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Cascada passes the Green Travel test with flying colours!

Lonely Planet’s recently published article Green travel: how to find an eco-friendly tour operator lays out the questions you need to ask to determine whether or not a tour operator really is green. Here’s the rundown showing just how eco-friendly Cascada is!

1. Are their eco credentials in writing?

Yes. On the main page About Cascada we lay out our goals, which centre on responsible tourism. Goal number 2 is to develop and promote environmentally-friendly tourism, which is 100% sustainable wherever possible, and we state our methods of achieving this which have led to our regularly renewed ISO 14001 certification. Goal number 3 is to support nature conservation and the preservation of flora and fauna and we again outline the methods by which we achieve this goal. 

2. Do they have local employees?

Yes. 95% of all Cascada employees are born and bred natives, with the remaining 5% living permanently in Chile. The company owners are Chileans, the General Manager of Cascada’s property EcoCamp Patagonia is Chilean and all the EcoCamp’s guides are Chilean, with the vast majority born and bred in Patagonia. The team of cooks, assistants, maintenance staff, drivers, housekeepers and administrators at EcoCamp are from neighbouring Patagonian towns Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas. 

3. Can you see evidence of their commitment?

Indeed you can! At EcoCamp Patagonia, owned by Cascada, you can see our eco operation in full swing. From EcoCamp’s low-impact design to its limited electricity, from its extensive recycling area to its large solar panels, from its composting toilets to the shed where hydro and solar energy is converted into electricity...the evidence is everywhere you look! Overwhelmed by our green commitment? Ask a guide to give you the mini eco tour and explain our ethos and green technology in detail. Elsewhere Cascada’s policy dictates that we only work with eco-friendly tour operators who can show proof of their commitment to sustainable tourism.

4. Do they encourage cultural sensitivity?

Yes. Our tours across Chile, Argentina and Bolivia are run by locals who are clued up about customs and want to impart cultural wisdom to travellers. We have limited group sizes, respect local traditions in all areas of South America and try never to leave a footprint. EcoCamp Patagonia’s design is based on the ancient nomadic inhabitants’ huts in Torres del Paine and just like them we aim to enjoy the wilderness without leaving a trace. 

5. Do they have links to charities?

One of Cascada’s founders runs an animal refuge in the Andes Mountains near to Chile’s capital Santiago and EcoCamp Patagonia financially aids the centre, which has helped rehabilitate over 200 wild animals and birds to date. In addition EcoCamp’s General Manager works with the local community in nearby village Cerro Castillo helping local entrepreneurs develop sustainable and profitable tourism ventures.