Responsible Travel Guidelines

How you can be a Responsible Traveller

  • Support the local economy
    • Buy local products directly from producers.  Details of recommended locally run restaurants, shops and projects will be provided with your final confirmation.  Try local products such as chocolate and snacks instead of going for the familiar imported versions – it’s more fun and you will be supporting the local economy.
    • Bargain in markets but in a friendly, non-aggressive way.  Pay a fair price and remember that a small discount for you could represent a big difference in earnings for a local trader
    • Don’t give sweets or money to children, as this encourages begging.  In many rural communities the children may not have access to dental treatment.  By travelling with Discover South America you are already supporting social projects.  If you would like to make a direct donation to a relevant charity please ask us for details.
    • All the staff you will meet on your travels are being paid a fair wage for their work, however tips are greatly appreciated if they go above and beyond to make your trip enjoyable.  Guidelines will be given for the area you are visiting.  Guides and porters on the Inca Trail should always receive a tip as it is part of the experience of travelling together. They will take great care of you on the trek and this is a way to show your appreciation directly. 


  • Conserve natural resources
    • Respect the natural environment and do not remove any flora or fauna to take home including all plants and shells.
    • Do not buy any souvenirs or pose for photos that exploit wildlife or threaten endangered species.
    • Take a refillable water bottle and filter or purify drinking water.  Some restaurants and hotels will allow you to fill a bottle with purified water for a small fee.  If you do buy bottled water buy it in a glass bottle which can be returned.  Use eco-friendly soap on treks and do not bathe in or pollute rivers as they will represent a source of fresh water for communities further downstream.
    • In some countries in South America there are little to no recycling facilities.  Take minimum packaging with you and if there are no recycling facilities then bring any empty containers home.  Do not drop litter and consider collecting any litter you find on your way.


  • Respect local culture
    • Learn some of the local language – even if what you say is not perfect, the fact that you try will be greatly appreciated.  Breaking barriers leads to more fulfilling interaction for you and for the host community. 
    • Learn about and respect local customs and traditions 
    • In Peru you may find Inca or other ancient artefacts for sale.  Do not buy them and encourage this illegal trade. 
    • Always ask permission before taking photographs of people and be prepared to tip in return for a picture
    • Support local cultural projects by visiting them to show your appreciation of the local culture and/or by making a donation