ABC to a safer and more conscious trip to Peru

Terra Explorer
December 16, 2021

Somewhere in November, someone at the New York Times wrote about the tactile loss we suffered because of the pandemic: the weariness caused by the deprivation of human touch. All of this amidst Facebook launching the Metaverse, which poses a newer more real way of (supposedly) connecting with others. But touch is irreplaceable—actual touch, a longing for the times before elbow dabbing and screen tapping. Don’t get us wrong, the digital is good, but the physical realm is even better. 

Touch we had with ourselves. We engaged in a collective act of self-reflection during the lockdown. And to much surprise, we unveiled another kind of touch: we became more conscious of the world, our health, and our psyche—a metanoia. And so, a so-called “revenge travel” got infused with values then reserved to the wellness and sustainability attuned—a change that shouldn’t be simply brushed off.

Here at Terra Explorer, we’ve been on a sustainability quest of our own since our beginnings. Centuries-old Andean traditions taught us about unabashed gratitude towards nature. We work with often neglected indigenous communities; we recognize how tethered we are to their history, ruins, and environs. It’s only fair to give back beyond plain old corporate responsibility.

Sustainability talk aside, we wanted to list how your trip to Peru can be safer and more conscious without relinquishing neither the tactile nor the pampering of luxury vacations

The Outdoors

rio rafting

The great outdoors present themselves as a panacea for all traveling woes. A trip to “the middle of nowhere” should be part of every prescription and doctor recommendation. Heralded by NatgeoTravel and one of our favorites: an eight-day trip to the white rapids of the Apurimac River followed by a trek to the swoon-inducing Salkantay mountain.

This river goes, at times, through granite canyons no wider than a toothpick, and some other times it opens wide onto the Andean scenery. Full disclosure, the Apurimac boasts class III, IV, V rapids—not suitable for uninitiated rafters. As for the trek, there are not only natural amazements but little-known Inca ruins along the way. The views are unpaired. 

But embarking on this multiple-day trip does not mean forgoing a good meal. We take private cooks with us, so no canned beans at sight—at least not when traveling with Terra Explorer Peru. Plus, we have a waste and water management system, which means, no disruption to nature when camping or even glamping.

Little Known Places

Forgo, for once, the Machu Picchus and the Nazca Lines and head towards the unknown. Full disclosure, we have a team of experts all over Peru ready to put their curatorial abilities to use. 

And so, paradisiacal destinations like Chicama in northern Peru—where the longest left waves in the world, yes, the world, are—become more of a “safe” bet. A glide through this surfer haven waves could be up to two minutes long. 

We’ve mastered the blending of adrenaline-filled sports in the outdoors with more traditional cultural outings. Just a few hours away from Chicama there is Chanchan, one of the largest cities in the ancient world—way before the Incas. There is also a museum dedicated to Lady of Cao: one of the most powerful female rulers from the Ancient Americas. Her lavish burial site was flooded with gold and silver artifacts. A female Tutankhamun, to say the least.

Wellness Retreats

terra explorer turismo comunitario

Much has been made out of Machu Picchu, rightfully so. But beyond the scenic citadel, Peru is home to a bunch of mystical landscapes tucked away in the Sacred Valley of the Incas—forty-five minutes away from Cusco. There, the removed terrain itself seems to be otherworldly, ethereal. Peru is that one rare thing: A country where the storied lands create a healing atmosphere to soothe those who resolve on paying a visit. 

But what is wellness travel? In short: Wellness tourism is the kind of travel that pursuits wellbeing. What it involves depends on you (we’re all about tailor-made itineraries, though we make excellent suggestions). Besides the expected massage and tranquil picnics; we tend to consider healthy eating powered by Andean superfoods, yoga sessions overlooking the splendid Sacred Valley of the Incas, ancient rituals teaching us gratitude, hassle-free glamping, and intertwining with remote communities whose populace appreciate a slower and kinder way of living—much of which we should learn. 

Community Tourism

The fuzz and buzz of the urban life have a distinctive allure, but the bucolic beauty of the hamlets nestled along the Sacred Valley paired with a less white-knuckled way of living makes this a destination worth visiting. These rural towns are a happy middle for the urbanites not so keen on camping or hopping onto a raft. 

For those unfamiliar with community tourism, the goal here is to learn and take part in the customs and everyday life in the rural Andes which involve a lot of land work, food free of unpronounceable ingredients, and thinking about the collective instead of the individual. 

Among the traditions, there is one ritual we think can be a catalyst for rekindling our relationship with nature. It is about materializing our gratitude to Mother Earth for nurturing and providing us with food and resources. This is a religious ceremony dating pre-Incan times evincing something we westerners tend to pass over on our humanist upbringing: how much we are taking of nature without much thought. 

One Happy Traveler, One Happy Tree

To some naysayers, ecotravel is just a trend about moral superiority, to us, it is just part of our love for nature. It makes sense to be worried about climate change if you fancy yourself an outdoorsy person. Although we’re far from being the Stella McCartney of travel, we are always on the lookout for ways to avoid unnecessary harm to Mother Earth. For every traveler we meet, we plant a tree. We even partnered with REGENERA to offset our carbon and water footprint. 

Illegal deforestation in Peru is an out of control problem, with thousands of square miles taken down every year. Please, check REGENERA’s website and donate too. They are a great organization doing greater things for the planet. You can even choose to offset your carbon and water footprint with quarterly donations.

Now you know how to take more conscious and covid-safe vacations to Peru. Feel free to dig on our website, get inspired and contact us to plan your next luxury getaway.

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