International Women’s Day: 5 once in a lifetime trips where you can give back!

Local women in India

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with G Adventures and therefore includes advertisement. The article contains affiliate links (marked with *) and if you buy a product through these links, I will receive a small commission. There won’t be any extra cost for you and the commission helps me running this website. Thanks for your support!

To celebrate the International Women’s Day 2019, I teamed up with the adventure tour company G Adventures and their non-profit partner Planeterra to present 5 unique trips and experiences around the world which aren’t only incredible experiences for travelers, but also support local women!

Women in India

Colombia: Trekking to the Lost City with indigenous tribes

The Lost City treks is one of the big highlights when backpacking Colombia! During the multiple day trek through the jungle in northern Colombia, you’ll make your way to the ancient ruins of Teyuna. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do the Lost City trek during my previous trip around Colombia, but it’s certainly on my bucket list when visiting the country again.

Since the Lost City is very remotely located in the jungle, you’d need to book a tour to visit the ruins. G Adventures and Planeterra partnered with the Lost City’s Indigenous Wiwa community to allow backpackers to explore a new undiscovered route, visiting an Indigenous village that opened its doors to tourism for the first time.

Working alongside Wiwa Tours, the first Indigenous travel company in the Sierra Nevada, the G Adventures seven-day Colombia Lost City Trekking tour will be led by an Indigenous Wiwa guide, who will teach you about the ancient Indigenous traditions and beliefs. As part of the partnership with G Adventures, women are now trained as cooks and you’d also be able to buy their traditional handicrafts. Staying in campsites and hiking through lush jungle, the trek ends with a new exit route on the fifth day, where you’ll visit the Indigenous village of Gotsezhi to undergo a soul cleansing ceremony before entering.

*Read more about the tour and check the recent prices here!

Women in Colombia project
The Wiwa Community in Colombia

Peru: The Lares Trek

Peru is definitely one of my favorite countries in South America and it has so much to offer. You can go hiking in the Andes mountains, enjoy the incredible cuisine, get to know the unique Inca culture and marvel at the breathtaking Machu Picchu.

But there’s even more besides the most popular tourist destinations. The Lares trek is a great alternative to the Inca Trail and offers the added bonus of great interaction with the local communities that live around Peru. The seven-day trek starts, and ends in Cusco, and includes three full days hiking in the Peruvian Andes around the Sacred Valley. On the way through villages, you’ll also visit the G For Good Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving CooperativeThe Lares trek also includes a stay in the Cuncani Community Campsite, before hiking from the foothills of Sicllaccasa Mountain to its high pass (4,750m/15,583 ft), providing scenic views of lagoons and the snow-capped Chicon Mountain. To celebrate reaching the highest point, your group will make an offering of coca leaves to the Andean gods.

Despite the close proximity to Cusco and Machu Picchu and the thousands of tourists that visit these sites each year, very few communities from the surrounding countryside benefit from tourism. These indigenous communities maintain a traditional way of life and are dedicated mainly to agricultural activities. In order to provide work opportunities for members of this community, men from Ccaccaccollo are employed by G Adventures to work as porters and cooks on the Inca Trail. G Adventures and Planeterra, developed the women’s weaving co-op, to provide employment and empowerment for the women of the community as well. As part of the tour, you’d meet the women and learn about all the stages of the weaving process: hand-spinning the wool, dying the wool using natural dyes, and participating in a weaving demonstration. You’d also have the opportunity to purchase high quality textiles directly from the women who made them. Today, more than 55 women are part of the association, constantly learning new methods of production to make items that our travellers find useful for their trips, while also maintaining the traditional weaving methods to produce textiles made from llama and alpaca wool.

*Read more about the tour and check the recent prices here!

Peru local women
The Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving Cooperative in Peru

Tanzania: Camping Safari & meeting the women who are installing clean cookstoves for the Maasai tribes

Taking a safari in East Africa can often seem like a pricey option. However, I’ve already visited the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya and it’s been one of the most incredible travel experiences I ever had.

Luckily, budget travellers don’t need to miss out on seeing some of the world’s best wildlife in its natural habitat with tours like this six-day Tanzania Camping Adventure. On this tour, you can witness life on the open savannah and the stunning beauty of the Rift Valley as well as meeting local communities along the way. Starting in Arusha, you’ll have time to explore before meeting the Chief Experience Officer and their group. Heading to Mto wa Mbu village, you’ll go for a cultural walk and meet the women who run the village tours and enjoy a traditional lunch with a local family. The day continues with a wildlife safari drive in Lake Manyara National Park, the western wall of the Rift Valley. This is your chance to spot phenomenal bird life, tree climbing lions, elephants, zebras, hippos, baboons and buffalos. The trip will also visit the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, famous for Africa’s best wildlife viewing.

Safari in Tanzania - Zebras
Safari in Tanzania

The next day, the group will visit an authentic Maasai village and the G For Good Maasai Clean Cookstove Project. G Adventures is supporting the Stoves & Solar Project, which helps to train a team of all-women engineers to install clean cookstoves into the homes in the Maasai communities as the old stoves were causing serious health issues. Over 75 women have been trained and now have secure employment, having installed over 500 cookstoves as part of the project.

*Read more about the tour and check the recent prices here!

Tanzania local women
Visiting the Maasai Clean Cookstove Project in Tanzania

India / Nepal: Delhi to Kathmandu on a shoestring

I’m not gonna lie – backpacking India was probably one of my favorite travel experiences up to date. India is so diverse, so unique and so incredible that traveling around the country won’t get boring for a second. However, traveling India independently could also be a little bit overwhelming and difficult at times. This tour is great for you if you’re sort on time and if you want to explore the destinations on a low budget. This 15 day tour will take you on an epic adventure through India and Nepal. Starting in Delhi, you will visit Pushkar, Jaipur, the Taj Mahal at Agra and the temples of Varanasi. Further, part of the itinerary is an overnight homestay with the Indigenous Tharu community, time to explore the Chitwan National Park, sunrises over the Himalayas, and a visit to the Sisterhood of Survivors Project in Pokhara before ending in Kathmandu.

With human trafficking a major concern in Nepal, the Sisterhood of Survivors project supports SASANE, a non profit working in Nepal to empower survivors of human trafficking to break the cycle of corruption. SASANE trains survivors as paralegals, making them the first point of contact for other victimised women. Together with SASANE, Planeterra has developed the Sisterhood of Survivors program which sees women teach G Adventures travellers how to make traditional momos (dumplings) and share a traditional thali lunch. This has provided SASANE with a sustainable income for their programmes as well as meaningful work for survivors.

*Read more about the tour and check the recent prices here!

Nepal women program
Visiting the Sisterhood of Survivors Project 

Sri Lanka: On a Shoestring

Sri Lanka is becoming increasingly popular recently and I had the chance to go backpacking in Sri Lanka in summer 2018. If you don’t like to visit the country independently, G Adventures offers an affordable 12 day tour taking you around central and southern Sri Lanka. Starting in the coastal town of Negombo, you will head to the UNESCO world heritage city of Sigiriya, where you got the chance to visit the Dambulla Cave Temple of the ancient Sigiriya Rock Fortress. On the way to the G Adventures supported homestay in Digana, near Kandy, you will visit a spice garden before taking a guided walk around the Tamarind Garden Farm, which will be home for the night. After helping their hosts to feed the animals, your tour will head on to Kandy to visit the Temple of the Tooth or enjoy a traditional cultural show.

On day six, you will stop for breakfast at the G For Good Sthree Craft shop and Cafe, which supports women and youths with disabilities. Heading on to Nuwara Eliya, you will visit a tea plantation and explore the nearby hills on foot. In the Horton Plains National Park, you got the chance for an early morning trek and opt to try a traditional cooking course in the evening in Ella. Options to trek Ella Rock or just spend time exploring Ella is on the cards before heading to Hikkaduwa for a tour of the Galle Fort. The final days are spent unwinding on the beaches or going whale or dolphin watching.

*Read more about the tour and check the recent prices here!

Beach in Sri Lanka
Beach time in Sri Lanka!

G Adventures specializes in small-group adventures in over 100 countries and are committed to changing lives through travel. Focusing on empowering women, creating new opportunities for youths and conserving local culture through their G For Good projects, travellers have the opportunity to meet and support locals and create meaningful memories in the destinations they travel to.

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