Pura Aventura handmade holidays to Spain & Latin America
Pura specialises in handmade holidays to Spain and Latin America. Walking and more since 1999. From a walking holiday in Chile to hiking the Inca Trail in Peru or an inn to inn walk in northern Spain we will tailor the holiday to suit your needs.
We’re an independent company, run by a small team who are driven by a passion for the places we know and love.
How we started
Our story started in 1994 when Thomas went to visit the Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. While there he met Diego who was working as a park ranger and also Xabi who was (and still is) a guide in Torres del Paine. Together they trekked pretty much every trail in the park.
Thomas returned to the UK with an enormous love of Chile and the plan for Pura began to take shape. A lot of time was spent preparing the ground for a travel company specialising predominately in Chile, Peru and Spain.
In 1999 Pura was launched and focused on delivering bespoke holidays to amazing destinations. From the very start we did things differently – we wanted to deliver something special and outstanding so that our clients can experience exceptional places. Nothing we do is off the shelf.
Since then our range of destinations has grown to take in most countries in South and Central America. What hasn’t changed is the way we create your holiday.
A great deal of thought and care has gone into every day of your holiday. For that reason we describe our holidays as handmade.
The handmade ethos is behind everything we do and we believe it is what makes us different. Authentic experiences underpin our holidays. We are passionate about the countries we work with and we want you to share that with us. Typically Pura will maximise the time you spend outdoors and will plan an itinerary around that.
At Pura we have always been very fussy about the way that our holidays are delivered. Every single destination, hotel, activity, restaurant and guide makes a difference. Every single day of your holiday is important to us.
We soon realised that the only way for us to deliver exactly what we wanted for our clients was to do it ourselves. Make it ourselves. This creates a lot more work for us but it is the only way as far as we are concerned. We also love what we do so it is not too much of a chore.
Pura is not an ordinary tour operator. Normally a tour operator buys in the services of a ‘ground agent’ in your destination country. Typically that ground agent will be the one advising the UK tour operator and putting together the holiday from a fixed menu of options. The UK tour operator simply confirms the services and it is job done. That’s why, with an ordinary tour operator, your sales consultant is left in sole charge of booking every aspect of your holiday.
Not at Pura. We don’t believe that people great at creating holidays are necessarily great on the attention to detail needed to deliver a Pura holiday. That’s a full time job in itself. Pura’s operations department is the same size as our sales department which goes to show that we put as much effort and resource into delivering our holidays as we do creating and selling them.
Our holidays are handmade and put together by us from scratch. What matters is that the core of your holiday experience is delivered by one of the Pura team using their own personal experiences and in-depth knowledge.
In different countries this will mean subtly different things but in most cases you will see Pura on the ground. It means that we know who is looking after you each step of the way.
In Spain we have our own guides and vehicles across the north of the country through the Pyrenees, Rioja and Picos de Europa. In the south we have chosen our partners very carefully and we know they share our ethos.
In Chile we have our own guides in the Atacama and Patagonia. Outside of these areas we have trusted connections who look after you. Throughout Chile we book each hotel, restaurant and activity directly ourselves which means we have very strong supplier relationships.
Across into Peru we have a dedicated team of guides and porters In Cusco and Machu Picchu. We only run Pura departures on the classic Inca Trail. This means that we can be sure that you get only first-rate guides, the best food and the best equipment.
Of course there are some parts of a holiday that we can’t create ourselves such as a Galapagos cruise or an Amazon lodge. Here you will be in the hands of the lodge or boat guides. Clearly we are not about to go off and build some boats but what we can do is go out there and find the best boats or lodges and deliver them to you. We use our knowledge to advise you and only work with partners that we know will deliver services that meet our own high standards. Again we mostly work direct so we have very strong relationships with these operators.
In some countries (such as Costa Rica and Nicaragua) we do use ground agents to deliver large parts of your holiday. However, we create the holiday which we feel best suits you and we then book services accordingly. We know the destinations very well and we also know our clients so we are best placed to tell the ground agents exactly what we want. Not all ground agents can deliver what we want so again we choose very carefully. So even in these cases your holiday is genuinely handmade.
Finally, there are places where people are doing a job even we would be proud of. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we join forces. Our Lodge based hike to Machu Picchu is a good example of this.
What makes a Pura holiday?
So that is our history and the way we put your holiday together but what are our passions and beliefs? What makes a Pura holiday?
Most people only go somewhere once in their lives which gives us one chance to get it right. It’s not just a holiday. It is an experience, an investment and we are always working to make it the best possible holiday.
Whether you have booked a one-week self drive holiday to Spain or a six-week multi-country trip to Latin America we will put the same effort into it to make sure we have done everything we can to make it the best possible holiday for you.
Throughout our 11 years of operating holidays to Spain and Latin America we have learnt a thing or two about what makes a difference to your holiday.
We think it comes down to four main areas where we have to earn your trust.
1) You trust us to create your holiday. Our consultants do not earn commission. In fact they are told not to worry about selling at all. What they do is focus 100% on creating the best possible holiday for you. It means that it is nobody’s interest to sell you the wrong holiday. We give you honest open advice based on our own extensive knowledge. We also sweat the details like avoiding early flights, not having you change hotel every other night, making sure you spend time in the great outdoors, not inside a van, the list is endless.
2) We have to earn your trust again as we look after you in the run up to your holiday. The worst thing in the world is to get great service when you are looking to buy something only to find that it evaporates once you’ve paid your money. We are here to answer questions, to help and explain throughout the pre-departure period. If we think we have found a better way to do things between your booking and the start of your holiday we’ll make changes, with your permission.
3) The most important time to earn your trust is when you actually go on your holiday. It’s here that we work hardest. Our operations team is the same size as our sales team. Because we work with such a diverse team of suppliers for each holiday, we have to make sure everyone is working together and that your trip runs seamlessly from start to finish.
4) When you get back, you trust us to listen to feedback. There’s always room for improvement, be it a new restaurant, somewhere you loved or something which simply didn’t work so well. One time a dead tree referred to in the walking notes for our Inn to Inn holiday in the Picos sprang back to life. Anything can happen. You can trust that we’ve listened to the people before. By listening and making changes where they need to happen, we hope to earn your trust to travel with us again.
We think we are doing something right. Our feedback, particularly on Feefo, makes us all very proud and motivates us to keep getting better. For Sarah it’s almost an obsession. It is what gets us out of bed in the morning and drives us to continue creating and delivering amazing experiences.
Since 2007 we have received an average of roughly one letter of complaint every other year and those were resolved to everyone’s apparent satisfaction. This doesn’t mean we assume anything or rest on our laurels, on the contrary, it means that we hate getting complaints more than ever.
Questions? Ready to book?
01273 67 67 12
+44 1273 961 921
or We're here from 9am - 6:30pm Monday - Friday.