Recent headlines about wildfires raging in the Brazilian Amazon have renewed global interest in and awareness about the ecologically sensitive and still very mysterious region.
Next year, luxury travelers will have the chance to see firsthand some of the vast area's rainforests and volunteer amongst some its remote cultures with a new five-day jungle expedition through the Ecuadorian Amazon from Luxury Gold.
The Amazon add-on to the company's "Treasure of the Incas" Peru itinerary builds on parent company the Travel Corporation's partnership with Me To We which offers volunteer opportunities through its sustainable lodges in India, Kenya and Ecuador.
It's part of a growing movement by luxury companies and travel businesses in general to offer unique and culturally immersive, socially responsible travel opportunities.
"Sustainable tourism and exotic destinations are becoming more popular with our travelers," said Jon Grutzner, president of Luxury Gold. "We want our guests to leave a lasting, positive impact on the communities they visit such as supporting local businesses and learning about the local cultures. We believe that it's our responsibility to ensure that the world's natural habitats, cultural heritage sites and communities we interact with remain healthy and vibrant, and grow with us."
The Travel Corporation's Treadright Foundation first partnered with Me to We's charity in 2016, offering opportunities across its other brands in India, Kenya and Ecuador. It began expanding that to its luxury line with one extension a year in India. Next year's Amazon experience will be the first it offers through Luxury Gold in Ecuador.
Guests will stay at Me to We's Minga Lodge, which overlooks the the Amazon's largest tributary, the Rio Napo. In addition to having the opportunity to explore the rainforest, travelers will spend time helping the Kanambu community build a water treatment and a distribution and irrigation system, a project being funded by Treadright and We Charity.
Guests will also work side by side with a local farmer, planting seeds, fetching water or harvesting crops.