkantay Lodge Trek To Machu Picchu
Students Study Food Insecurity & Climate Change in Peru University of Edinburgh students and teachers report back from Peru, where they learned how traditional farming techniques could help prevent climate change and reduce food insecurity. The team visited coastal Lima, the Cusco Highlands, and the cloud forest. For Andean Trails and our local team, it was a chance to showcase a side of Peru that many visitors may not see when passing through. It went so well that the University has already signed up its team to another Food Security tour in the spring of 2024. Learning About …
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