We’re Tropic and our business is creating unforgettable travel experiences that satisfy the dreams and demands of the most sophisticated travelers. What we offer is a genuine, intense interaction with destinations and local people based on mutual respect. It involves getting to know a truly authentic style of life in Ecuador, Peru and Chile.
The Andes highlands are home to colonial centers, indigenous markets, and snowcapped peaks throughout the famous volcanoes avenue – with Cotopaxi being the world’s second highest active volcano at just under 20,000 feet. Spend days exploring the villages and hiking the mountainsides and evening with warm fireplaces in traditional haciendas.
The Galapagos Islands are a world apart, a must visit for every adventurous traveler, and a very special place where people and animals coexist in harmony. This World Heritage site is one of the most famous places on the planet. On explorations by boat on by land, you will find not only spectacular and unique wildlife, but also a warm, slow-going atmosphere.
With much of the land protected, and only a 30-minute flight from Quito, a dazzling experience is only a short distance away. Marvel at clay licks for flocks of parrots, pink river dolphins, caiman, monkeys and enjoy hiking and walking trails, oxbow lagoons, boat rides, and treetops towers and canopy walks. This incredible land is also home to several indigenous groups.
Peru is known for the spiritual journey along the Inca Trail, its renowned cuisine and its warm and wonderful people. At Tropic, we not only seek new experiences in our destinations, but also new ways of experiencing the tried and true. Your guests can experience a different side of Peru with us – Tropic-style.
Chile thrills! Its geography, wild nature, national parks, desert and breathtaking landscapes leave travelers in awe. Tropic lets guests take advantage of its city charms, as well as its wonderous natural areas. Hiking, skiing, picnicking in one of its world-class vineyards – the country’s pleasures are nearly endless!
May I Introduce You
May I Introduce You
One of the many things that sets Tropic apart is our ‘May I Introduce You’ programs. These special activities give travelers an insiders experience of our destinations. Spending intimate time with artisans, mountaineers, culinary wizards and more let travelers experience our cultures and special places more fully.
Founded in 1994, Tropic is an award-winning DMC and ecotourism company specializing in custom-designed adventure, nature, and cultural travel in Ecuador, Peru and Chile. Tropic provides exclusive encounters and unique experiences for travelers with a spirit of discovery and who are keen to explore the variety of landscapes, cultures and adventures South America has to offer. Read More
Travel with Tropic is also about people and environments. Guests will make a connection with locals, contribute directly to conserving precious and threatened environments, help foster respect for native and traditional peoples and cultures, and support projects that provide benefits for the communities visited. Our business model is based on the creation of positive social and environmental impacts while providing the highest quality hand-crafted expeditions. Additionally, we guarantee a rapid-response capacity and fail-safe operative systems based on decades of experience caring for our clients. A few more reasons include:
Tropic works to bring depth to travel – giving visitors the chance to ‘live’ Ecuador, Peru and Chile
“May I Introduce You” programs give your guests the chance to spend time with locals and discover hidden gems
Award-winning community-based tourism initiatives – Tropic was awarded the National Geographic World Legacy Award for Engaging Communities
Unique lodges – including a tented safari camp in the Galapagos, an alpine lodge high in the Andes and a special lodge deep in the heart of the Amazon
Meet Jasci and the Tropic Team
Tropic’s experiences are customized by a professional team and coordinated with each individual guide, driver and service provider. The entire staff is at the service of our clients, and is trained and able to provide solutions to all their requirements or needs during their stay. Our bilingual naturalist guides are among the finest in the world. They have worked with us for many years, leading educational nature and adventure tours with visitors from all over the world. Each naturalist guide brings his or her own vision and field of expertise to the interpretation of Ecuador, Peru and Chile’s environments, history and culture. Read More
Leading the team is Jascivan (Jasci) Carvalho. Jasci was born in Quito to an Ecuadorian mother and Brazilian father. He grew up in Guayaquil and then spent his teenage years in Brazil. He returned to Quito to attend Catholic University to study business and marketing, then moved to Barcelona to earn a Masters in tourism management and destination planning. After returning to Quito in the early 2000’s, Jasci started working as tourism consultant and met Andy Drum, the founder of Tropic. He joined the company as GM in 2004 and then became sole owner in 2011. Jasci also the founded Waponi, the first ecotourism incubator and sustainable tourism consulting firm in Ecuador. Jasci has spent nearly 20 years in tourism, and continues to bring innovation to Ecuador’s travel industry.
Diego Escobar– Commercial Manager, Ecuador
Diego’s role with Tropic is to open new markets, establish relationships with new customers, to work on joint promotional actions and more. Diego was born in Quito and is an avid and passionate traveler who has been involved in tourism throughout his life (including at Napo Wildlife Center). Diego obtained his master’s degree in Tourism Management in China, giving him a broad perspective about the right experiences for every type of traveler.
Maria ‘Maru’ Eugenia de Aliaga – Product Manager, Peru
With more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry, Maru has broad experience in ground operations and product development, and has a deep passion for her work. Like all of us at Tropic, Maru believes that well planned tourism is an efficient tool for the empowerment of local communities and that responsible tourism is at the core of what we do.
Cristina Serrano – Sales Manager
Cristina was born and raised in Quito. She is very proud to live in a biodiverse country – one that’s full of natural resources and ecosystems. Cristina has spent more than a decade working in tourism, holding positions in travel agencies, airlines and tour operators. She loves her work with Tropic and is proud to be part of a team that offers innovative and unforgettable experiences to a variety of travelers across the globe. Cristina’s personal goal is to provide people with unforgettable experiences that they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives during their visit to Ecuador.
Silvia was born in Quito. She studied Tourism at INSTUR now UDET (University of Tourism Specialties). With more than 2 decades in tourism, Silvia brings an amazing skill set to Tropic. She began her career working for tourism operators. The first one was dedicated to offer rafting trips. From there, she continued her career with another tour operator where she spent 17 years, gaining invaluable operations experience throughout the whole country, with a special focus on the highlands and Galapagos.
Bolivar Vega– OnTour Manager – Galapagos
Bolivar serves as the OnTour manager for Tropic’s Galapagos office and is a third generation Galapagueño with a rich background and deep history in the Islands.
Community & Conservation
When Tropic started back in 1994, it was founded on the belief that responsible tourism could make a positive impact. Twenty-eight years later, that core tenant stands. Tropic travel helps to protect isolated peoples, cultures and nature by working directly with local communities. Tropic has won awards and praise from around the world, including the National Geographic World Legacy Award for Engaging Communities. They have created jobs, fostered economic support for communities, helped threatened cultures to survive and thrive, and worked to protect vital ecosystems. Read More
Huaorani Ecolodge: In 2016 we regretfully had to close our award-winning Huaorani Ecolodge due to oil-related seismic exploration beginning in the area. It was a crushing decision to have to shutter one of the most successful community-based tourism partnerships in the entire Amazon basin. During its operation, the Lodge won numerous awards (including the National Geographic World Legacy Award), provided work for 80 local people and profits for the communities, as well as having helped to establish a 55,000 hectare reserve.
Tawantinsuyo Weaving Workshop: Master weaver Miguel Andrango’s family has been in the trade for at least four generations. Tropic clients have the chance to get to know Miguel on one of our programs to Otavalo and see his outstanding work firsthand, or, even better, join our Otavalo Lodge-to-Lodge walking program to take advantage of a very special opportunity: to share a meal with Miguel and his family, then enjoy a short weaving presentation and master class. Traditional craftspeople depend on the support of discriminating buyers, so encouraging your travelers to shop locally when visiting Ecuador will help them to maintain their skills and to keep their traditions alive! While local markets may offer seeming similar products, the quality of the items produced at the workshop is clearly superior to many of the market’s machine-woven products, and every purchase goes directly into the efforts of this community to revive this ancient art.
Tigua painting workshop: Julio Toaquiza, 71, has been painting for decades and his work is well known. He is the pioneer of the traditional “naif” style of Ecuador’s Tigua region – vibrant and colorful compositions depicting rural mountain life and ancient traditions of the Kichwa people in the Ecuadorian Andes. We are excited to offer Tropic guests visiting the Andes and the Avenue of the Volcanoes a surprise painting class with Julio’s son, renowned local master artist Alfonso Toaquiza. Alfonso has been painting under the guidance of his father since he was seven years old. Most tour operators simply stop for a quick shopping trip among the many galleries lining the road up to the beautiful Quilotoa crater lake, but as ever, we want our travelers to have the chance to dive deeper – to truly experience and ‘live’ Ecuador.
Misminay partnership: Tropic partners with the Misminay community in the Sacred Valley, which has allowed 30 local families to be included in the economic chain of tourism to improve their quality of life, strengthen their management capacities and revalue their legendary traditions. At the same time, the benefits of this work help the other 103 families in the community. The different tourist activities carried out in Misminay are designed in partnership with the community, resulting in a genuine experience that brings the visitor closer to the day-to-day life of its inhabitants. Quechua lessons, weaving demonstrations, and volunteer work are part of this unmissable opportunity to live as they do in the Andes.
Southern Peru community tourism: Tropic has worked in association with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Peruvian NGO Centro Bartolomé de las Casas (CBC) on a new project in southern Peru, in Vilacota Maure in Tacna, and Vinicunca and Tres Canyons in Cusco. This effort works to strengthen community organizations, as leaders and principal partners, by creating unique adventure, nature, and cultural experiences.
Galapagos Forest Initiative: We are developing a new conservation initiative at Galapagos Magic Camp which includes a reforestation and Galapagos tortoise habitat restoration program. Learn how you can help here.
Rainforest Alliance Certified: Tropic was the first tour operator to sign an agreement with Rainforest Alliance to promote best practices for tourism sustainable management back in 2005. We have been fully Rainforest Alliance certified since 2015. We are proud to be the only Ecuadorian tour operator and DMC who is fully RA certified. Tour operators that feature the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal meet comprehensive sustainability standards for tourism. Here is our valid certification granted after the audit process.
Pita River Conservation: On developing new hiking routes from our Chilcabamba Lodge near Cotopaxi, we consulted with The Nature Conservancy and Fonag (Fund for Water Protection) and learned that there were several opportunities to help conservation in the area. Our approach was three pronged – using ecotourism to raise awareness of the Pita River water source for the city of Quito and responsible use of water for anyone visiting, getting the local community involved to understand the importance of the river and to partner with them on a project, and finally, protecting the ecosystem, which is a critical resource to not only the people of Quito, but as part of the overall health of the highlands environment. To fund the project, Tropic requested funding and involvement of Corporacion Favorita (one of Ecuador’s largest private companies, and a beneficiary of the water flowing from the Rio Pita). We collaborated to host a volunteer day in December 2017, which was a rousing success! Nearly 150 people from Tropic and Favorita helped to place new signage and to plant 2,000 trees in the area as part of a reforestation project.
“Q” Certification: We are recognized for our commitment to quality and sustainability across our operations. Quito’s Ministry of Tourism has awarded Tropic with the coveted ‘Calidad Turistica Q’ designation, indicating our implementation of successful management systems for sustainable tourism, consistent operational quality, and first-class tourism offerings for a global audience. The “Q” badge is a special honor, and we are proud to be among the elite tourism operations to have been recognized. This involved passing a technical verification that included compliance with environmental, social, business and quality parameters.
Preferred by Nature certification: The Preferred by Nature certification in Sustainable Tourism ensures Tropic has outstanding business, socio-cultural, and environmental management procedures during our activities. The compromise of our work is to help build a more responsible tourism industry, always committed to its sustainable growth worldwide.
Reforestation experiences in the Sacred Valley: For the Incas, the relationship with the land or Pachamama was fundamental: she was the provider of life, and men, in return, thanked her with offerings and respect. Like the Incas, today we seek to give back to Mother Earth and take care of her. The Valle Sagrado Verde project is a way to pay back, reforesting this area of Cusco and promoting the conservation of the Andean forests to recover the habitat of endangered wildlife species, and helping to mitigate the effects of climate change in the area. Today, more than 22,000 trees have been donated to the program. The Pumamarka-Choquechaka full-day experience offers the opportunity to contribute to this program while exploring this amazing Andean forest, learning about the it’s ecosystem, its native species and the importance of preserving them. Each visitor makes a monetary contribution to the community, and 10% of the income is donated to Valle Sagrado Verde.