A Honeymoon Escape with Inkaterra

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There’s something inherently romantic about being in the midst of nature, with nothing but yourself, your new partner and the trees around you. With a Peruvian honeymoon, couples can experience diverse landscapes and diverse wildlife viewing opportunities, ensuring an unforgettable start to married life.

Inkaterra’s Passionate in Peru Package is a perfect solution for newly-weds seeking a little natural adventure in their honeymoon. Escape on a romantic adventure in the Southern Amazon, get spellbound in the Sacred Valley or have a quixotic exploration of the Inca legacy. The magic and mystique of Machu Picchu awaits and the captivating city of Cusco is ready to be explored.

Some of the trip highlights include:

  • A surprising welcome in Lima, where you can center yourselves as a couple at
    former crown jewel of Spain’s South American empire.
  • Enjoy rainforest luxury at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, for riverside romance on the banks
    of the meandering Madre de Dios.
  • Get spell bound in Sacred Valley as you see the finest Inca sites, colorful villages
    and markets.
  • Marvel at Machu Picchu – and each other. Enjoy your own royal Inca retreat, at
    Inkaterra Machu Picchu’s whitewashed casitas and villas
  • Take your pick for a tryst: towering temples, majestic mansions, remarkable
    ruins or cool colonial churches in Cusco

Or, why not just stay at just one of our hotels during your honeymoon. Each Inkaterra property offers unique honeymoon experiences that cater to all. At Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica spend unforgettable nights of Peruvian rainforest enchantment with your beloved. Celebrate with champagne, indulgent massages in our river-view spa, or experience an energizing flowering bath.

If the ancient ruins of the Inca empire call to you, then why not plan a Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Honeymoon escape. Champagne and special treats from Inkaterra await, as well as guided excursions to the ancient Machu Picchu. Relax after your Inca trek with our Andean sauna, or maybe a de-stress massage session for two.

If a city retreat is more your style for your first trip as man and wife, then the colonial churches and lights of Cusco will delight. Use Inkaterra La Casona as your base to explore Cusco’s meandering streets, then relax back at the hotel with a de-stress massage and foot therapy session. The quiet oasis of La Casona, located on the serene plaza Las Nazarenas, will leave you feeling rested and inspired by the surroundings of the beautiful Andean scenery.

Whatever you decide to do, there’s nothing quite like setting off on your first adventure together as you begin a new chapter in your lives. And where better to do it than in Peru with Inkaterra.

In the spotlight: Gastón Acurio’s Restaurant Empire

We have much to thank Gastón Acurio for. This iconic chef has been the catalyst for the great movement in popularity for Peruvian food across the world. His first restaurant Astrid y Gastón’ was an instant success in the city of Lima, and over the past decade his food and restaurant empire has gone from strength to strength. With over 30 restaurants and a weekly TV show, Gastón is Peru’s most famous chef, and arguably the best known Peruvian in the world. He is now set to open his 2nd restaurant in Spain in the heart of Barcelona. The Tanta Bistro will bring all the richness of Peruvian cuisine to the people of Barcelona. All cravings of Peru will be met, and there will no doubt be new avid fans of Peruvian food.

Gastón recently collaborated with Jordi Roca, famous Spanish Pastry Chef for the BBC’s Collaboration Culture Project. The BBC joined 14 creative people from around the world together, and then paired them up to work on an art project together. Jordi Roca flew to the city of Lima, where himself and Gaston devised sweets made from different varieties of Peruvian potatoes grown high in the Andes, such as potato and chilli jellies and roses made from potato petals and caramel. Gastón and Jordi took to the streets of Lima to give people the chance to taste their collaboration. The Mayor of Lima and the president’s wife were among the few who were lucky enough to taste their take on Peruvian potatoes.

The growth in popularity of Peruvian cuisine would not have been possible without him. His mission isn’t just about opening restaurants, but about selling the country of Peru to the world. He has been known to describe his country as a happy marriage between history and opportunity, melding a profusion of international influences: Amerindian, European, African, Chinese and Japanese, with Peru’s extraordinarily diverse climate and geography as it’s backdrop.

Food is a big part of the Peruvian way of life and subsequently a focus across all of the Inkaterra properties. We blend traditional Andean food with contemporary cuisine, creating an innovative fusion-style fare, and always impeccably served. For those that love indulging in organic and fresh produce, Peru is the go-to-destination, with Inkaterra the ideal place to rest your head.

As Peruvian food continues to grow in popularity, so too will Gastón. Long may the love of Peruvian food foster across the world.

Spotted at Inkaterra: The Birding Corridors of Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Peru has long been a birding paradise, and more recently, this is being recognised across the world. More than 20,000 bird watchers are estimated to visit Peru in 2013, generating over US$50 million in revenue, according to the Ministry of Trade and Tourism. Peruvian Trade and Tourism Minister Jose Luis Silva has launched ‘The Birding Rally Challenge’: A new competition which offers people the chance to watch and listen to a variety of birds in their natural habitat. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is the ideal location for a birding holiday. With the Bird Watching excursion through the Poques mountains, visitors are sure to spot some incredible wildlife in the skies above.

The birding excursion sets off early in the morning in order to take advantage of the optimum time for cloud-forest bird watching at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Guests begin at a local river observatory, with the possibility of sighting the sought-after torrent duck and the white-capped dipper. They then proceed to a productive tanager feeding area, where silver-beaked, blue-necked, fawn-breasted and saffron-crowned tanagers can be found.

Visitors are told to be on the lookout for the cock-of-the-rock, the golden-headed quetzal and many of the 18 different hummingbirds identified on the grounds, including the booted racket-tail and the green-and-white hummingbirds, which are native to the area. Walking along the hotel’s trails, and discovering the fascinating yet fragile ecosystem of the Machu Picchu cloud forest and its many indigenous plants and animals will leave you feeling overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of all that there is to see in this part of the world. We’ve known for a long time that Peru is the go to destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Why not come to Peru, stay at Inkaterra and discover this first hand.

Watch this space for more information on the Birding Rally coming soon!

World Tourism Day 2012: Sustainable Energy through Powering Sustainable Development

Today is World Tourism Day! As long ago as 1979 it was decided that 27th September would be designated World Tourism Day, and it has been a celebrated event the world over since then. This year’s theme is focused around Sustainable Energy, something that is at the heart of everything we believe and do here at Inkaterra. The purpose of World Tourism Day is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. With the outlined global challenges highlighted in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, World Tourism Day hopes to contribute to driving the tourism industry towards reaching these specific objectives.

This year’s theme was chosen with the aim to highlight tourism’s role in bringing the world towards a brighter energy future. With energy efficient upgrades to aircrafts, and energy technology solutions being a focal point across hotels, more than ever, the tourism industry is understanding the benefits of helping to protect the environment, both for the world around them, and for their image. This initiative also plays a role in ending ‘energy poverty’: an ill being addressed by the 2012 United Nations International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, which aims to ensure universal energy access, significantly improve rates of energy efficiency and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.

At Inkaterra we strongly believe that we all need to change our behaviour as individuals, as countries and as a global community. We all contribute to the environment; so we all need to be part of the solution. Since 1975, based on a principle of respect, we have outlined key goals to adhere to, in order to preserve the beautiful world in which we live. Energy consumption is an important concept that we strive to achieve at all of our Inkaterra properties. At each of our locations there is an employee responsible for managing and monitoring energy (as well as water, waste and other sustainability-related activities). Inkaterra has a strict energy consumption policy, and employees are required to attend training sessions and lectures to make sure they are constantly up-to-date with information.

The official celebrations for World Tourism Day will be taking place in Maspalomas, Gran Canaris, Spain, however, Inkaterra will be making sure they celebrate in Peru! From everyone here at Inkaterra, we hope everyone has a great World Tourism Day. Never stop travelling and discovering the beauty of the world.

A Mystical Andean Experience with The UNU Spa at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

The recent Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2012 saw another great award for Inkaterra. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel has been placed in the top 5 Best Spas in the South and Central America region. The UNU Spa combines both the classic nurturing of a luxury Spa with a mystical Andean approach. All products that are used throughout the Spa are 100% natural, derived from local botanical extracts, providing a pleasing spiritual, sensual and soothing experience.

Few places in the world are as spiritually stimulating or as whole as those found at the centre of the Incas; Machu Picchu. A strenuous few days hiking the Inca Trail will stretch your mind and body to its limits. The UNU Spa is a welcome retreat for tired souls. Soothe your feet after a long hike with a treatment of natural mint and mountain lemon, or relax under candlelit in the Andean Sauna. The Sauna is a particular highlight, and quite a favourite amongst guests. Inspired by a variety of luxury spas, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel has created a perfect Andean experience, where stones from the local rivers are heated in a candle-lit eucalyptus hut to produce steam.

And why not indulge in a luxury face massage while you’re here? The Andean gemstone formulae is believed to help one retrieve ancient wisdom. And after pondering the mysteries of the Ancient Incas, meandering through the forest gardens spotting birds and rare orchids, and relaxing in the steam huts at the UNU Spa, you will no doubt return from your trip with more wisdom than you left with.

Say so long to Sushi and Hello to Ceviche as Phil Vickery travels to Peru with ITV’s This Morning

For those who keep up to date with the culinary delights of the world will know that Peruvian food is the up and coming cuisine of the moment. The South American country’s mouthwatering cured-fish ceviches, spicy mashed-potato causas and tender alpaca steaks are going global.

Last week saw Phil Vickery from ITV’s ‘This Morning’ take us to Peru in search of local cuisine that will tantalise our taste buds. Exploring the jungle, heading up higher than he’s ever gone before, Phil cooked with the Kalahari Bushmen and got to grips with some giant crabs. For his first Cookout, Phil headed to the Amazon rainforest deep in the heart of Peru. He met the local Ese Eja tribe, went fishing for piranhas and got a bit too close for comfort with an eight-legged beastie!

Through exploring the local communities, Phil found out about the classic national dish Ceviche, and rustled up his own version on the banks of the river in the Amazon Basin. See below for his recipe to make your own Peruvian Ceviche at home:

Ceviche

  • Take 350-500g of any kind of raw white fish and slice.
  • Mix juice of 3 large limes and a juice from 2 ripe passion fruit juice together and add to the fish.
  • Add ½ a chopped onion and 2 cloves of chopped garlic.
  • Add a small amount of finely chopped ginger, about 1 tbps
  • Top with some black pepper, a pinch of sugar and salt and mix altogether. Leave to marinade for about 10 minutes.

Salsa

  • To make a salsa take 2 large chopped tomatoes, 1 small red pepper & red onion, 1 tbsp chopped ginger, and 1 clove of garlic crushed mix with juice of 1 large lime and 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , along with a few sprigs of fresh mint and 1 small chopped, ripe avocado.
  • Season well with salt and pepper.

Whilst visiting Peru, Phil had the delight of staying at two of Inkaterra’s properties; The Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel and The Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. Through South American Adventure Tours, Phil went on a fantastic eight day tour, which includes visits to the colourful city of Lima as well as the former capital of the Inca’s Great Empire Cusco‘ and the majestic lost city of Machu Picchu. This tour includes two chances to stay at the Inkaterra properties.  South American Adventure Tours state that  ‘Peru is a magical country full of mystic encounters, customs, emotions, adventures and a history that will never fail to surprise you’. Don’t miss out on a trip of a lifetime to explore the wonders of Peru – explore today with Inkaterra and South American Adventure Tours

A Digital-Detox with Inkaterra

When was the last time you went without checking your emails or phone?  We live in a world where we use our mobile devices on average every ten minutes, so when we do have a break, we find it difficult to completely switch off.  In today’s technologically advanced world, even on holiday mobile phones are often close at hand, be it for making calls, reading work emails, or tweeting about the weather.

Increasingly, more of us are craving a complete switch off from the digital sphere, in an environment of inspiring natural beauty. And where better to get your ‘Digital Detox’ than within the realm of the Inca Gods at Machu Picchu, or to the beat of the Peruvian Amazon Jungle? Like an entire continent in a country, Peru astounds visitors with the diversity of its landscapes. From jaw-dropping terrain to glaciated Andean peaks, the only device that you will need on a trip to Peru will be your camera.

The Amazon River at Inkaterra Amazonica Reserva

A ‘Digital-Detox’ at Inkaterra will bring you right back to nature. With no signal available, you can relax and de-stress whilst staying at the Reserva Amazonica Lodge, waking to a symphony of tropical birdsong; ending your days by lantern light and falling asleep to the sounds of the Amazon rainforest. Explore the rainforest garden and learn to identify native plants, tress and orchids, while spotting rare species of birds.

Inkaterra’s Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is another serene retreat to escape from fast-paced lives. The timeless spirit of Machu Picchu awaits, along with local excursions to tea plantations, or discovering the largest orchid collection that is open to the public. The ancient land of the Incas make you forget about your busy life as you learn about the incredible history and tales of the Inca Tribe. Days at the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel end with an Andean eucalyptus sauna, followed by a star-lit plunge pool dip. A perfect end to a digital-free day.

Restoration Project – for the love of history at Inkaterra La Casona

A stay at Inkaterra La Casona in Cusco is akin to stepping into a history lesson, as La Casona is one of the finest remaining examples of a 16th century Spanish Colonial mansion in the city of Cusco.  Built between 1585 and 1700, its authenticity still shines through even after undergoing a series of renovations.

After acquiring the house in 1999, Inkaterra has restored La Casona to its full glory.  Launched as an 11 suite boutique hotel in March 2008, Inkaterra seamlessly merged the old with the new, incorporating both Spanish Colonial style and ancient Inca civilization, with contemporary décor and exquisite antiques.

Officially designated a Historical Monument by the National Institute of Culture, this land was once part of the Warakos Academy –the training ground of the elite army of the Incas. The mansion has had some famous inhabitants too, as it was home to don Diego de Almagro, said to be the first European discoverer of Chile. It was also the residence of Captain Francisco Barrientos and don Juan Alvarez de Maldonado. But the most known figure to have inhabited the site was Simon Bolivar, “El Libertador”, who resided at the property in 1825, after his final victory in the battle of Ayacucho.

Guests at Inkaterra La Casona today can still enjoy a genuine, historic atmosphere which highlights the mansion’s past and every step has been taken to ensure its heritage is retained: the original internal structure has not been altered and the frescos have been carefully preserved. There are of course a few more luxuries to be enjoyed today: open plan suites feature iPods, plasma TV’s, DVD players, an open fireplace and even a therapy table for in-room massages. There’s also plenty of open communal spaces including terraces which are just perfect for relaxing with a drink after a day’s exploration around Cusco.

Celebrating Cusco – 10 travel ideas for your next holiday

Congratulations to Cusco which recently received recognition as the Best Latin American City 2012 in Mexico, Central & South America by Travel & Leisure Magazine. To celebrate, we have compiled our top ten local attractions that you should visit on your next trip to this amazing city.

1. Take a tour of the Cathedral of Santo Domingo in Plaza de Armas, home to more than 300 paintings, carvings and sculptures. The cathedral was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the City of Cuzco in 1983.

2. Visit the Sacsayhuaman, a fortress dedicated to the Sun cult and one of the most impressive Inca constructions. Located just a 10 minute drive away on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, the Sacsayhuaman is also where the Inti Raymi Festival is celebrated every 24th of June.

3. Located right next to the Inkaterra La Casona in Plaza Nazarenas and well worth a visit, is the MAP Museum – Peru’s only museum dedicated to the arts of ancient Peruvian cultures. You can also visit the house of the Inca Garcilaso Museum, birthplace of the Inca author Garcilaso de la Vega, which was converted into the Regional Historical Museum in 1946.

4. Explore the Koricancha Temple, dedicated to worshipping the sun. It’s the most sumptuous temple in the Inca Empire. The Temple of the Sun is located in the southern part of the city of Cusco, just a 7 minute walk from Plaza de Armas.

5. Also close by to the Plaza de Armas is San Blas, one of Cusco’s most picturesque and famous communities. The area, known as the ‘artisan district’, is home to some of the most artistic families of the city.

6. Why not venture outside Cusco for a day and explore Zona X: an amazing network of tunnels both natural and artificial. Explore the idyllic area and enjoy the impressive views of Cusco and the valley, or book a horse parade tour around the north of Cusco.

7. Visit the Sacred Valley, also known as the Urubamba Valley, where the new Inkaterra’s Hacienda Urubamba Hotel will open in early 2013. Visit the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, one of the most ancient occupied human settlements in America which showcases the best example of city planning done by the Incas. There are plenty of tours to the Sacred Valley and tickets can be bought from Plaza de Armas.

8. Keep your Sunday morning free to explore the local culture in the Pisac Market. This, the biggest market in Cusco, can be found in the Sacred Valley, just by the UrubambaRiver and is the perfect spot to sit and relax with a coffee and watch the locals go about their business.

9. Known as the Square of the warrior, the Plaza de Armas has been the scene of several important events in the history of this city, such as the proclamation by Francisco Pizarro in the conquest of Cuzco. Enjoy the best of Peruvian food at a restaurant here – it’s one of the most popular lunchtime destinations in Cusco.

10. After a busy day of sightseeing, there’s nowhere better to relax than on our terrace at Inkaterra La Casona. Centrally located, enjoy beautiful views of the Plaza Nazarenas as you sip a Pisco Sour, the most famous Peruvian cocktail.

Hungry? Where to eat in Cuzco!

Newly opened in London this month, Lima is a great example of classic Peruvian food. Equally popular is the new patio at Peruvian Chef Gaston Arcurio’sNew York venture La Mar.

If you’re lucky enough to venture to Peru itself, here are our suggestions of the best places for high end palates in Cuzco. Continue reading