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

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. 

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

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Off the (well) beaten track – Peru’s Alternative Inca Trails

Machu picchu

Without doubt, Machu Picchu is the most famous attraction in Peru. The winding Inca trail draws people from across the world, but like so many of the World Heritage Sites, Machu Picchu’s awe and attraction comes at a cost.

Over 400,000 people visit every year and, whilst the Peruvian government has restricted the amount of people who can walk the Inca Trail to a maximum of 500 daily; with 2500 people being allowed entry to Machu Picchu itself, and only 400 being allowed to trek Huayna Picchu, there is still a great risk of permanent damage to these protected sites.

So, what’s the alternative? Well, there are trails running throughout Peru that are just as stunning as those leading to Machu Picchu – and with far fewer people! Camino Del Apu Ausangate is a path through this stunning landscape of snow-capped mountains and rust-red hillsides and thermal springs.  And you’re more likely to stumble across a heard of llamas than you are another tourist.

inka1

For those still looking for that Machu Picchu experience, Choquequirao is the best option. Nicknamed “Machu Picchu’s Little Sister” this site is ideal for those who still want to experience an Incan settlement, but with solitude. After two days of uphill and downhill climbing, adventurers are rewarded with lush slopes, traditional buildings and ‘llama-terraces’. And for the real explorers (or mad-men) climbing the Choquequirao terraces 5,000 feet above the Apurimac river is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Camino Salkantay is an alternative path to Machu Picchu, and trekkers really do take the high-road. With the original Inca Trail reaching 13,800 feet above sea-level, Salkantay rises even higher to over 15,000 feet. As such, walkers will be explore some of the area’s most spectacular mountains, and while the high altitude may have a strain on the body, the hot-springs, warm duvets and friendly bartenders at some of the lodges along the trail do help the daily recovery.

Views from Choquequirao

Views from Choquequirao

If you are still committed to trekking the Inka Trail all the way to Huayna Picchu, then do your homework. Booking your tickets online is the only way to ensure you reach the peak – and do this early: unsurprisingly with a centuries old settlement nestled in the heart of the Andean mountains, mobile phone signal isn’t at its strongest.

However, with all of these treks being so ‘off-piste’, so to speak, they’re not for the faint-hearted. Expect strenuous days and aching nights. But the end destination is beyond words. Just invest in a good pair of boots. Our additional tours at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel mean you’ll have an expert, local guide alongside you whilst trekking the Inca Trail. It’s even a trip to take with the whole family with our specially created family journey to Machu Picchu. Make 2014 the year you see one of the most iconic archaeological sites in Peru, if not the world.

The Peru effect: the rise of Peruvian restaurants across the globe

Finally, Peruvian food has emerged from the shadows and is receiving the international recognition it deserves. In London, the Peruvian restaurant Lima and its head chef Virgilio Martinez were recently awarded Michelin star status (their first of many, we hope) – the first such accolade for a Peruvian restaurant in London. Another proponent of Peruvian food is Martin Morales who, after the phenomenal success of Ceviche in Soho, is opening a second restaurant in Shoreditch. It seems that Londoners can’t get enough of the taste of Peru. And with good reason too…

Virgilio Martinez

You wouldn’t think that nestled away in the corner of South America lays one of the most varied gastronomies. But it is Peru’s location that makes its cuisine so diverse. The seafood rich Pacific Ocean is on Peru’s doorstep, the Amazon gives birth to exotic fruits and herbs, and the Andes provides the perfect climate for potatoes and corn. It is the availability of full, fresh ingredients and the fusion of many different cultures that really sets Peru apart. With common dishes like cerviche, to chifa and nikkei – drawn from Chinese and Japanese migration into Peru, or dishes that can trace their ancestry back thousands of years like pachamanca – succulent meat, traditional, local potatoes and lima beans cooked on hot stones buried underground; Peru really comes alive with its food, and there is a dish to suit even the most discerning of critics.

Peruvian Food

Host to the largest food festival in Latin America, Mistura, Peru – and the Peruvians – take their food exceptionally seriously, with a passion to rival even that of the Italians. Fresh, spicy and full of variety, Peru offers a culinary experience like no other. But, with the bold Mexican and Caribbean flavours to the north, possibly the world’s best steak producer to the south and vibrant, fruity tastes from the east, it is easy to see why Peru has sat somewhat in the shadows until the efforts of a brave few to export it worldwide; and we should all be thankful they did.

Gaston Acurio

London best keep its ears – and stomachs – open for the arrival of “the Peruvian Jamie Oliver”, Gaston Acurio, who is rumoured to have his sights set on the city. It’s about time the rest of the world learnt that food in Peru isn’t just limited to a roasted guinea pig, or half leg of llama, although they still taste delicious too.

 

Seeing Purple: The Lord of The Miracles Festival in Lima, Peru

October is Mes Morado (or purple month) in Lima, Peru, and the faithful dress from head to toe in purple as a sign of their devotion to El Señor de los Milagros (the Lord of Miracles).

A group of women called "saumeadoras" carry incense as they follow the procession of Peru's most revered Catholic religious icon through central Lima

This Christ figure, known for its miracle-working powers, is housed in the Church of the Nazarenes, and thousands of purple clad worshippers come to pray and make offerings during the month of October. There are several processions on different dates in October, including a 24 hour long procession which is one of the largest in all of the Americas annually. Tens of thousands of the faithful dressed in purple tunics, sing hymns and pray as they accompany a huge two tonne litter which bears the painting of the Christ from the church of Las Nazarenas. The smell of incense and the steady beating of drums add to the solemn atmosphere as the procession winds its way along the narrow, purple clad streets of Lima.

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The origins lie in colonial times, when a slave drew an image of Christ on a wall. The wall with the image stayed standing despite an earthquake which destroyed all the building and many around it. Thus, this image has since become one of the most venerated in South America, and the church of Las Nazarenas was built around it.

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The whole of October is classed as Purple month but key procession dates are October 18th, 19th, and October 28th. How are you celebrating this festive time in Peru? We’d love to hear!

Cabo Blanco: A Sea Worth Saving

Cabo Blanco

Sixty years ago this week, Louisiana oilman Alfred Glassell Jr. became a fishing legend. In the sea of Cabo Blanco, Peru, on board a yacht baptized ‘Miss Texas’, he caught a Black Marlin that weighed 1560 pounds, a historical record that was filmed for the Hollywood adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (1958).

Hemingway

As a consequence, Cabo Blanco achieved worldwide fame, to be visited by the likes of Marylin Monroe, John Wayne and Gary Cooper. The sea’s warm weather and location, situated on the confluence of three currents, also made it the only place on the planet with a twelve month fishing season – hence the seven world fishing records achieved during the 50’s and 60’s.

Hemingway aboard of the Miss Texasa

Sadly, an exploitation of natural resources has led to a loss in this marine supremacy for Cabo Blanco, which is why ecotourism pioneer Inkaterra has organised the 1st Conference for Research, Conservation and Development of the Peruvian Tropical Sea. This is part of the company’s aim to support scientific discoveries that will ultimately protect natural resources and boost the enterprises of local communities.

Inka Terra founder José Koechlin Von Stein on board “Miss Texas”

Celebrated from the 2nd-4th August, the congress will include high profile exhibitors such as Rob Kramer (President of the International Game Fish Association) and Professor Nelson Ehrardt (Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric science). The legendary “Miss Texas”, will also be on display on the first day of the conference at the Lima Marina Club, having been fully restored by Inkaterra, before it returns to the Northern Sea for its next great adventure.

Stamps celebrating the 60th anniversary of Glassell’s renowned catch; On sale from 2nd August.

  Inkaterra Stamps

“The tropical sea of Peru is a globally outstanding place for marine biodiversity, including many commercially important and endangered species. The designation of a marine protected area to preserve and restore marine life while ensuring the economic benefits to oceandependent communities by the Government of Peru, would be great news”.

–Terry D. Garcia,

Executive Vice President, Missions Programs of National Geographic Society

Competition to win Ceviche new cookbook ‘Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen’

We’re pleased to announce an exclusive competition for all our loyal followers! You could be in with the chance of winning a copy of the new cookbook Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen from Ceviche London. For the first time, Peruvian restaurateur and cook, Martin Morales, whose top London restaurant Ceviche opened to enormous critical and commercial success in 2012, shows you how to make the best ceviche and over 100 other Peruvian dishes. This is laid back, fuss-free and delicious Peruvian food.

Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen

Over 500 years of fusion have taken place in Peru for its culinary offering to become what it is today. Starting with the indigenous culture and then blending it with flavours and cooking styles brought over by migrants from Spain, Italy, Africa, China and Japan, Peruvian food has evolved into being one of the most fascinating, diverse, rich and healthy in the world.

Ceviche

From Ceviche’s signature dishes, authentic Peruvian dishes and new creations, Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen cookbook showcases the innovative food coming out of Lima, the Amazon and the Andes today. From sizzling barbecued anticucho skewers, to superfood quinoa salads, juicy stir fry saltados and lucuma ice cream, Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen brings the unique and delicious dishes from Peru to your home kitchen.

Peruvian Cuisine at Ceviche

To be in with the chance of winning this cookbook, all you have to do is tell us why you love Peruvian food in the comment box below. Our chosen winner will be announced in two weeks time on July 12th.  You can also enter via Twitter and Facebook, using hashtag #PeruvianKitchen. Follow us on Twitter @InkaterraHotels and on Facebook here.

With the Ceviche ethos of helping others cook at home, Martin and his team are travelling around Britain on tour. Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen On Tour will run from the 1st to the 15th of July 2013. Tickets are selling fast. Please book your place now to avoid disappointment.

We look forward to hearing all the reasons why you love Peruvian food. Here is some inspiration from Martin Morales himself.

‘There is a Peruvian saying my great aunt Carmela taught me, aquí se cocina con cariño, which means ‘here we cook with loving care’. This is the motto at our restaurant Ceviche – it’s what Peruvian food is all about. The other side of what we do is sazón – the quest to achieve a perfect balance of flavours. I have spent a lifetime working on this. Like most Peruvians, I am obsessed with cooking and I love sharing our amazing food.’ Martin Morales

Anniversary of Peruvian inspired movies Aguirre, Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo

This year sees the anniversary of two major movies set in Latin America: Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972) and Fitzcarraldo (1982). Inkaterra shares a very special link with the films, as founder Jose Koechlin was the Peruvian producer of both productions. Director Werner Herzog won the Best Director award for the film Fitzcarraldo at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.

Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972) and Fitzcarraldo (1982)

Fitzcarraldo portrays would-be rubber baron Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an Irishman known as Fitzcarraldo in Peru, who has to pull a steamship over a steep hill in order to access a rich rubber territory. The film is derived from the real-life story of Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fitzcarrald. In the 1890s, Fitzcarrald did bring a steamship across an isthmus from one river into another. The film showcases awe-inspiring scenes from Machu Picchu and the Puerto Maldonado region. It was during this time that Jose Koechlin, founder and president of Inkaterra, developed a strong passion for the rainforest and started looking for somewhere to set up an ecological reserve.

Filming Fitzcarraldo was no easy feat

Koechlin originally went to Herzog with the idea of making a movie about the historical character named Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald, a man who crossed a ship over a mountain. The idea was to use the film as a catalyst to promote tourism in Peru.

The British Film Institute, in honour of its Anniversary has created a new restoration of Herzog’s extraordinary account of the quest for El Dorado. From its opening shots of an ant-like column of Spanish conquistadors and their enslaved indigenous porters scrambling perilously down through the clouds on a sheer pass in the Andes, it’s immediately clear that Werner Herzog’s account for El Dorado – now newly restored – will be something extraordinary. The movie will be in cinemas nationwide in the UK from today. To book tickets click here.