A Royal Visit at Inkaterra

Dutch Royal Family at Inkaterra

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, his wife Máxima, his mother Princess Beatrix, accompanied by the Dutch Royal Family in full, booked the 11 suites of Inkaterra La Casona during their trip to Cusco just a month ago.

The ancient Andean city of Cusco

The ancient Andean city of Cusco

During their three-day visit to the Imperial City, the Royal Family visited the Main Square and Awanacancha town, where they acquired many alpaca wool accessories. They also had the chance to travel to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo and the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. It was the second time that Prince Beatrix visited Peru. About 30 years ago, during an official visit, she had the chance to visit Arequipa – and has fond memories of the destination – and Cusco. Queen Máxima was also delighted with her experience in Cusco and promised to return one day soon with her mother.

Inkaterra La Casona

Under the night’s sky: Inkaterra La Casona

All members of the Royal Family were kind and generous, and in every moment grateful for our hospitality. They were fascinated by the local history surrounding Inkaterra La Casona and the hotel itself. Cultural patrimony of Cusco, this 16th Century manor house had Spanish Conquistador Diego de Almagro and Libertador Simón Bolivar after his victory in the Battle of Ayacucho way back when. Recent guests include Antonio Banderas, Bono and Mick Jagger. Inkaterra La Casona has been meticulously restored, with special emphasis on the original design to reveal the culture and traditions from the last four centuries.

Inkaterra Food

A Royal banquet at Inkaterra La Casona

Dining on vegetarian risotto, avocado with shrimps, quinoa tabbouleh, stuffed rocoto pepper and trout tempura whilst enjoying our country’s drink of choice pisco sour, the royal family were charmed with our gastronimic offering and ended up having all meals in the hotel throughout their visit. Before checking out, the King asked for a photo with all of the Inkaterra staff. At the cooks’ arrival, the Royal Family granted them a big applause. It was a charming moment that demonstrated why the Oranje-Nassaus are one of the world’s most beloved monarchies.

Hopefully we’ll welcome them again at one of Inkaterra’s properties in the near future!

Publimetro-Reciclatón Recycling Initiative

Inkaterra Recyling Campaign

At the end of last month Inkaterra took part in the return of the Publimetro-Reciclatón recycling campaign.

Reciclatón aims to promote an environmentally conscious lifestyle. This wonderful initiative originally started in Mexico, and has subsequently been replicated across Latin America, including Peru. This past month, citizens of Guatemala City and surrounding municipalities took to the challenge, and were invited to collect as much paper, cardboard and plastic bottles as possible. The amassed material was then donated to City Paper Foundation (la Fundación Ciudad de Papel) and the Association of the Beatitudes (la Asociación de las Bienaventuranzas). Both non-profit organisations help the underprivileged; the former hopes to meet the educational, medicinal and nutritional needs of those at a low income, while the latter houses children, youth and adults in abandonment. These bodies will then sell all the recycled goods in order to raise funds for their beneficiaries.

Inkaterra Urumbamba

 

Publimetro-Reciclatón Recycling Initiative

On Friday 22, Metro launched this growing campaign alongside Reciclatón San Luis, ally and promoter of recycling in Peru. Inkaterra joined and supported the campaign, to further promote themselves as a pioneer for sustainable tourism. The Inkaterra Sustainability Policy recognises the goal to have a ‘high positive impact on local populations’. 

It is through committing to initiatives such as this one that Inkaterra can live up to its name. Determined to actively help the local community, Inkaterra managed to contribute approximately 120-140 kilogrammes of paper and 5 kilogrammes of plastic bottles to this year’s Reciclatón project. Through this project, Inkaterra continue to be endowed with a greater understanding of the need to respect the environment and in turn, are able to remind the local community, as well as our guests, so they continue to be a role model for sustainable development.

Peru’s Not-So-Angry-Bird

 

Spotted by Inkaterra Association biologist, Helmut Rengifo, the Collared Puffbird is a common sight across the Madre de Dios region, with it’s orange head and distinctive black collar.

But for the rest of the world, this bird has a wider familiarity, looking very similar to a character in the popular Angry Birds game.

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Thankfully, the real Collared Puffbird is slightly more peaceful than its namesake, often being labelled the “lazy bird” due to its habit of sitting and waiting for insects, rather than predating them.

It is not the only species that can be found at Inkaterra that has a more popular identity. The Spectacled Bears, some of which can be found at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel are the inspiration for one of the world’s most popular childhood characters – Paddington Bear. Paddington’s books have been translated across the globe, and a new feature film is due out at the end of the year.

An Interview with…Héctor Ceballos-Lascuráin

Mexican architect and environmentalist Héctor Ceballos-Lascuráin is renowned across the planet as the Father of Ecotourism. Winner of the Colibrí Ecotourism Lifetime Achievement Award, his work includes more than 160 books and articles, and has developed his eco-friendly designs in countries such as Mexico, Dominican Republic, Spain and Egypt. In June Mr. Ceballos-Lascuráin visited Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, and we had the chance to talk with him about the challenges of ecotourism and sustainability, his view on architecture, and the latest four species he added to his 4,366-bird life list.

When did you first start to appreciate nature?
It developed in my early childhood back at Parral – Chihuahua, a small mining town in Northern Mexico. We lived in a colony where the houses of the trusted employees (my father was the company’s doctor) were located at broad collective gardens with big trees surrounding an artificial lake. Many aquatic birds migrated to the lake, among ducks, herons, kingfishers and cormorants. I started observing them with a telescope given by my uncle Juan, and from then on, I was hooked.

Do you recall the precise moment when the term ‘ecotourism’ emerged?
I coined the term ‘ecotourism’ in July 1983, when I worked both as Director General of Standards and Technology at SEDUE (Secretaría de Desarrollo Urbano y Ecología de México) and as Founding President of PRONATURA, an influential conservationist NGO in Mexico. During those days PRONATURA was encouraging the conservation of  coastal inlets of the Yucatán peninsula, which were then key breeding and feeding areas for the American Flamingo. One of the key reasons I used to help dissuade the building works being planned for the area was that there was an increasing number of tourists – especially from the United States – that visited the area for bird watching. I was  convinced that these people could play a key role in the economic growth of rural communities, creating new job opportunities and helping preserve the ecology of the area: ecotourism!

After three decades since the term’s appearance and having been interpreted according to different contexts, do you think its definition has changed?
I think that my definition, as it has been adopted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is still valid: “Ecotourism is a modality of tourism that is environmentally responsible, which consists in travelling to or visiting natural areas without disturbance, and with the purpose of enjoying, appreciating and studying the natural values (landscape, flora and fauna) of these areas, as well as any (past or current) cultural manifestation that may be found there, through a process that promotes conservation, has a low negative impact on culture and environment, a promotes an active and socioeconomically beneficial involvement of local communities.”

The COP 20 will be held in Lima on December 2014. The overarching goal at this event is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in order to avoid global temperature increasing 2°. In what ways ecotourism can be a choice to achieve this mission?

As it values natural vegetation and fauna, it is evident that ecotourism contributes to minimize deforestation (which is known to increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere) and other drastic changes produced by man in our natural environment.

In many cases, a country’s economic growth is not aligned with the conservancy of its natural and historic heritage. According to your experience, what are the main consequences of this form of development?
Regretfully, since the mid-19th century and during all the 20th century, we have experienced the worst destruction of our planet’s natural resources, due to man’s unscrupulous lucrative eagerness and the irrational exploit of these resources. This industrial, commercial and economic development has obviously occurred in a more noticeable way in richer countries. This is how a great proportion of natural and cultural values have been irreversibly lost in these countries. Extreme consumerism has been disastrous for the environment.

Stay tuned for the second part of this interview, where we talk about Héctor’s views on ecotourism in Peru and his opinions on the work of Inkaterra.

Mariposa - Claudia León

2014 Second Quarter Photo Contest

The Inkaterra Second Quarter Photographic contest has come to a conclusion here in Peru, and we have had some spectacular sights and entries which help to showcase this environment at its finest. Take a look at our finalists below, and we are proud to reveal the winning photograph for this quarter is…

The Black-Fronted Nunbird, taken by Inkaterra’s own Angelo Bardelli

Black-fronted Nunbird-Angelo Bardelli

Black-fronted Nunbird-Angelo Bardelli

Dusk - Carla Herrera

Dusk – Carla Herrera

Bote selva - Dessire Valdéz

Bote selva – Dessire Valdéz

Leaf Toad - Jose Yovera

Leaf Toad – Jose Yovera

Mariposa - Claudia León

Mariposa – Claudia León

Social Flycatcher- Aldo Corazzo

Social Flycatcher- Aldo Corazzo

 

Odontoglossum Praestans - Diana Trucíos

Odontoglossum Praestans – Diana Trucíos

Southern Tamandua - Carlos Torres

Southern Tamandua – Carlos Torres

Think you can do better? Well, grab your camera and passport and find out just how amazing each of the Inkaterra Hotels can be!

 

http://bit.ly/1quBLrh

Giant Anteater Spotted at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción

Spotting any wild animal in their natural environment is an exciting moment, but spotting a creature that is normally very shy and elusive has an extra special resonance. The 13th of June proved to a group of travellers that the Amazon jungle is still full of surprises.

Led by Inkaterrra Hacienda Concepción Explorer Guide Carlos Torres, the group were heading towards Lake Sandoval, along the Sandoval trail, when one exclaimed they had seen ‘a large dark creature’.

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The creature was actually a Giant Anteater, (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) which was approximately three metres long, making it the biggest individual of the four that currently inhabit the area. Though the Giant Anteater is known to be active in the region, this was the first time in several years that this species had been observed. The group of trekkers were in luck, with the individual feeling totally at ease in their presence, feeding on a nearby termite mound.

http://bit.ly/1qVwxEb

http://bit.ly/1qVwxEb

The Giant Anteater can consume as many as 30,000 insects in one day – visiting over 200 individual nests, spending an average of one minute at each site. After tearing open the hard nest exterior with long, knife-like claws, the Giant Anteater uses its sticky, 60cm long tongue to collect its prey.

Traditionally Giant Anteaters have been featured in the mythology and folklore of the indigenous tribes found in the Amazon, considered a trickster and a foil to the Jaguar, making this creature at the very heart of the Amazon civilisation and history.

http://bit.ly/1quBLrh

http://bit.ly/1quBLrh

It was a great experience for the group to see such a majestic creature that is normally seldom seen in their natural habitat. The fact that we have four individuals who are looking healthy and active demonstrates the great work the ITA are doing at protecting the environment in which they thrive.

Escape The World Cup with Inkaterra

World Cup 2010

Football fever is spreading across the world thanks to a certain tournament, but those seeking tranquility in South America should look no further than Peru: the perfect destination to escape the hype.

No doubt Brazil will be the busiest country in South America this summer with heaps of football fanatics heading over to support their teams. Peru on the other hand, will be a place of ambient serenity – perfect for those who want to avoid the commotion of The World Cup. It’s also a go-to place for those that would like to enjoy the football from a not so busy part of South America. That way, fans can still say that they were in South America for the time of The World Cup.

Peruvian Rainforest at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

Now is your chance to explore South America with our ‘escape the football packages’, or ‘embrace the football’ for those of you who want to watch the football in a calm environment.

An Amazonian Jungle Escape

Guests at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica can enjoy three nights in the exotic Amazon rainforest of Southern Peru, with not a football in sight. The package includes:

One night in the canopy tree house, 100ft above the jungle, with the only noisy neighbours being birds and other habitants of the jungle.

The Canopy Tree House

You’ll have the chance to interact with the environment with a private bird watching trip, a visit to the Butterfly house and a wildlife excursion.

Butterfly and Tortoise

After experiencing the wilderness you’ll have the chance to indulge in half bottle of sparking wine as well as a 50min spa treatment at the Hotel’s Ena spa. Feeling deeply relaxed you’ll return home feeling rejuvenated and revitalised – ready to get back to the football craze.

Ena Spa at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

The Amazonian Jungle Escape package includes return road and river transfers from Puerto Maldonado to Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica. Prices for the 3-night package are from £727pp based on double occupancy and full board basis.

An Andean Mountain Adventure

Alternatively, guests can stay at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel on a mountain adventure. Instead of chanting and cheering, all you’ll hear is the chirps of the sound of bird song. This Package includes:

A visit to Inkaterra’s native orchid garden which features over 372 species of the delicate flowers, and a tour of the idyllic nature surrounding the Inkaterra grounds, including sightings of the 111 bird species that live in and around the hotel.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Activities

You’ll venture to Inkaterra’s very own organic tea plantation to see how it’s all made (and drink a fair bit too), followed by half a days guided walk to the stunning Mandor waterfalls. A well-earned foot treatment   awaits at the end of the day in the Unu Spa.

UNU Spa at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

Additionally, you can embark on a private excursion to Apu Machu Picchu, which offers spectacular views across the famous Machu Picchu citadel, undoubtedly the jewel in South American’s crown.

Machu Picchu

The three-night Andean Mountain Adventure package includes return transfers from Cusco with – prices from £777pp based on double occupancy and full board basis.

We promise to give you an authentic nature experience – football or with nature. The choice is yours.

Contact sales@inkaterra.com referring to  “World Cup Packages” for more information

The 2nd Quarter Inkaterra Photo Contest 2014

Native Indigenous Cultures of Peru

Have you taken an image of a wildlife sighting at Inkaterra? Why not enter our Inkaterra 2nd Quarter Photo Contest? This could be just the opportunity for you to showcase your photography skills. If you’ve stayed at one of our Inkaterra properties or experienced any trip with us, we invite you to share your photography for a chance of winning the Inkaterra photo contest for the second quarter of 2014. The winning photograph will be published in our July newsletter and on our Inkaterra website. We’ll also be showcasing entries on our Inkaterra Pinterest page. To enter please send your photographs (JPG Format) to webmanager@inkaterra.com by June 30th

Good luck!

Inkaterra Photo Contest Q2 2014

On Pinterest? Join us there also for more inspirational images of Peru and Inkaterra

World Environment Day at Inkaterra

World Environment Day Inkaterra 2014

Yesterday we celebrated World Environment Day: an annual event organised by the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) to promote awareness and action for the environment worldwide. Over the years, this celebration has grown into a global platform with more than 100 countries participating. Last year, the event was held in Mongolia and focused on anti-food waste with the slogan ‘Think.Eat.Save’.

This year World Environment Day was hosted in Barbados with the theme of SIDS (small Island developing states) in the context of climate change. The slogan created to reflect the theme is ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level’.  The aim this year is to focus public attention on these areas and the urgent need to protect the islands from the growing risks and challenges they face as a result of climate change. As you may already know, we are doing our bit to try and conserve the seas of Peru, through our ongoing work at Cabo Blanco.

Cabo Blanco

World Environment Day is the time to realise that caring for the earth is everyone’s responsibility. We are a 100% carbon neutral travel organisation and we always ensure to integrate sustainable practices into all aspects of what we do. This year we celebrated World Environment Day by doing the following:

Sustainability Policy at Inkaterra

At Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, the team participated in the environmental parade along with the children of Machu Picchu, which was organised by the SERNAP (Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado). Carmen Soto, our resident biologist, led a talk on world environment day at the Cultural Centre of the department of Culture. The team were also invited to Radio Machu Picchu for a special programme on ‘knowing Machu Picchu’.

Carmen Soto

At Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica, José Purisaca, Inkaterra’s General Manager, delivered talks on environmental issues at the following locations: Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica, Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción and Oficina de Cooperación Técnica Internacional.

World Environment Day is very close to our hearts as we pride ourselves on being eco friendly. Our sustainability policy shows our contribution to saving our planet.

  • We use environmentally friendly products and maintain good communication with suppliers
  • We Use energy and water efficiently and provide adequate waste treatment
  • We offset the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the organisations operations, in order to be carbon neutral.

World Environment Day at Inkaterra

 What steps are you taking to save our planet?

Update from The World Birding Rally 2014

Surbound Expeditions team

The World Birding Rally is in full swing! From the Pacific Ocean, across the northern Andes and into the foothills above the Amazon basin, the teams will likely see nearly 900 species of birds during the Rally as they drive from sandy desert scrub up to cloud forest and down into rainforest. The Rally celebrates Peru’s bird diversity (at some 1,800 species, second highest in the world, after Colombia)—as well as its uniqueness, as evidenced by the country’s roughly 100 endemic species.

The World Birding Rally Teams

The World Birding Rally kicked off on Wednesday with great expectations from all the teams. The highlight of the day was definitely the White-winged Guan, a Peruvian endemic restricted to very few areas in the Northwest dry forest of the country, thought to be extinct for 100 years! In the lead on day 1 was the Sunbird wings (UK/US) team spotting over 130 species.

The White-winged Guan

The White-winged Guan

An intense second day at the World Birding Rally followed, as teams left Chiclayo in coastal Lambayeque and headed to Cajamarca region in the Andean highlands, at 2600 meters above sea level.  The Sunbird Wings (UK/US) were still in the lead at the end of day 2 with 181 species.

The South African team spotted a highly pelagic bird: the Pink-footed shearwater (Puffinus creatopus)

The South African team spotted a highly pelagic bird: the Pink-footed shearwater (Puffinus creatopus)

The Golden-bellied grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysogaster), a colorful bird observed on the road to Cajamarca

The Golden-bellied grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysogaster), a colorful bird observed on the road to Cajamarca

The World Birding Rally kept moving and the teams were overwhelmed on Day 3 by the large number of endemic birds observed in the surroundings of Cajamarca. Final total at the end of day 3 was 293 species spotted, with Sunbird wings (UK/US) currently in 1st place, followed by the field guides (US – 222 species spotted), Surbound (US – 204 species spotted) and Birding Ecotours coming in 4th place (South Africa – 198 species spotted).

An amazing photo of the Grey-bellied Comet, a Peruvian endemic geographically restricted to very few areas in the northern Andes

An amazing photo of the Grey-bellied Comet, a Peruvian endemic geographically restricted to very few areas in the northern Andes

Stay tuned on our channels and on the World Birding Rally Facebook page for updates from the ground in Peru.

Barry Walker and Tom Schulenberg try to spot some Peruvian Terns in Puerto Eten in company of David Fisher, founder of Sunbird Tours

Barry Walker and Tom Schulenberg try to spot some Peruvian Terns in Puerto Eten in company of David Fisher, founder of Sunbird Tours