Protecting wild places and animals
On almost all of our Vamos tours, we explore stunning natural and fragile landscapes where conservation is of the utmost importance. As visitors, we not only tread lightly, but we also actively contribute to the conservation and natural protected areas and endangered animals. We work together with rangers, research stations and scientists that are passionate to share their research and conservation work with you. We partner with inspiring organizations who do amazing work in promoting private and community-based environmental initiatives, reforestation and conservation programs.
Since 2004: Conservations in the Cloudforest in Ecuador
Through the initiative of the Rolex-award-winning Maria Eliza Manteca and the Golondrinas project, Vamos Expeditions is dedicated to the conservation of natural resources, conservation of cloud forest, recuperation of eroded soils, and environmental education in the mountainous region of Northern Ecuador. Inadequate agricultural management such as burning, row planting, overgrazing, among others, and high levels of water erosion have resulted in soil degradation and thus, a loss in soil productivity. In Ecuador, this is one of the most successful deep-rooted ecological initiatives in the community. The principal objective of the Foundation is to conserve this unique forest ecosystem all while improving the quality of life for the people in the region. The latter objective is being carried out via classes in environmental education and the introduction of appropriate agricultural techniques.
Since 2005: Scientific research and protection of Whales and dolphins
Vamos actively started to support the work of Marine Biologists in Peru and the investigation and protection of migrating whales and dolphins that live along our coastline. Whales and dolphins play an important role in maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem.
In 2007-2009: Reforestation in the Cloudforest in Peru
Vamos became a member of Fair Travel. With reforestation projects we contributed to the improvement of people’s living conditions and their environments in regions which are popular tourist destinations but also face socio-ecological problems. For every passenger that came on a trip with Vamos Expeditions we contribute one euro to finance the plantation of one native tree (species of Quenua, chachacomo and quishwar trees) in the area of Apu Pachatusan on the land of the communities Oropesa, San Geronimo and San Salvador. The project was executed in cooperation with the Institute of Machu Picchu and APTAE and over 20 000 trees were planted in these 2 years.
2010: Research and conservation in the Amazon Rainforest
Fauna Forever: Since 2010 Vamos Expeditions has partnered with Fauna Forever, a Peruvian conservation organization led by British PhD in Biology Chris Kirby. Chris has been a member of the Oversight Committee of the Tambopata National Reserve, and has been an environmental consultant to World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Conservation International (CI), Amazon Conservation Association (ACA), among others. We trust in their excellent understanding of Neotropical ecosystems and implementation of nature conservation strategies, wildlife research and nature conservation activities in the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes Mountains eco-systems of Peru.
2012: Plastic-free, Low-impact and eco-friendly operations
We practice low-impact camping on our trekkings and continuously improve our waste management. Developing countries have limited litter disposal options. Up until recently, many discarded goods were biodegradable (baskets, pottery). In conjunction with the onset of tourism, modern packaging and non-biodegradable litter became more prevalent. We avoid deposable plastic in any way we can. During our treks and camping trips we make purified water available to our clients in large containers and actively promote the use of reusable water bottles and filters. We have been able to reduce our plastic consumption significantly and we are striving to become 100% single-use plastic free.
We reduce the impact on the environment and avoid harming the physical environment by educating our tour leaders, local guides, expedition staff, drivers and passengers about low-impact travel and environmental awareness.
We try to be as paper-less as we possible and use recycled materials for business cards and office products.
Where possible we use eco-friendly hotels build with natural materials and that use solar systems to warm the water and illuminate. We nudge hotels to use amenities (shampoo, soap,..) based on natural products, to recycle their garbage and to reduce plastic in their daily operations.
2018: Litter Collection Initiative
We started to participate in the ‘10 pieces of litter collection initiative’ https://www.10pieces.com.au/
that encourages travelers from around world to actively take part in making positive impact on the environment. Our focus of the initiative is on mountain trails, beaches and national parks. Our participating travelers are given a branded collection bag and asked to pick up a minimum of 10 pieces of litter every day. This way a group of 12 can easily remove 120 pieces of litter per day.
By collecting litter, travelers lead through example and educate mountain communities of the negative consequences of litter for tourism and the health of their animals and people. This is intended to foster a pride in their environment that only has positive outcomes for the community and visitors alike.
When you join one of our treks in Peru you will have the opportunity to sign up for the 10 Pieces initiative and take the global issue of litter into your own hands.
2019: Cleaned beaches
Cleaning campaigns on the beach and wetlands of Puerto Viejo in the surroundings of our HQ.
2020: B Corp
We became a B Corporation and Carbon Neutral certified.
2021: Reforestation in the Andes. One native tree for every traveler.
Vamos supports the “You Buy, We plant” initiative of Pachamama Raymi. https://pachamamaraymi.org/en-you-buy-we-plant
and commits to plant 1 native tree for every person that travels with us.
We are taking part in the Andean cedar recovery program. The Andean cedar is a native species belonging to the mahogany family that grows in the Andes. Its wood can be harvested from 20 t0 25 years and has an excellent commercial value unfortunately it is currently threatened with extinction. The trees are planted on the land of rural communities and families who then own and take care of them. This project of integral rural development aims to break through the vicious circle of environmental degradation and rural poverty, achieving that rural communities and families improve their living conditions and manage their natural resources in a sustainable manner.
2021: NEW Challenge: Conservation and rewilding of the Puerto Viejo wetlands
Vamos flights for the protection of the Puerto Viejo Wetlands. It is a coastal marine ecosystem of importance for resident and migratory birds conformed by several seasonal, natural and artificial waterbodies with high salinities. It’s one of the few naturally green spots in the coastal desert with the rare presence of totora reeds close to the ocean. The area used to be protected by the Peruvian government from 2008 but lost their category of Reserve in 2017 and was left legally unprotected and very vulnerable. The wetlands are at walking distance from Vamos head quarters in Puerto Viejo, Cañete (South of Lima). The idea of the conservation project is to protect the 500 acres of wetlands and prevent it from being destroyed, invaded, urbanized or used as a place to dump garbage. Instead it would protected for nature education, for migratory birds to rest and nest, for families and birdwatchers to enjoy, for the local community to extract totora reeds in a sustainable way and to be left alone for nature to rewild. This would prevent the carbon stored in the soil from being released, keeping tonnes of CO from entering the atmosphere over the next 50 years.