Home > About Andean Travel Web
Welcome to Andean Travel Web, an online guide to adventure travel in Peru. We are a non-profit making organization with offices in Cusco, Peru. We are not a travel agent and we do not sell tours or charge any of the companies to be listed on our website. Our staff comprise volunteers, all from different backgrounds, but all united in a genuine love for Peru.
Mike Weston, Editor
Our aim is to help promote Peru by providing good quality, independent and reliable travel information for visitors. We aim to highlight some of the main tourist attractions and help put you in touch with some of the best tour operators and hotels in Peru. It is only through promoting the more responsible companies and avoiding the worst ones that travellers and tourists alike can help contribute towards encouraging responsible tourism and respect for the local people and culture as well as protecting the environment. We hope that you enjoy our travel guide and become inspired to visit this incredibly diverse, beautiful and friendly country.
Our aims are numerous and varied but basically fall into the following categories:
1. Promoting Peru worldwide
Providing basic up-to-date travel information about the country and highlighting the main attractions. This is achieved in the form of our web site Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru which now has over 3500 individual visitors per day. In the future we hope to extend our web site to include the north of Peru and also Ecuador and Bolivia.
2. Promoting quality Peruvian companies
If visitors are coming to Peru then we want them to have an enjoyable experience when they are here. Visitors who have had a great time are the best form of promotion possible as they return to their country and recommend Peru to their friends and family. As in all countries there are many tour companies who are only interested in taking your money. Their service can be poor or non-existent. In order to avoid these "cowboy" establishments we have recommended hotels and tour operators that we feel offer a genuine value for money service. For each of these businesses we have dedicated a page to summarize their services, including prices and photos where possible. We have also included their website addresses so that you can contact them directly and make your reservations. We do not charge companies to be included in our website and there is no form of commission or referral fee (are we mad?). Inclusion in our website is 100% free. We have worked hard to keep these listings as independent as possible. For further details of our listing requirements/policy see bottom of this page.
3. Improve working conditions for porters on the Inca Trail
Even the best quality tour operators are under intense pressure to cut costs and provide competitive prices. Laws have been passed that should guarantee porters a minimum wage of 42 Peruvian Soles per day (about USD15). Unfortunately many companies are continuing to pay daily wages as low as USD5. We do not recommend trekking companies in this website that have a history of mistreating their porters or trekking staff. Unfortunately for legal reasons we can't list the worst offending companies but you won't see them being recommended in this guide.
4. Promote tourism in rural communities - staying with local Quechua families
Ecotourism is a form of tourism which aims to include local communities. The local people should receive a fair share of the benefits/profits. Andean Travel Web is working together with several families in the village of Chinchero about 40 minutes by bus from Cusco and the Quechua community of Amaru in the mountain behind Pisac about 1 hour 45 minutes from Cusco . For visitors wanting to escape mainstream tourism they can spend a night with a host family and learn about local life and culture. These trips aren't for everybody. Accommodation is very basic, sometimes there isn't even running water. However the families are warm and friendly and you'll feel better knowing that your visit is genuinely helping your hosts. We can arrange departures any day of the week but we recommend staying Saturday night so that you can enjoy the traditional Sunday morning market before returning to Cusco. More details.
5. Promote alternative treks to the Classic 4 day Inca Trail.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is, by far, Peru's most popular trek. However there are some great alternative treks such as Lares Valley, Ausangate or Choquequirao. We've included information and photos to whet your appetite.
We always appreciate your support
The contributors to Andean Travel Web are local guides, tour leaders and travellers - in fact anyone who has visited Peru and has developed a love and a passion for this land. Our recommendations are based on experience and are constantly evaluated by ourselves and using reviews we receive from other travellers. Of course, you are the traveller, so your opinions are important to us. That's why we want as much feedback from yourselves as possible so that we can maintain the best travel guide to Peru. Being based in Cusco, we have the advantage of being able to talk to hundreds of travellers about their trips and adventures and keep informed about what is going on in the travel industry. Anyway we hope you enjoy this guide and find it useful.
Listing Requirements / Policy:
Within the pages of Andean Travel Web we recommend over 300 companies and hotels and include, where necessary, details of their services, photos, prices, addresses and contact details so visitors to the website can contact the companies directly to make a booking. We try to review this information at least once a year. Andean Travel Web does not charge any of these companies to be included in the website or charge any kind of referral fee. Inclusion in this guide is completely free (many people think that we are completely mad to miss out on such a great commercial opportunity). Our aim is to help promote Peru and responsible tourism to potential overseas visitors and not to make money. As stated above, Andean Travel Web is run by unpaid volunteers and is 100% non-commercial. We consider the website to be a public service and not a business venture. We try to keep Andean Travel Web as independent as possible and for this reason the companies / hotels that are listed on our website are not simply companies that we personally like. Each year we buy all the updated guide books to Peru (South American Handbook, Peru Handbook, Cusco & Inca Trail Handbook, Lonely Planet Peru, Lonely Planet South America, The Rough Guide to Peru, Lets Go Peru, Frommer's Peru, Inca Trail Cusco & Machu Picchu, etc) and we list out the hotels and tour operators that are being recommended. We also visit the South America Explorers Club to see their list of recommended companies and read trip reports that members have left in their office (a great source of reliable information). We don't pay much attention to online forums such as Lonely Planet Thorn Tree as these recommendations are easily falsified and open to manipulation. We then compile a list of the companies / hotels that are most frequently recommended by all the guidebooks. We give a slightly higher preference to those companies that have websites and want to sell their services directly to their clients and slightly less consideration to companies that prefer to sell their services only to overseas companies (known as receptive companies, mayoristas, or wholesalers). The resulting list that we publish on our website should be a fairly good collection of reliable companies. Most of the companies / hotels tend to be well established with many years experience in tourism. However just because a company doesn't appear in our website it doesn't mean it isn't any good. There are plenty of great companies out there but maybe they are recommended by just one guide book and haven't yet come to the attention of editors updating other guidebooks. Often it takes several years for new companies to become well-known and recommended. Some of these newer companies have very competitive rates and offer good value for money but unfortunately we can't include them on this website.
If you are the owner of a hotel or company and feel that we may have overlooked you then you can submit details of your company to be considered for inclusion in our website. (see Contact Us).
At all times Andean Travel Web reserves the right to remove any companies from our listings or not to include them in the first place. We will not have to provide any reasoning behind this decision.
Please note that recently, due to threats of legal action against Andean Travel Web, we have removed several negative comments against certain companies that have been found to be offering a poor service. We no longer maintain a blacklist of such companies. If you are a company that is included in our listings and feel that any information we are providing is unjust or inaccurate please write to us with your grievance and we will give it fair consideration. If you would like to have your company removed from our listings we will be happy to comply with your request provided that your request is submitted in writing.
Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru
Home *About Us * Peru Highlights * Volunteer Work & Community Projects * Travel Info * Photo Gallery * Ecotourism Guide * Travel Stories * Language Schools * Books * Handicrafts * Links * Search * Contact Us
Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru. Copyright Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru 2000-2012. All material used within this web site is original work and is subject to international copyright law. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited without prior permission from the editor. This web page was last updated in January 2012.