Peru has long been a favorite travel destination for those looking to head off the beaten path. Rich biodiversity, beautiful natural scenery, and indigenous culture make for an incredible getaway like no other. Indigenous tourism is hugely important for preserving cultural knowledge, and is both rewarding and exciting for the sustainable traveler. One of the oldest cultures in the world, the Quechua people are a powerful driving force in the quest for greater social and economic sustainability in the region. Let’s take a look at this unique culture and ways that you can best experience it in a responsible, sustainable way.
Why is sustainable tourism important for the Quechua people?
The Quechua people are often described as the descendants of the ancient Incan empire. However, their society and traditions began long before, and continued to evolve after the settlement of Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Filled with music, song, and storytelling, the culture of this indigenous tribe is marvelously intricate, and linked to the land in unique ways that predate written history in the region.
These indigenous people of South America are located very close to the tourist hotspot of Machu Picchu. The area is subject to heavy tourist traffic, and many of the Quechua people live in or have experienced abject poverty over the years. However, there are many opportunities for sustainable indigenous tourism to help travelers experience the Quechua people and their culture. Here are some of the companies that focus on preserving and respecting the indigenous people of South America.
The best way to understand any culture is to immerse yourself in it, and Quechua Experience allows you to do just that. With tours focusing on the innate beauty of the land, travelers can learn about ancient traditions of the indigenous people of South America, and how the tribe lived in harmony with the rugged landscape of Peru. Spend an afternoon herding alpacas, or eat traditional Quechua meals whilst learning about the history of music and dance in this South American culture. Finalists of the World Legacy Awards, Quechua Experience gives back to the community while celebrating it.
Focusing on the indigenous heart of Peru, Alternative Peru offers travelers a chance to give back to the communities that they visit. Founded in 2016, this sustainable tourism company shows guests a side of Peruvian and indigenous culture that they would otherwise be unable to experience themselves. From visiting classic Pachacamuc museums and archaeological sites to undertaking beekeeping and traditional crafts, you can see the delicate practices of the Quechuan at work in the modern environment. Alternative Peru provides indigenous artisans with employment opportunities and income – pieces sold are fair trade, with the prices set by the creators outside of traditional tourism markdowns.
Founded on the basis of supporting local communities with minimal environmental impact, Andina Travel takes travelers on the more adventurous side of Quechua life. This company was officially recognized as an Incan Trail Guide Operator in 2017, and operates on the Leave No Trace principle when it comes to their treks. Tours with Andina Travel take you through some of the most spiritually significant parts of the Andes, and allow you to see some of the most magnificent untouched areas of Peru up close and personal. Led by expert indigenous guides, travelers experience native wildlife, flora, and geography in never-before-seen ways, with historical context examining the impact of European settlement upon the indigenous people of South America. As part of the company’s commitment to sustainability in the region, part of the tour fees work together with Dragoman Overland UK to donate and plant endangered endemic tree species in the beautiful Lares Valley.
Experience Indigenous Tourism In Peru Today!
Undertaking indigenous tourism is one of the best ways to support traditional culture in South America. By learning more about the roles that the Quechua people and other indigenous tribes play, there is greater hope for preserving the natural wonders of the continent for future generations. So why not add a sustainable tour to your South American adventure? The rewards of these rich experiences go far beyond your trip, and can change the lives of indigenous people of South America for the better.
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