On Thursday June 14th, Pura Aventura hosted an evening for our clients in Belgrave Square, London. The event focused on the people and the wildlife of Peru and the Galápagos Islands, and how to protect and benefit these destinations via sensitive and intelligent tourism.
We were delighted to have a packed theatre and to see that our clients enjoyed a party as much as ever: our chosen venue had a lovely garden so guests were able to relax outside after the talks on a lovely summer’s evening with drinks and canapés.
The Galápagos Conservation Trust – the only UK charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the Galápagos Islands – joined us for the evening.
We were also honoured to have the Peruvian Ambassador, H.E. Miss Susana de la Puente-Wiese and First Secretary Minister Eduardo Choroco with us.
Unfortunately, our long-term partner in Peru Gabriela Valdez hadn’t been able to make it to London, due to visa issues. However, we were able to show our guests a recorded video clip of Gaby speaking from Cusco.
Pura Aventura’s co-founder Thomas Power shared tales of his recent trip to Peru and explained how we try to help our clients to avoid the crowds at Machu Picchu and on the Inca Trail.
Thomas then went on to make an announcement about Pura Aventura Peru, our new office on the ground in Cusco that is headed up by Gabriela (Gaby) Valdez and her husband José (Pepe) Campoy. This would have been the ideal opportunity to announce the news, had Gaby been here by Thomas’ side as we had planned…
Based in Cusco, the role of this new office is to enable Pura to deliver genuinely personalised holidays that can’t be found elsewhere. One of our core company values is to work directly, and with partners rather than suppliers, and this exciting development is entirely in line with that ethos.
After that, we were joined by Richard Wollocombe, BBC filmmaker who has lived in the Galápagos Islands on and off for 25 years, first as a naturalist guide and later as wildlife cameraman for Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II. Richard is the man responsible for the legendary ‘snakes vs iguanas’ scenes from the latter.
Before showing some of his remarkable photography and footage, Richard talked about how he’s seen the Galápagos change, sharing photos and anecdotes from more than 50 years ago, when he visited with his parents for the first time.
Richard encouraged the audience to think about their potential visit to the Galápagos as a modern-day pilgrimage celebrating the discovery of who we are as a species through the Galápagos’ contribution to Darwin’s discovery of natural selection.
He also encouraged us all to contribute funds to conservation groups such as the GCT, to support the vital work being done to keep the islands as ecologically intact as possible. Did you know that while the National Park fee (about $100pp) is designed to offset the ‘ecological footprint’ of visitors, it is in reality not nearly enough to do so? Part of the reason for this is that the Park only receive a fraction of the funds from the entrance fee.
Once the talk was over, our guests joined us for drinks and canapés and of course to have a chat with our travel experts.
We’d like to say a big thank you to everybody: our guests, our speakers, and to all the Pura team. We hope everyone enjoyed it and we look forward to hearing from you soon.