Travelers Can Now Support More Local Communities

19 May 2014

G Adventures and Planeterra have launched a self-sustaining restaurant to support the people of ‘Little Cusco’ in Peru, bringing 15,000 travelers to the community

G Adventures has launched an initiative to support the people of a small village in Peru, Huchuy Qosco or ‘Little Cusco’, through its non-profit foundation Planeterra.  The restaurant is the final of five projects which are the result of a one million dollar partnership with the Multilateral Investment Fund, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, which aims to support economic growth and reduce poverty in Central and South America.

The community restaurant, newly named by residents as Parwa, the Quechua name for the flower of the corn plant, is now included on 18 G Adventures tour itineraries. Travelers who book a trip including the Sacred Valley from April 2014 will be able to enjoy the hospitality of the men and women from ‘Little Cusco’ and know that they are supporting local people and keeping money in destination.

Steve Lima, US marketing manager, G Adventures, says the community is expected to draw approximately 15,000 visitors per year with the help of G Adventures.

“Not only will this tourism initiative give travelers the unique opportunity to experience meaningful cultural exchanges, but the project also benefits the local community and allows their unique culture to thrive.

“We hope this pilot is effective and it will be adopted by other organizations to increase the local economic impacts of tourism worldwide,” says Lima.

This is the first time the IDB has partnered with a tour operator for tourism development. Partnering with G Adventures to develop new projects means local enterprises have instant access to a ready market, and the skills required to meet the needs of travelers.

The initiative has been implemented in four destinations where G Adventures and other operators send a high flow of travelers on tours - Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Peru - and projects have been developed in communities that have not previously benefitted from their nation’s tourism activity.

The other projects G Adventures travelers can now visit and give back to include a coffee cooperative in Costa Rica, homestays in Guatemala and Nicaragua, and a community owned and managed campsite for trekkers in the Lares Valley in Peru.

All projects are now operating and included in G Adventures tours. Example itineraries include:

  • Classic Peru - Feel like a local at a Lake Titicaca homestay, climb the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, sample the seafood in Lima, explore ancient ruins and villages. Priced from $2349pp for a 12-day tour from Lima to Cusco.
  • Essence of Nicaragua - Explore colonial Granada, seek out the revolutionary murals in León, chill out on the beach at San Juan del Sur, savor a typical meal at a rural farm, connect with hosts in an Ometepe homestay experience. Priced from $899pp for a 12-day trip Granada return.
  • Costa Rica Adventure - Spot wildlife while cruising through the canals of Tortuguero, search for the elusive quetzal bird, hike through the cloud forest, enjoy the gorgeous beaches of the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, savor a local lunch at Planeterra’s and MIF-supported coffee plantation. Priced from $1439pp for a 16-day tour, San Jose return.