Nueva Revista Compromiso de Metropolitan Touring


El Mundo en el que vivimos y el que queremos heredar a futuras generaciones está en nuestras manos, un hecho que se ve reflejado en cada uno de nuestras actividades que tiene impacto en los recursos naturales. Es un hecho que lo que tomamos de la naturaleza, no lo podemos devolver, por mejores que sean nuestras intenciones. Sin embargo, hay muchas cosas que podemos hacer para aminorar el impacto que causamos.

Metropolitan Touring trabaja constantemente en la búsqueda de nuevos métodos para cumplir con este objetivo, ya que está consciente de que los ecosistemas saludables proporcionan, a largo plazo, bienes y servicios a los seres humanos, que nos ayudan a vivir en un mundo más saludable. Con esto en mente, hemos diseñado una Política Ambiental que busca proveer un mapa a nuestra compañía, que nos ayudará a navegar sobre las aguas de la mejorar manera para implementar prácticas que impacten lo menos posible en la ambiente.

Nuestra Política Ambiental apunta justamente a nuestro giro de negocio y va directo a nuestro trabajo en Galápagos. Es parte de la manera como pensamos, parte de como creamos nuevos productos o nos relacionamos con nuevos asociados, parte del momento en que paramos antes de imprimir cualquier documento.  Todos nosotros hemos presenciado el éxito  de como las ideas simples pueden tener un impacto masivo. Reemplazar las botellas de agua por las botellas rellenables, que se encuentran en todos nuestros barcos: estimamos que en el primer año de esta práctica se ha reducido en un 77% de botellas (con todos los recursos que se usan, asociados a su fabricación y transporte) que mandamos a rellenar en Galápagos. Simple, pero efectivo.

Este año, hemos visto el trabajo de la Fundación Galápagos Ecuador expandirse a nuevos proyectos en las Islas. Trabajando en conjunto con organizaciones gubernamentales locales y otras agencias, en la actualidad contribuimos a proyectos en las 4 islas habitadas. En el área continental de Ecuador, el nuevo hotel de nuestro holding y el nuevo lodge en el bosque montañoso lluvioso de los Andes, han adoptado un diseño inteligente y alojamiento responsable en el país. Y en los 6 países donde operamos, tenemos un impacto positivo y estamos dando grandes pasos para ser más responsables cuando se trata del uso de un recurso natural.

El camino es largo y todavía tenemos un extenso tramo por recorrer. Pero tenemos la esperanza que usted se unirá a esta causa, que nos dirá qué más podemos hacer o nos deje saber que estamos haciendo bien. Esperamos escuchar pronto de usted.

Cada año, producimos la revista Compromiso, un pequeño folleto que testifica nuestros esfuerzos. Vemos  a este documento más que nada, como una herramienta de motivación para nuestro equipo y también para usted, mientras se embarca en un viaje de descubrimiento con Metropolitan Touring.

Para ver nuestra revista Compromiso, por favor haga click aquí.

Metropolitan Touring’s new Commitment magazine


The world in which we live and the one we want to pass on to future generations is in our hands, a truism that is reflected in each and every one of our activities that have an impact on natural resources. To a great extent, we cannot return what we take from Nature, despite our best intentions. However, there are many things we can do to lessen the impact we cause.

Metropolitan Touring is constantly working to find new ways to accomplish this goal, since we are fully aware that healthy ecosystems provide goods and services to humans over the long-term, which in turn help us to live in a healthier world. With this in mind, we designed an Environmental Policy that seeks to provide a road map for our company, to help us navigate the waters of how best to implement practices that impact as little as possible on the environment.

Our Environmental Policy goes right to the heart of our business, and goes far beyond our work in the Galápagos. It’s part of the way we think, part of how we develop new travel products or approach a new partner, part of the moment we pause before clicking on ‘print’ at our desks. All of us have witnessed the success of how what are seemingly simple ideas can have massive impacts. Take replacing disposable water bottles with sturdier, refillable ones on board all our vessels: simple, yet we estimate that, in the first year of the practice alone, 77% less bottles (with all the resource-use associated with their manufacture and transportation to the islands) were sent to the land refill in Galápagos. Simple, yet effective.

Over the last year, we’ve seen the Fundación Galápagos-Ecuador’s work expand to new shores in the islands. Working hand-in-hand with local governments and other agencies, we are today contributing to projects on all four inhabited islands. On mainland Ecuador, our holding group’s new hotel and new Andean rainforest lodge have both raised the bar in intelligent, responsible lodging design in the country. And across the six countries in which we operate, we are having a positive impact and taking steps to be ever-more responsible when it comes to natural resource use.

The road is long and we’ve still a long way to go. But we hope you’re willing to join us on it, to tell us what more we can do or let us know what we’re doing right. We look forward to hearing from you!

Every year, we produce the Commitment, a small booklet, which testifies to our efforts. We look upon this document more than anything as a motivational tool for our team and also for you as you embark on a journey of discovery with Metropolitan Touring.

To see our Commitment magazine please click here.

Rapa Nui – Outdoor Museum


Te Pito o te Henua….. MAGICAL! There is no other word for such a special Island, full of mysteries and unknown history. It is so tiny that everything turns so cozy and chill, people go-by saying “iorana” as if they`ve known you your whole life.

 Rapa Nui my friends… where giant statues of rock (moais) lie as silent judges in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Where the ocean is a paradise for divers: 70 meters of visibility; where unsolved mysteries are still being solved and where only 5% of the islands treasures have been discovered!

 

The trip to Easter Islands starts in Santiago with a long flight (5 hours aprox.) of just ocean! Thankfully the plane has entertainment on board and lots of movies to choose from; the one that caught my attention was “Què Tan Lejos” an Ecuadorian movie absolutely recommended.

 Finally, a piece of land at sight, it was b e a u t i f u l l, coned volcanoes, white sandy beaches and the whole island in the palm of your hands. It’s difficult to express the feeling; kind of when you are arriving to Machu Pichu after walking 4 days, where you just want to sit there and think of nothing, you know… Have your moment!

 Everything here is so artisanal; the airport has one waiting room with some shops, the Lan Airlines counter, some police infrastructure and a small bag belt. Houses are full of flowers and typical Polynesian music sound on the background.

 I stayed at explora Rapa Nui which is called Posada de Mike Rapu after the owner, mike (meeke) who is a local descendant of the Rapa Nui’s. My time there was dedicated to test land services, inspect hotels and evaluate restaurants. I have to say there are two ways to enjoy Easter Island: one is with explora and the other is with the rest. Definitively a once in a lifetime experience with team explora that deserves a brand new entry.

 

This tiny triangle (180 km2) has a wide variety of activities to choose from, below my top ten.

  1. Rano Raraku: It is actually a volcano, but in one of the sides an impressive quarry is left behind. This is the birthplace of the Moai, where moais of 15-20 meters where carved right from the solid volcanic rock. You can actually walk trough almost 300 moias in different stages of elaboration.
  1. Anakena Beach: It is actually an Ahu (ceremonial place), one of the most amazing because of the settings. The surroundings are home to the last palm trees of the island and of course to the picturesque beach of Anakena. Nothing better that swim in turquoise water with palm trees and moais as lifeguards.
  1. Ahu Tongariki. This Ahu has 15 standing moais looking to the Rano Raraku volcano. The idea here is to visit this ahu at sun-rise with a magnificent colorful natural background.
  1. Diving in los 3 Motus: Start this amazing journey with a boat ride through the coasts of Hanga Roa until you reach the three Mouts area. Once there just dive into this underwater paradise and be prepared to discover the hidden treasures of Easter Island.
  1. Rano Kau: This volcano is home to a unique ceremonial site: Orongo. Here you can actually see how Rapa Nui`s lived and also understand the “Tangata Manu” or Bird Man challenge.
  1. Akivi: This ahu is inserted inside the island, in contrast to other ceremonial sites that are nearby the ocean. Another curious difference is that this ahu has the only seven moais looking to the sea. I’ll let you figure out the mystery.
  1. Hanga Roa: This friendly town is home to an only one of its kind culture; the Rapa Nui. Here you can interact with them, taste their exquisite gastronomy and enjoy a dinner show where folkloric groups take you through a journey into their culture. Don’t miss the handicrafts market and definitively try a cold “Mahindra” a local beer.
  1. Tahai Complex: The Tahai complex is the perfect trip after a good lunch at Hanga Roa. This complex is unique; it has different size moais, representations of the “casa bote” or the boat house where Rapa Nuis used to live. BE sure to enjoy the sunset. Just Amazing.
  1. Maunga Terevaka: This inactive volcano holds the highest point in Easter Island: 511 masl. From there you have a complete view of the whole island. In the surroundings you can enjoy the volcanic caves Ana Te Pahu. 
  1. Car Rental: There is so much more to see in the island that the best way is to rent your own car. Or maybe a motorbike or just a bicycle. Either way you will definitively enjoy, the best things in the island have not been discovered yet.

 The island is magical, be sure to enjoy it; you will definitively fall in love with this tiny triangle in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

For our online gallery please visit: http://bit.ly/RapaNuipics

For programs to Easter Island visit: http://bit.ly/gphFkb

Or contact us at: chile@metropolitan-touring.com

Patagonia: Land of Fire and Ice at the End of the World


By: Verónica Sevilla L., Commercial Director.

Patagonia is that piece of the Earth, that area at the very end and tip of South America. It is the land where the indomitable nature of its majestic territory meets and gives way to huge oceans just before these reach the fiery ices of Antarctica. It is a place which calls to the souls of travelers, lovers of adventure and nature, who will experience moments like no other, and who will be captivated by stories of great human conquests and new territories.

I begin my trip flying from Quito to Buenos Aires with the help of Metropolitan Touring, arriving at the city of Ushuaia after a long but nevertheless direct flight. The landing itself at Ushuaia was a unique experience, as I was amazed by the sight of the great mountains belonging to the Andes range, the Fagnano Lake which rests in the middle of these giants, and the town itself, which appeared to be nailed to the ground between the mountains and the Beagle Channel. It was evident that this signaled the start of a unique adventure.

This city, filled with incredible story and founded as the main city meant to populate these strange lands (at the beginning of the 20th Century), surprises you from the beginning with its cosmopolitan atmosphere, created by travelers arriving from all over the world.

Packed with top- of- the- notch chocolate stores and gourmet restaurants (which seduce you with the specialties of the area such as Patagonian goat and “centolla”), travelers experience delights which are worthy of even the world´s most respected culinary centers. The San Martin Street, which features adventure and clothing stores of the highest quality, as well as unique bookstores, is the precise location to do some shopping in preparation for your adventure ahead.

Taking a tour of the city in an English Roadster bus from the year 1948, allows us to submerge into the city´s history of indigenous inhabitants and pioneers. Visiting the National Park “Tierra del Fuego,” and enjoying a ride on the “El Fin del Mundo” Train (which travels for 8 km through tracks originally used by the city´s first settlers) while having a look at rivers and valleys of awe- inspiring beauty, are only the appetizer to our next experience: an Expedition Cruise along Patagonia´s Channels up until the “Cabo de Hornos,” where South America ends and both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans combine. All of this done in order to later on adventure ourselves across the “Avenida de los Glaciares” (Glacier Avenue), a hidden treasure for those lucky enough to enjoy this experience, and one which ends at the town of Punta Arenas in Chile.

Along this Cruise we arrive at multiple, unique locations barely touched by Man, where the privilege of solitude in the face of huge glaciers allows us to feel the strength of the water and the exuberance of the ice. Our departure from Ushuaia, and our trip up until “Cabo de Hornos,” where the morning sun was merely a preface of what would be a visit to this amazing place. Previously navigated by buccaneers, brave sailors, and both strong men and women, the trip was over so quickly that it made us think of the many months that it took for them to cross the Channels in centuries past. This place, marked by signs of huge determination and effort, is the goal of every traveler in search of mythical lands.

We spent the next three days sailing along the Strait of Magellan, where we admired every glacier along the way: the Fiordo, the Romanche, the Garibaldi, the Italia, and many others. To know that the Patagonia is one of the few places where glaciers are still formed and move along the mountains and rivers, and to look at and hear the roar of a breaking piece of ice as it falls to the ocean is just an indescribable feeling.

Marvelous walks with the sights of this world of water, earth, and ice evoke within you unique and beautiful feelings fueled by natural energy, which end with a delicious hot chocolate or a whisky prepared with the millennia- old ice from one of the glaciers. The subarctic forest, the Magellanic penguins, the dirt stuck to your shoes as you walk, the sailing through the glaciers with the use of a zodiac, and the wind which overpowers you, are a few of the grandeurs which make up the greatness of the land.

Key ingredients for making this trip such a marvelous experience are the lighthouses locate along the whole of the Strait, which help us in our navigation just as much as they helped sailors 150 years before us. The cruise, its first- class service, gourmet food, and a team prepared and ready for everything, make you feel at home in the icy territories of the Patagonia.

After this one- of- a- kind adventure filled with history, local culture, nature, and enveloped in an atmosphere of warmth, we arrive at Punta Arenas, the southernmost Chilean city at the banks of the Strait of Magellan. A city of history as well, with an interesting French architecture and a constant howl of Patagonian wind, pure only in that majestic land, is where our trip ends.

We make our way back to Santiago, carrying with us our luggage full of new and unique experiences which can only be lived there, at the “End of the World.”

If you would like to know more about Metropolitan Touring´s tours in the Argentinean Patagonia and Ushuaia, just follow the link: http://www.metropolitan-touring.com/content.asp?id_page=1292