Whether exploring the Galapagos Islands, or hiking the Inca Trail, or climbing the highest summit in South America, we believe you can make a difference in how you impact the environment and local culture during your travels. Follow these practical steps on how to become a more educated and mindful traveler so you can help leave the world a better place.
Respect the culture, traditions, customs and religion of the places you will be visiting. Don’t try to impose your own beliefs as travel is meant to offer new experiences and open your eyes to different perspectives.
Do some research before your trip to better understand the local customs and traditions of the countries you will be visiting which can help guide your behavior when dealing with unfamiliar circumstances.
Learn a few words and sentences in the local language or take a phrasebook with you. Locals often find it very meaningful to see the effort you make when communicating with them in their own language.
It's always exciting to take a photo of a kid, grandma or native person wearing their traditional colorful costumes. Bear in mind some locals do not appreciate having their photo taken, so please remember to always ask for their permission first.
Bring a reusable water bottle and your own shopping bag to minimize plastic pollution. Many South American cities have already joined the fight against plastic consumption so please help to do your part.
When buying souvenirs, visit the local craft markets or street craft vendors so you can help support the local economy.
South America does not have a big bartering culture so avoid haggling prices when purchasing local items. Be respectful to local vendors, especially if you are purchasing an item that cost less than USD $20. Communities take pride in their products and do not expect to have to bargain with customers. For more expensive items, you can ask respectfully if you can get a better price.