In the summer months, our wanderlust reaches an all-time high. Before you start packing, check out these interesting travel groups and dwellings that offer a more thoughtful way of exploring the world. These people give more than financial support to the local economies they visit—they offer a real connection with the individuals and communities that make up your whereabouts.
Isleta El Espino
While in Nicaragua, pay a visit to local artisans workshops, community gardens and even a boat maker with the help of Isleta El Espino. These off the grid, solar-powered lodgings are close to the city of Granada and include boating, hiking and horseback riding.
El Camino Travel
This unique travel company makes each trip individualized to the small groups it takes on voyages to Colombia. El Camino Travel works with local small business owners, supporting local economies. Plus a percentage of profits for each trip go to local social entrepreneurs making a difference in their country. Travelers participate in an intimate dinner or activity where they have a chance to learn more about the community and it’s impact on the local culture. El Camino recently spent time with Ciudad Movil, hip hop/contemporary dance company that uses dance to raise awareness about the societal ills that continue to plague many communities on the outskirts of the tourist circuit of Cartagena.
Head into the great outdoors every weekend with Shoestring Adventures. This LA-based community meets up regularly to explore everything from Anza Borrego to Death Valley. Getting offline, this online group comes together over s’mores, stargazing and photography workshops. Best of all, they practice the Leave No Trace method so these national parks remain just as gorgeous as ever.
From Cuba to Spain and Portugal, Culture Xplorers leads trips where the focus is on the genuine connection between travelers and locals. Get to know local artists, headmasters, farmers and chefs over dinners and workshops where you learn craft from the craftmakers. Furthermore, travelers have an opportunity to provide support to infrastructure improvement projects like building schools while working with neighborhood teachers and parents.
What unique trips have you taken? Tell us all about them!