Friday, February 22, 2008

The Light-Hearted Way

Some of you have asked me how I can offer such trips for so little money. Others in the industry have told me flat out that I must be crazy to do what I am doing. I respond to my clients and critics the same way by repeating to them that traveling and gaining new experiences should not be exclusive to the wealthy. Nor would I seek to gain huge profits and income for myself when so many around me go without the basic needs. That is why when you travel with Karikuy you are in essence doing a charitable and good deed for the people of my country. Let me explain the Karikuy philosophy further.

The Karikuy organization was founded upon the idea of social justice and equality. As I have explained in the previous blog this organization has a broader plan then just tourism. Putting that broad vision aside for this post I am instead going to focus on explaining why I charge so little, where the profits go and how you can help.

I come up with pricing on trips by putting together the costs of lodging, transportation, park admissions, and airfare all of which are at regular prices and in some cases discount group prices, these prices reflect what an average Peruvian citizen would pay and are not inflated by hidden fees and charges. This keeps the cost to a minimum for you the traveler. I do charge my guide fee which is about 200$ depending on the size of the group. This profit goes into the development of Karikuy and it's broader vision Ñawpa Kutiq. This development consist of advertisement of Karikuy and upkeep of it's media and internet presence as well as its expansion and land acquisition for Ñawpa Kutiq, a self sustainable free society, the climax of the Karikuy organization.

Leaving the costs low for you the traveler means that you have more capital to spend on the various goods and services available by the talented craftsmen and artisans of Peru. I encourage my clients to purchase goods locally and among the many areas that we travel you will have the chance to visit workshops by these skilled artisans. Whether it be locally mined and hand made gold jewelry to the softest alpaca sweaters and blankets you have ever touched, by purchasing these goods directly you support the local people and their economy.

Keeping my costs low also opens the doors for students and budget conscious travelers who would normally not have the opportunity to visit such spectacular locations. Current international corporations that run the travel industry of Peru charge 3 times more then Karikuy. They only care about profits and shuttle people hastily throughout Peru, giving them tours with very little substance, attempting to shield them from false stereotypes and misinformation out there about Peru. I believe that one day these companies will collapse, I always hear complaints of their bad service and I know that you the traveler are smarter then what these profit hungry elites may take you for.

That is why with Karikuy you jump headfirst into the many cultures of Peru, with us you become part of the population, part of our celebrations, and part of the solution.