[Chile] Thanks to Alejandra, ONG Regenera, I had the chance to meet the family of Lesther and Ingrid. After a night in the bus from Santiago, they were waiting for me in Pitrufquén to share a little of bit of their daily life in the countryside in the middle of the nature. Treehouse, restaurant-mill, or even wood caravan rooms, Viva Nativa it’s such an experience, and above all such a lovely family!
[Chile] The Elqui valley is located right next to the chilean city of La Serena. Cradle of the pisco, we stayed between two muscadelle vineyards with the very friendly and family-style team of Casona Distante Ecolodge: stargazing, debriefing about the last earthquake, delicious meals (thank you Claudio!), walks in the village… We spent a last very nice week-end in the nature with my friend Elsa, before heading south to Santiago, the capital city.
[Bolivia] We finish our tour of Bolivia with the must-see salt desert of Uyuni. Before to leave for the traditional 3days/2 nights through the desert, we stayed a night at the beautiful salt hotel Palacio de Sal. We organized there two workshops with the employees in order to share and point out the challenges of a sustainable tourism development. We worked also on a presentation of ideas of good practices which could be implemented by the management.
[Bolivia] If you travel to Bolivia, I would strongly recommend you to pay a visit to the National Park of Torotoro: its canyon, its caves and dinosaurs footprints really worth it. We met in Cochabamba Sandro and Javier who work at the coordination of the national network of community-based tourism of Bolivia: Tusoco. In fact, we stayed then a night at the comwmunity center of Villa Tunari (Carrasco National Park) and met Eulalia at San Pedro de Sola (near Tarija) Eulalia. Watch the two videos below to get to know them as well!
[Bolivia] Half an hour from La Paz city center, we met Emma & Rolando. This anglo-bolivian couple developped during these last twenty years a great volunteering project in order to support seven different initiatives of social responsability and local development within their district (Jupapina and Mallasa): Up Close Bolivia. They also converted their lunar-scenery-garden into a camping & ecolodge area, welcome to Colibri!
[Bolivia] We opened, with Elsa, our Bolivian HopTour starting with a short 2-nights-stay at 3800m high on the “sun island” of the Titicaca Lake. We met there Mateo and the Ecolodge La Estancia: bio-construction and paradox of the water as rare resources in the middle of a lake. Watch the video below!
[Peru] I finish my HopTour of Peru with a very beautiful encounter staying with Walther and its family (Inti Wasi Lodge) on the Titicaca Lake’s edge. Walther is the President of a rural tourism network of community-based associations (ASTURS) and organized for a me an amazing program through Capachica peninsula, and the Amantani & Taquile islands. Discover below the lodge, the association and their community microcredit program!
[Peru] Skander and Émilie are a young french couple who engaged in a great adventure in the village of Yanque, in the middle of the beautiful Colca Valley, at the entrance of this famous Canyon well known for the observation of condors. Chakapata Ecolodge was built with the help of many volunteers (mainly through www.workaway.info website) and using natural material and ancestral techniques. Discover below the secrets of adobe walls, straw roofs and inca irrigation system!
[Peru] It’s thanks to my friend Antoine (Transhumancias-Voyages) that I meet Roger and its nephew Juan Carlos of Andean Lodges. We have the great chance, with my friend Justine, to be invited for a 5 days / 4 nights trekking aroung the Ausangate glacier in the middle of the peruvian Andes at about 100km east of Cusco (cf: trek profile & program description). It’s in fact quite a luxury trek as we hike from one confortable lodge to another accompanied by members of local quechua communities (who are also shareholders of Andean Lodges and take part to the main strategic decisions of the company), horses and llamas to carry food and equipment. Share a bit of this amazing adventure with us through the below videos!
[Peru] Next to Cusco, we visited this time a hostel, but not whatever hostel… a hostel with a sweet project (Llama Pack) working on the rescue of llamas ancestral use in the Sacred Valley. Alejandra and Jorge are the young (and so friendly) peruvian couple who launched and managed the initiative. They explain you in the video below the stakes and details of the Llama Pack Project! Ready to meet the llamas?
[Peru] My french friend Justine joined me for two little weeks together… and not in “any kind” of hotel: when she arrived, I was indeed hosted at a “virtuoso” 5 star-hotel in Urubamba (in the sacred valley, next to Cusco). Sol y Luna is a luxury lodge, but also a sweet educational project: an intercultural primary school and high-school, about which I made a mini-documental. And between two gourmet breakfasts, we also went for the visit of the impressive Maras salines and the inca ruins of Moray. We love Peru!
[Peru] After having spent about two weeks in Lima, I’m finaly back on the road starting my HopTour of South of Peru! I started my new journey with Wasipunko Ecolodge, where I met between two vineyards of pisco grapes, Olivia and her two son Edmundo and Alan. I took part to the preparation of the delicious and generous traditional meal, the pachamanka. And I left the lodge for a day trip in order to observe the famous and mysterious Nasca lines, along the panamericam, in the middle of an arid landscape worthy the best intergalactic movies!
[Peru] After the publication of an article on Hotel Perú News blog presenting my HopTour of Peru, the team of Tuki Llajta Lodge invited me to visit them. The lodge is located “right next” to Lima… which means at one night of bus (a trip of 7h). I escaped then Lima for a two-days-stay at Huancayo in order to give an express marketing course to José, the son of the family who just joined his parents to help with the management of the lodge.
[Peru] I started my Tour of Perou with what we could call the “waterfalls route”. Located in the surroundings of Chachapoyas, two sites claim to be the highest waterfall of the country (and 3rd worldwide?). I spent a week in-between these two villages. I stayed first at Cocachimba : the two falls of Gocta (771m); then, at Cuipes : the four falls of Yumbilla (895m). I was hosted at the “posadas” (bed and breakfasts) of the Tourism Association Presidents of both villages: with the family of Eusebio (Posada El Gallo de la Roca) and the one of Jarvik (Posada de Cuispes).
[Ecuador] After the capital, the Amazon rainforest and the Andes mountains, I changed completely of scenery to spend 10 days on the pacific coast of the country, or more exactly, in the central part of it, in the Manabí region. I visited three hotels/lodges: Pacoche – natural reserve & lodge, RioMuchacho – organic farm & lodge, and Shanti Hostal. But it’s above all Elsa, the French Founder of the ecotourism Narwell Ecotours agency, who welcomed me by her sides in Manta. And I left then to meet with jumping humpback whales, rare birds and Teo on “Plata” island, and dived into a few mojitos, piña coladas and daiquiris on the Montanita beach.
[Ecuador] On my way from Amazon to the Pacific coast, I spent a week at 3200m of altitude in the Ecuadorian Andes mountain range. Hiking, cheese tasting and an ecolodge with exemplary ecoliving practices (for more than 20 years), I’m like a fish in water. It’s nice to be back to a cooler and drier climate. Six months ago, Andres, Black Sheep Inn Founder, discovered my blog on LinkedIn, and invited me to remain in touch in order to visit him when I’ll arrived in Ecuador. An invitation can not be refused, and this is the perfect opportunity to discover a great new responsible tourism project (which is now managed 100% by people of the village). I now invite you to meet Black Sheep Inn through a few videos!
[Ecuador] I met Bastienne during the eco-tourism conference ESTC15 in Quito. With her husband, Pablo, they developped a great responsible tourism project near Tena at the entrance of the Amazon. Huasquila Lodge was the first hotel to open in Cotundo village and take up a sweet challenge, which was to develop the destination tourism attraction and offer together with the community: exploration of caves, waterfalls, kichwa culture, rafting, chocolate… And also, Huasquila succesfully led a reforestation project of about 50 hectares of pature lands and built a lodge which counts 7 cabans accessible to disable guests (which is quite a rare feature in the Amazon).
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[Ecuador] Before to become a lodge, Yachana (which means in kichwa language « a place where to learn ») was above all a solid educational project (high school) developed for the youth of this isolated community in the Ecuadorian amazon. In 1995, Douglas was looking for a more sustainable model, and started the tourism project with the goal to help supporting the foundation. For a year and a half now, Yachana initiated a new project. They left the previous structure on the river bank, to build a new (and even more confortable) lodge and training center (for the most motivated students of all the region with a special “distance studying” program) at the top of a neighbor hill (with an incredible view over the Napo river!). Discover, in the videos below, the exceptional work and commitment of Yachana for a better world through education and responsible tourism (called “geotourism” by Douglas).
[Ecuador] After Shayari and Limoncocha, I’m welcomed in a 3rd kichwa community of the ecuadorian amazon, this time on the Napo river and at the nord-west entrance of the famous and vast Yasuni National Park. It’s a very improvised last-minute visit. I met, during a Rainforest Alliance meeting and training at Limoncocha, Otorino who offered me to come and stay at his house in order to get to know its village tourism-based project. I should have visited the Sani Lodge and Napo Wildlife Center, but these two visits were finally canceled. I accepted then with great pleasure the invitation!
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[Ecuador] After my visit at the Shayari community, I continued with a second community-based tourism center, the one of Limoncocha. This small village is located within an amazonian bioreserve and right next to the famous Napo River. Its lagoon is the ideal spot to observe caimans, frogs, birds… and some people say that there would be some anacondas living nearby. But, don’t worry, they are very shy and would be hidden very deep in the wildest area of the rainforest!
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