Responsible Travel

Accordion Content

Note: While these policies and guidelines are general to most Adventures to Peru destinations, there may be regional variations in some instances. Your contract will specify the conditions applicable to those regions.


  1. Drugs & Alcohol

  2. Commissions

  3. Travelling friends and family

  4. Prostitution

  5. Relationships

  6. Theft/Loss of Visa card/travellers cheques etc.

  7. Leaders lending out Adventures to Peru

  8. Respect for other leaders

  9. Our legal responsibility

  10. Asking passengers to leave a trip

    1. Process

    2. Possible reasons

      1. Violence

      2. Sexual Harassment

      3. Other reasons

  11. Arrest
  12. Joining a trip during time off

  13. Leader’s Performance Pay

  14. Passengers wanting to amend their booking

  15. Finishing point locations

  16. Continuity and changing trips/countries

  17. Contacting passengers

  18. Policy Development

1. Drugs & ALCOHOL.

1.1 Leaders.

Leaders must not take or carry illegal drugs (including opium, marijuana, ecstasy and speed) while leading trips on a scheduled week off (leaders on scheduled weeks off are considered ‘on call’). This is an issue we take seriously. If you are under the influence you will not be able to properly deal with an emergency or sudden situation, thus diminishing your capacity to provide adequate care for your passengers, for which you are legally liable.

Any leader found to be taking or carrying illegal drugs whilst leading trips, on scheduled weeks off or staying in Adventures to Peru hotels will be instantly dismissed.

1.2 Passengers.

Any passenger travelling with drugs considered illegal by the government in the particular country where you are travelling can be immediately excluded from the trip.

Any passenger using drugs should be informed that it is against company policy and that you are under no obligation to offer any assistance if they get caught. If they are endangering the safety of you/the group/locals or disrupting group harmony you may immediately exclude them from the trip.

Any passenger, whose consumption of alcohol is endangering or seriously disrupting the group, should be issued with an official warning. The leader should contact their immediate manager to ask for advice and the best method in dealing with this. If deemed necessary the passenger can be excluded from the trip.

1.3 Operators

We don’t want our local operators taking illegal drugs or under the influence of alcohol when running our trips. This can be hard where drugs are prevalent, but it is our aim as a trip operator. As a client of hotel owners and local activity operators we don’t have a right to tell local staff how to behave in their own time, but when they are attending to our groups in a professional capacity we do have the right, and also the obligation to our passengers, to ask that they are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and that they are providing their services up to standard. Offering drugs to our group members is clearly not acceptable.

If you do have an operator who is obviously under the influence of drugs, drunk or offers a passenger drugs, a personal talk with them and/or their boss is the best way to go, explaining why we have a non-drugs policy and stating that we need it to be followed. Your immediate manager needs to be informed too, so we can follow it up with the operator, and move to another operator if things don’t improve in the future.

1.4 Drugs and Local People.

It is possible that you and/or your passengers will see people in remote areas taking drugs (illegal or otherwise). For example, opium smoking is a traditional practice in some small communities and it is not our place to tell the hill-tribes otherwise. We are guests in their homes/villages. In some areas, eg Thailand, the government is attempting to stop the practice through crop-substitution programs. If we partake in opium smoking we work against such government initiatives and give implicit approval of the practice, which can influence younger villagers.

Opium smoking is not part of our Adventures to Peru itineraries. Inform interested passengers that it is illegal, and they are ‘on their own’ if they decide to try it – the leader is not responsible for passengers under such circumstances.

1.5 Alcohol.

Adventures to Peru also recognizes that alcohol is a drug that can have an affect on the leader’s ability to perform ‘duty of care’ toward their group. If a leader chooses to consume alcohol while leading a trip or staying in an Adventures to Peru hotel, they need to ensure that they are still capable of looking after the group and showing due “duty of care”. Failure to do so will result in a first written warning.

While having an ‘alcoholic drink’ with your passengers can be viewed as interacting with them, it can also be perceived or viewed by some passengers as irresponsible and unprofessional.

If you do choose to consume alcohol with your passengers during the day or over the evening meal – you should always consider the passengers perception of your professionalism and ability to perform your ‘duty of care’.  Regardless of how discrete you are (or think you are), regardless of how well your other pax may appear to be with it if your consumption of alcohol is the cause of negative feedback from a passenger you may be issued with an official first written warning.

2. Commissions.

In most if not all of the countries we travel in it is very common for someone who brings business to another person to be paid a commission. This is not an acceptable business practise in the USA and we maintain this standard when we are working overseas – receiving commissions for personal gain is not condoned while leading for Adventures to Peru.

There may be circumstances when you are given money as commission. To avoid embarrassment to the local who is giving the commission, it is best to accept this money. Enter it into your company accounts as a receipt. It is not your personal money to keep.

It is OK to receive free meals or drinks or clothes etc for taking a group to a particular restaurant or bar or shop. It is not OK to receive money for taking the group to a particular hotel, operator or restaurant.

If we accepted commissions you would find that the service you and your group receives actually deteriorates – after all, in the eyes of the proprietor you’re receiving your cut, so it’s now your problem to placate ‘your’ customers. Try explaining to your group why their meals are late and their service is crap and you’ve just been handed some cold hard cash from the manager!


3. 1 General Conditions

Any applicable benefits will be detailed in your ‘Leader’s Entitlements and Discounts’ document.

3.2 Partners:

We do not want partners travelling on trips with leaders under the above friends and family deal. We have tried in the past and basically it doesn’t work. Passengers complain that the leader does not give them enough attention. (This may or may not be true but the bottom line is that passengers are not happy.) Given this, we appreciate that you need to have some personal life while you are away. We are happy to try to get you time off with this person, or travel with them in your week off, when you don’t have to worry about your group too – a far better option.

4. Prostitution

Adventures to Peru staff should not use prostitutes at any time, whether it be during trips or non-leading time. This policy recognises that Adventures to Peru is playing the moral police in relation to prostitution, and is intruding onto staff’s personal lives and values, but considers the issue important enough to justify the intrusion. Passengers who use prostitutes on our trips should be excluded from the trip, as per the note in our trip dossiers.

5. Relationships

5.1 Between leaders and passengers

You should determine how you feel about this. Adventures to Peru does not have a specific policy on having sex with passengers. Some leaders do and some don’t. If you do develop some type of relationship with a passenger during a trip, there are some things that you may need to think about.

Having a relationship with one passenger will cause huge changes to the group dynamics. Other passengers may not approve and give you a hard time. They may feel that you are ‘favouring’ this passenger. So you should either keep it a secret (probably an impossibility on a trip as everyone loves to know what the leader is up to 24 hours a day) or explain it to your group. Make a special effort not to exclude other group members or fail to do any of your normal duties because of your relationship. Go that extra step to be first up and last to bed if you do form a relationship with a passenger, to overcome the prejudices of other group members.

Remember that you (or they!) may want to end the relationship prior to the end of the trip. You then have to deal with any difficulties that this may cause.

Regardless of how discrete you are (or think you are), regardless of how well your other pax may appear to be with it, if your relationship with a passenger is the cause of any negative feedback we will treat it seriously and you will have to deal with the repercussions.

5.2 Between leaders

Remember if you meet up during trips (ie. if your trips cross paths) not to neglect your group. If you want time off together you will have to negotiate this well in advance with the office – it may or may not be possible.

5.3 Between operators and leaders

Keep in mind that your work should not be affected and also that if the relationship does not continue you will still be expected to work with this person.

Expect some negative reactions from passengers if you are open about the relationship. Your passengers may have difficulty accepting relationships between people of different cultures.

Different cultural mores may govern relationships between locals and non-locals in the countries we operate in. To avoid severe embarrassment to both you and your local partner find out about these rules of etiquette from a local of your sex, before it is too late.

In general, be aware that your actions as an Adventures to Peru leader extend beyond you personally. Your actions both when leading trips and in your time off reflect on the company and all our leaders.

Many leaders find it easier to keep their personal life well separated from their leading, to avoid prejudices and complications.


To prevent situations occurring where passengers may misunderstand how their money is distributed (which could lead to perceptions that Leaders are keeping the money) Leaders may only collect money directly from passengers for the following purposes:

* Local Payment

* Donations

* Group meals

Leaders may provide advice to customers about optional activities or tipping, but must not collect and distribute the passengers’ money for such activities – the group should handle the cash.

6. Theft/Loss of Money or Visa card (if applicable)

6.1 Money

As a leader you are often carrying large amounts of Adventures to Peru’s money around with you, and you must use responsible systems to safeguard this cash. Our stance on lost or stolen money is that leaders are responsible for the loss or theft of company money, unless they can show that although the money was carried responsibly it was stolen. It’s difficult to be exhaustive when listing what carrying money responsibly means, but you should:

* Count your Adventures to Peru funds on a daily basis – if a theft/loss occurs it is easier to track down where this took place.

* Use a system with a secure strap that cannot be easily pick-pocketed, for example a money belt or an internal neck wallet. Not wallets or purses that are not secured to your body. Many leaders use a bag with a long strap and wear it across their body so it cannot be snatched. Large amounts of money should be in a secure wallet or purse attached to the inside of your bag. Bags should have a secure zip or seal – no open top bags. You should carry the bag in the front of your body.

* Use hotel safes wherever they are available to store cash and other valuables, or give them to a trusted local operator for safeguarding. If neither of these options exist you should carry money on you when leaving the hotel. Money should not be left unattended in hotel rooms.

* Leaving money for another leader in a “pigeonhole” in the leaders room isn’t handling money on responsibly. If you need to transfer money to another leader for any reason, you need to pass it to them personally.

* Leaving a bag containing money unattended on a train or bus also isn’t handling money responsibly. On overnight trains make sure that your ‘leader’s bag’ is next to your body, out of view and tucked away at all times.

* You should never ask anybody to watch your ‘leader’s bag’ for you (whether this be other leaders, passengers, your manager or local operators, in fact not even the President!)

* We’ve had a few cases where leaders have had no real idea how the money has been lost or stolen, just that it’s gone! In these cases the leader has again been asked to reimburse the money in full. Adventures to Peru will cover the loss when an unavoidable theft has clearly taken place, but not when there is doubt about whether the money has been lost, stolen or simply self-combusted.

We do not want you to put your personal safety in jeopardy in a theft situation. If a theft does occur please inform the office as soon as possible so we know what has occurred, and obtain a police report of the incident to include with your trip report.

An additional point in relation to how many $ you should be carrying. All our trips have designated locations (as stated in the leader’s notes) where funds for the trip are withdrawn according to the costings. We ask you to only carry the $ needed to get to this next point, with an agreed “emergency” amount. If you do have money unavoidably stolen, Adventures to Peru will cover the amount you should have been carrying, not extra $100s (or $1000s in some cases) that you may have on you.

If a theft does occur you should try to borrow money from the local operators or other group leaders to continue your trip. You may have built up enough of a relationship with hotel operators that they will allow you to pay them later.

6.2 Visa Card (if applicable).

If your Visa card is lost/stolen it is your responsibility to contact Visa ASAP to cancel the card – the number is on the emergency card. We cannot cancel the card on you behalf from the Lima office – the visa people need to hear from you directly. Do contact the office too though to make arrangements for a new card to be forwarded to you.

6.3 Tickets / mobile, etc. (If applicable)

The care you take should not only extend to cash and your visa card – there are other items such as train / flight tickets, etc that the value, when multiplied by 12 passengers add up to a large sum of money.

As such ensure that these are stored securely and not left in your room in your general luggage, etc.

7. Leaders LENDING Adventures to peru money (If Applicable)

7.1 To passengers.

Be careful with this – a good general rule is not to do it. Leaders will be held responsible for money they lend passengers without prior approval from management. In the past leaders have lent passengers money and have had trouble getting it back. If you lend a passenger small amounts during a trip make sure you get it back from them before the trip ends, as the office does not have the time to go chasing it up afterwards. We are three steps removed from many passengers – wholesaler, retailer and then passenger, so contacting passengers on their return is a complicated business.

Very occasionally circumstances may arise where we can help passengers with cash flow problems (when they have been robbed of everything for example), but please inform the office in these situations and get any loan approved. We’ve been able to help in emergencies with relatives bringing money into the Melbourne office and leaders forwarding the same amount to the passengers.

7.1 To local operators.

Always seek office approval before lending money to Adventures to Peru operators. Providing interest free loans is a way we can assist our invaluable local guides, and we often agree to do so if the loan is for a purpose connected to their tourism business. Some operators have a better credit history with Adventures to Peru than others though, which is why we want all operator loans administered through the Lima office. If an operator asks you for a loan tell them to contact the office directly, or pass the request on to the office on his or her behalf. Once again leaders will be held personally responsible for unapproved loans to operators.

8. Respect for other leaders.

Remember that your fellow group leaders are in the same boat as you. They are a great bunch of people and will become your pseudo family. They know what you are going through, the joys and sorrows of leading groups. As with any workplace though, there’s those who you are going to get on better with than others. The minimum we ask from you towards every Adventures to Peru leader is professional respect.

Be careful what you say to passengers about fellow leaders. With trip combinations, passengers will often have different leaders and may meet other leaders along the way as well. We had a situation where a leader was talking with passengers about another leader. The passenger misquoted the first leader’s comments at a later date. The second leader was understandably offended not knowing that the comment was totally misquoted. Passengers come and go, but you are working with other leaders for a long time, so give them the support that you would expect yourself.

If you feel another leader is creating problems for the company or is not pulling their weight, have a quiet chat with them or your Ground Manager. The problem can often be easily solved. This is not to say that we want to sit in Lima with our heads in the sand. We do want to know what is happening, but we are 1000km away and problems are usually best solved at the source.

9. Our legal responsibility.

Adventures to Peru owes travelers a “Duty of Care”. This is difficult to define. Each case can only be taken on its merits and judged by the standard of a normal citizen. But basically it means we must make all reasonable efforts to ensure the health, safety and enjoyment of all travellers. It is not a duty to prevent any and all reasonably foreseeable injuries, but a duty to take ‘reasonable’ care, judged in light of all the circumstances. This includes most importantly running your trips in accordance with the guidelines in Adventures to Peru’s Safety Policy – make sure you are very familiar with this policy’s contents before leading your first trip.

A leader’s personal legal liability is small, so long as you are operating within the confines of the leaders’ job description and our operating policies. When acting according to Adventures to Peru’s directions, the legal principle of vicarious liability means that your employer (Adventures to Peru) is responsible for your acts as an employee. The prospect of personal legal liability only arises when you act outside the directions and responsibilities given by your employer.

Be familiar with the booking conditions on the back page of our brochure, and refer to them as needed in the course of a trip. While these conditions are not necessarily enforceable in a court of law, our travellers have read and understood them, and you can therefore refer to them in the course of a trip to justify actions taken. Please let the office know asap if legal issues have arisen on your trip!


10.1 Process

It is very rare that we are compelled to ask someone to leave a trip. Some of the instances where leaders should ask passengers to leave the trip are covered below.

Leaders have the authority to exclude passengers from a trip. In clear cases of inappropriate behaviour, such as assault, using prostitutes or sexual harassment, no warnings need to be given. For most cases though you need to provide the passenger with a clear prior warning of what he/she has done wrong, and only proceed to ask them to leave once they’ve offended again. Have a witness present when you are both warning the passenger and when you ask them to leave, so you’ve got someone to support what you have said.

Some procedural issues to cover if you do have to tell someone to leave the trip:

  • Contact your ground or operations manager or the ops emergency mobile asap if at all possible before asking the passenger to leave– it’s good to get a 2nd opinion.

  • Provide the passenger you have asked to leave with written instructions of how to get back to a major base independently. It’s important we don’t leave him/her completely stranded.

  • Check the financial resources of the person dismissed, to check they can fund themselves to get back to a major base. There may be a time when we have to provide the “dismissee” with funds to get back home, though this hasn’t happened yet. Please contact your manager if this appears to be the case before handing over any $.

  • Inform local ops coming up on the trip that the passenger has been dismissed from the group, and not to provide them with services if they should turn up independently;

  • Write a detailed report for the office, and send asap, prior to the usual trip report if possible. There’s usually some follow up in the office whenever a person gets dismissed from a trip, and the more knowledge that is provided quickly the better;

  • Contact the nearest relevant embassy only if you think the well-being of the passenger is at risk in any way;

  • You don’t need to obtain a passenger release form from a passenger who has been dismissed. These are for passengers who leave voluntarily only.

10.2 Possible reasons for asking a passenger to leave a trip

10.2.1 Violence.

If a group member is violent (physically or verbally) towards yourself, another passenger or a local person, you will have to decide on the extent of risk and seriousness of the violence before taking action. Never respond with violence! If it is minor (eg a threat of violence rather than actual) you should immediately tell the person that it is unacceptable behaviour and if it occurs again they will be excluded from the itinerary. If you are unsure, discuss it with your manager. You may decide to kick them off after discussion.

If it is an extreme situation where you/other passengers/locals are in a life-threatening situation, you should immediately exclude them from a trip. Great in theory, however depending on the person you may have to do this with support from a local, your group or perhaps the police. You need to be careful not to aggravate the situation and place yourself and/or others in a worse position.

10.2.2 Sexual Harassment.

If a passenger is verbally sexually harassing a fellow passenger or local person or you, you must immediately tell them that their behaviour is inappropriate and unacceptable. If it continues ring the office to discuss further action and if it warrants you may exclude that person from the trip.

Any physical sexual harassment is grounds for excluding a passenger from the trip immediately.

Sexual harassment by local operators can become an issue too. Keep an eye on local’s advances to your group, and check with your group members if it is becoming a problem (some will welcome it!). If a problem arises tell the operator that it is completely unacceptable for our groups, and inform your manager asap. We will move from any accommodation where sexual harassment is an issue. A word of warning: establish the facts as best you can before making any accusations. It has happened in the past that a female passenger has accused a local of sexual harassment, and the leader has subsequently learnt that the local refused her advances and that her allegations were fabricated.

10.2.2 Other reasons .

Some other possible reasons for excluding passengers from a trip have been discussed above – using prostitutes, or using illegal drugs.

There’s also the more unfortunate reason, when the passenger can’t physically keep up with the group, due to old age, lack of fitness or physical disability. If the progress of the group is being unreasonably hindered due to a passenger’s physical inability to complete it, you have the discretion to ask them to leave the trip. Once again, contact your manager asap, before taking this action whenever possible. We’ll try and arrange alternative travel plans for the excluded passenger.

11. Arrest of a passenger.

If a passenger is arrested it will depend on the circumstances as to what action you take. If it involves drugs, violence or crime, we are legally not obliged to do more than inform the appropriate embassy. Also contact your Manager so we can contact relatives, travel agent, etc asap.

The law in the countries we operate in, and in particular its enforcement, is not a simple matter, and we ask you not to make any representations on it to passengers or attempt to deal with the local authorities. It may be that the rules of bribery and corruption are well understood by locals but not necessarily by foreigners, and you should seek the assistance of a trusted local operator should an issue arise – your Ground Manager will be able to advise you on who is the best to help.

12. Joining a trip during time off (If applicable)

12.1 All travel benefits are subject to the positive financial performance of the Company and the satisfactory performance of the employee. Any applicable benefits can be amended or withdrawn at any time without notice and are available in your ‘Leader’s Entitlements and Discounts’ document.

12.2 Leaders Allowance while travelling.

No allowances are payable when you are on NA during requested holidays and time off.


Any applicable benefits will be detailed in your ‘Leader’s Entitlements and Discounts’ document.

14. Passengers wanting to Amend Their booking.

We require any change in passenger bookings to be made through the Lima office, now easier with the 24 hour res system. This includes passengers wanting to book on extra trips, swap trips, add extra accommodation, etc. On Sundays, when no one is working in sales, leaders must contact a Operations Manager, one of whom is contactable 24 hours a day on the mobile number, who can OK any changes.

The practice of accepting cash for on-the-ground last minute bookings in Peru is an accounting nightmare that we want to avoid, so we ask that any extra payments due be paid via Credit Card, booking through Adventures to Peru Sales, our retail arm here in Lima email: Leaders are not authorized to give refunds, accept money from passengers in payment for trips, or agree to any ‘contra’ deals, without prior approval from management. There are many complicating factors when a passenger changes their booking – agents commissions, amendment and cancellation fees, combination trip discount, etc – which leaders are not trained on, so you are asked to refer any money matters back to your manager. This includes the changing of extra accommodation arrangements – leaders are not authorised to refund unused additional accommodation or advise passengers of refunds as generally Adventures to Peru will not refund any unused portion, (depending on circumstances) on the ground.

15. Finishing point locations. (If applicable)

When you finish up your time with Adventures to Peru you might be in a different region to the one you started in. As per schedule 3 of the contract Adventures to Peru will reimburse airfare amounts listed in accordance with your start and finish location.


Leaders generally lead the same trips for around 8-12 months. Usually this consists of two different two-week trips. (Although this varies from region to region). After that we talk to leaders about other opportunities and interests – although usually leaders are always letting their Operations Manager know about future desires and plans. Some leaders stay in one destination by choice, while others like to change trips or countries. We expect you to stay in one country for at least 1 year before transferring to another country or region. Similarly, if you request to change countries, we expect that you will commit to a similar period in that country. If you request to change regions but do not complete the agreed period of leading in that region you may be liable for the flight costs that Adventures to Peru incurred in transferring you. Your manager will discuss the details of these arrangements with you should it arise.


Passengers can only be contacted post-trip by a leader to request feedback or if the passenger has initiated/approved that contact. A leader may not contact a passenger directly regarding a feedback – if follow-up is required a leader must request this through their immediate manager rather than contact the passenger themselves.


Adventures to Peru is still a relatively young and dynamic company, and our policies and guidelines are being amended and added to all the time. All of the policies and guidelines above have developed in response to actual situations on the ground, and as new situations occur our policies will further develop to meet them.

Our leaders have traditionally been the best catalyst for policy development, so if you have any thoughts on new policies we have, or how these current ones should be amended, please let you manager know.

Any changes to our policies are always detailed in the monthly bulletin that is sent to all leaders by Email. This document is then amended to reflect those changes. We expect you to take note of these changes/additions, and of course run your trips in accordance with the policies. (Return to top)

The Leader accepts the following duties and responsibilities whist operating trips by Adventures to Peru:


• To represent the best interests of Adventures to Peru and its agents at all times, and to act with integrity, honesty and respect whilst conducting Adventures to Peru’s business.

• To implement Adventures to Peru’s management decisions and execute all lawful and reasonable instructions.

• To abide by the laws of the country where the Leader is located, and ensures passengers are aware of and comply with these same laws.

• To use his/her best endeavours to protect and promote Adventures to Peru’s reputation.

• To comply at all times with Adventures to Peru’s written policies and guidelines.

• To behave in accordance with Adventures to Peru’s core values and behaviours.

• To respect and value the diversity of passengers, colleagues and locals by helping to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.


• To make decisions concerning the day to day running of trips, including overall group management and the anticipation and avoidance of potential problems, with the overall goal of the smooth operation of each trip led.

• To ensure the successful completion of trip itineraries as published in the Adventures to Peru’s brochure and dossiers. Changes to a published itinerary may only be made when a Change of Itinerary Form is signed by all passengers, or in the case of unforeseen circumstances, which make it impossible to complete the published itinerary.

• To participate in all parts of the trip itinerary and to collect the local payment as specified in the trip notes from each passenger on Day 1 of the trip.

• To operate the trip in accordance with Adventures to Peru’s Responsible Travel guidelines.

• To operate the trip in accordance with Adventures to Peru’s Safety Guidelines and practices

• To inform Adventures to Peru’s if a passenger does not turn up for a trip and of any major medical or other incidents that occur during a trip.

• To check the validity of every passenger’s travel documents eg. special visa requirements, travel vouchers and insurance, and take steps to rectify any errors. To record details of next of kin at the initial group meeting and upload these details onto the Operators website.

• To maintain current first aid qualifications and carry a fully stocked first aid kit at all times. Leaders are not doctors and should only administer immediate first aid. All accidents must be documented in the medical incident form to be included with the trip report. Major incidents must be reported to your manager immediately.

Passenger Service

• To be responsible for all aspects of passenger welfare including the health, safety and well being of each Adventures to Peru’s passenger. Leaders are on call for passengers 24 hours a day and should ensure that all passengers know where they can be contacted.

• To provide Adventures to Peru’s passengers with the high level of professional service, assistance and care throughout the trip.

• To keep passengers fully briefed of all aspects of their trip, including an initial group meeting and daily updates.

• To educate passengers about Adventures to Peru’s Responsible Travel guidelines on behaving responsibly and respectfully towards local people, their culture, beliefs and their environment.

• To act as a resource for passengers during the trip, providing information on things to do and places to see, and share with passengers the Leader’s knowledge of the history, current affairs, customs, religion, geography and other features of the country in which the Leader is located.

• To be aware of and respect passengers’ different needs, moods and personalities and take these into consideration when making day to day decisions during the tour.

• To treat all passenger concerns with sensitivity and confidentiality. The Leader should not complain about other passengers or Adventures to Peru’s staff members to passengers. Similarly, the Leader should not favour any passenger over other passengers in the level of service provided.

• To exercise diplomacy and professionalism in any dispute resolution with passengers. On no account should the Leader respond to passengers with aggression, violence or verbal abuse.

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Company Philosophical Statement.

Adventures to Peru defines responsible travel (or ‘low impact travel’) as “minimizing the negative impact on environments and cultures caused by tourist activity and enhancing the positive results of tourism”. Tourism does impact on local communities and we must be responsible for our actions and those of fellow travellers. As part of the tourist industry we strongly believe in the welfare and conservation of all people and environments. We recognise the need for sustainable tourism to protect the people, cultures, environments and resources of the areas in which we work.

Beliefs: We believe in the principles of responsible travel – of respecting the people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; in balanced development.

Aims: We aim to have a non-patronising attitude towards local people and allow them to control tourism development in their area. We aim to empower local people and give host communities a choice in the way tourism affects their lives. We believe that the host communities we visit must be offered alternatives to mass market tourism that takes into account their cultural values, their desire for a better life and their need to achieve some sort of balance between the two. We aim for our style of tourism to be beneficial for everyone associated with Adventures to Peru – directors, office staff, leaders, travelers and the communities and environments that we visit.

Commitment: Adventures to Peru is strongly committed to minimizing the negative impacts of tourism and having positive relationships with local people. The company provides a significant amount of staffing hours to develop and improve our on the ground operations in line with this philosophy.

Education: Education at all levels of the company is one of the keys to achieving our aims. We must continue to look for solutions, keep educating ourselves, stay aware and remain open minded to new situations that present themselves.

Implementation: Adventures to Peru has a group of leaders based permanently in Peru. This is their home and their experience is an information base to promote understanding and knowledge. We travel in small groups, use existing facilities where possible, treat local people as equals and care about our effect on the local environment.

Key Principles

The following are Adventures to Peru’s key principles for operating its tours and business in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

We aim to:

  • Use locally owned infrastructure for accommodation and transport where possible.

  • Spread the financial benefits amongst local people and operators.

  • Provide employment and leadership opportunities for local people.

  • Respect local customs and culture.

  • Provide safe trips for our staff and travelers.

  • Educate travelers and our operators about how and why we choose to travel this way.

  • Limit the negative impacts to daily lifestyles of local people not involved with our groups.

  • Limit the physical impact of trips in all destination communities – particularly sensitive natural and cultural environments.

  • Provide support to organizations and local communities visited by our groups.

  • Provide fun enjoyable trips to our travelers.

  • Provide opportunities for travelers to interact with local people.

  • Actively ban leader and passenger participation in or endorsement of commercial sexual activities or illegal drug use on our trips.

  • Actively discourage the participation of our groups in activities which exploit animals – wild or domestic.

  • Use local operators that adhere to Adventures to Peru’s Responsible Travel Philosophies and provide the best possible service to our travelers and staff.

  • Work to prevent the exploitation of children in tourism.

  • Support and encourage fair employment practices.

  • Give our travelers the best possible value.

Travelers Code of Conduct

Our Travelers Code of Conduct reaches our clients on their copy of the Trip Notes that we send them before they depart for their tour. (I have attached a sample set of Trip Notes for our 15 days tour of Peru). The leaders also carry with them and present to the group a document that provides guidelines for responsible tourism for travellers specific to Peru ‘Responsible Travel Guidelines for Pax’(also attached).


The following are some initiatives and practices we maintain in our offices.

  • In our daily work practices, we support the ongoing efforts of the recycling industry and only use paper products that average a thirty percent post-consumer recycled content and print on both sides where possible.

  • We encourage use of alternative transportation, so cycling to the office is the preferred mode.

  • We refill our printer cartridges ourselves with a syringe.

  • We keep to an absolute minimum printed advertising material (ie only business cards and small flyers) and we do not produce a brochure of our products – all our advertising and promotion is done on the internet (and word of mouth!).

  • The tour leaders/tour guides who carry out the job of providing the service we sell, are given specific training in Responsible Travel. They are provided with a document called ‘Responsible Travel Guidelines for Leaders’ (attached), where guidelines are given to orient leaders on Responsible Tourism principles, and examples of how these can be applied on the tours we run in Peru.

  • Adventures to Peru is actively seeking to continue the policy of employing local guides. We believe that the employment of a guide from the particular community being visited will enhance the visitor’s experience and should be arranged so that the local community is more genuinely hosting the visit. At present 4 guides/tour leaders are directly employed by Adventures to Peru to work on the ‘Adventures to peru’. All of these guides are Peruvians living in Peru. The 4 Peruvian guides come from different parts of the country – 1 from Lima, 1 from Puno and 2 from Cusco.

  • We support the Peruvian Government in its earnest quest of promoting the industry and nurturing an equitable and healthy socialist society, and therefore support businesses that are owned outright by the local peoples, such as restaurants, hotels, transport companies, and tourism agencies. We give preference to those businesses that are entirely Peruvian owned as opposed to those that are a joint venture with a foreign company. Our promotion and realization of tourism to Peru in itself is directly helping the country and the Government in its aim to more equally distribute wealth within society.

  • At the same time, we believe in the right of individuals to control and improve their own standard of living and therefore support privately owned businesses in Peru such as private houses that we use for family stays.


  • Travelers are provided with accurate pre-trip information on the social and political situation in Peru in the Trip Notes (sample attached) that we send them before they depart for their trip.

  • These extensive notes along with the ‘Responsible Travel Guidelines for Pax’ also provides travelers with suggestions of ways to minimize negative impacts on the local culture.


Passengers are instructed and encouraged to fill out the Adventures to Peru on-line feedback form once they have completed their trip…

This form asks passengers to rate the tour and the tour guide on responsible tourism practice and asks for suggestions to improve our responsible tourism policy and practice. This aids us to gauge and improve our practice of responsible travel. This form also provides an opportunity for a passenger to complain about any aspect of our Responsible Travel Policy or our Travelers Code of Conduct and gives us a formal way of responding to this complaint. (Return to top)

The following are our key principles for operating ‘Responsibly’

We aim to:

  • Use locally owned infrastructure for accommodation and transport where possible.

  • Spread the financial benefits amongst local people and operators.

  • Provide employment and leadership opportunities for local people.

  • Respect local customs and culture.

  • Provide safe trips for our staff and travelers.

  • Educate travelers and our operators about how and why we choose to travel this way.

  • Limit the negative impacts to daily lifestyles of local people not involved with our groups.

  • Limit the physical impact of trips in all destination communities-particularly sensitive natural and cultural environments.

  • Provide support to organizations and local communities visited by our groups.

  • Provide fun enjoyable trips to our travelers.

  • Provide opportunities for travelers to interact with local people.

  • Actively ban leader and passenger participation in or endorsement of commercial sexual activities or illegal drug use on our trips.

  • Actively discourage the participation of our groups in activities which exploit animals – wild or domestic.

  • Use local operators that adhere to our Responsible Travel Philosophies and provide the best possible service to our travelers and staff.

  • Work to prevent the exploitation of children in tourism.

  • Support and encourage fair employment practices.

  • Give our travelers the best possible value. (Return to top)

What can the Traveler Do?

Basically, we ask all our travelers to respect local rules and values. These are quite different in Peru to anywhere else in the world and also different to what you might predict or expect. Please be as informed as possible about Peru before you arrive and listen to your group leader’s suggestions and explanations when you arrive. Try to learn some Spanish and read about the religion and culture. This will improve your traveling experience. With a little effort on your part you will find yourself coming away with a greater sense of understanding of Peru’s culture and feeling pleased to have left a positive mark on this unique country.

The following general guidelines are standards of behavior we expect from everyone on our trips. By observing them you will gain the respect of the local people. Why do we have these guidelines? We are guests and are privileged to be able to visit these communities, homes and places of worship. As responsible travelers, we want our type of tourism to be sustainable for the areas we visit, so future travelers can enjoy similar wonderful experiences. Our group leaders and travelers have made many special friends around the world and we treasure the ongoing relationships we have with them.

Respecting Cultural Differences

Things are done differently in Peru, which is why we love it! Please make sure in your dealings with local people you accept these differences and not try to change them for your own benefit or comfort. The traveler who wishes to have a happy and successful trip in Peru should keep as calm, cheerful and friendly as humanly possible. Demanding impatient tourists do not earn respect. Patience, courtesy and smiles are virtues that open many doors.


Making new friends will be one of the greatest joys of your travels. Don’t expect any special privileges though, as you may be only one of many travelers to the area. Accept and enjoy offers of hospitality when you can – “come and have a cup of coca tea”! By taking the time to chat with the locals you will learn about their daily lives, culture and attitude to life, plus have a very enjoyable time and a few laughs. This is a chance for them to learn about your culture too. Consider ways to reciprocate hospitality – e.g. post back photos. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. In less developed regions don’t flaunt your wealth – use discretion with jewelry, cash and techno-gadgetry.

Be prepared for lots of questions. Just walking in the street you may be asked: “What’s your name? Where are you from? How old are you? Where are you going?” – perhaps questions you may consider personal. Don’t be affronted or consider it rude or an invasion of privacy. It’s usually genuine curiosity, friendliness or a desire to practice their English. Respond with patience and a cheery manner. Concepts of privacy in some countries can be very different to your home country.


There are a few general codes of behavior that apply in Peru.

* When introduced to someone it is polite to at least shake hands. When greeting someone you are already familiar with, it is customary to shake hands (man to man) and to ‘kiss’ – ie touch cheeks on the right hand side, and make a kissing noise (man to woman and woman to woman). When saying goodbye to a friend the kiss is less customary unless it is a farewell.

* When joining a line-up (often seen just as a crowd of people), ask who is last in the queue by saying “Quien es ultimo?” The person who is last in the queue (before you) will raise their hand. When the next person arrives to join the queue they will also ask “Ultimo?”, and you should raise your hand and say “Yo!”, to indicate that you were the last person to join the queue before they arrived.

* Use pleasantries such as ‘por favor’ and ‘gracias’ when you feel appropriate.

* If they are in good taste, accept ‘piropos’ (compliments given by strangers in the street) by ignoring or by saying ‘gracias’ rather than feeling threatened or reacting with scorn.


Casual sport dress is accepted just about anywhere in Peru. Women should not wear skimpy skirts or low cute tops in small communities or rural areas. This may be perceived as improper by the country folk. Peruvians do dress smartly whenever possible. In fact, they look forward to dressing up for a night at the disco or night club. A dirty or disheveled appearance (old clothes or dirty clothes, unshaven – for men, untidy hair) may be looked down upon by many Peruvians within the city.

Nude bathing or sunbathing is not appropriate anywhere. When in doubt about dress, look to how the majority of locals are clothed.

Cameras and Video Cameras

Be aware of the impact of photography. Sensitivity is the key. Please ensure that you ask permission before videoing or taking photographs of people and respect their wishes if they refuse. Minority groups in particular are often unhappy to have their photo taken. Travelers should avoid paying for the right to take a photo as this has been found to encourage a begging mentality in the locals. Instead if you do take photos, send back copies through your group leader or direct to the people themselves. The locals gain a great buzz from seeing themselves in photos and it encourages a ‘sharing’ rather than ‘taking’ attitude towards photography. Our group leaders will make every effort to distribute them the next time they are in the area.

Environmental Responsibility

Pollution and waste management is a huge problem throughout the world. We suggest avoiding plastic packaging where possible and take along your own bag when shopping. Plastic bags will be offered for everything – don’t be shy in suggesting that it isn’t needed. Even though locals may not use rubbish bins in the street because they know that someone else who’s job it is to clean the street will pick it up, please set an example by disposing of rubbish into the bins. In some places bins are scarce, and rubbish may have to be carried with you until a suitable disposal opportunity. Many locals are unaware or ignorant of the implications of littering. Our aim is to educate by example, rather than through lecturing.

Bottled water is safe in Peru, and the locals find many ways to re-use and recycle the bottles. Instead of putting these in the bin, leave empty bottles in a convenient place for someone to collect and re-use.

Minimize use of water and electricity – use only the water you need for showering and washing, turn off lights, air-conditioning, and fans when not needed in the hotels and home stays. While camping or trekking, boiled water will be provided to you in an effort to minimize purchasing more plastic water containers.

Dining & Shopping

Local culinary delights are part of the joy of traveling! Eat local food and drinks and your money supports the locals, rather than seeking out imported familiar snacks and drinks from home. Buy handicrafts and art directly from the makers in local villages when you can, rather than from fancy emporiums or department stores. This may help the maker to obtain a better price. We try to support community cooperatives and disabled handicraft centers.

We ask you not to purchase endangered flora and fauna products that may be offered for sale. In many cases wildlife products that are offered for sale in popular tourist locations cannot be taken through customs on your return home. Avoid contributing to illegal or detrimental trade in wildlife by not purchasing:

  • Sea turtle products (shell or meat)

  • Macaw feathers or handicrafts made with anything from the Macaw

  • Animal skins or any handicraft related to the death of animals

  • Sea shells- which may have been taken from the sea while still inhabited by living animals

  • Musical instruments made from animal products (ie armadillo shells)

We also ask you not purchase original Inca pottery, textiles or artefacts. Replicas can be found in throughout the markets in Peru.

There are unlimited opportunities for bargaining in Peru. Many markets and shops accept bargaining as a component of the final price. Here’s a few pointers to help you on your way:

  • Start bargaining with some idea of what you consider a fair price for the item to be. This will usually involve sourcing the item from a number of different sellers;

  • The correct price for an item is the price you agree to pay, that keeps both you and the seller happy. Therefore there’s no ‘right’ price;

  • Be polite, patient, but firm in your bargaining. No-one ever has received a cheaper price through being rude or insensitive;

  • Don’t appear too interested in an item. Walking out of a store is often a good way to get the price to drop;

  • Shop with a friend – buying in bulk will often reduce the price;

  • Learn the numbers in the local language. It will win respect from the seller, and will certainly make the process a lot more interesting;

  • Once a price you have offered is accepted it is not appropriate to back out of the deal;

  • Only say you’ll buy something later if you intend to buy later. The sellers usually have amazing memories, and will come hounding you on your promise!;

  • It is our policy that group leaders do not receive commissions from vendors for their group’s purchases – there’s no need to incorporate commission into a price;

  • Most importantly, enjoy the experience, and remember you’re often only bargaining over only a couple of dollars – keep it in perspective.

  • If the price being arranged is for a service (such as a taxi ride, or for washing your clothes) it is far simpler to do the bargaining before the service is delivered. ALWAYS agree on a price before you agree to the service.


Our philosophy of travel is one of mutual respect towards everyone we deal with, and in particularly the local people who make the regions we travel to as special as they are. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy and we are strongly opposed to any of our travelers visiting prostitutes while traveling with us. Be aware that prostitution in most countries is a gross infringement of human rights. Some may end up with drug problems and sexually transmittable diseases. We strongly condemn anyone who supports prostitution.


Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any of our trips, and the group leader has the right to expel a member of the group if drugs are found in their possession. It must be understood that possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk.

Donations and Gifts

Please do not give money, pens, or sweets to the local people in the communities we visit, as it can promote a ‘begging culture’. It can create unequal relationships between tourist and visitor, with tourists being seen as purely ‘givers’, and it can also strip self-esteem away from people when they get money for simply being poor rather than having to solve their own issues of poverty through alternative action. Specifically make a point of not giving to those who ask for gifts or money. We ask you not give candy or money to the children. We also ask you not to give them a ‘tip’ after taking their picture.

If you wish to donate, try and find a local person who has helped you or provided a valuable service in a disinterested way. Also your group leader may be able to suggest local projects that we are involved with. Some local villages can be supported by buying their craft work etc. Pens, note books and other items for children are usually best distributed via a schoolteacher or community leader. Your group leader would be happy to help distribute these items.

In most of our trip areas leaders collect clean usable clothing from travelers at the end of a trip, for distribution to needy communities. These can be left at some of our base hotels. Please check with your group leader.

Tipping – be discerning with your tipping and giving of gifts. To positively influence the culture, give tips and gifts to people who treat you with respect and good service, and not to people who beg, give you bad service, or who are expecting a gift or tip. In restaurants, tipping %10 of the total bill is acceptable if service and experience was good.

The Right to Develop

We ask you to remain open minded about development and poverty in local areas, and respect that the local people may wish to develop economically and gain access to material possessions that we take for granted. While this undoubtedly changes villages and makes them less ‘unspoilt’ for travelers, it is something that we should respect. A role you can play is to share some of the realities of our western culture, which while may be materially rich is often lacking in spiritually and community awareness. You can help people understand the negative influences that come from increased material wealth on the family and the community. Assist people to achieve a balanced view of development.

Being a Responsible Traveler Doesn’t Finish When Your Trip Does…

Part of our travel philosophy is to develop tourism as a two-way means of communication. When you return home we’d like you to think about how you can give something back to the country you visited. You’ve just spent quite a bit of money on giving yourself a great time by experiencing another culture and meeting the people. Your spending has certainly helped the local economy, and now there are other things that can be done to help some other countries on an ongoing basis. After your trip, you will probably be more aware of the environmental, social, political and cultural problems that some local communities face. There are various agencies and groups trying to address these issues, aiming to assist developing countries maintain their cultural identity, develop sustainable resources and improve social justice situations. All of them require resources.

Money is not the only way you can assist, as simply providing your time and/or skills might be as valuable and useful. Things you could do:

  • Join a development agency or other group devoted to concerns in developing countries.

  • Become a volunteer and donate time to aid groups.

  • Buy your birthday or Christmas presents at shops run by various third world charitable groups.

  • Write letters for Amnesty International to assist political prisoners or to put pressure on governments to change some intolerable situations.

  • Become more aware of your own government’s policies and how they influence the ‘two-thirds world’.

  • Or just be a more environmentally friendly household and help to use the world’s resources more efficiently.

Project Support

Over the years our staff has supported many environmental, developmental and humanitarian projects operating in our destinations. (Return to top)


1 Introduction

2 Transport

2.1 Buses

2.2 Motorbikes T

2.3 Boats and Ferries

2.4 Bicycles

3 Accommodation

4 Activities

4.1 General

4.2 Trekking

4.3 Flat water canoeing, kayaking, bamboo rafting

4.4 White Water Rafting

4.5 Caving

4.6 Animals

4.7 Snorkelling

4.8 Local Operators

4.9 Other Adventure Activities

4.10 Suggested Optional Activities

5 First Aid Kits

6 Natural Disasters/Political Conflict/Unsafe Regions to Travel

7 What to do if safety standards are not met

8 What to do if an accident or illness occurs.

9 First Aid Certificates

10 Preventing Illnesses

1 Introduction

Adventures to Peru’s core business of operating adventurous trips, carries with it inherent risks for both its group leaders and travellers. Some reasons for these risks are:

  • the laxity of laws and regulations governing transport, infrastructure and the travel industry in general in less developed countries when compared to western laws;

  • the potentially volatile political environment of the countries in which we operate; and

  • the nature of the itineraries that we run, which sometimes involve physically strenuous activities in remote locations.

With these factors in mind, we recognise that Adventures to Peru has a responsibility to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to provide work and travel conditions which are safe.

The aim of this document is –

  • To provide leaders with clear guidelines on operating procedures and safety standards that should be followed and expected on all Adventures to Peru trips;

  • To minimise the possibility of avoidable accidents; and

  • To establish procedures which should be followed if operating and safety standards are not being met.

No set of guidelines can anticipate all possible conditions that may arise. We ask you to put your sound judgement ahead of hard and fast rules, judging each situation as it arises. As leaders you are employed because you demonstrate good operational judgement, and this extends to the application of safe travel practices. If in doubt about the safety of any activity we do, whether it is mentioned within these guidelines or not, take the safer option.

Remember too that when leading a trip your decision on what is safe and what is not needs to be more conservative than if you were travelling by yourself. Gung ho attitudes of independent travellers have to be tempered by the reality of the duty of care we owe to our travellers, and the legal implications this has.

These guidelines are intended as a working document. If there are areas that aren’t covered that you feel should be, or areas that you disagree with, please let your manager know, as we want to improve them over time.

Safety Guidelines

2. Transport

You should not recommend riding on the roof of any form of transport we use, whether this be trains, boats or buses. Warn passengers in the presence of other group members that travelling on the roof is not safe, and is not part of the Adventures to Peru itinerary.

2.1 Buses

In general

Traveling in any bus can be a hairy experience, particularly in Peru with the existence of an invisible middle-overtaking lane that doesn’t exist on western roads. If you think a bus driver is going dangerously fast (a necessarily subjective opinion) you should ask the driver to slow down. If this has no effect (which may be the case on a public bus in particular) you should arrange for the group to get off the bus at the next opportunity, and use whatever means possible to continue your journey. This may be difficult in remote locations when you were on the only bus for the day, and may mean a change of itinerary is necessary. If a passenger is concerned about a bus going dangerously fast you are going to have to make a judgement call on the reasonableness of their concerns, and act accordingly.

We accept that seat belts are not readily available on the transport we take in less developed countries, on either charter or public vehicles. However when seat belts are available they must be used.

Public Buses

Catching public buses is part of the Adventures to Peru way of travel, and we accept that these buses are often crowded, with people standing in the isles. Adventures to Peru travelers shouldn’t be expected to stand for long distances (greater than one hour travelling time), as a matter of comfort rather than safety.

Drivers on amphetamines can be a safety risk on public buses. We only take overnight sleeper buses on our trips when there are no other feasible alternatives, to minimise the likelihood of encountering drivers on speed. Once again, if in your opinion the driver of the bus is not in a fit state to be driving, take the group off the bus at the earliest opportunity.

We rely on the public transport providers we use to maintain the vehicles in a roadworthy condition, and do not perform independent tests on vehicles. If you are on a vehicle which in your opinion is unsafe to be on, get your group off the vehicle, and organise alternative means of transport.

Charter buses

When we charter a bus for the sole use of our group we have a duty to our clients to ensure that:

  • The driver has the appropriate local licence to drive the vehicle; and

  • The vehicle is regularly serviced – at least once every 6 months – and in your opinion is safe and fit for travel.

Ground Managers will follow up these issues with our major charter transport providers.

If selecting a vehicle to charter from a choice of operators/ owner, you should query them about these issues.

If you have had to take your group from a vehicle for any of the above reasons let you Ground Manager or Operations Manager know as soon as possible, so alternative arrangements can be made for future groups.

An Annual Charter Vehicle Safety Check to be made and relevant form subsequently completed and filed on each charter transport provider.

2.2 Motorbikes

Motorbikes are a fun way to get around, but are also a high risk form of transport.

Motorbike taxis (riding as a passenger with a licensed local driver) should not be organised as the means of transport for a group trip.

Group members should not be asked to ride motorbikes as part of any itinerary.

Only mention motorbike hire as an optional activity to those who hold motorbike licenses already. Any traveller who does ride a motorbike solo should be warned to check the terms of their travel insurance before doing so, as it will most likely exclude motorbike injuries unless they are licensed riders. Group members and leaders should always wear a helmet when on the back of a motorbike, when available.

Leaders are not asked to ride motorbikes as part of their job descriptions, and are unlikely to be covered by their insurance policy in the case of an accident when riding a motorbike.

2.3 Boats and Ferries

Lifejackets are a must on all boat travel we use. If we are initiating a new boat trip, check that the boat operator supplies as many life jackets as there are passengers. If not we should not be taking that boat.

Find out where the lifejackets are kept on any boat or ferry you catch if it is not obvious. If lifejackets are stored in a locked compartment ask an employee to unlock them. When you’re getting on a ferry with a group, inform them of where lifejackets are stored and direct them to meet at that spot should an incident occur.

On overnight ferries make sure that your group’s cabin doors and corridors are not locked from the outside overnight (meaning passengers can’t exit corridors freely).

It is common for public ferries to be crowded. If you think a ferry to be dangerously overcrowded pull your group off the ferry and arrange other boat transport where possible.

With both large and small vessels we rely on the boat operators to judge local conditions, and determine whether the conditions are safe for travel. If you think conditions are unsuitable, talk to the local boat operator about the conditions and safety concerns. If you are not convinced that the operator has adequately addressed the safety issues, postpone or cancel the boat trip.

On smaller craft where the risk of capsize is higher, make a judgement call on whether it is necessary for travellers to wear lifejackets, rather than just having them available to put on. If the sea is rough or it is after dark and you perceive there is higher risk of capsize, ask travellers to wear lifejackets.

If your group is spread out in 2 or more small boats, ask the drivers to keep the boats in eye-contact when travelling, so they can assist each other should difficulties arise. Boats should not be more than 200m apart.

2.4 Bicycles

In most countries, bicycle helmets are not a legal requirement. In general we do not require travelers to wear helmets when on bike rides that are part of our itinerary – they are advised before departure that helmets are not readily available and they can bring their own if they want to wear them. If it is the law of the country that bicycle riders must wear helmets then this will be made clear in the dossier and Adventures to Peru will ensure that helmets are either provided or are available for hire.

The exception to this is trips where cycling is the predominant activity on the trip. On these trips travellers are told that they should bring their own bike helmets, and you should recommend that they are worn at all times when cycling.

When organising a group bicycle ride that is part of the itinerary there should be a designated front person (the “scout”) and back person (the “sweep”) for the group. If you are not accompanied by a local guide designate one or two of the group to these positions. Inform the group of any special road or traffic conditions that they may encounter on the ride.

Groups should not be riding at night without proper lights and reflectors.

3. Accommodation

Government regulations on safety standards in hotels and guesthouses we use are likely to be less stringent than those in the west. We should therefore be making some basic checks at the accommodation we use and new places we research, to check that they have –

  • In the case of “closed” hotels (with corridors, multi-stories etc), a second exit point in case of fire in the main exit; and

  • Working fire extinguishers on site.

If our accommodation does not provide the above we should be talking to the owners about modifying their hotel to provide them, or moving to alternative accommodation.

In basic accommodation such as hill tribe huts or home stays inform your groups on arrival about the dangers of elevated platforms, particularly in places where our groups sleep at night and are likely to be wandering around in the dark. Tell all group members to use a torch if they are going to be making a night time toilet visit.

4. Activities

4.1 In general

On any of our trips that include a physically strenuous activity (trekking, canoeing, bike riding) ask passengers at the initial group meeting to let you know of any medical conditions that they may suffer from, medication they are taking, etc. Travellers are asked to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions at the time of booking, but do not always do so. Ask travellers to inform their room mate too if they are suffering from any condition that may become an issue during the trip, in case you are not around should an incident occur.

If passengers disclose a condition that means they are unsuitable for the activity (or don’t disclose it, but it is obvious) you have the discretion and authority to refuse to allow them to participate. Explain that for the safety of themselves, the rest of the group and to you the leader they cannot participate. Refer them to the head office if they disagree with your decision and it becomes an issue.

As a leader, you are expected to participate in all parts of the brochure itinerary, unless it is specifically listed as optional in the leaders notes for the trip. Very few brochure activities are optional for leaders, as if you are not present you cannot act should an incident happen to any of our passengers, and we would be failing in our duty of care to the group. If illness or other extraordinary factors mean you cannot participate in a brochure activity you must inform your Manager as soon as possible. For the higher risk activities on our trips Adventures to Peru’s policy is to cancel the activity if the Adventures to Peru leader is not present. These higher risk activities are expressly mentioned in the leaders notes.

Exposure to sun is a real risk for travelers when doing any outside activity. As part of your group meeting advise groups to use: clothing that will protect them from the sun; sunscreen; and hat; and to drink lots of water. Sounds obvious, but sunstroke and dehydration is one of the most common illnesses suffered by our group members.

4.2 Trekking

Many of our trips include a trekking component, whether it be an overnight jaunt or a strenuous 10-day walk. Trekking should be the highlight of the trip, but as it necessarily involves travel in remote areas it also attracts a greater degree of risk. The following guidelines apply to all treks that we run.

Before you go.

Know your group –

  • Follow-up any information provided by pax on the medical disclosure form including any relevant medical conditions and medication.

  • Assess prior trekking/walking/hiking experience through general conversation.

  • Assess current fitness levels i.e. ask if they have been doing any regular physical activities in preparation for this trip.

  • At the beginning of the trip or before leaving major city/shopping area discuss with the group the minimum equipment requirements (as is on the dossier) and why, allowing them time to procure anything they haven’t brought. Giving a prepared list specific to the trip will help clarify what’s needed. Eg suitably sized backpack, plastic bags for water-proofing, rain & sun protection, thermals, repellent etc. Suggest items that can be shared to lighten the load. Remind people of the volume of water they’ll need to carry and to allow space for this. For the more difficult treks it is imperative that you check pax have adequate boots.

Know the area

  • Have an understanding of the terrain, villages, water supplies, rest places.

  • Find out the level of experience of your local guide. If you are new to the area request in advance a more experienced local guide.

  • Learn of the nearest hospitals and clinics and where you would take a pax if a medical emergency arose.

  • Know the access points, roads, villages etc if you had to take a pax out, for each day of the trek. Discuss this with local guide.

  • Local contacts/transport that can facilitate an evacuation.

  • If for unforseen reason you have to take a total route change to that in the leaders notes, inform the Ground Manager and/or local operator so that the group could be located in an emergency.

Pre-trek briefing/discussion

  • Inform group of the plan – terrain to expect, expected walking times, access to water, meal stops

  • Talk about the village communities, culture, agriculture etc

  • Accommodation – sleeping arrangements, mozzie nets, meals, toilets etc

  • Food – what’s provided,, snacks, drinks, alcohol situation in the villages, anything special to note for vegetarians.

  • Toilets– what’s provided, discuss toilet stops along the way as per Responsible Travel policy i.e. burying wastes, toilet paper burnt/carried out in a plastic bag etc

  • Hygiene – discuss bathing/washing opportunities to maintain personal health and hygiene.

  • Staying on trails as per Responsible Travel policy – for environmental and safety reasons.

  • Gear required and what can leave behind.

  • Backpack packing. Explain things to consider like sleeping bag at the bottom, heavy items close into your back, lighter items and those readily required like raincoat, first aid items, snacks, close to the top. Allow space for an adequate number of water bottles. Weight balanced. Plastic bags for waterproofing suggesting perhaps 1 large bag to line the whole pack. Avoid having items hanging off the back, pulling the pack backwards. Adjust the straps, waist belt etc so the pack is body hugging and the weight born by the hips.

On the trek

Things to consider and discuss where required.

  • The group must always stay between the designated scout and sweep. The scout and sweep should be two guides, or a guide and a leader, or use an appropriate passenger if necessary. The group should meet up at all major trail intersections, to make sure everyone takes the correct route. In the case of bad weather, let the group know its important to walk together.

  • It’s a walk not a race. People should be able to walk at their own pace and enjoy themselves. Faster folk should not go ahead of the scout and slower folk should still have the sweep behind them. Arrange for the approximate next meeting time to avoid the group becoming too spread out. Watch the pace in the mornings; many people start too fast and then run out of energy later in the day.

  • Rest stops – plan for at least 10 minutes every hour and allow for the less fit people – i.e. not heading off again just when they catch up. Try and choose a pleasant sheltered place. Casually chat how all are going, backpacks? blisters? strains? Lighten loads of anyone struggling. Observe that people are drinking plenty of water. Having fun? Keep a discreet but close eye on each member of the group for the first signs of over tiredness or distress. Being aware of how people are coping and are feeling requires sensitivity and perception.

  • Instruct group members to leave their packs on the trail when going into the bushes for a toilet stop, so they are not unknowingly passed by the sweep. Encourage passengers to walk in pairs or small groups.

  • Suggest/observe that people protect themselves from the elements early i.e. raincoats/sun protection before they suffer. This is particularly important for extended trips.

  • Allow time for spontaneity i.e. interaction with locals along the way; photography etc

  • If local conditions such as weather, landslides, etc become an issue, seek the opinion of our local guides on the safety of the conditions and risks involved in continuing. However, the ultimate decision on whether to continue rests with you. If you think the local guide has not given sufficient weight to safety issues you should disagree with the guide and tell him/her the course of action the group must follow.

End of the day/debrief

  • Early in the evening take the time to chat with the group about the day. Try to ensure that all opinions are heard, especially those who found the day particularly difficult or easy.

  • Discuss the next days plan considering the views expressed by pax in the days review.

  • Ensure no one goes to bed early without food and plenty of fluids.

  • Generally gauge how people are coping and monitor it.

River Crossings

Things to consider:

  • Crossings should never be made if the river is more than thigh deep or the current any faster than an easy walking pace.

  • Ask your local guide for advice on previous experience of crossing this river.

  • Be prepared to back track and find a different route if necessary, rather than risk safety of the group.

  • The decision to cross is based on your judgement. If possible, either your self or a strong member of the party should try the crossing first with assistance if required. A strong pole, about 2 metres long may help. Hold the pole in both hands diagonally across your body and push the lower end into the river bed ahead of you as you take each step, leaning on the prop as a ‘third leg’.

Basic principles for crossing rivers:

  • Don’t fight against the river. Move diagonally and use the current to help.

  • Use mutual support methods i.e. linked arms.

  • Anticipate what might go wrong and prepare for it i.e. placing 1 or 2 stronger group members a few metres downstream in case someone is swept away.

Choosing a place to cross:

  • Assess the speed of the river. An easy way is to throw in a stick and if it moves faster than walking pace, then the river is potentially dangerous.

  • Check downstream to anticipate what would happen if someone were swept away eg waterfall, snags, big boulders, eddies where you could be sucked down.

  • Assess the stability of the river bed eg sand, mud, rocks.

  • Assess the depth as per 1st point. Using a pole may be helpful, particularly if water is muddy.

Techniques for crossing:

  • Mutual support using linked arms. 3 to 4 people link arms at the elbows and move into the river as a single unit, keeping the line parallel to the current. Choose 2 stronger people for each end.

  • There are other methods that can use poles, pack straps or ropes but if the river appears too difficult to cross individually or with the linked arm method, than seriously consider taking another route.

  • Undo backpack waist belt buckles so that if someone did fall they can quickly come free from their pack.

  • Waterproof backpack contents with plastic bags before crossing if there is a high likelihood of getting wet.

  • Footwear should be kept on if the riverbed is rocky or has other hazards.

First Aid for Outdoor Activities

It is assumed that all leaders have current First Aid certificates.

We recommend the carrying of the pocket sized book: ‘First Aid and Survival in Mountain and Remote Areas’ by Dr Jim Duff and Dr Peter Gormly.

Refresh your self on the particularly relevant topics from time to time when leading groups on outdoor activities. Prevention is always best!


Blister prevention & treatment – p150 Remind pax of this before trekking.

Heat Injuries eg. heat exhaustion – p83

Cold Injuries eg hypothermia – p86

Acute Mountain Sickness (altitude sickness) – p94

Eye protection in snow/glary conditions – p134

Dehydration – p102

4.3 Flat water canoeing / kayaking / bamboo rafting

Lifejackets must be securely worn by all group members and leaders when doing organised canoeing or rafting as part of the itinerary. Helmets are not essential for flat water activities. Group members should wear trainers or sandals, to protect their feet from rocks, but not to interfere with their ability to swim.

Group members should not go canoeing or rafting if they cannot swim confidently when in water above head height. Check this expressly before commencing a canoe or rafting trip.

A scout and sweep system must be used when doing organised flat water kayaking or rafting, so you don’t lose group members up or downstream.

The group should not separate more than 200 metres; the lead paddlers should raft up and wait for the tailenders on a regular basis.

Our groups should not be in canoes or kayaks or bamboo rafts in white water, which includes any rivers or streams with rapids.

Canoeing or kayaking

When canoeing or kayaking is part of our scheduled itinerary the group must be given basic instruction as to paddling techniques and what to do in the case of a capsize by the local guides operating the trip. Basic strokes should be taught on land or in shallow water, before getting in to the boats, and all group members should take a “practice” capsize in shallow water before commencing paddling.

Each kayak/canoe should have grab-ropes at each end, to aid in rescues in the event of a capsize. Each qualified guide should have a throw rope readily available in case of a capsize.

All flat water kayaking trips should have a ratio of 1 qualified guide per 8 group members.

4.5 Caving

Our public liability insurance policy only covers caving activities that are specifically listed in our brochure and dossiers as inclusions. Make sure that any caving activities not appearing in our brochure are clearly offered to our passengers as optional activities – see 3.7 below.

Before entering any cave with a group, check with members if they suffer claustrophobia, and give them clear alternative activities. Caving is not for everyone.

Use a scout and sweep system when entering a cave with a group.

Ensure that every group member in the cave has a torch if the cave is not illuminated.

Suitable flat non-slip footwear to be worn.

4.6 Animals

Our public liability insurance policy only covers elephant, donkey and camel rides that are specifically listed in our brochure and dossiers as inclusions. Make sure that any animal rides not appearing in our brochure are clearly offered to our passengers as optional activities – see 3.7 below.

Horse-riding is not included in any of our itineraries, as we cannot get insurance cover for it.

When riding elephants, donkeys or camels during our trips helmets are not available to travellers. You therefore need to make sure that only slow plodders are provided by the operator.

4.7 Snorkelling

Many of our trips include the opportunity to go snorkeling. It could be going in from the shore, off a boat or from a jetty or other structure. The water may be shallow or deep.

Before you or any group member goes snorkelling:

  • Follow-up any information provided by pax on the medical disclosure form including any relevant medical conditions and medication.

  • Ensure passengers have not been drinking alcohol prior to snorkelling.

  • Assess sobriety, fitness levels and whether they can swim or not (!). If people can’t swim, now is not the time to learn, and you must exclude them from the activity.

  • Set geographical boundaries of the exact snorkelling site. Snorkellers should be able to easily see their departure point eg land or boat; and be able to easily swim back within a few minutes. If the sea is a bit rough or there is a current you must stay closer together.

  • Set an approximate time limit, particularly when snorkelling from a boat.

  • Passengers should not go snorkelling on their own.

  • Divide snorkellers into buddy pairs. Try to pair strong & weak swimmers or snorkellers together.

  • Check the quality of the snorkelling gear and that it is in good working order. In particular check that masks and snorkels do not leak. This is especially important for those who have not snorkelled before.

  • Warn people to protect against sunburn – lots of sun cream and wearing a T-shirt can be a good idea.

Discuss relevant environmental conditions. These include:

  • Currents – advise which way they will drift & arrange with the boatman to drift this way if possible. Advise passengers not to swim against the current.

  • Boat Channels –be watchful of passing boats. This can of course be avoided if the snorkeling area is set outside of these channels.

  • Marine creatures – Advise passengers not to touch any coral or marine animals to protect both these and passenger. Coral cuts are very susceptible to bacterial infection, which could be potentially life threatening.


  • Assign a person as the Lookout, who will not be snorkelling in the water. This person can be the leader, local guide or a passenger. This person’s task is to observe passengers when snorkelling and be ready at all times to assist snorkellers in distress. This person may be in a boat from which the group is snorkelling, or on the beach.

  • Inform the group of a communication system should anyone want to convey distress – usually one arm raised straight (not waving!)

  • Ensure the Lookout has a floatation device e.g. a lifejacket or life ring to provide to any swimmer in trouble.

  • Stick to the time limit. When people return assess how they are going before considering extending the activity.

  • Discuss with and ensure that all the passengers clearly understand the pre-activity instruction. This applies especially to non-English speaking passengers.

Advice for beginners

  • Show them how to fit their mask and snorkel.

  • When selecting a mask; push back the hair and place the mask on the face without securing the straps. Breathe in gently through the nose. If the mask clings to the face this indicates a good fit.

  • Adjust the strap so that the mask fits comfortably and is water-tight

  • Minimize fogging by spitting in the mask or using a defogging solution or a little toothpaste, then rubbing the liquid around the inside of the mask.

  • To clear water from the mask by lifting the head out of the water and lifting the bottom edge of the mask of the face to enable the water to drain.

The snorkel can be cleared:

  • With the air remaining in the lungs

  • By lifting the head out of the water, taking the snorkel out of the mouth and taking a breath. Then clear the snorkel.

  • With the head out of the water, taking the snorkel out of the mouth and tilting the mouthpiece to drain all the water.

  • If fins are used make sure the fit correctly as cramp can develop, especially with larger fins. Make sure pax remove fins before climbing into the boat.

  • Practice snorkeling beside the boat or in shallow water

  • Provide life jackets to snorkel in for passengers who are not comfortable and assure them it is common practice

  • Advise them that help is always close at hand provided they stay within the defined snorkel area.

  • Inhalation of water and breathing difficulties are the most common cause of panic with inexperienced snorkellers. Other common problems include cramp and shallow water blackout.

During snorkelling

  • The Lookout must observe passenger when snorkelling and be ready at all times to assist snorkellers in distress. This may change the way leaders act on snorkelling trips. The leader must either:

  • Ensure the boatman watches passengers at all times and is aware of rescue procedures; or

  • Leader stays in the boat to watch the passengers or (in a small group – 4 or less) stays close to the passengers.

  • Take a head count before and after the activity

Have an emergency plan. It should cover:

  • First Aid – CPR / First Aid Kit

  • Rescue – get to the snorkeller ASAP or provide floatation device

  • Evacuation – be aware of the nearest medical facility

  • Missing Persons – head count / buddy system / systematic search of snorkeling area.

It is important to remember we are not qualified lifesavers. Do not take unnecessary risks that compromise your own safety or that of the rest of the group.

4.8 Local Operators

Where we use local operators for activities that are part of our trip itineraries we must use licensed local operators, who have personal liability insurance (usually a condition of their operating license). This includes trekking operators, rafting operators, etc.

As Adventures to Peru does not own any of the equipment we use for adventurous activities (eg. rafts, kayaks, boats), it is the operator’s responsibility to provide safe and working equipment. If you have any concerns about the quality of the equipment being used, notify your Ground Manager or Operations Manager.

When local operators lead our groups for adventurous activities which require technical skills (eg. canoeing, rafting), the local guides who accompany our groups must be appropriately qualified in the activity, according to the licensing requirements of that country.

4.9 Other adventure activities

Any adventure activity that is not specifically mentioned in this policy is a high risk activity that should not be included as part of any Adventures to Peru itinerary. This includes, diving, rock-climbing, horse riding or tubing. These activities require a high level of technical expertise that we do not have and should not pretend to have. They should be offered as options for passengers only, with the appropriate warnings (see below).

4.10 Suggesting optional activities

If you are suggesting optional adventure activities that group members can do in their spare time make it clear to the group that:

  • These activities or operators are not part of the Adventures to Peru itinerary;

  • That Adventures to Peru makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them; and

  • Adventures to Peru cannot guarantee their safety if they elect to do them.

This may sound unduly cautious, but Adventures to Peru can become legally responsible if you recommended an activity, and an accident subsequently occurs. You can state whether if an activity is enjoyable or not, but back this up with the comment that you cannot vouch for its safety. Make these comments in the presence of at least one witness.

If you either organise for group members or join group members on “higher risk” optional activities (including tubing, kayaking, rock climbing, horse riding, motorbike tours (both driving and being a passenger) and caving) you need to complete the Optional Activity form and send the signed form into the office with your trip account receipts.

5. First Aid Kits

Group Leaders/guides must carry a medical kit at all times during a trip, including any trek, cycle ride, canoe trip, etc. Your medical kit should be well stocked with bandages, ointments etc, as it was when you first received it. If there are essential items that you can’t buy in country request them from the office and we will send them over. Don’t distribute drugs of any sort to a group member though – our legal responsibilities dictate that you can only make drugs available to a group member, for them to choose to take if they wish. Travellers should physically take any drugs from your medical kit themselves, rather than you passing them. The exception to this is that a leader may recommend the taking of anti-histamine (eg Phenergan) where a passenger is having an extreme allergic reaction /anaphylactic shock (possibly exhibiting respiratory distress). Leader must obtain passenger consent or consent from their partner/family member.

6. Natural disaster / political conflict / unsafe regions to travel

We rely on 2 main sources of information when deciding whether to run a trip to a region that is a safety risk for any reason – the Travel Advisories put out by the various Government Departments of Foreign Affairs, and the on-the-ground accounts given by you our leaders.

When a Travel Advisory warns against travel to a region or by a certain means we follow this advice. We will also cancel trips or alter itineraries which are not the subject of Travel Advisories, on the basis of information from leaders once more.

If you consider any region or form of transport unsafe to use, please inform your Ground Manager or Operations Manager as soon as possible.

Leaders are never obliged to lead trips or parts of trips that they consider unsafe. If you are scheduled to do a trip that you feel uncomfortable with due to safety concerns contact your Operations Manager so you can be taken off that trip.

Should safety issues arise during the course of a trip (i.e. a conflict breaks out in the next town you are visiting, or floods hit a region) contact your Ground Manager or Operations Manager as soon as possible to discuss your options. If you can’t contact your Manager you have the authority to make changes to the itinerary as you see fit, with the safety of the group and yourself being the priority. Contact your managers as soon as possible after the event, to let them know what has occurred, and so they can contact worried relatives, agents etc.

7. What to do if safety standards are not met

If you consider there to be an unreasonable risk to personal safety in any aspect of the trip itinerary you should consult with your Ground Manager or Operations Manager prior to undertaking the trip. If during the course of a trip you find yourself exposed to any danger you should immediately proceed to a place of safety and not do that part of the itinerary, reporting the occurrence to your Ground Manager or Operations Manager at the earliest opportunity.

Detail any minor safety issues (those that do not require immediate attention) in the appropriate place of your trip report, for your Operations Manager’s attention. Email your Ground Manager and Operations Manager at the earliest opportunity about issues that require immediate attention to, so action can be taken before the next group reaches the area.

8. What to do if an accident or illness occurs.

In the event of an accident or illness in your group please follow the directions on your emergency card which should be carried at all times. This sets out the priorities of:

  • caring for the injured person as per your first aid training;

  • contacting the traveller’s insurance. As a travel company our general emphasis is on handing the treatment of the ill or injured traveller to qualified medical staff contracted by the insurance company at the earliest opportunity;

  • contacting your Ground Manager or Operations Manager;

  • keeping detailed notes of the incident via the medical incident data base;

  • keeping your group informed on what is happening, and how their itinerary is to be affected.

All medical incident reports are read by your Operations Manager, and the number of incidents that occur on our trips are recorded and monitored.

9. First Aid Certificates

All leaders must maintain a valid first aid certificates while leading with  Adventures to Peru. It should be comparable to what is called in USA a Level 2 or Senior first aid certificate. It is your responsibility to be aware of when your certificate expires, and to arrange for a renewal if it expires during a leading contract. Our training department can assist on where this can be done overseas.

10. Preventing illness

While based overseas with Adventures to Peru you are responsible for maintaining your inoculations, vaccinations and prophylactics against typical diseases for the regions where you are working. (Return to top)

Group leaders are not to arrange for or take passengers to visit schools during school hours, orphanages, or other establishments primarily established to educate or house and care for children, unless the visitation has been approved by the region’s General Manager and prior arrangement has been made with the institutions’ management. These exceptions (which are likely to be very few) may include Adventures to Peru supported organizations, with the frequency of allowed visitation being mutually agreed on between management and the head of the organization and the arrangements being very clearly stipulated in Leaders Notes.  As many of our trips have frequent departures, there will be a clear limit as to how often an approved organisation can be visited eg once or twice a month, and this will be specified in Leader Notes. The reason for this ruling is in the best interests of the children.  Short term visitation to such organizations can be disruptive and exploitive of the children, and not lead to any beneficial outcomes.  It can arouse emotions of pity in travelers who want to help in some way, but a brief visit may lead to inappropriate ‘band-aid’ type assistance or handouts, rather than sustained and truly beneficial support.  Unplanned visits may not allow the organisation to ensure appropriate supervision and safety of the children. Unfortunately, we also have to be aware that there is a risk of exposing the children to adults who may have sexual or other exploitation of the kids in mind.  Brief visits by foreigners can encourage a culture of dependency and an understanding in which children learn if they smile and look cute, it will bring them or their organisation gifts and money.   Local staff may not be aware of the risks, but we are.   Whilst most tourists are well-meaning and no doubt driven by a desire to help, the cumulative effect of brief visits by many foreigners can be detrimental to the children’s long-term interests. Dated: August 21, 2021 (Return to top)

We believe strongly in low impact or rather, positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking, this means that we try to minimize the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and maximize the positive aspects. We hope that one of the joys of traveling with Adventures to Peru will be in meeting the local people and traveling to more remote areas.

Unfortunately, tourism can radically alter what it was that inspired the industry in the first place. It is for this reason that we as travelers have a responsibility to minimize their impact on the people and environments that are visited.

Through our examples and attitudes we can ensure that our visits have minimal impact on the environment and that we foster positive cultural exchanges between ourselves and our local hosts.

We abide by the following standards and ask that our clients do the same.

Code of Conduct for Travelers
As a traveler, you can do a lot to help ensure that tourism in Peru remains a positive experience for everyone. The following guidelines offer suggestions for low-impact and culturally sensitive travel in Peru:
• Respect Endangered Species – We ask you not to purchase endangered flora and fauna products that may be offered for sale. In many cases wildlife products that are offered for sale in popular tourist locations cannot be taken through customs on your return home. Avoid contributing to illegal or detrimental trade in wildlife by not purchasing:
• Sea turtle products (shell or meat)
• Macaw feathers or handicrafts made with anything from the Macaw
• Animal skins or any handicraft related to the death of animals
• Sea shells- which may have been taken from the sea while still inhabited by living animals
• Musical instruments made from animal products (ie armadillo shells)
• We also ask you not purchase original Inca pottery, textiles or artifacts. Replicas can be found in throughout the markets in Peru.

Litter and Waste – Pollution and waste management is a serious problem in Peru. We suggest avoiding plastic packaging where possible and take along your own bag when shopping. Plastic bags will be offered for many things; don’t be shy in suggesting that it isn’t needed. Even though locals may not use rubbish bins in the street because they know that someone else who’s job it is to clean the street will pick it up, please set an example by disposing of rubbish into the bins. In some places bins are scarce, and rubbish may have to be carried with you until a suitable disposal opportunity. Many locals are unaware or ignorant of the implications of littering. Our aim is to educate by example, rather than through lecturing.
Bottled water is safe in Peru, and the locals find many ways to re-use and recycle the bottles. Instead of putting these in the bin, leave empty bottles in a convenient place for someone to collect and re-use.

Protect local water systems – Use only biodegradable soaps and shampoos while camping.

Respect Cultural Differences – Local customs and traditions may be different from your own. Take the time to learn what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t. Things are done differently in Peru, which is why we love it! Please make sure in your dealings with local people you accept these differences and not try to change them for your own benefit or comfort. The traveler who wishes to have a happy and successful trip in Peru should keep as calm, cheerful and friendly as humanly possible. Demanding impatient tourists do not earn respect. Patience, courtesy and smiles are virtues that open many doors.

Etiquette – There are a few general codes of behavior that apply in Peru.
-When introduced to someone it is polite to at least shake hands. When greeting someone you are already familiar with, it is customary to shake hands (man to man) and to ‘kiss’ – ie touch cheeks on the right hand side, and make a kissing noise (man to woman and woman to woman). When saying goodbye to a friend the kiss is less customary unless it is a farewell.
-When joining a queue (often seen just as a crowd of people), ask who is last in the queue by saying “Ultimo?”. The person who is last in the queue (before you) will raise their hand. When the next person arrives to join the queue they will also ask “Ultimo?”, and you should raise your hand and say “Yo!”, to indicate that you were the last person to join the queue before they arrived.
-Use pleasantries such as ‘por favor’ and ‘gracias’ when you feel appropriate.
-If they are in good taste, accept ‘piropos’ (compliments given by strangers in the street) by ignoring or by saying ‘gracias’ rather than feeling threatened or reacting with scorn.

Take Photos with Care – Always ask permission to take photos of people and respect their wishes if they refuse. If you do take a photo, offer to send copies back to them and make sure to follow through with your promise. If your subject wants immediate compensation in return for the photo taken, offering a piece of fruit or bread, or a souvenir from your home are ways to do it.

Learn a few phrases – Learning about the customs and a few local words and phrases can go a long way and is appreciated by the Peruvians. It also makes your interactions more meaningful and memorable.

Giving gifts – We discourage offering money to people begging on the streets. This promotes further dependency and encourages the practice, which will in turn lead to unpleasant experiences for other travelers. Instead, we would suggest offering a piece of bread or fruit. Perhaps you could offer postcard from your home, or a small pin etc.

Support local artisans – Support local artists and artisans by purchasing locally made goods. Many communities sell handmade crafts that you may purchase while on tour. You may also ask your Tour Leader for recommendations about where to find local markets, stores and cooperatives.
Feedback Your comments and feedback about your trip are very important to us. We use these to improve our tours and itinerary, and for quality control of hotels and guides. After the completion of your tour, you will be asked to fill out our on-line Trip Evaluation Form.
We hope you can help us by taking a few minutes to fill this out.

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