Turpial Travel & Adventure’s tours are designed in a way that is respectful of the local environment, economy, and the people’s cultures and heritage. Our Responsible Travel policy consists of:
- Promoting economic development by hiring local guides, suppliers and operators.
- Partnering with small-scale locally owned accommodations.
- Encouraging our tourist to eat at local restaurants/markets as this keeps the revenue in local communities.
- When safe and appropriate, encouraging our travellers to buy local, organic foods
- Employing local guides to help travellers understand the local culture and etiquette.
- Minimizing its impact on the environment by using public transportation where possible if safe.
- Maintaining small-group sizes to limit negative social and environmental impacts. Furthermore, small groups allow tourist to experience cultures first hand, offering greater opportunity for cross-cultural understanding.
- Respecting the local culture, customs and beliefs.
- Supporting conservation projects spearheaded by Fundación AndígenA, a neotropical biodiversity conservation organization focused on protecting the environment in the Venezuelan Andean Region. Travellers are invited to contribute. Upon request, our travellers will have a chance to volunteer and give back by visiting community-based grassroots projects supported by this organization.
- Supporting Sustainable Travel International (STI) Carbon Management Programs to invest in high quality renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry-related projects that improve our world.
We encourage our travellers to apply the following responsible travel policies before, during, and after their trip:
1. Before you book/travel with us:
- Consider off-setting your international flight carbon emissions by:
- Reducing flying time and stopovers where you can as the worst carbon emissions happen during takeoff and landing.
- Purchasing carbon offsetting credits: STI Carbon Calculator calculates the greenhouse gas emissions that result from flying to your destination. Turpial Travel & Adventure then funds environmentally friendly energy projects worldwide to reduce emissions equal to the amount released on our trips. Learn more about Carbon Offset Projects supported by STI. It's simple, surprisingly inexpensive, and it is an easy way to help our environment while traveling.
- Consider donating to Fundación AndígenA.
- Learn a few Spanish phrases like “hola”, “mucho gusto” and “gracias” before traveling as people are always happy to see that you have made an effort to communicate and learn something about them.
- As it's difficult in remote places to effectively dispose of your waste, travel lightly and consider bring re-usable containers, batteries, etc. if possible. Leave packaging from toiletries and other travel items at home.
- Respect the local cultures, traditions and values. Local customs and traditions may be different from yours. Take the time to learn “what is” and “what is not” acceptable there.
- Take photos with care and remember to ask permission and respect people’s wishes if they say “no”.
- Do not buy products made from endangered species that exploit wildlife and/or aid in habitat destruction.
- Do not feed wildlife because it disrupts natural behavior and life cycles.
- Buy souvenirs locally made.
- Buy local organic food.
- Cultivate the habit of asking questions and listening. Our local guides have so much to teach you about their culture and remember that local people have different ways of thinking and concepts of time.
- Pay a fair price for the goods and services you buy. What is a minor sum to you could be a significant amount to a local family, perhaps an important meal.
3. When you get back home
- If you've promised to send pictures, gifts and/or support a local project, remember your promise.
- Upon return from your trip, please take some time to give us your feedback. Your input can make a difference, especially suggestions on how to reduce environmental impacts and increase benefits to local communities.