There are so many fabulous, charitable projects that The Explorations Company is involved in, both conservation and community led, which our clients can visit and be a part of – from clinics, to schools, to hospitals, to self-improvement, to conservation projects.
These we can incorporate into any holiday that you arrange with us. However, voluntourism has really taken hold for those who would like to make a meaningful contribution. Most of these will incorporate a skill that you already have – building, bricklaying, teaching, medical, surgical – any much more besides!
We have selected just a few fantastic itineraries below where voluntourism plays a key part, then added some other ideas to complement your holiday beautifully! As always, each of our holidays is entirely bespoke, tailored around your interests.
Day 1: Lima
Fly into Lima and transfer to a gorgeous small boutique hotel in the pretty oceanfront suburb of Barranco, a bohemian and laidback quarter of the city. Here you have a chance to relax and enjoy a very special dinner next to a 5th century archaeological site in the heart of the city. Taste your first sample of some of the incredible specialties that make Peru the perfect destination for those who love great food as well as history and local culture.
Days 2 - 4: Volunteering - Misminay Community - Sacred Valley
Fly to Cusco to arrive at the traditional community of Misminay in the Sacred Valley to meet your Andean hosts. You will stay in simple accommodation here, spending mornings helping with different volunteer activities from construction of bathrooms and kitchens to installing water tanks or planting gardens and trees. Afternoons you spend getting to know your hosts and the surrounding area, perhaps learning to make local dishes or how to weave colourful textiles.
Day 5: The Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu
Take your first rail journey in Peru through the Sacred Valley to the spectacular Inca city of Machu Picchu, perched dramatically above a gorge deep in the Andes. This spectacular city was built in the 15th Century but abandoned a century later. Explore on foot this extensive site and perhaps take an additional hike up out of the site for breath-taking panoramic views. Enjoy browsing the local village market and overnight in a beautiful boutique property amid tropical gardens.
Days 6 - 8: Colonial Cusco
This morning offers a second chance to explore Machu Picchu before you return to Cusco aboard a luxurious Pullman rail carriage, savouring a gourmet dinner on route. In Cusco over the next two days, explore its charming winding cobbled streets, old plazas and mix of Inca and colonial architecture from your delightful intimate hotel, a former colonial mansion. Marvel at the complex Inca stonework at Sacsayhuaman and learn how to make chocolate from raw Peruvian cacao.
Day 9: Andes Rail Experience
Continue your romantic journey by rail across the high altiplano towards Lake Titicaca. Stop enroute at La Raya, the highest point at 4,300 metres above sea level to admire the breath-taking landscapes. Watch the scenery roll leisurely past as alpaca and vicuña graze among local villages. Overnight on board this fabulous newly restored luxury train in a sumptuously appointed private ensuite cabin, the perfect way to absorb the serenely beautiful surroundings.
Days 10 - 12: Magical Lake Titicaca
Arrive to the shores of mystical Lake Titicaca, a beautiful and vast lake that spans between Peru and Bolivia. This high altitude lake is home to many traditional communities on outlying islands and ancient traditions and beliefs here are still very much a part of daily life. Your luxurious lakeside property donates to a local community project called Kusiwayo for every guest. Discover markets, local villages, islands on fabulous guided treks, 4wd adventures and boat journeys.
Day 13: Return Home
After breakfast, transfer to the local airport for your flight from Juliaca to Lima and then fly home.
Prices from GBP £6,390 or USD $8,307 per person.
(Prices subject to currency exchange rates and excludes international flights. Based on two people travelling in a double / twin room)
Days 1 - 2: Antigua Guatemala
Arrive in Guatemala City to take a short drive to the gorgeous colonial city of Antigua Guatemala, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the heart of the Mayan highlands. Your base for the week is a delightful boutique hotel set within a classical colonial mansion. Wander along its cobbled streets and explore its many churches and old buildings. Take a journey to some local mountain villages to see locals still proudly wearing their colourful traditional dress.
Days 3 - 8: Volunteering - Niños de Guatemala Project - Antigua
Spend this week with some very special children who will be delighted to welcome and meet you. The project has two primary and one middle school programs aiming to break the cycle of poverty in Guatemala and provide quality education to those in need. Assist with lessons in English and other creative classes. Alternative projects you could get involved in include Seeds of Life Orphanage, Hermano Pedro Hospital or De la Gente Coffee Co-operative.
Days 9 - 11: Amigos de Santa Cruz – Lake Atitlan
Journey to the breath-takingly picturesque landscape surrounding Lake Atitlan via the vibrant and bustling food and textile market at Chichicastenango to stay at a gorgeous property overlooking the lake. Discover small Mayan villages, traditional crafts and beliefs. Visit the small Kakchiquel village of Santa Cruz La Laguna to see the fantastic work of the Amigos project in helping to improve education, health, cleaner environment and sustainable economic development in this traditional community.
Days 12 - 14: Wildlife Rehabilitation Center & Tikal - Flores
Fly north to Flores to enter a world of dense jungle and spectacular Mayan history. Visit the impressive pyramids at Tikal, listening out for howler monkeys above in the trees. Meet the residents of the ARCAS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on the shores of Lake Peten-Itza, started to protect and rescue animals being confiscated on the black market by the Guatemalan government and now receiving up to 600 animals of more than 40 species per year.
Day 15: Return Home
After breakfast, transfer to the local airport for your flight from Flores to Guatemala City and then fly home. Or why not extend your journey in Belize for a few days of delightful R&R, snorkelling or diving at Ambergris Caye or the southern coast.
Prices from GBP £5,165 or USD $6,715 per person.
(Prices subject to currency exchange rates and excludes international flights or Belize Cayes extension. Based on two people travelling in a double / twin room).
Colonial mansions & haciendas
These elegant baroque buildings are evidence of the plentiful natural resources of many of Latin America’s nations, on the riches of which the Spanish and Portuguese created elaborate homes.
Working ranches or estancias
Estancia is the Latin American term for its working ranches, most often used in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. In Brazil, these vast ranches are referred to as fazendas.
Deep in the heart of dense primary rainforests and wetlands, and usually located on quiet tributary rivers or lakes, these lodges provide a comfortable base from which to explore the riches of the jungle flora and fauna.
Wilderness lodges & camps
Varying in design and style from alpine to modern and rustic, depending on the country, the remote wilderness lodge is all about location.
Yachts & river boats
Whether it’s a 16-passenger catamaran cruising the Galápagos archipelago, a sleek river vessel with sumptuous suites plying the dark waters of the Amazon River, or a compact 160-passenger expedition ship delving into the fjords and glacial valleys of Patagonia and Cape Horn, we have the inside track on the best and most comfortable yachts – and more importantly, those that have the best expedition crew and guides on-board.
Chic boutique hotels
Whilst occasionally we might suggest one of the established iconic landmark hotels in a city, depending on the occasion – think New Year fireworks on Copacabana beach in Rio from the balcony of the Copacabana Palace – on the whole, we prefer smaller boutique properties as the calm and relaxing base for your explorations of the city you find yourself in.
There are some very elegant and sleek beach resorts in countries such as Mexico and Brazil, offering faultless service, stunning suites and delicious gourmet fare, as well as beautiful locations – and, for certain occasions, these resorts may be just what you are looking for.
Private houses & villas
We can recommend a number of really stunning private houses and villas in gorgeous locations – for getting your group together for that special celebration, perhaps.
Trekking lodges & camps
There are some incredible classic and less well-known trekking possibilities in Latin America. Not only can we arrange trekking in Peru to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail, but also to Choquequirao or Cotahuasi Canyon.
Polar expedition ships
Heading to either the Arctic or the Antarctic is the ultimate wilderness expedition voyage even today, and we select only the best ice-class vessels to head to these most remote locations in search of the most incredible wildlife.
Peru images courtesy of Condor Travel, Belmond Travel and Titilaka.
Guatemala images courtesy of Viaventure
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.
- Utterly designed and tailored around you and your requirements
- Totally unique every time you travel with us
- We use only the very best hand picked guides which can make the difference between a good holiday and an outstanding one
- Established over 27 years ago we have been around longer than most
- Our specialists come from, have lived in or travelled extensively in the regions we cover
- Unparalleled knowledge provides you with the best possible experience
- Philanthropy is our philosophy
- Our founding principle is to always ‘put something back’
- An amount from each holiday is donated to our selected conservation and humanitarian charities