Sustainability

Explora Sustainability

The privilege of our location comes with the great responsibility of acting as custodians of the land we have been entrusted with, and as such, there is much to be done. Sustainability is our main purpose.

We have developed a strict environmental policy which ensures that we reach certain standards and continuously raise the bar of sustainable management throughout our operation.

Our policy consists of three main pillars:

  1. Commitment to the environment
  2. Support and involvement with local communities
  3. Research

Commitment to the environment

Our sustainability plan isn’t just an effort, it’s a corporate commitment. We understand the fragility of the territories to which we introduce our travelers, and believe in preserving them for future generations.

Sustainability in Recycling: explora performs a conscientious treatment of the wastes it generates, by separating, compacting and stockpiling the various kinds of materials for their later donation to local initiatives such as permaculture. In the case of Rapa Nui, explora works hand in hand with the Oritos Recycling Plant, following a highly-demanding waste-handling plan.

Sustainability in Organic Waste: At our hotels in Atacama and Rapa Nui we handle organic waste through a compost process, committing explora staff in the generation of compost and humus to be used in our organic orchards. A strategy is being developed for 2014 in order to incorporate this initiative to Patagonia, and use the compost generated to contribute to the process of restoring the Forests of Torres del Paine.

Sustainability in Electric Power: From the moment they were conceived, our hotels were designed to maximize the use of natural light which, added to a low-consumption lighting system enables us to optimize the use of electric power in our operation.

Sustainability in Water: Hydration is very necessary when exploring. explora is committed to supplying its travelers with water from the area (rivers, lakes, moisture) through a rigorous water purification system. Additionally, each hotel has a water treatment plant for its later use in the operation.

Sustainability in Leave no trace: Our guides are trained to lead explorations that have no impact at all on the surrounding environment in which we have our operations, always respecting the frailty of the eco-system to which we introduce our travelers.

Sustainability in Forest Restoration: As of 2014, explora, along with Fundación AMA Torres del Paine and the Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF), has committed to an active participation in the reforestation of Torres del Paine Park. Through an agreement generated by the 3 parties, explora will purchase Lenga trees to plant in a sector of the Park adjoining the hotel, turning travelers into active participants both in terms of contributions for the Restoration of the Forest and of milestones of voluntary reforestation along with the team from AMA Torres del Paine.

Support and involvement with local communities

We work with local communities in order to build a better future together.

ATACAMA

Jurique Rehabilitation Center: Jurique is a children’s [physical] rehabilitation center. For years, the children attending the center have visited the hot-springs at Termas de Puritama to use their thermal water. In November of 2013 a program was first jointly generated with Fundación Andes Mágico in which children from the Jurique Center were lodged at explora, taking part in the experience along with our travelers, participating in our in-depth explorations with the help and commitment from Andes Mágico. The experience was so successful that the program will continue in years to come.

Internado Andino (Andean Boarding School): After having formed an alliance with the Atacameño People’s Council [Consejo de Pueblos Atacameños], explora annually contributes with different enhancements to the boarding school located in Calama, attended by nearly 50 local children.

Liceo Likan Antai (Likan Antai Public School): Liceo Likan Antai is located 5 minutes from explora Atacama. This public school offers upper studies in Tourism in which explora has actively encouraged Atacameño youngsters to become involved in traineeships at our hotel and influence the future of sustainable tourism in Atacama.

PATAGONIA

Commitment to the community of Cerro Castillo: explora Patagonia is set in one of the most remote spots in Southern Chile, the Torres del Paine National Park. The nearest village is Cerro Castillo. We have recently begun working hand in hand with local mayor Anahí Cárdenas, in order to carry out initiatives that seek the communitarian development of the village, making contributions and promoting activities with the local boarding school, the hostel and the clinic.

Commitment to the gaucho community: Gauchos populate the South American pampa with their century-old culture featured mainly for their horseback riding skills, tannery work and cattle herding across the territory. From its very beginning, some 20+ years ago, explora has focused on making gauchos a part of our Patagonia programs, helping perpetuate and maintain this relevant cultural figure of the area.

RAPA NUI

Support of the Tapati Festival: The Tapati is a traditional celebration that takes place in Rapa Nui, in which activities and competitions recreate the ancestral sports of the island. Year after year, explora has made a financial and logistic contribution to the organization of this activity, one of the most relevant cultural milestones on the island.

Terevaka Outreach Program: Brett Shepardson is an internationally renowned archeologist that has spent over 10 years working on archeological research projects of no environmental impact on the island of Rapa Nui. After years of research, he developed an alliance with schools on the island to carry out a 2-week workshop with young local volunteers, called “The Terevaka Archeological Outreach” (TAO). In 2013, explora joined Brett Shepardson’s program, which enabled him to do this workshop along with explora staff, setting up a campsite in the hotel grounds, allowing 15 young local volunteers to participate for 2 weeks, and live the explora experience. Among the resulting research, they gathered important information on the petro glyphs that surround the hotel grounds, and managed to geo-reference many valuable archeological spots through GPS technology. The workshop shall again take place in the following years.

Research

As well as its active role in caring for and preserving the environment, explora works as a platform from which to facilitate the creation and communication of knowledge and research.

We use our facilities not only to introduce our travelers to the great outdoors, but also to share our experience and location with the academic community, putting forward our properties and hosting seminars or lectures.

If you have further enquiries about our Sustainability commitment, please write to us at sustainability@explora.com

Our hotels are a meeting point for travelers from all around the world who share a passion for nature, and a place where many unexpected friendships blossom.

A meeting point

We don’t believe in contemplating from afar, which is why we have been exploration experts for over 20 years, allowing our travelers to interact with our unique natural and cultural surroundings.

Exploration experts

In remote areas, we believe in providing our travelers with excellent cuisine, made from locally sourced products and recipes.

Local food

Our passion for the great outdoors has lead us to create our Travesías, a unique kind of journey in South America that only we offer. These nomadic journeys allow our travelers to discover the planet's most isolated territories, blurring the borders of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina and exploring areas of unparalleled beauty.

Travesías

Since we believe that it is important to leave all daily concerns behind, our hotels are all inclusive: explorations, food, beverage, and transport.

Everything is included

explora Atacama has over 40 different guided hikes, bike rides, high mountain ascents and horseback rides, in groups of maximum 8 travelers. All our explorations have different difficulty levels ranging from easy to expert, and different durations, half day or full day.

explorations

explora Atacama has its own in-house observatory, equipped with a professional telescope, the largest in its kind in the country.

Our own observatory

The Puritama Natural Reservoir is owned by explora, and is part of our conservation program. explora travelers have exclusive access to a private hotspring-pool within the reservoir.

Puritama Hotsprings

explora Atacama is located on a 17-hectare (39 acres) plot of land, which was once owned by local Atacameño families. We have carefully preserved the original layout of the grounds, as well as the native floral species which grow within the oasis.

Location

At explora Atacama we hold the Quincho experience, which consists on a traditional roasted lamb barbeque with assorted, locally produced meals such as Quinoa salad. As well as the meal itself, travelers enjoy a presentation of local music and dance presentations.

Quincho experience

explora Atacama has 4 outdoor swimming pools, 2 open air jacuzzis, 2 saunas, 2 steam rooms and a relaxation area. The Turi Puri, is an original 90 year-old adobe building, located within the hotel grounds.

SPA

explora Atacama is ideal for families, since it has interconnected rooms and outdoor activities which are suitable for all ages.

Family friendly

explora Rapa Nui is located in a quiet and peaceful area of Easter Island, close to the island's main town, Hanga Roa. The hotel has privileged views to the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding countryside.

Location

At explora Rapa Nui, there are over 20 different guided hikes, bike rides and fishing and snorkeling explorations, in groups of maximum 8 travelers. All our explorations have different difficulty levels ranging from easy to expert, and different durations, half day or full day.

Over 20 explorations

Most of explora Rapa Nui's staff is local, which allows our travelers to interact with authentic Rapa Nui who are extremely knowledgeable and proud about their heritage.

Local staff

explora Rapa Nui has an outdoor swimming pool, a jacuzzi and an ancestral sauna.

SPA

explora Rapa Nui has its own organic orchards, which are part of our sustainable development program.

Organic orchards

explora Rapa Nui carries the LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

LEED Certification

Throughout the trip, we will stay in our various highland fields, whose construction varies, but always keep their extreme isolation from everything but nature in its purest and rawest form. Since refurbished sea containers, to old stone buildings, all camps have been renovated to explora standards.

Extreme isolation

In a world in which it is harder and harder to leave crowds behind, we have created a taylor-made journey across the Altiplano, following our own route, which no other company covers.

Exclusive route

The route for this Travesía takes travelers from sea level to approximately 5,100 meters above sea level (16,730 ft), during which you can see how nature manages to open its way through the sometimes inhospitable Altiplano.

Altitude climb

Depending on the route, we will cross the Chilean-Bolivian border at two points: Hito Cajón (4,400 m.a.s. l / 14,430 ft) and Colchane (4.700 m.a.s.l/ 15,420 ft).

Border crossings

All food and wine is of local origin, produced either in Bolivia or in Chile, and includes high altitude cereals such as Quinoa.

Local food and wine

Our route is the safest way of exploring the Uyuni Salt flat, as well as the Bolivian Altiplano.

Safety

All accompanying staff is trained to address unexpected weather, safety and migratory issues.

Trained Staff

The variation in altitude causes extreme variations in the wildlife which we will see throughout the journey.

Extreme contrasts

The Travesía allows travelers to truly interact with locals who harvest the land producing Quinoa, beans, and llama wool, providing a further understanding into their largely untouched traditions and way of life.

Human contact

In a world in which it is harder and harder to leave crowds behind, we have created a taylor-made journey over The Andes, following our own route, which no other company covers.

Exclusive route

Part of our route uses Argentina's mythical Route 40 highway, which spans across 5,000km (3,100 miles) from Patagonia to the Puna highlands. We will cross the Route in its highest point, called the Abra del Acay.

Mythical Route 40

We cross the Andes Mountains at 5,000 meters above sea level (16,400 ft), entering Argentina or Chile, depending on the starting and finishing points.

Crossing the Andes

Throughout the journey, we will stay at our remote Andean camps, which vary in their construction, but always ensure absolute isolation from everything but nature in its raw, naked form. From shipping containers to our Finca Rancagua, all camps have been renovated to explora standards.

Andean camps

This journey can also be combined with the city of Salta in Argentina, and with connecting flights to Buenos Aires.

Connecting destinations

The journey allows travelers to see the rich biodiversity of the Andes Mountains, which evolves with the change in altitude.

Biodiversity

All hikes are of moderate difficulty and will depend on each traveler's interest and disposition. The only goal is to reach each camp by sunset.

Hikes and explorations

Part of our team always goes ahead of the group, preparing each camp for the group's arrival, ensuring everything is fit to explora standards: from chilled white wine, to perfect temperature within each room, to hot running water and deliciously rewarding meals.

explora standards

All food and wine is of local origin, produced in the province of Salta.

Local food and wine

All accompanying staff is trained to address unexpected weather, safety and migratory issues.

Trained staff

In a world in which it is harder and harder to leave crowds behind, we have created a tailor-made journey across both sides of Patagonia, especially design to explore the region.

Taylor- made route

This route is the best way of grasping just how vast and diverse this region is, and how sometimes, country borders mean nothing at all.

Patagonia's wonders

This Travesía allows travelers to discover both sides of Patagonia, a land of contrasts shaped by mountains, weather and ice. The journey allows us to witness the similarities and differences between both sides, gaining further understanding into the gauchos' way of life.

Beyond borders

One of the many highlights of this journey are the glaciers on either side of the border: in Torres del Paine National Park and the Mount Fitz Roy.

Glaciers

We will cross the border in Cerro Castillo, entering Chile or Argentina depending on the route.

Border crossing

We use hotels on each side of the border as our base from which to hike, so little time is spent driving. Hikes vary in difficulty, but can have duration of up to 8 hours.

Explorations

explora Patagonia is the only luxury hotel located within the Torres del Paine National Park, often called the heart of patagonia, and voted as the 8th Wonder of The World by VirtualTourist.com, part of the TripAdvisor group.

Location

Due to its privileged location within the park, explora Patagonia has breathtaking views to the Paine Massif.

Breathtaking views

explora Patagonia is located on the shores of turquoise  Pehoé Lake, which was chosen by The Huffington Post as one of the world's most beautiful lakes.

Pehoé Lake

explora Patagonia has over 50 different guided hikes and horseback rides, in groups of maximum 8 travelers. All our explorations have different difficulty levels ranging from easy to expert, and different durations, half day or full day.

Over 50 explorations

At explora Patagonia we hold the Quincho experience, which consists on a traditional roasted lamb barbeque prepared by the Gauchos themselves in a unique location with privileged views to the Paine Towers.

The Quincho experience

explora Patagonia's architecture has received numerous awards, such as the first prize in the Tourism Services category, in the X Bienal de Arquitectura in Santiago, Chile.

Awarded architecture

explora Patagonia has its own catamaran, which is used exclusively by explora travelers to cross the turquoise waters of  the Pehoé Lake towards the Grey Glacier and the French Valley.

Our own catamaran

explora Patagonia has its own indoor heated swimming pool, as well as 4 outdoor Jacuzzis with stunning views to the Paine River.

SPA

The Estancia 2 de Enero is a huge Patagonian ranch, property of explora, which is particularly ideal for advanced horse-siders and hikers.

Patagonian ranch

explora Valle Sagrado is located on an old corn plantation established in one of the most retreated farms of the valley. It is sheltered and surrounded by mighty mountains that were once the home of the great Inca Empire.

Location

Pumacahua House is an old colonial house located on one side of the hotel’s corn terraces. Rescued by our restoration and archeology team, it contains the hotel’s spa where our guests can enjoy massages, heated swimming pools and saunas.

Bath House Pumacahua

Some of the areas we will be visiting in Valle Sagrado include Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Zapacto, Maras, Quimsacocha, Pisac, Cusco, Moray, and many others.

Privileged views

explora Valle Sagrado offers our guests more than 20 exploration activities, either on foot or bicycle. Our guides will take our travelers to experience the area’s unique geography and Andean culture in all it richness.

Explorations

Given the region's outstanding ancestral and cultural heritage, the commissioning and construction of the Valle Sagrado project was done in the most responsible way, working in close coordination with the Peruvian archeology institute. At the same time, we worked with the area's communities and we hope – starting as from this year – to establish a conservation and social responsibility program.

Sustainability

Since we believe that it is important to leave all daily concerns behind, our hotels are all inclusive: explorations, food, beverage, and transport.

All inclusive