Category Archives: Conscientious Traveler

The Conscientious Traveler Series: Napili Kai Beach Foundation

Welcome to the Conscientious Traveler! We hope all of our readers had a fantastic Fourth of July Weekend. CT is our blog series focusing on vendors with projects that support the environment, wildlife and local communities. In celebration of July 4th, this month’s Conscientious Traveler will feature a property closer to home: Napili Kai Beach Resort on Maui, Hawaii.
 Today’s Highlight: the Napili Kai Beach Resort
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Napili Kai is one of the most popular properties for our clients on Maui Island. This low-key, low-rise hotel offers a quiet beach, tasty restaurant, friendly staff, unpretentious accommodations, and many activities that guests can enjoy around the resort. Take advantage of the two reefs with an afternoon of snorkeling. Just off the beach you’ll see butterflyfish, red sea urchins, coral, dragon eels, and green turtles munching on algae and seaweed. Spring for the oceanview—it’s always worth it!
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Napili Kai is proud of its Hawaiian heritage and makes an effort to teach and promote Polynesian culture. In the mornings, you can catch cultural demonstrations of lei-making, tapa cloth-dyeing, and palm-weaving. But on Tuesdays, the Napili Kai Foundation really gets to shine.
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The Napili Kai Foundation is a non-profit organization that teaches children ages 6-18 the dances, language, history, arts and crafts of Hawaii. It was established in 1966 and is now celebrating its 50th Year! Founded originally as a way to culturally enrich the lives of the children of the hotel’s employees, now the program has expanded to welcome all kids (keiki) to participate in educational excursions, experiential learning and performing arts, all for free.
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Kumu Hula Kathy Ralar leads the program, teaching the keiki how to dance hula and make crafts. As well as immersing into the local culture, they also learn to share their aloha spirit by performing every Tuesday on the Napili Kai Beach Resort property. Kids from all ages dress in costumes and wow guests with a variety of Tahitian, Samoan, Maori and Hawaiian traditional dances. This performance is certainly a highlight of any stay at the resort—so be sure not to miss it!
Also a must-see: the Masters of Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar Concert, performed every Wednesday!
Feedback from our Clients the Butters: 
“My husband & I have visited Maui many times, we always stay on Kaanapali Beach in one of the big hotels. This time our incredible travel agent, from Willamette International Travel, suggested we would love to stay at Napili Kai Beach Resort. She was right!! It was fantastic. Lovely location, on Napili Bay, we could walk out to a grassy lawn, beautiful beach and calm ocean or sit on our balcony to watch the beautiful sunsets. We had a family studio unit with a well-equipped kitchen which allowed us to barbecue several times. I must say the community barbecues were the cleanest & the nicest we have ever found at a resort. also, there is an excellent restaurant on the property, The Sea House, which we dined at on three occasions during our stay. We will definitely plan on staying at Napili Kai Beach Resort on our next Maui visit.”
Most of our agents at Willamette Intl Travel have visited the Hawaiian Islands numerous times. Just a short flight from Portland, it remains one of the more popular destinations for our clients. Let us recommend the perfect hotel or condo for your stay in paradise. Call 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com. Aloha!
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A Hui Hou!
photos courtesy of Napili Kai and Nancy Fowler, WIT Agent and lifetime fan of Hawaii

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The Conscientious Traveler Series: Inka Terra Asociación

Welcome to The Conscientious Traveler!our blog series focusing on vendors with projects that support the environment, wildlife and local communities. Did you know that there are tons of opportunities to combine your love of travel with a good cause? In our series we highlight tour operators, hotels and tour guides who play such active roles in their community. 

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Today’s Highlight: the Inka Terra Asociación

Inka Terra is a Peru-based partner of Willamette Intl Travel and a pioneer in ecological research and conservation funded by tourism. They have a number of quality hotels in Cusco and Madre de Dios, which together host more than 200,000 travelers every year. 

Inka Terra’s nonprofit offshoot Inka Terra Asociación (ITA) is a far-reaching foundation that supports scientific research for the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable development of the community. Since its establishment in 1978, ITA has devoted its efforts to the conservation of Peru’s biodiversity, encouraging scientific research in the Amazon rainforest, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and many more locales across the country. ITA believes that learning about ecosystem dynamics and key species leads to better conservation strategies and education. 

Principal among their projects are: 

  • The Andean Bear Rescue Center, which studies the only bear species native to the Southern Hemisphere. 
  • The Inkaterra Canopy Walkway, a hanging bridge system to study wildlife in the rainforest canopy.
  • The Cabo Blanco Technical Study to justify the creation of Peru’s first marine reserve in the tropical sea off Cabo Blanco. 

For more info, check out their website: http://www.inkaterra.com/inkaterra-asociacion-org/

Support by Spending a Night in Luxury at an Inka Terra Hotel

Willamette Intl Travel has had a lot of success for clients staying at one of Inka Terra’s five hotels. We’ve received rave reviews of their cabins and eco-guides. Patrons of the hotels really feel like they are contributing to ecological efforts. On their blog they keep a journal for wildlife sightings at their hotels: Sunbittern bird, Andean Spectacled Bears, Jaguar, Harpy Eagles, Puma, Tapir, Deer. Last year, legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog visited three of the properties as part of Inka Terra’s 40th Anniversary. Send us a message to learn more: info@wittravel.com or 503-224-0180. 

From the desk of our client Julie V., who stayed at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel in 2014:

“…we were treated as royalty. What an incredible place. After our little orientation with nice, cool tea we were told that we were being upgraded to a suite. And…it was spectacular. The room was huge, the bathroom included an indoor or outdoor shower, and we had our own garden Jacuzzi. We checked into all the activities and signed up for the orchid tour, the evening tour with lanterns, and the spectacled bear visit. The first two we had that afternoon and evening and they were excellent. We enjoyed time just relaxing in our suite and tasting the Pisco that was included. Dinner at the restaurant that evening was one of the best ever. We had a delightful server that we are staying in contact with, as we want to follow her career. She is outstanding. 

The next morning we had arranged to take the Andean bear tour. These are endangered bears that are being kept on a part of the Inkaterra property to ultimately prepare them for returning to their habitat. While it wasn’t quite what we expected we were glad we had taken the tour and learned a great deal about these bears. Breakfast was next and it was delicious and I even got the recipe for their quinua (English quinoa) pancakes.

Suggestion: Anyone going to MP must stay at least one night at Inkaterra. It is almost indescribably wonderful, relaxing, and beautiful. Truly a must do.”

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