Hiking in a pristine and clean environment, where locals are able to maintain their customs without being victims of poverty or a lack of resources, is a joy and an incredible experience; however, hiking in an environment where the landscape is being trashed, where the local communities are forgotten, and where the inhabitants’ chances to live decent lives have been thwarted, will dash your dreams of the ideal trip.
The GoTrekPeru.com site believes that tourism can have a major positive impact in local communities located in remote areas where the government is not there to provide opportunities to improve the quality of life; however tourism (in the form of trekking) can also have a negative impact in the environment and not make any impact in local communities at all.
Many tour operators are very responsible trekking companies, but sadly there are more companies which don’t care about the environment, their workers, or making a positive difference in the communities they pass through while operating a tour. Abusive practices against local workers are common in Peru (low wages, lack of benefits and insurance for a high-risk job or lack of proper equipment and working conditions). When hiring a company, it is your responsibility to make sure that their workers receive fair treatment.
When trekking on your own or with the services of a tour operator, you should keep in mind the following: