Our Story

Founded in 2003, Amity Tours is a family-owned and operated company that was created in response to the immense opportunities for diverse and attractive programs that can be offered in Chile. We started up our operations in The Lake & Volcano District (Chile and Argentina) and now we also cover the Atacama Desert and Patagonia.

Nowadays, Amity Tours operates tours all over Chile and in most parts of Southern Argentina. With the experience gained since 2003 and the great feedback we have received from our clients, we have now developed attractive excursions along with offering tailor-made programs to fulfill the special interests of our clients.

Likewise, we continue our pledge to preserve the natural beauty of the Southern cone. Accordingly, we have programs exploring the ancestral roots of the country, led by friendly local specialized guides.

In this light, we offer Hiking tours in over 30 National Parks from the Atacama Desert to Patagonia, active Bike tours in The Lake and Volcano District and the Wine RegionConservation tours in private Land Trust and Indigenous Communities, Family Adventure tours in Patagonia, volcano-climbing across The Andes, and Skiing tours on volcanoes. And of course, we spice up all of these great trips with the best local wines and food, insights into the local flora and fauna, ethnic discoveries, and trips to natural hot springs.

Our Key Elements

ADVENTURE. PEOPLE. NATURE.

You’ll find these key elements in all of the travel experiences we create.

ADVENTURE: We are an adventure travel company and we understand “adventure” as and experience where culture and nature are the main pillars. We specialized in sport activities such as biking, hiking, and skiing, but we also understand that that comes with excellent service, comfortable hotels and great local food, wine and beer.

PEOPLE: You’ll find a true friend in our experienced and professional team of guides and drivers. They will show you the best of Chile and Argentina. You’ll get to know our country and meet local people at every destination.

NATURE: This is the best part, we are blessed with a country with amazing nature. We’ll make sure you see the best of it and discover the hidden corners that will make you hold your breath in awe.

Our Mission

Our commitment as a company is to contribute to the sustainable development of our region through the practice of “Responsible Tourism”. This commitment implies giving a high degree of importance to the values of local people, local traditions, which is reflected in the use of local guides, the selection of lodgings in locally-owned accommodations and the carrying out of our activities in wild protected areas. This is one of our most important values.

All our efforts aim to help the protection of our very fragile environment and to maintain the larger amount of income generated by tourist activities in the local area. Both of these factors are of great importance for our communities and for the people that visit us.

VALUES STATEMENT

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL POLICY

Our commitment as a company is to contribute to the sustainable development of our region through the practice of “Responsible Tourism”. This commitment implies giving a high degree of importance to the values of local people and local traditions, which is reflected in the use of local guides, the selection of lodgings in locally-owned accommodations and the carrying out of our low impact activities in wild protected areas (public and private). This is one of our most important values.
All our efforts aim to help the protection of our very fragile environment and to maintain the larger amount of income generated by tourist activities in the local area. Both of these factors are of great importance for our communities and for the people that visit us.

Economic responsibility

Although we are unable to donate cash because our company is small and our financial resources are very limited, we donate our time and know-how, which can be translated into money. In this field, we constantly train and share our experience in tourism with local indigenous communities that are willing to start up a business in tourism, specially related to ethic tourism. The Lake & Volcano District is an ancestral territory where native people such as Mapuche, Pewenche and Huilliche have lived for centuries. We have a great relationship with them and we usually spent a minimum of 50 hours a year conducting tourism seminars.

One hundred percent of our guides and drivers are local, and live with their families in the area they work and guide in. They all have a legal contract with us and we pay them wages well above average in the local tourism industry. Also, we are proud to say that one of our best tour guides belongs to the Mapuche people, Chile’s largest indigenous group. His name is Ruben Paillalef and you will probably meet him if you take one of our biking or hiking tours. Likewise, our Book Keeper is “señora” Flora Colihueque, a very smart Mapuche woman that takes care of all our accounting.

Finally, we buy everything we can locally (produce and non pre-prepared food). That is a huge factor for our business.

Environmental responsibility

We recycle all glass, cans and plastic waste. Luckily there are many recycling stations where we operate our tours. Moreover, when we do grocery shopping, we always bring our own non-plastic reusable bags. We try to buy in bulk as much as possible (to avoid unnecessary packaging), and use reusable plates and silverware during all our delicious picnic lunches.

Our tap water is not only safe, it tastes great, so we do not buy bottled water. We use big water containers to carry the water and encourage all our clients to refill their bottles with tap water from the Lake and Volcano District.

We are fully committed to the people of Chile and the World in order to conserve the ecosystems that are present within the Chilean territory. This commitment goes much further than just respecting these ecosystems during our tourist operations. Our company leads and supports projects that are directly related to the industry’s sustainable development, as well as those associated with wilderness conservation by private and local communities’ Land Trusts throughout Chile.
Through our sister company, Austral Design Lab, we invest all of the profits from the “nonprofit” tours into conservation projects on the national level. Among these projects, we can highlight the following:

a) Chile’s First Geopark, Kütralkura www.geoparquekutralkura.cl
b) Conservation Tourism product design for Chile’s Land Trusts Association www.asiconservachile.org
c) Community & Ethnic Tourism in the Kuel Valley www.valledelkuel.cl

We invite you to get involved in our tours and programs that promote the conservation of Chile’s wilderness and the development of local communities. You can choose to play an active role and make this ambitious goal possible. Like us, you can be committed to Chile’s fragile and unique ecosystems so that we can keep them as pristine as possible for future generations. Your money and personal support will directly benefit the conservation of the indigenous flora and fauna, as well as the wellbeing of rural communities of Chile.

Social responsibility

We work side by side with the indigenous communities of the Lake and Volcano District. This is reflected in our visits to Mapuche and Pewenche communities, where we pay fair prices (usually more than what they charge) and do not ask for “cultural” demonstrations. We let them decide when and what aspects of their culture they want to share with our clients. We encourage them to be genuine and include everyone in their families. We love having lunch or dinner cooked and presented by the indigenous women and usually share a “yerba mate” with the elders of the community. They have amazing stories to tell.

We take our guests to local markets, only when we know who the artists are and that their handcrafts are made in a sustainable way. Getting to know the people behind the product usually makes the tourist buy more and pay more.

CONSERVATION OUTREACH

At Amity Tours, we understand that Conservation Outreach is an activity of providing services to ecosystems and local communities who might not otherwise have access to those services. These services may include monitoring wildlife, site cleanups, trail maintenance, teaching English and building wilderness park facilities.

A key component of our vision of conservation outreach is that the people (travelers) providing it are not stationary, but mobile; in other words they are meeting those in need of outreach services at the locations where those in need are. In addition to delivering services, outreach has an educational role, raising awareness about wilderness conservation.

Amity Tours is fully committed to the people of Chile and the World in order to conserve the ecosystems that are present within the Chilean territory.

This commitment goes much further than just respecting these ecosystems during our tourist operations. Amity Tours leads and supports projects that are directly related to the industry’s sustainable development, as well as those associated with wilderness conservation by private and local communities’ Land Trusts throughout Chile.

Through our sister company, Austral Design Lab, Amity Tours invests all of the profits from the “nonprofit” tours into conservation projects on the national level. Among these projects, we can highlight the following:

a) Chile’s First Geopark, Kütralkura

Together with the Chilean Geological Survey, this pioneer project turned a territory with huge potential into a new sustainable tourism destination, where Geotourism, active volcanoes and Pewenche communities are the highlights of the tours and activities.

www.geoparquekutralkura.cl

b) Conservation Tourism product design for Asi Conserva Chile

This project was developed with WWF Chile www.chile.panda.org and “Asi Conserva Chile” (Chile’s Way of Conservation), the Chilean Land Trusts association for conservation areas www.asiconservachile.org. These private and local community protected areas in Chile (Land Trusts) range from the Atacama Desert in northern Chile to Patagonia in the far south, comprising 1 million acres in total.

Our role in the project was to design and develop sustainable tourism programs, in conjunction with the owners of each Land Trust, the communities and local suppliers.

The project gathered information about market niches associated with conservation tourism, ecotourism, scientific tourism, and voluntary tourism. The project was funded in part by the Chilean government, with the ultimate goal of generating a new portfolio of tours that will position Chile as one of the World’s major Conservation Tourism destinations.

c) Community & Ethnic Tourism in the Kuel Valley

The Kuel Valley is a territory considered sacred by the Mapuche people, Chile’s largest indigenous group. This historical area has kept hidden some of the most important cultural heritage for these native people. Before the project, this rich cultural heritage and archaeological information was only shared among scholars and scientists. The community lived in poverty, ignorant of its own heritage. Thanks to the collaboration of Amity Tours and Austral Design Lab, this ancestral knowledge was given back to the Mapuche community, together with the know-how and tools to benefit from it in a sustainable way through ecotourism and geotourism. Today they foresee a better future and take great pride in their culture.

www.valledelkuel.cl

Be more than just a tourist, support nonprofit tours around Chile!

Amity Tours invites you to get involved in its tours and programs that promote the conservation of Chile’s wilderness and the development of local communities. You can choose to play an active role and make this ambitious goal possible. Like us, you can be committed to Chile’s fragile and unique ecosystems so that we can keep them as pristine as possible for future generations. Your money and personal support will directly benefit the conservation of the indigenous flora and fauna, as well as the wellbeing of rural communities of Chile.

Adventure. People. Nature