Logo Valencia Travel
Download Blog
Call Us
Travel sustainably in Cusco

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 08-03-2022

Sustainable travel is travelling in a way that leaves the place you visit in the same way, or better condition than it was previously. This can mean not taking the stone you found at Machu Picchu as a souvenir or making sure that you take all of your litter with you from Colca canyon. There are many different sustainable ways to travel, from personal changes that anyone travelling to Peru can make to company-led community involvement, such as contributing to the local communities that you will be visiting.

Working the land

Sustainable travel, responsible tourism, and regenerative travel are vital, especially in a country such as Peru, as it means that remarkable, historical areas remain intact for local people and visitors alike, to enjoy for years to come. The easiest way to ensure that you are traveling responsibly is to plan your vacation with an operator that has already committed to sustainability in its operation and management of its tours.

Peruvian potatoes

How Can I Travel More Sustainably?

If you are looking to make a personal difference, bringing a refillable water bottle or camel pack to reduce the use of plastic. Never leave rubbish and pack in-pack out wherever possible. Shop locally, trying the locally-owned restaurants, stores and markets, to contribute to the local economy. Not only are these great ways to be a responsible traveller, it will help you to discover the real and authentic Peru.

Breakfast in Cusco

An authentic Peru is not that difficult to find. At Valencia travel we believe that it is important to immerse yourself into a culture in a respectful manner for a fuller understanding of the destination you are visiting. This is why we make every effort to ensure that our travel packages are sustainable, for local communities as well as ensuring that you will have the best possible time, and your trip to Peru is as safe as it possibly can be. 

Natural dyes

Is It Easy to Travel Sustainably in Peru?

Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to travel sustainably in Peru. Many travel companies oversell tours in order to maximize their income, with little regard for the passenger experience or environmental and social impact. This is one of the main reasons to reserve your trip with an authentic responsible travel operator. 

An excellent way to avoid the crowded buses and mass tourism in a destination, is to book a private tour in advance, with an operator that is already committed to environmentally friendly travel in Peru, as opposed to joining a last-minute tour in the destination. This is even more the case post covid. 

Maras Salt pans

What Does it Mean to be a Responsible Tourist?

When you think of sustainability, you will probably think about environmental issues, but being a responsible tourist is much more than protecting the environment. Peru for example is so much more than incredible history and ancient civilizations. Responsible tourism means providing constant and genuine help to some of the most vulnerable indigenous communities in Peru, especially post covid. For example, everyone should commit to help the porters that have been drastically affected, over the past 2 years, as well as small business owners, guides and everyone who works in the tourism sector. Community involvement is one of the best ways to ensure that Peru remains accessible for all, including its local population. It can include collaboration with NGO´s charities, employment of local people in fairly paid jobs, or providing education for children.

Sacred Valley School

Sustainable travel has many different components, this is true, however there is no reason to become stressed while planning your trip. The most effective, and the easiest way to collaborate with Peruvian communities is by travelling with an operator committed to responsible tourism and local inclusion.

Once you begin to alter your mindset towards sustainability, you can enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Peru in a more wholesome manner, safe in the knowledge that you will positively impacting the country you visit. Whether it’s a journey through Southern Peru or a hiking trail in Cusco, you can experience an incredible adventure, while leaving the country just a little bit better than how you found it.

The positive collaboration between the tourism sector, travellers, and the local community, means that we can all share in amazing experiences that support and keep the local community safe for generations to come.

Inca Trail porters

Sustainable activities in Cusco 

The sustainable activities you can participate in on your visit to Cusco include:

Visiting a local community such as “Parque de la Papa” or “Chichubamba”. These are local community projects who offer interactive experiences for visitors, maintain heir traditional customs of the region and by booking a trip with Valencia travel, you are directly contributing to the local economy of these rural Andean regions.

Buy local. Try and purchase souvenirs from local artisans. Shop at the corner store, eat in a local restaurant take or part in a cooking class, buy local products such as coffee, chocolate, artwork etc.

Peruvian chocolate

Visit a community school or social project during your trip. Ask the organisation first and only take appropriate donations (ask the organisation). 

Try a homestay activity in a rural community. Directly contribute to the family, help on their farm, purchase their handicrafts and share with the family.
Plant a native tree! Contact an NGO such as  https://www.ecoanperu.org/cuscoeng.html and help with their conservation work.

Homestay family

Take the 5 day inca trail option instead of the classic 4 day option. This includes staying at lesser-visited campsites and overcrowding on the trail, directly helping to the conservation of this incredible trek.

Take a more off the beaten track trek, where there are fewer visitors, where community interraction is much more possible, such as  The Ausangate trek. You will visit mall villages and be able to contribute directly to these native communities.

Head to an Eco lodge in the Amazon, who directly contributes to the local native community and offers employment opportunities to local people

Visit the local markets in Cusco and purchase your products there.

Stop off at Awanacancha on your way to the Sacred Valley a support an animal welfare organisation.

Buy weavings and textiles in a local Andean weaving community such as Huilloc or Chinchero.