Chukka partners with Caribbean nature

Chukka Caribbean Adventures is a nature adventure tour company in the truest sense. In creating its award winning tours Chukka doesn’t build, it starts with nature first, as explorers to usually unseen parts of the Caribbean seeking out scenic adventure outposts.

When a site is discovered the Chukka team gets creative to figure out what type of tour will set off the site to its best advantage, and to offer an exhilarating experience - the Chukka wow factor—at the same time.

In the case of Jamaica’s lushly forested Montpelier Estate the Caribbean’s first Original Canopy Tour was erected without a single nail, bolt or cut into a tree; instead, a system of belts are employed to send adventurers flying through the treetops.

Little-seen areas of the Ocho Rios countryside were accessible only by horse trails, so Chukka had ATV’s specially designed that could navigate the trails and another great nature adventure was born.

On Grand Turk marl tracks along the beach and rock coastline on the high northern cliffs became the perfect course for a dune buggy. And in Belize, a customized half track is the perfect vehicle for navigating an impossible jungle trail through the unspoiled terrain.

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Existing roads and trails are always used, and if any new paths are needed Chukka lets mother nature show the way. These methods have been applied with great success to each and every Chukka Caribbean Adventures tour - 38 and counting in four countries.

The Chukka Caribbean Adventures mandate is to exceed all guest expectations on every tour, at every operation, every day - and they succeed. Every guide must complete a rigorous training regimen including hundreds of hours of field experience on their specific tour as the safety and wellbeing of both guests and staff is of primary importance at all times.

All of the tours are low-volume with a maximum group size strictly adhered to, and the highest ratio of guests to guides for any tour is six to one. Even queuing time is strictly monitored. Chukka staff performance and tour quality are always under review and not just reviewed by the company.

Every guest is asked to fill out a satisfaction survey, which are closely monitored as they clearly demonstrate the pulse of the company, and for anything less than an exceptional rating a tour is reviewed, tweaked and improved.

Chukka Caribbean Adventures works in other ways to protect the natural environment that is so important to tourism and to raise the awareness level of its environmental mission among its guests and the communities from which it operates.

Chukka recognizes that the natural attractions in its Caribbean destinations are an integral part of the tours that it sells, and is committed to being a responsible caretaker to ensure these irreplaceable assets remain intact for future generations.

For the second consecutive year Chukka Caribbean Adventures has achieved certification under the prestigious Green Globe Certification Program which measures and ratifies tourism operations worldwide, and assesses their environmental practices by a rigorous system of audits. 

At Chukka Caribbean Adventures, the commitment to the community comes first and foremost. The company draws upon the surrounding communities for its staffing with 88% of the members of the Chukka team residing within a 20-kilometer radius of their operations. 

Additionally, Chukka purchases local produce exclusively, wherever possible, and adopts and maintains community shops as refreshment stops for its tours.  Energy-saving methods are de rigueur at Chukka and the utility equipment is constantly monitored for efficiency.  Waste is separated and recycled, with an eye on limiting harmful elements in landfill, and Chukka vehicles are serviced regularly to keep fuel consumption and emissions in check. 

Most importantly, Chukka has ongoing educational programs for its team. The Green Globe Certified status is a confirmation of Chukka’s development over the years as a team of dedicated, environmentally aware professionals, committed to providing quality adventure tours and services, and operating within a system which nurtures and enhances the environment for its guests and for the surrounding communities. Maintaining this environmental balance is of critical importance for the Caribbean since so much of the region’s livelihood is dependant on tourism.

Chukka Caribbean Adventures is locally owned and operated and the guides and other employees are from the surrounding villages, and every tour is designed in someway to go into and engage the communities.

This means that means that from the moment a guest arrives for a Chukka Caribbean Adventures tour they will be immersed in culture, history and local lore enhancing their experience.

Chukka Caribbean Adventures has also been recognized for these efforts. One of the many accolades the company has received is the Job Creation Award by the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica in March 2003, recognizing a commitment to developing tours that have a strong community tourism element, and hiring many of their 400 staff complement from within the communities in which they operate. 

It was also honored by Jamaica’s Tourism Product Development Company in 2006 acknowledging their contribution to the country’s tourism product with the award for Consistency in Human Resource Development Over the Past Five Years and as well as the award for Consistency in Operational Procedures Over the Past Five Years.

Chukka also contributes to local schools and churches and actively supports the work of the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Many of the Sun Dogs on the Jamaica Dogsled Team were rescued and a percentage of the team’s merchandise sales benefit the JSPCA. These dogs have been given a second chance and the attention the team has garnered also helps focus attention on issues of global warming because dryland dog sled racing on the rise because of the absence of reliable snow, another example of the company’s commitment to the environment.

Delivering top quality, safety, and a product in tune with the environment continues to drive the Chukka team.  And with sites identified and tours in development for new destinations in the near future Chukka Caribbean Adventures continues to spread its special brand of “wow.”

This year Chukka Caribbean Adventures has been nominated for the World Travel Awards
in the World’s Leading Nature Adventure Excursion Operator category.


VIDEO: Marc Melville, Co-Managing Director, Chukka Caribbean Adventures, on building experiential tourism in Jamaica 
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