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Yacu Amu Experiences is an Australian and Ecuadorian-owned tour operator that specializes in adventure, nature, and cultural tourism for active travelers. Since 1996, we have delighted travelers, tour operators, wholesalers, and travel agents from around the world with our exceptional level of service and reliability. Using our inside knowledge of Ecuador, we craft thoughtful itineraries that showcase the very best of the country and her people.
We derive our name from yacu amu -– a serpent-like water spirit from local folklore. Water is a common theme in our travel experiences, whether it is marveling in awe of a glacier on the equator, shopping in a market in the lake district, challenging the rapids on a jungle river, feeling the power of thunderous waterfalls, soaking in volcanically-heated hot springs, or sailing through the Galapagos Islands.
Number of employees: 7
Percentage of local employees: 100%
100% local employees and providers: We believe that running a successful tourism business that employs local people and contracts local providers (guides, transport providers, restaurants, hotels, etc.) is one of the best ways to make a positive impact on local communities. We educate our providers, their communities, and our visitors about the ways in which they can ensure the activities we all undertake are sustainable, thereby providing long-term stability to those involved. This leads to children completing high school and even continuing to higher education, new businesses growing with us, and more. We have assisted individuals, some of them ex-staff, to establish themselves as providers, for example, of transport or catering services for our tours.
100% local guides: All of our guides are proudly born and raised locals. Several have studied or are studying tourism at the university; however their knowledge of Ecuador really comes from having traveled – paddled, hiked, climbed, swam, ridden, etc. – throughout the country as they were growing up. Those licensed to guide in the Galapagos National Park are, by law, native to the Galapagos Islands. Our most knowledgeable jungle guides are Kichwa natives that were born, raised, and still live in their communities along the Napo River and its tributaries. Our specialist guides are trained and certified to international standards including the Red Cross, Wilderness First Responder, International Rafting Federation, and the American Canoe Association.
Sustainable tourism design and practice: All of our programs are designed from the outset to minimize the environmental impact on areas where we operate. This includes minimizing the production of waste and using more fuel-efficient vehicles. However, we take a broad view of sustainable tourism that includes the people that live in and around the areas we work in. So aside from setting an example by following “leave no trace” principles, we cooperate with the local government and NGOs on educational initiatives. For example, we take local decision-makers and media downriver to show them a perspective of human impact on the environment they may have never seen, such as the effects of deforestation on riverbank erosion or of untreated run-off flowing into the river. We are currently developing educational projects in two schools (one near Quito and one in the Galapagos) that will channel resources to fund the ongoing education of teachers and provide them with teaching aids they need in order to have the greatest possible impact on improving the education of both present and future students.
For more information about rates and reservations, please visit our website or click on the orange “Contact” button above.
Nearest international airport: Quito (UIO)
Yacu Amu Experiences, Mainland
Yacu Amu Experiences/Insider's Galapagos
Yacu Amu Experiences, Live on Board Cruises
General Experience Manager
Shyris N34-40 y República de El Salvador, Edificio Tapia, oficina 104.
Rainforest Alliance Verified™
Date: June, 2011
Environmental management: 74%
Sociocultural management: 91%
Business management: 93%
Overall performance: 86%