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Wildlife watching in Colombia – Touring the Amazon Jungle

Ecotourism

Colombia

 
Last time, Elena’s post was about La Guajira: Where Desert and the Caribbean Sea Meet. We got an insight look on the lifestyle in such unusual environmental conditions. Today we travel with Elena to one of the most magnificent places on earth: the Amazon rainforest. Her main focus was wildlife watching in Colombia, and this is the perfect location for this activity. On her own words:
 
The Amazon is …

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Where Desert and the Caribbean Sea Meet – Indigenous tourism in La Guajira

Responsible Tourism

Colombia

 
Last time, Elena shared with us her stunning pictures of a whale-watching trip to the Pacific Ocean in Colombia. We are now moving to La Guajira, the driest region of the country, where Elena submerged herself in a different culture and way of living. Central to her experience was indigenous tourism in La Guajira – and the Wayuu are protagonists of her …

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Xandari, a sustainable lodge in Costa Rica

Responsible Tourism

Costa Rica

 
Our last blog post was about Simone sharing her thoughts on organic farming and rural tourism in Costa Rica. Today we turn our eyes to what Jocelyn from the Xandari Resort and Spa Costa Rica writes about the great work that is done at the lodge in terms of sustainability. They work very hard, in partnership with the local community, to improve the sustainability of …

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Finca Sura: Tourism and Organic Farming in Costa Rica

Happy Travellers

Costa Rica

 
Welcome to the third post of the blog series about ecotourism and rural tourism in Costa Rica. Simone, blogger and member of the Ethical Influencer Network, writes about Finca Sura and the exquisite agricultural products it has to offer.
 
I’m going to be totally honest. I had no idea where I was going. I had freed myself of all expectations and had given everything …

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What I Learned About Slow and Sustainable Food in Costa Rica

Happy Travellers

Costa Rica

 
This is the second in a series of blog posts about ecotourism and rural tourism in Costa Rica. Last month, we organised a tour for Hannah, Kasi and Simone, bloggers and members of the Ethical Influencer Network. Kasi continues the series by sharing her insights about agriculture, gastronomy and sustainable food in Costa Rica:
 
The idea of ‘slow food’ is everywhere.
Consumers are more …

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The Juanilama Community: Rural Tourism in Costa Rica

Happy Travellers

Costa Rica

 
This is the first of a series of blog posts about ecotourism and rural tourism in Costa Rica. Earlier this month, we organised a tour for Hannah, Kasi and Simone, bloggers and members of the Ethical Influencer Network. Hannah kicks off the series by sharing with us her experience at the Juanilama community:
 
A little over two weeks ago, I was sitting in …

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Organic chocolate tour in the Amazon rainforest – An Ecuador Adventure

Ecotourism

Ecuador

Last week we shared Elena’s blog post about Whale-watching in Colombia – Exploring the Pacific Coast, where she explored the Choco Region of Colombia. She came up close with these magnificent mamals and also explored the rich nature around Nuquí. Today, photographer Kris Davidson shares with us her experience of a chocolate tour we organised for her in Ecuador. She spent a few unbelievable days in the Amazon Jungle learning …

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Whale-watching in Colombia – Exploring the Pacific Coast

Ecotourism

Colombia

Not so long ago we shared with you a blog post about whale-watching off the Huasco Coast in Chile, where our Happy Travellers Gabrielle and Ruth had the chance to see these incredible mammals and to explore the Atacama Desert as well. Now we travel to the north of South America for an experience of whale-watching in Colombia, where the photographer, Elena, spent a few …

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A thousand shades of green – Wildlife in Costa Rica

Ecotourism

Costa Rica

 
Having travelled for several months throughout South and Central America, and loving every minute of it, it was time to arrive in Costa Rica. Once we had entered the country via the southern border with Panama, we had a long bus ride until we reached San José. Amazed by how green this country is compared with many parts of Latin America, I was …

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Visiting the Huasco Coast – Whale-Watching in Chile

Happy Travellers

Chile

 
In our Happy Travellers category, we have had many generous travellers sharing their experiences, with words and/or pictures, to show the incredible places they visited in Latin America. Recently we’ve had Carolina and Camilo sharing pictures of their rural homestay near Bariloche (Argentinean Patagonia), and Matt, who shared some pictures of his Amazon rainforest adventures in Peru and Colombia. This time we travel to Chile, where Gabriele …

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Trekking in Puerto Williams: the Southernmost City in the World

Ecotourism

Chile

 
Ever dreamed of reaching the southernmost city in the world? Along with our partners in Chile, Travolution.org, we have made this possible! Here we share Juan’s first-hand experience, after he travelled to this region in the south of Patagonia. We can now be sure that trekking in Puerto Williams is an unforgettable experience!
In his own words…
The southern part of Patagonia has always been …

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Scenes From a Rural Homestay in Argentina

Happy Travellers

Argentina

 
Following on from our short but sweet photo journey through the Colombian and Peruvian Amazon last week, in this post we thought we’d offer you a glimpse of a rural homestay in Argentina. Once again, the lovely photos come courtesy of some of our Happy Travellers – and offer a new insight into this huge and mesmerising land: Patagonia.
Bariloche is a stunning little …

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An Amazon Adventure – Photos from the Peruvian and Colombian Jungle

Happy Travellers

Colombia, Peru

 
About a year ago we sent Harry and Danny on an epic South American Adventure. They came back with lots of stories and some great pics, which they shared with us through their #AdventureLust series. We have also had great photo posts from some of our many Happy Travellers. But it has been too long since our last photo post, so we’re …

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The crees foundation: supporting a sustainable Peruvian Amazon

Ecotourism

Peru

This blog post introduces the crees foundation’s great work supporting a sustainable Amazon. The crees foundation is a conservation and sustainable development organisation that has worked for over a decade to promote sustainable resource management in the Manu Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Peruvian Amazon. Since 2012, the Manu Learning Centre has opened its doors to travellers to help …

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Community-based Tourism in Nicaragua: An experience infused with the aroma of sustainable coffee

Responsible Tourism

Nicaragua

In this blog post, we take a closer look at community-based tourism in Nicaragua, focusing on one of the communities included in our latest Unexplored Nicaragua Tour: La Fundadora community. The post follows on from last week’s post Exploring Nicaragua – the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes, and offers a personal perspective as to how community-based tourism can be a …

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Exploring Nicaragua – the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes

Ecotourism

Nicaragua

This blog post falls somewhere in between our Happy Travellers and our #AdventureLust posts, and provides a bit more of a personal insight into our new Unexplored Nicaragua Tour. I recently returned from two weeks exploring Nicaragua and the trip has been a revelation. The countryside was stunning and varied, the people warm and engaging and I was able to learn about the …

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Totonal Viajes: Pioneers of Responsible Tourism in Mexico

Responsible Tourism

Mexico

 
To introduce our latest local partner, Totonal Viajes que Iluminan, and our exciting Deepest Mexico Tour, we interviewed Totonal’s Director and Founder, Marisol Herrera. Totonal are a pioneer of responsible tourism in Mexico, and we are proud to have partnered with them to design a 15 day tour that enables inquisitive travellers to experience a little known side of the country that’s …

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An Innovative Approach to Community-based Tourism in Costa Rica

Responsible Tourism

Costa Rica

 
In this blog, we have already showcased some of the great work carried out by our local partners, such as the Red Tusoco in Bolivia and the Red de Turismo Campesino in Salta, Northern Argentina. Now it is time to turn our focus to community-based tourism in Costa Rica, one of the world’s top eco-tourism destinations. We interviewed the directors of ACTUAR, our inspiring …

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Food for thought: Local food and sustainable development

Responsible Tourism

Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru

Last year I spent 3 months researching the appetite for local food in the English hospitality sector, looking in detail at levels of engagement with local produce and suppliers. Whilst this isn’t the time or place to bore you with the details, there are a few general points that are worth sharing – and which broadly tie in with our …

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Fair Trade Adventures of a Lifetime – Small Group Tours to Latin America

Responsible Tourism

Costa Rica, Peru, Colombia

 
If you are reading this blog post, most likely you consume fair trade products on a regular basis. The fair trade movement has grown considerably in recent years, but tourism is one industry where it is failing to establish itself. It is pretty simple to find fair trade coffee or bananas in a supermarket, or fair trade handicrafts online. But …

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Discovering Rural Tourism in Argentina: The Yungas Region

Responsible Tourism

Argentina

 
Last February, Hervé, a member of our Argentinian ground team took part in a journey to experience rural tourism in Argentina with members of the local NGO ProYungas, an organisation which supports rural communities in the Yungas region of northern Argentina to develop sustainable tourism programmes as a supplement to their traditional livelihoods.
In his own words…
Community-based tourism in the Quebrada de Humahuaca
I met Avelina from the …

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A Stay in a Blue Marine Paradise – Providencia Island Tour

Ecotourism

Colombia

 
It’s sunset and the small plane is about to land on Providencia Island. We left San Andres, the largest island in the archipelago 20 minutes ago, and the view is simply stunning: a tiny island with big mountains, surrounded by the blue Caribbean sea. The beautiful shades of blue are too difficult to describe, so instead I’ll let the pictures …

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Backpacking South America – In Pictures (Part 2 of 2)

Happy Travellers

Argentina, Chile

 
Late last year, we organised an exciting multi-country backpacking tour of South America for Mala and Anna, crossing the continent from Bolivia, through the Atacama Desert in Chile and visiting northern Argentina before skipping across to the impressive Iguazu Falls and finally ending their trip in Buenos Aires. As we mentioned in the first post, Backpacking South America – In …

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The #AdventureLust Trip Ends but the Memories of Community-Based Tourism Live On

AdventureLust

Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina

 
Our #AdventureLust travellers, Danny and Harry, recently got back from South America after four months of exploration. In a trip debrief we spoke to them about their experiences, discussing their favourite places, most enjoyable activities and what their travel tips are for those setting out on a community-based travel adventure.
Hi guys, welcome home. What were your initial expectations going into …

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Adventure Trekking in the Bolivian Amazon Jungle

AdventureLust

Bolivia

In between previous Sumak Travel tours which gave Harry and Danny experiences like a homestay on Lake Titicaca and an exploration of Moon Valley in Chile, the guys travelled to Rurrenabaque for a three day adventure trekking tour through Madidi National Park in the Bolivian Amazon Jungle.
After a reportedly terrifying 20 hour bus journey on and off muddy tracks along 1,000 foot …

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Organic Coffee Tours in Cuzco – Peru

AdventureLust

Peru

Fancy a cuppa?
Have you ever wondered what its like to taste a wonderfully fresh organic coffee straight from the Peruvian rainforest?
Well, Harry and I were lucky enough to experience it, as we ventured through the wild coffee growing region of tropical Peru.
Thanks to Sumak Travel, and their partners Cocla Tours in Cuzco, where we stayed for a few days, we learnt …

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Homely homestays in Lake Titicaca – Peru

AdventureLust

Peru

 
Can I make a confession? Before Danny told me about this opportunity to go away with Sumak Travel, I must admit that I – a 25-year-old city boy – had never even heard of community-based tourism.
It’s not that I was too far from Sumak’s target customer – give me adventure over alcohol any day – but I just didn’t even …

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The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca

AdventureLust

Peru

 
Stepping off the boat onto the floating bed of reeds was a strange sensation and the spongy feeling under our feet didn’t exactly instil confidence that we would stay afloat. We had reached our destination of the Uros Islands in Southern Peru. Floating gracefully on top of  the highest lake in the world are forty or so man-made reed beds …

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Sun Island: A Dazzling Inca Shrine

AdventureLust

Bolivia

 
Leaving breathless La Paz behind, and after our adventures from the Amazon to the Andes with the Quechua people, Danny and I travelled via bus and boat to Sun Island, the birthplace of Inca civilisation. A 70km2 island in the middle of Lake Titicaca, the world’s largest, highest navigable lake, Sun Island’s beauty took our breath away – but this time …

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Bolivia: From the Amazon to the Andes with the Quechua

AdventureLust

Bolivia

 
After a brief spell away from our tours with Sumak Travel following our adventures in Argentina and Chile, Harry and I once again found ourselves back on the road in unchartered territory. This time we began our journey at the gateway to the Amazon rainforest, a small town called Villa Tunari in the North of Bolivia, known for its ‘Ethno-Ecotourism’. There was …

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Community-based Tourism in Bolivia

Responsible Tourism

Bolivia

 
Can travelling be a better experience, both for the traveller and for the host community? If you are not reading this blog for the first time, you know I have been writing about how community-based tourism can be a tool for sustainable development, and about several destinations where this type of tourism is successfully conducted, such as the small fishing towns in the coast …

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A journey through the Moon Valley in the Atacama Desert

AdventureLust

Chile

 
Wind battered us from all sides, throwing grit and sand into our eyes and hair.  Our bikes were weaving all over the road… this wasn’t easy. But slowly and surely we two riders on the (desert) storm kept up our lonely journey towards the Moon Valley in the Atacama Desert.
After an adventure-filled week in Pucon (South of Chile), Danny and I …

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Outdoor adventures in Chile – Trekking in Pucón

AdventureLust

Chile

 
Sitting at the bottom of the magnificent snow-capped Villarrica volcano in the Arauncanía region of southern Chile is a little village known as Pucón. What was once an indigenous Mapuche stronghold – even the name Pucón means ‘entrance to the cordillera’ in their native tongue – has now become a Mecca for adrenaline junkies or anyone wanting to venture into …

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Living in a Ruka – Lake Budi Cultural Adventure

AdventureLust

Chile

 
Perched on top of the hillside on the windy shores of Lake Budi on the Pacific coast of Chile, there is a wooden dome concealed with straw, with thick smoke streaming out of one end. They are dotted around the green rolling hills of this region not to dissimilar to the English countryside. The straw dome is a traditional Mapuche house …

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The Mapuche of the Forest – Indigenous Tourism in Chile

AdventureLust

Chile

 
As the famous poet come politician, Pablo Neruda once said of the Araucanía region of Chile in Northern Patagonia, ‘it’s the wild west.’ Often spending his time wandering the sacred forests of the valley where he once lived and became so fond of. Curarreuhue, a charming little hideaway for Mapuche indigenous communities, is nestled in between the mountains just a …

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Backpacking Colombia – In Pictures

Happy Travellers

Colombia

 
A year ago we sent Kevin Rushby, one of the best Guardian travel writers, to Colombia. He produced some beautiful material, in particular the featured articles Colombia’s Lost City: lore of the jungle and Colombia is full of beans: coffee regions open for tourism. Those, combined with the improvement of Colombia’s image as a tourist destination, led this stunning country to becoming one of our best …

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Patagonian Adventures with the Mapuche

AdventureLust

Argentina

 
We arrived in the wonderfully picturesque town of San Martín de los Andes, where our Mapuche guide Maria Angelica was waiting for us. Mapuche – one of the largest remaining indigenous communities in Argentina – are people of the land, as the name suggests: mapu, meaning land; and che, meaning people in their native tongue. Sadly however, their native Mapuche language has …

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A Gaucho Family Christmas In Patagonia

AdventureLust

Argentina

 
San Carlos de Bariloche, or simply Bariloche as it’s known to the locals, is a stunningly beautiful town at the foothills of the awe inspiring Andes, straddling lake Nahuel Huapi. The name itself originates from its Mapudungun indigenous past. The word Vuriloche meaning ‘people from behind the mountain,’ and beyond the mountains was exactly where we were heading. Our guide Analia, from …

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Christmas Dinner in Rural Patagonia

AdventureLust

Argentina

 
“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…
Jack Frost nipping at your nose”
Christmas in Patagonia is a world away from Nat King Cole’s wintery classic but replace ‘chestnuts’ with ‘lamb’ and ‘Jack Frost’ with ‘sunburn’ and you’ve got an idea of how Danny and I spent the most wonderful time of the year.
We had been out on horseback all day on Christmas …

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The #AdventureLust begins with indigenous tourism in Mendoza: Meet the Huarpe community

AdventureLust

Argentina

 
We were greeted with a huge smile as we stepped off the bus at La Asunción, a tiny village in the Mendoza region of Argentina. Our guide, Humberto – an active member of this indigenous Huarpe community – was waiting for us with open arms, tagged along by his energetic son Joaquín. There was an evident sense of relief in …

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AdventureLust: Danny & Harry on an epic South America adventure

AdventureLust

Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru

 
Hello guys, my name’s Danny, a wildlife enthusiast, adventurer, travel writer and basically up for anything outdoors and off-the-beaten-track. Along with my best mate Harry, a writer himself, a multi-linguist and talented photographer and film maker, we are about to go on an amazing trip around South America for the next six months, passing through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and …

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Incredible Argentina Adventure in 15 days

Happy Travellers

Argentina

 
We’ve been quite busy these past weeks on a couple of big projects. First, we helped Outpost Magazine, a Canadian travel magazine, to organise their Colombia Expedition. Four of their best travel journalists are visiting stunning places in Colombia, including the Chicamocha Canyon, the Amazon rainforest, Cartagena and Tayrona National Park. You can read about their expedition on the opXpedtions Colombia website or …

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Backpacking South America – In Pictures (Part 1 of 2)

Happy Travellers

Bolivia, Chile

Earlier this year, Mala and Anna decided to go on a South America Adventure with us. They started in Bolivia, crossed the salt flats to reach the Atacama Desert in Chile and then the Andes to Purmamarca in Argentina. Before arriving to Buenos Aires, they spend a couple of days visiting the impressive Iguazu Falls. We were a bit jealous …

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Ethical, Cultural Tourism In Argentina

Ecotourism

Argentina

 
You can’t really go to Buenos Aires without seeing a couple dance the tango, that sensual, slinky mix of Latin, African, and European influences that was magically brewed up by immigrants and sailors in the bars and ports of the River Plate sometime in the 1890s. But to add something different, how about joining an ecotourism programme run by local …

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Little Fishing Villages, Big Vision of Ecotourism in Brazil

Ecotourism

Brazil

 
As you might have noticed when browsing this website, we support a business model chosen by local communities who want tourism to provide a complementary, rather than the sole source of their income. The difference is critically important. We believe that mass tourism is unsustainable and prefer an approach focused on more diversified livelihoods. We wrote recently about how community-based tourism …

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Community-based tourism: a tool for sustainable development

Responsible Tourism

Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia

 
Welcome to our very first blog post! Since we launched Sumak Travel a few years ago, we’ve been writing about responsible tourism, social enterprise and Latin America in lots of places. We thought time to have our own blog had arrived, so we went for it. To kick off, we re-publish a revised version of an article about community-based tourism I …

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