Spotlight on our GM at El MaPi Hotel Machu Picchu

El MaPi Hotel

We thought it was time to turn our thoughts towards our ByInkaterra property this week: El MaPi Hotel Machu Picchu. Step into the smart, contemporary and cozy confines of El MaPi, amidst the hustle and bustle of Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes), where you can admire and interact with the quaint folksy town and glimpse a peculiar perspective. Here you’ll discover an efficient, lively and people-friendly atmosphere; you are welcomed along with other global guests expecting an unfussy, down-to-earth break. Relax in a pleasant and wholesome ambience after your enlightening visit to Peru’s most distinguished destination, the Machu Picchu Archaeological site. We grabbed ten minutes with our resident manager Gloria Neyra, to find out their latest news.

El MaPi Hotel

1. Tell us a little about your background and how you came to be General Manager at El MaPi

In 2001, I ended my college education as a Tourism Business Administrator, then I stayed 4 years in Puerto Maldonado working for Rainforest Expeditions as their administrator & guide for their touristic lodges – in 2003 I also worked as a guide for Cusco Amazónico – former name of current Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. I had the opportunity to acquire experience in the hotel business when I started working for Inkaterra. I started as a senior reception officer at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, then as a deputy resident manager at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, then as Administrator at El MaPi, byIT, Resident Manager at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción and I am now the Resident Manager at El MaPi, byIT.

2. How is El MaPi unique from the other Inkaterra properties?

El Mapi, byIT, is a practical, easy going city hotel with a different concept than all other Inkaterra Hotels, but still maintains  the same quality as these, giving  an efficient and warm service, with a personalized attention to our guests, always keeping in mind the necessity to protect and maintain the environment. This is why in the hotel you’ll  notice many of our efforts such as recycled material – wood, plastic, forged iron, etc in order to minimize the use of printed paper. Walls and mirrors are our chosen method of transmitting information to our hotel guests.

El MaPi Hotel Reception

3. We hear the recent renovations at El MaPi went really well! How have the new rooms been received?

The current renovations have been received with enthusiasm by our guests who love the new design, especially in this village which is very chaotic and offers limited comfort when our hotel offers a very captivating atmosphere and responds perfectly to the necessities of our current and future guests in search of commodity and comfort. Each space and detail has been deeply thought of for their satisfaction.

El MaPi Hotel rooms

4. What is so special about the area surrounding El MaPi?

El MaPi, byInkaterra, is located along the main avenue of the Machu Picchu Pueblo, just a five minute walk from the train station, one block from the main square and two from the bus station that takes guests to the Machu Picchu Citadel. Besides being so central, our guests only need to walk a few minutes to find shops and the art craft market.

El MaPi Hotel Town

5. How long do you recommend visitors should stay in Machu Picchu?

I recommend that travellers to Machu Picchu stay 3 days/2nights if possible. This gives them the opportunity to discover the Citadel of Machu Picchu with time but also appreciate many other unique attractions, such as the butterfly house, trekking to the Putukusi mountains which face the Machu Picchu Ruins, to Apu Machu Picchu, Mandor, with its falls and interesting wildlife – birds, butterflies, plants, and the Thermal Baths in the upper part of the village.

Laszlo Bolgar PhotostreamApu Machu Picchu, Mandor

6. What’s the signature drink at the El MaPi bar? Any special offers or events coming up?

At our hotel, the signature drink is named:  “El MaPi”,which is a chilcano prepared with pisco, mixed fresh mango pulp, a maceration of lemongrass & pineapple, ginger, lemon & sugar.

The Bar at El MaPi Hotel

7. Apart from visiting Machu Picchu, what would you say is ‘not to be missed’ for visitors coming to the village of Machu Picchu (including local restaurants / bars/ shops)?

Following a visit to Machu Picchu Citadel,visitors must visit the art craft market (below), go to Mandor, trek along the Putukusi mountain or have a drink at El MaPi byIT of course!

RSBasch Photostream

To find out more about El MaPi click here. 

The Winner of our 1st Quarter Photo Contest 2014

Inkaterra Photo Contest

We received some incredible entires for our first quarter photography contest, all of which were taken at one of our Inkaterra properties. We are pleased to announce the Winner of The Inkaterra Photo Contest for the First Quarter of 2014: Joaquin Escudero, our resident manager at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, who took this incredible image while on location. Congratulations Joaquin! View all our photo entries on our Pinterest profile in the coming week.

Spotlight on our Butterfly Keeper at Inkaterra

Butterfly House at Inkaterra

Located near the Puerto Maldonado Airport, the Butterfly House here at Inkaterra is a welcome and information centre for all travellers that pass through our doors. Here you will understand the fascinating transformation of these colourful insects. We caught up with our butterfly keeper at Inkaterra Helmut Rengifo to find out a little bit more about these incredible insects.

1. Tell us a little about your background and how you came to be a butterfly keeper?

I used to work in the “Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana – IIAP” which is an organisation dedicated to Scientific & Technological Research for Development, specialising in the sustainable use of the biological diversity in the Amazonian regions. It develops activities in a decentralised way, promoting the participation of state & private institutions as well as of the civil society.  I dedicated myself to studying the local biodiversity, its management as well as the breeding of immature Lepidoptera until I had the opportunity to start working at the Japipì Butterfly House –  Inkaterra Butterfly House´s former name -  considered one of the best butterfly farms in Peru & was a great opportunity of experience for me.

 2. How long has the butterfly house been there? What do you feed the butterflies?

The Butterfly House has been around since 2001 and is under Inkaterra´s management since 2007 onwards.

Butterfly House - Inkaterra

The butterflies eat as follows: when they are still caterpillars or larvas: their surrounding host plant leaves; when they are adults: fruit juice from ripe fruit, the liquid from their excrements, pollen, flower nectar, liquid produced by any material in decomposition.

3. What does a typical day look like for you here at Inkaterra Butterfly House?

A regular working day at the Butterfly House starts with cleaning followed by feeding  hundreds of hungry & voracious caterpillars! Then we have to count the number of caterpillars and check the newly born ones from the night.

Butterflies at the Inkaterra Butterfly House

In the afternoon we have to place new food for nocturnal caterpillars; then the pupas are hung on the shelves, and the new posturas or butterfly eggs are  collected. The day ends with the liberation of the butterflies born that day in the exhibition enclosure.

4.  There are around 3,800 species of butterfly here in Peru. Which is your favourite and why?

The Panacea prola, because it is the one I have been doing major research work. It is truly stunning.

The Panacea prola

5. Have you noticed a change in the number of butterflies in recent years at the Inkaterra Butterfly House?

Yes, we have noted that many of the butterflies we have in the Butterfly House do not lay as many eggs as they used to do. We don´t have a proper answer to this but are observing their comportment on a daily basis.

6. There has been press in the last year in regards to a decreased number of monarch butterflies in South America. How can we help towards increasing the butterfly population?

A possible way to increase  the population of these types of butterfly would be to seed host plants from which the Caterpillar usually feeds from, in various places. This way it would be favourable for the Caterpillar to lay its eggs in a place where it can feed, therefore the regular reproductive cycle could continue.  If the plants disappear, the butterflies also disappear.

Butterflies at Inkaterra

Butterflies are one of our favourite things to see here at Inkaterra. Are they yours too? Share your pictures you’ve taken of butterflies with us on Twitter or Facebook with hashtag #InkaterraButterfly

Fishing at Cabo Blanco

Iconic ‘Miss Texas’ fishing boat is sailing again in Cabo Blanco, with renowned captain Norm Isaacs on the lead. While it currently serves research purposes in the tropical sea of Northern Peru, the Miss Texas gear is also being tested during excursions. This month, the fishing of a 24-pound Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) was caught on video. Using Boomerang fishing rods tailored for Inkaterra and Everol reels, deckhands Juan Panta and Diego Rehder and angler Alex Passapera (sitting on the Murray Brothers chair) caught the Mahi-Mahi when sailing 12 miles off shore. As soon as it had bitten a cedar plug, the angler did his job and Diego performed the leadering, holding the fishing line to let the catch swim next to the boat. When it was close enough, Juan took care of the gaffing, bringing the fish on board. After weighing it, the catch went into Miss Texas’ ice-filled Engel cooler.

Cabo Blanco

It was just its third expedition and despite sailing dark waters that day, another two Mahi-Mahis were caught while other fish were spotted. It is worth mentioning that just some days before, a 250-pound Black Marlin (Makaira indica) jumped twice near the boat, which allows captain Norm Isaacs to confirm Cabo Blanco’s potential for sport fishing.

Want to keep up to date with the updates from Cabo Blanco? Sign up to our blog or follow us on Twitter and Facebook with hashtag #CaboBlanco

Anaconda found at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción

We have a very exciting sighting this month from Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción!

Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion

It was 10 a.m. when Inkaterra explorer guides Ghlemm and Justo were leading a group of travellers in the ‘Cocha’ excursion. Hidden in some bushes on the shore of Concepción creek, a green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) was encountered. Though it remained tangled and its head could not be seen, a good look at its width and the tail’s end allowed guides to estimate that this snake was about 4 meters long! Other explorer guides were told of the sighting, so they could lead their groups of travelers to where the anaconda remained quiet. Everyone was enthusiastic about it, as this kind of snake is extremely hard to find.

Wildlife spotted at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion

Eunectes murinus (derived from the Greek ‘ευνήκτης’ meaning “good swimmer” and the Latin ‘murinus’ meaning “of mice”, for being thought to prey on mice) is a non-venomous boa species, considered the largest, heaviest and second longest snake. It can reach about five meters long, and female specimens are larger than males in adulthood. Green anacondas are found in South America east of the Andes, from the Guianas to Paraguay, and tend to live in or around water in marshes and swamps from tropical rainforests. Employing constriction to subdue their prey, anacondas eat mostly fish, birds, small mammals and other reptiles. Larger anacondas can even hunt tapirs, deer, capybaras and caimans, though these are not commonly consumed. Though local legends depict this species as a man-eater, little evidence supports this practice.

Anaconda at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion

After about an hour later, the anaconda had migrated as the river and the creek increased their water level due to heavy rains in the area. Such an exciting encounter made a very special day at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion. Have you ever spotted any wildlife during a stay at Inkaterra? Share with us with hashtag #InkaterraWildlife

Cocktail of the month at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

A new cocktail joins the list of freshening beverages signed at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

After a long walk around the Lost City of the Incas, cocktails are a wonderful reward!After a long walk around the Lost City of the Incas, this blend of crème de cassis, passion fruit, organic tea and pisco is surely invigorating.

Cocktails at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

 Learn here how to do it yourself with the below recipe

1½ oz Green tea macerated in pisco
¾ oz Crème de Cassis
¾ oz Passion Fruit juice
½ oz Organic black tea syrup
Place an organic black tea bag previously
soaked in warm water, to obtain tea vapor
when mixed with the Orchard cocktail. Pour
into a martini glass.

Going to give it a go? Share your creations with us on Facebook and Twitter with hashtag #InkaterraCocktails

Our Inkaterra January 2014 Workshops

2014 has kicked off to a busy start here at Inkaterra with  several successful workshops for our local community, all with the aim of promoting sustainability and ecotourism here in Peru. So far, there have been events for our Inkaterra guides, the local children and for disabled people around the Machu Picchu area. You can read more about each of our events below.

Inkaterra Guide Birding Training

Birding at Inkaterra

Peru is renowned for its birdlife, and the area around Machu Picchu is particularly spectacular in birding terms. We are keen to promote the area as a birdwatching hotspot, and to really allow visitors to really test their binoculars, the Inkaterra Asociación organised a training course for local guides from both Cusco and Machu Picchu. The seminars were led by Manuel Bryce, Fernando Ángulo and Barry Walker, all experts on ecotourism, conservation and birdwatching. Held over four (very rainy) days, participants were taken on field excursions and attended lectures on guiding techniques, conservation ethics and virtual tools for birdwatching. The aim of the training course was to strengthen and empower the local guides to increase Machu Picchu’s presence on the global birdwatching stage, promoting it as the birdwatching destination.

Another session has already been arranged for March showing how committed the local guides are in these conservation projects.

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Finger-painting the Cloud Forest

As part of our commitment to social responsibility, the Inkaterra Asociación organised a creative finger painting workshop for disabled citizens from the region around Machu Picchu. In conjunction with OMAPED, the government office for the disabled, the workshop was held in the Ministry of Culture’s offices. Participants spent the day getting their hands dirty painting pictures of animals that live in and around the cloud forests of Machu Picchu.

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Ecotourism for Children

Our Inkaterra Asociación ran a series of children’s workshops during the summer vacations this January to educate children aged 5 to 12 on the importance of ecotourism and conservation. Through games, experiments and seminars the children were taught key messages on themes such as recycling, climate change and natural sciences, both locally in Peru and internationally. The workshops were run by our team of explorer guides, biologists, anthropologists and volunteers from the Inkaterra Asociación, and will help to raise awareness and respect to the local environment.

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We are proud to support local initiatives, and these are the first of many workshops and seminars that will take place for 2014. Stay tuned right here on our blog and on our social media channels for details on the other social initiatives that we will be running throughout the year.

Our top wildlife sightings of 2013

2013: an incredible year for wildlife sightings across our Inkaterra properties. We thought we’d put together our top highlights from last year. Check back on our blog each month where we will be sharing our top spots of the month. Have you spotted any incredible wildlife during your time in Peru? Or captured any photography of wildlife where you are in the world? Do share with us below, or on Twitter and Facebook with hashtag #WildlifeInkaterra. If you’ve taken a photo during a stay at Inkaterra or during an Inkaterra experience, you should enter the first Inkaterra Photo Contest of 2014 right here.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel 

Sunbittern

Tigana (Photo by: Ron Blake)  Jose Luis Lavilla | Inkaterra Explorer Guide | Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

During a specialised birding excursion, travellers pointed out a bird that flew close to them and went into the jungle. At first glance, they thought it was an Andean Guan (Penelope montagnii) but a few seconds later they saw the bird perched in front of them. As one of the group grabbed their book to identify the bird, someone else took a picture of the bird so they could identify it afterwards. To their surprise it was a sunbittern (Eurypyga helias). Of course, they were all very excited because it is quite a  rare sighting.

Andean Spectacled bears 

Andean Spectacled Bears  Our resident spectacled bears have made several appearances across 2013 here at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Here’s to seeing them a lot more during 2014. You can read about their most recent sighting here.

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica 

Jaguar

Jaguar (Photo : Stephen Coupe ) Jesus Glhemm Ccari | Explorer Guide | Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica 

During a guest’s  Twilight River excursion they noticed something in between the bushes on the shore of the Madre de Dios River, just a few meters away from the Hotels’ dock. They aimed their flashlight at what appeared to be a big animal. As soon as they used the flashlight a powerful reflection (from the animal’s eyes) caught their attention. It wasn’t a small animal and definitely not a caiman as the movement was constant and far away from the water. As they approached, they could not believe what was in front of them. It was a Jaguar (Panthera onca). A few seconds after the sighting, the feline jumped away to find refuge in the dense rainforest vegetation. Observing jaguars in the wild is extremely rare so they were ecstatic to see the “King of the Rainforest”! Definitely a night to remember!

Harpy Eagle

Harpy Eagle

Early in the morning Alberto Checca, an Explorer Guide at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica lodge, visited Lake Valencia along with five other travellers. During the trip to the lake, having sailed for an average of 45 minutes through the Madre de Dios River, Alberto spotted a big bird in the distance, perched on a tree on the right bank of the river. As they approached the bird, Alberto was able to recognise that it was a harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) one of the most powerful birds of prey. Fortunately, the guests were able to observe the eagle for about 10 minutes before continuing their trip to the lake leaving the bird perched on the tree

At the end of the excursion the guests, as well as the Explorer Guide, were very pleased to know that they saw one of the most wanted eagles by ornithologists.

Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion 

Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion

Puma

While Carlos Torres, an Explorer Guide at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción was on the hidden rainforest excursion near the Cacao plantations with a group of two guests, they heard the bushes shaking a few meters from them. They decided to stay quiet for a couple of minutes to see if whatever was out there would show itself. Oh surprise when what appeared in front of them was a juvenile puma! (Puma concolor). This feline is considered one of the most adaptable animals in the continent. The puma seemed to be looking for a good place to rest. Suddenly the puma climbed all the way to the top of a bread fruit tree (Altocarpus altilis) for not to be seen or heard again. Simply amazing.

The Hidden Forest Excursion at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion The Hidden Forest Excursion

Tapir

Gabriel and three guests were out on the Hidden Forest excursion (near the remains of the Fitzcarraldo boat) when they heard sounds coming from between the trees just a few meters away. They remained silent for a few minutes to see if whatever that was making those noises would come out. To their surprise a tapir (Tapirus terrestris), one of the largest mammals in the area, appeared just a few meters in front of them. The animal was about 1.5mts. long and seemed to looking for food (being the perfect season  for the fruit trees they feed on). The guests, as well as Gabriel, were amazed by this sighting since they knew they had been extremely lucky.

Deer

While doing the Hidden Forest excursion, along the trail towards the cacao plantations, Carlos Torres and guests heard noises coming from the dry leaves a few meters away. They decided to remain silent for a few minutes. They were amazed when they saw a deer (Mazama americana) before them. They could identify it was an adult female because of its size and the lack of horns. These species have diurnal and nocturnal habits; apparently it was looking for seeds, fruits, bushes, and/or leaves. Since it did not run away due to their presence, they were able to observe this animal for a quite some time. This deer is now protected here in Peru, therefore the sighting was extra special.

Join our wildlife conversations online with hashtag #WildlifeInkaterra. We’d love to see your photos!

Inkaterra Photo Contest – First Quarter 2014

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A New Year and a new chance to win our Inkaterra Photo Contest!

Have you taken an image of a wildlife sighting at Inkaterra? Why not enter our Inkaterra Q1 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 first quarter of 2014. The winning photograph will be published in our March 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 March 31st. Good luck!

Inkaterra Pinterest Profile

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

Inkaterra Birdwatching Tours 2014

Peru is renowned for its bird life, being home to a total of 1836 species – that’s 20% of the world’s registered bird species. The changing ecosystems throughout the country, from tropical rainforests to the Andean mountains, makes  it  the perfect environment for both visiting migrators and endemic species.

To  celebrate Peru’s status as one of the best birdwatching countries in the world, Inkaterra Hotels is launching two birdwatching itineraries to showcase the best ornithological gems Peru has to offer.

On the first 2 night itinerary guests have the chance to spot some of the 207 registered species that live in the Cloud Forest surrounding the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Guided tours and walks will give keen birdwatchers some of the best opportunities to spot particularly elusive species, and the area surrounding the Inca Citadel is a favourite for the Inca Wren.

Inca Wren

Further to this, the gardens of the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel itself house the world’s largest collection of native orchid species, with 372 found within the gardens. Here hummingbirds, tanagears and the iconic Cock of the Rock can be found flitting around the picturesque setting.

The second bird-watching trip is a totally different experience, with three nights in the Amazon Rainforest of Southern Peru, in the Madre de Dios-Tambopata region. Here there are 540 bird species waiting to be discovered, together with other creatures like monkeys, three toed sloths, black caymans and the rare giant river otter.

Guided trails through the rainforest can help to reveal these natural treasures which are so often camouflaged against the surroundings. Staying at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica and journeying across Lake Valencia, the Madre de Dios river or high above the treetops on the Inkaterra canopy walkway, guests have plenty of opportunity to spot the amazing birdlife for which theses forests are home.

Both these tours run over four days , which give ample opportunity to explore the area and catch a glimpse of some of those exclusive creatures. For more information and booking, take a look at our website at inkaterra.com