Mountain Tourism development San Bartolomé, Peru

The Associación de Deportes de Montaña Aire Puro aims to promote and spread mountain sports as well as encourage educational and cultural activities related to these sports, to schedule and organise such events (including many mountaineering and endurance events).
Zarate Forest
Zarate Forest

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The Project

The Zárate Forest, in the district of San Bartolomé on the Western edge of the Peruvian central Andes is a unique ecosystem, due to the fact that the type of forest there does not usually grow in such dry conditions. It is about 400hectares in size, located between 2,500-3,000m on a hillside about the Seco River about 8km from the rural community of San Bartolomé. The forest has been used for many decades by goat herders, causing a great impact on the ecosystem and preventing the regeneration of the forest due to the goats eating the pasture and new growth shoots of plants. Since 2008, the community has been trying to bring minimal impact tourism to the area through the creation of ‘The Zárate Forest route’ to give the community an income through sustainable tourism and to prevent the shepherds from using the area. Due to this, the National Service for Natural Protected Areas (SERNAMP) has created the Zárate Forest Reserve as a temporary measure to protect it from the shepherds whilst the community develops its own capacities to do so. The only way to preserve this ecosystem is to make it economically feasible and this project proposes to :
  • improve and sign 8km of path on the route
  • install 3 ‘dry toilets’ in the camping areas
  • position the area as an Important Bird Area and as a destination for birdwatchers from Lima, including developing a bird index and producing bird guide books
  • developing tourism facilities in the rural community including running mountain tourism workshops
  • positioning and promoting the area as a destination for bird watching, nature lovers and mountaineers in the Lima area, signing up mountaineering and bird watching clubs and tour operators
Trekking in Zarate Forest
Trekking in Zarate Forest
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We are hugely grateful for the support of the European Outdoor Conservation Association, without whose support we could never have realised such an ambitious project.
Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage