Adventure Life Journeys
In business since 2001
Adventure Life is committed to providing quality small group tours that have a positive impact on the local culture and environment. Group size is kept to a minimum, welcoming a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Each tour is designed to present the best of each region, while at the same time allowing freedom and flexibility for the unexpected and unpredictable that make each tour and each destination unique. Our goal is to provide a fun and exciting holiday, while creating a better understanding between travelers and our wonderful hosts.
Address1655 South 3rd St. W., Suite 1
Adventure Life is one of the few organizations in the world that get what matters most - customers. Your staff and services were excellent and of quality. It is clear that everyone at Adventure Life loves what they do and do what they love.
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| Mission Statement: Adventure Life Journeys is committed to providing quality small group tours throughout Latin America that have a positive impact on the local culture and environment.
Our grassroots approach to travel utilizes local guides, family-run hotels, and the local transportation infrastructure. Groups are rarely larger than twelve, and each tour is designed by the company's founder with the goal of providing a fun and exciting holiday, while creating a better understanding between travelers and our wonderful hosts.
Operating Standards: Adventure Life Journeys believes it is critical that local people be made active partners in developing a local tourism industry. Money generated by tourism should stay in the community. This means hiring local guides, staying in locally owned hotels, and using the local transportation infrastructure ~ issues that have been at the heart of our travel philosophy from the beginning. To ensure that each itinerary has a positive impact on the local culture, environment and economy, Adventure Life works under a number of guidelines when creating new tours:
Lodging: Because the choice of lodging is such a critical component of any eco-tour, a representative from our U.S. office (often the company president himself) personally inspects all potential hotels and lodges in any given area. In addition to visiting a broad spectrum of mid-range options, our Adventure Life representative interviews staff and local agencies to determine which lodges have the best record of historical preservation and are active in contributing to local conservation. These factors are considered along with cleanliness, safety, and customer service. Lodges that use innovative practices to improve upon their sustainability and mitigate any environmental impacts, as well as those that are owned by or work in conjunction with indigenous populations, are given special preference.
The criteria underlying our primary search include but are not limited to: being locally owned and operated; having been built in a sustainable manner (e.g. use of solar panels, recycling water disposal systems, salvaged timbers); and ranging in size from 12-20 rooms where possible. In the highest volume destinations, hotels, lodges and yachts are reviewed annually with a personal visit from either a US representative or the respective in-country coordinator. Less busy destinations are personally reviewed every two to three years.
Guides: Adventure Life Journeys hires only licensed and/or certified local guides for our escorted tours. In accordance with our belief that a tour leader native to the destination creates a richer experience for the traveler, we choose only the most qualified, reputable local guides. They manage the tour group as a North American tour leader might, yet are able to add more authenticity and a deeper look at the regional culture. Travelers often remark that a visit to their guide's family home, or his long-held spiritual connection to the land, helped shape a truly exceptional experience. Guides are often trilingual, facilitating interactions in languages such as Quechua or Tzutujil. While the exact curriculum differs between countries, Adventure Life guides are trained in the same principles as those of the Leave No Trace philosophy.
Tour Operation: Our South and Central America itineraries are designed to use local existing infrastructure, rather than creating a need for new construction or services imported from a North American provider. These tours use public transportation, or, where private transport is more practical, the services of a locally owned company. Clients visit established national parks and conservation areas, keeping group size a minimum to lessen environmental impact. Many itineraries are designed to support community tourism projects, which might mean incorporating a homestay into the tour, or visiting an Amazon lodge owned and operated by an indigenous community. Before the trip begins all travelers are educated on the Dos and Don'ts of responsible travel and how to be an active participant in preserving local ecology and culture.
Office: The Missoula-based office takes efforts to minimize the amount of waste generated, and recycle whenever possible. To minimize waste production we reuse paper, buy products in bulk, and purchase high quality, long-lasting equipment. We also recycle everything that can be recycled (this includes paper, plastic, glass, ink cartridges, furniture, computers and more). All our print material is printed on 50% recycled paper and 30% post consumer content. We also use soy ink, which is made from a bio-product and more bio-degradable than standard inks. Our office is centrally located within the small town of Missoula, dramatically reducing commuter miles and makes alternative transportation an option for everyone. Nearly all of the Adventure Life staff either walks, bikes, or carpools to work.
Financial Contributions: In addition to sending clients to service providers who actively promote preservation, Adventure Life donates money to a number of conservation efforts.
Galapagos Conservation Fundraising: Adventure Life is an active member of the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association, (IGTOA). Together we have created an effective way for the travel industry to help support Galapagos conservation. The travel industry and those who visit the Galapagos must meet the challenge of preserving this world heritage. In Nov. 2006, together with IGTOA, we launched a Galapagos traveler-funding program. The program is simple: A minimum $50 voluntary donation is added to all of Adventure Life's Galapagos travelers' invoices. 40% of this donation goes to IGTOA and 60% goes to the Charles Darwin Foundation. Dollar for dollar, Adventure Life matches these donations with travel vouchers for future trips with our company. Out of IGTOA's 50+ members, there are seven tour operators that are participating in this specific program. Adventure Life has proven the most successful in its fundraising efforts, spearheading this program and contributing far more than any other company. As of March 2008, our travelers have raised nearly $30,000.
Mantay Shelter, Cusco, Peru: In 2007, Adventure Life donated $7200 to Mantay. The shelter supplies young single mothers with a safe environment where they are counseled, educated, and given training. Currently, the Mantay shelter is the only place in Cusco that gives these young mothers the opportunity to take on and develop their role as providers while at the same time enjoying their adolescence. We have also purchased samples of the leather handicrafts produced by the young mothers at Mantay to give to all of our Peru travelers, as a small example of the quality work - and furthermore the quality of the technical training classes - provided at Mantay. And we encourage interested travelers to bring such donations and/or visit the shelter during their Peru travels; we provide the means for them to do so. Visitors also have the opportunity to purchase the handicraft items produced by the young mothers at Mantay.
Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco: In 2007, Adventure Life donated $5000 to the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC). The CTTC is a non-profit organization established in 1996 to aid in the survival of Incan textile traditions and to provide support to weaving communities. Working with the Center, Quechua weavers and their families in the region of the former Incan capitol are engaged in skills-building, community networking and market development. By researching and documenting complex styles and techniques of the ancestors, the Center helps to ensure that 2,000 year-old textiles traditions will not be lost to future generations.
Cachiccata community: Adventure Life donated $1000 to the community of Cachicatta for training in waste disposal of their fledgling community tourism project. Adventure Life is also a supporting member of Sustainable Travel International (STI), the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, and The International Ecotourism Society, contributing to sustainable tourism efforts through these organizations.
Continuous Improvement: Adventure Life Journeys is currently looking into an annual, independent third party review of our ~best practices.~ At present, monitoring efforts include using direct feedback from clients, in-country coordinators and regional associates. Periodic self-assessments review the sustainability of Adventure Life practices and the quality of services provided.
Spreading the Word: Not only does Adventure Life strive to be an effective ecotourism company through our operating standards, but we also feel it is important that our travelers are involved in the responsible travel effort. To further encourage conservation through travel, Adventure Life supplies all of our travelers with pre-departure information on the Dos and Do Nots of responsible travel. This includes everything from waste management while trekking to the respect of archaeological remains. The information is specific, teaching travelers that they too have the power to promote conservation through travel. We have come to realize that this is a responsibility our travelers feel honored to uphold. Additional educational material is supplied to all our Galapagos and Antarctica travelers, specifically designed to highlight the region's rules and regulations, and to remind travelers of the delicate ecology of the area.
3 most popular Trips (out of 16 total)
National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime 2010/2011
La Paz, Bolivia for 13 Days from $2,790* per person
Operator: Adventure Life Journeys
Offered February, March: A new combination trip with our classic Bolivia Backroads and the new Oruro Festival trips. Great opportunity to see the traditional cultures of Bolivia with the Oruro Festival and the Tarabuco Market. Spend two nights in… more
Lima. for 8 Days from $1,980* per person
Operator: Adventure Life Journeys
Offered April-December: Xxplore the countryside during this multi-day biking and raft trip and visit the Inca cities of Cusco and Ollantaytambo. Travelers will have a half-day hike on a remote section of the Inca Trail to hike down… more
Airport near Panama City, Panama for 7 Days from $1,670* per person
Operator: Adventure Life Journeys
Offered Year-round: Experience the spirit of Panama in this fantastic 7 day tour blending cultural highlights and natural wonders. Venture deep into the rainforest to spend an afternoon with the indigenous community, Embera, in Chagres National Park. Visit… more
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