Inkaterra launches Walking to Wellness Programme

Walking is the best possible exercise

The human body is designed to thrive in a ‘natural’ environment. It’s worrying then that we’re experiencing the largest global exodus from rural areas to cities in history, with an estimated five million to be ‘geographically cut off from nature’ this year (Spa Finder Wellness Report 2013)With ‘nature deficit disordera new buzz-term, and ‘wellness tourism’ one of 2013’s most salient travel trends, Inkaterra has created an eight night ‘Walking to Wellness’ programme. This incorporates diverse outdoor adventures, daily low-impact exercise, and health-focused spa treatments, taking in Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and Inkaterra La Casona along the way.

Adventure in the Andes

Guests spend three nights at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, perfectly located for getting in touch with the Andean Cloud Forest and enjoying nature at its most exuberant.  The programme includes a selection of treks, including a two-hour hike along the Vilcanota River, a staggering walk through the Mandor Valley and a climb up Machu Picchu to the Citadel.   Guests are guided on a botanical walk through Inkaterra’s own native orchid garden and up to the hotel’s organic tea plantation to taste the camellia sinensis tea produced on site.

Our Twilight Walk at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Spa treatments at the hotel’s Unu Spa are included, and have been chosen for their health-boosting qualities.  Drawn from traditional Andean techniques, Inka Purification starts with a lymphatic drainage massage using Coca leaf, an essential element of traditional Andean medicinal rituals. The purification ends with an Andean Sauna where stones are heated in a candle-lit eucalyptus hut in the forest.

UNU Spa at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

For weary walkers, an Andean Foot Therapy, using local herbs and flowers will improve circulation, whilst a De-stress Massage will alleviate tension and anxiety.

Active in the Amazon

Next stop on the Walking to Wellness Programme is the luxurious Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica lodge near the Tambobata National Park. Only accessible via a 45-minute boat ride along the Madre De Dios River away from the city of Puerto Maldonado, it is a gateway to one of the world’s most remote rainforest environments.

On the banks of the Madre De Dios River

Guests will spend three nights in luxurious cabañas, and by day be encouraged into the wild on a series of walks, treks and hikes.  These include an exploration of jungle trails, a trip to Lake Sandoval to spot the endangered Giant River Otter and pre-historic hoatzin bird, then hike to Gaminata Creek, home to piranha, caiman and turtles. The programme also incorporates a rainforest night walk and a climb up the mighty Inkaterra Canopy Walkway .

The Canopy Walkway at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica’s Ena Spa will offer those on the Walking to Wellness programme an Amazon Exfoliation treatment to promote circulation and eliminate impurities, as well as an Amazon Purification using local medicinal plant ‘Cat’s Claw’ or ‘Uncaria Tomentosa’, to purify and cleanse.

The Ena Spa at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

Uncover Cusco and The Sacred Valley of the Incas

The programme concludes with two nights at Inkaterra La Casona, a XVIth century colonial mansion in the heart of Cusco. From here Inkaterra guests can visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas to experience the area’s staggering limestone plateaus, natural sinkholes at Moray and ancient salt springs at Maras.

Visit The Sacred Valley, staying in the heart of Cusco at Inkaterra La Casona

Back at Inkaterra La Casona, spa treatments include a Yacu therapy, which uses local river stones including Serpentine, an Andean gemstone. The stones are bathed in warm water and anointed before being placed on the body to promote inner peace and inspire long life.

The programme costs from USD $ 4,070 (approx. £ 2,612) per person in a double room, and includes accommodation, excursions and spa treatments. Meals are also included and healthy menu options are available throughout.  Accommodation is based on double occupancy, superior room category. International and domestic airline tickets are not included but can be organised upon request. For more information on this package please visit our contact us page on our website here

Inkaterra celebrates the Year of the Quinoa

2013 The Year of Quinoa

The United Nations recently declared 2013 “The International Year of the Quinoa,” and in celebration, we’re sharing a recipe of one of our most popular breakfast dishes: Quinoa pancakes.

A traditional Andean superfood

Quinoa is a highly versatile, gluten-free grain native to the South American Andes and is known for its great nutritional value, as well as its good taste. Over the years its popularity has grown world-wide and today quinoa is commonly known as one of the world’s most popular “superfoods.”

The year of the Quinoa

The quinoa pancakes, among other quinoa delights served at Inkaterra properties, are prepared using traditional Peruvian ingredients and techniques, and the quinoa is purchased local from Andean farmers as part of Inkaterra´s commitment to Sustainable & Social actions. They are a delicious and healthy breakfast dish – the ideal meal before a day of hiking up to Machu Picchu, exploring the many wonders of Cusco or trekking through the Peruvian Amazon.

Quinoa Pancakes

Why not make some yourself? Try out the recipe which has come straight from the Inkaterra kitchen. Share your images with us on twitter at @InkaterraHotels with hashtag #yearofquinoa

QUINOA PANCAKE

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 ½ cups of flour
• 2 eggs
• 5 tablespoons sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon Pisco or brandy
• Approximately ½ cup milk
• 5 tablespoons previously cooked quinoa
• 1 1/2 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
• 2 teaspoons baking powder

PREPARATION:

• Mix eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, pisco, milk and the melted butter.
• Mix the flour and the baking powder separately and then add slowly to the wet mixture until it becomes soft.
• Add the previously cooked quinoa, and add milk if the mixture is too dry.
• Sautee the final mixture in a non-stick frying pan.
• Serve with maple syrup or honey.
• Provecho!

Inkaterra Photo Contest 2013 – First Quarter Winner

The Winner of the First Quarter Inkaterra Photo Contest 2013

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 2013. Jesús Glhemm Ccari took this incredible image while on location at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica. Congratulations Jesús! View all our photo entries on our Pinterest profile.

The Inkaterra Pinterst Profile

Birding Rally Challenge: Exclusive Interview with Guy Kirwan from The Forest Falcons


Ahead of the next Birding Rally Challenge taking place in northern Peru this June, we’re proud to present this exclusive interview with Guy Kirwan, who was part of the UK team ‘The Forest Falcons’ that participated in the inaugural challenge last autumn.
Guy is an ornithologist and editor currently based in Norwich, UK, and working for Lynx Edicions on the HBW Alive project. He has edited or co-authored more than 30 major books. Since the mid 1990s he has been working intensively throughout South America and the Caribbean, living in Brazil for almost seven years, researching the taxonomy and breeding biology of birds, especially in the Atlantic Forest, Amazonia and the Greater Antilles.
 Photos taken by his team member Alex Lees 
Guy Kirwan

1. Where did your bird watching passion begin?

I grew up in North West England and can pretty much date my interest to a single event, seeing a summer-plumaged Great Crested Grebe on a local reservoir. Fortunately, I had a father who not only could identify the bird for me, but had a genuine interest in natural history in general. He certainly nurtured my love of birds, but never attempted to form it on my behalf, and took me on many trips to see birds throughout Britain.

2. The first BRC in association with ITA was a huge success. What was your highlight moment?

I think I can speak for the entire UK team in saying that our undoubted highlight of the whole event was watching a family of Spectacled Bears close to our hotel in Machu Picchu on the last morning of the rally. We’ll never know whether our spending an hour watching the bears cost us victory in the rally itself (we lost by three species, having been level-pegging with one of the North American teams overnight), but we were all in total agreement that it was worth it! So, I guess none of us will ever make Olympians with that attitude.

Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) cub

3. The Tambopata Amazon reserve is an incredible place for bird watching enthusiasts. How many species did your team specifically spot during the BRC 2012? 

Our overall total during the rally was 490 species, of which we recorded 326 species during our three days in the Amazon. This included a single-day total of 239 species on the last of those three days, which is even more remarkable given that we did not enter dry-land tall forest until midday. Terra Firme forest is the most bird-rich general habitat type in the Amazon.

The Saffron Crown Tanager (Tangara xanthocephala) and Inca Terns (Larosterna inca)

4. Birds aside for a moment, were you lucky enough to spot the Spectacled Bears that are found in the grounds of Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel?

Indeed, we were and it might also be mentioned that I think all of the six teams participating in the rally saw at least one bear during their stay at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Simply incredible.

The final score of the BRC 2012

5. What are your top three countries for bird watching in the world?

Anywhere with some Amazonian forest really, so Peru’s scoring pretty highly, although I have only visited a handful of times. I have been hugely fortunate to spend a huge part of the last two decades in the New World tropics, from Mexico and the Caribbean all the way south to Argentine and Chilean Patagonia. A special focus during this period of my life has been Brazil, where I have spent approximately eight years in the field. I have to say that it is probably my favourite birding destination in the world. Another very special place in my heart is Turkey, where I spent several years working on conservation of wetland birds and habitats, travelling throughout the country and eventually writing a monograph to its birds. I always enjoy going back there and, of course, Istanbul is one of the great cities in the world, alongside Rio de Janeiro. My final choice is rather harder to make, but Cuba is a country that has fascinated me for more than a decade and constantly manages to lure me back, perhaps because I have still yet to see a Zapata Rail, much less an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. The staggering landscape and seabirds of Alaska will also see me return soon too.

Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans), Cabot's Terns (Thalasseus acuflavidus), Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger), Franklin's Gulls (Leucophaeus pipixcan)

6. Any tips for bird watching novices coming to Peru?

Number one must be, employ a local guide. Peru is one of the most diverse countries in the world, but birds are not always easy to see. Even vastly experienced birders will often find that a local guide is a big help, but for a novice they must be nigh-on essential. Number two, spend some time learning the birds before you come. Even ten years ago that would have involved an incredible amount of homework. It’s still not easy, simply because there are so many birds. With the excellent field guides you can purchase, namely ‘The Birds of Peru’ by Thomas Schulenberg, and online sound archives like xeno-canto (www.xeno-canto.org) it’s a lot easier than it used to be! My final recommendation, which holds for anyone be they a birder or not, is to learn some Spanish before you come. You’ll certainly enjoy your visit so much more.

7. With the next BRC heading to Northern Peru, do you have any birding expectations/species you are expecting to spot with this new location?

Northern Peru is an incredible birding destination; undoubtedly one of the finest in the world, jam-packed with hundreds of birds and many special endemics with highly localised distributions. Some are among the most charismatic and most-wanted birds in the world, with names to match their appearance, like Marvelous Spatuletail (one of the world’s most extravagantly-plumaged and rarest hummingbirds), Long-whiskered Owlet (a very poorly known nocturnal bird that hardly anyone had seen until a few years ago) and Pale-billed Antpitta (a magnificent denizen of the understorey that is very hard to spot). I am not sure how many of these we’ll get to see this time; fortunately I’ve seen a great many of the region’s key birds on previous visits to this part of Peru. We’ll see how we get on…

The Forest Falcons

8. How will the next two BRCs differ from the first one?

The northern rally is going to be a lot more vehicle-based. It’s going to be interesting to see how well this works, but I am sure all the teams will embrace the concept once we are on the ground and running (or should I say driving). We haven’t seen the format for the third rally yet, but I suspect that it will be closer to that in the 2012 event, which we all felt was a great success.

9. How do you prepare for the Birding Rally Challenge & what are your must have items for the rally?

Surprisingly, preparation was rather minimal last time, and might be again for this June’s event, especially as the UK team seems to be permanently scattered over about half of the globe. Mainly, I’ll try and listen to a few more sound recordings of birds I haven’t heard for a long time. Must-have items (beyond the obvious, binoculars) include one or two telescopes between the team and most importantly, recorders and iPods with pre-recorded birdcalls for playback. The best preparation, of course, would be to go out and do the same route a week in advance; it’s not like running a marathon, where covering the same distance combined with the same weather and terrain might suffice. You can’t really practice for birding in Peru where I live in Norfolk.

The Inkaterra Bird Watching Pack

10. Do you have any go-to magazines, websites or blogs that you read that keep you up to date with birdwatching news across the world?

I’m something of a traditionalist, so magazines and journals are still very important to me (especially as I am an editor in ‘real life’). I subscribe to all of the following: British Birds, Dutch Birding, Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, Cotinga and Neotropical Birding, Bulletin of the African Bird Club, Forktail and BirdingASIA ,and Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia. I regularly look at Surfbirds and BirdForum. Birders are also great users of Facebook.

Keep up to date with the latest from the next Birding Rally Challenge 2013 here and on our Twitter and Facebook. 

Inkaterra Photo Contest: First Quarter 2013

Inkaterra Photo Contest - First Quarter 2013

Fancy yourself a photographer? Our Inkaterra photo contest could be just the chance to showcase your 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 2013. The winning photograph will be published on our April 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. See below for some inspiration from last year’s winners.

First Quarter Winner 2012

Second Quarter Winner 2012

Third Quarter Winner 2012

Fourth Quarter Winner 2012

Enter our competition now to be crowned the winner of the First Quarter 2013

Reptiles & Amphibians of Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

The River at the banks of Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

The International Reptile Conservation Foundation recently set off on a personal expedition focused on amphibians and reptiles found in the Tambopata region of Peru. The region yields the highest biodiversity of reptiles and amphibians in the world and includes more than 210 amphibian and reptilian species. At the epicentre of this diversity lies Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica; an exclusive resort just an hour boat ride from Puerto Maldonado. Each guest at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica is given a personalised rainforest excursion with bilingual nature interpreters who specialise in the flora and fauna of the Tambopata region.

The International Reptile Conservation Foundation set off on a personal expedition

Around the bungalows at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, the IRCF spotted Amazon Racerunners sprinting from beneath bungalow steps to nearby bushes and pace across the footpaths. When day gave way to night, the bungalow porches were illuminated with individual kerosene lanterns which ensured there was no stepping on the abundant cane toads. Meanwhile, numerous Treefrogs were spotted perching on vegetation around the cabins and the calls of Bolivian Sheepfrogs provided a musical backdrop sounding remarkably like sheep.

 Numerous treefrogs were spotted perching on the vegetation around the cabins

The IRCF found it hard to tear themselves away from the large bridge, which connects the bungalow area to the main lodge. The colourful leaves in this swampy area are home to numerous species of frogs that call in the evening and can easily be observed with a flashlight.

Treefrogs aplenty at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

The trail systems at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica are well marked for avid walkers, some trails are as long as several kilometres. Interpreters provide tours both day and night and the extraordinary diversity is astounding. Anyone walking even a short section of a trail is generally guaranteed to observe ornately coloured grasshoppers, walking sticks, beetles, spiders and butterflies.  The Anaconda Board Walk is aptly named, with the IRCF spotting an anaconda approximately 1.5km into the trail.

The IRCF on the Anaconda Walk

The region’s amphibian and reptilian diversity allows extensive tropical field experiments and natural history research. Inkaterra facilitates the education of its interpreters on regional plant and animal diversity by collaborating with visiting biologists. The interpreters and staff are eager to learn, as well as teach about the local biodiversity and even after long hours already in the forest, the interpreters joined the IRCF on their evening excursions looking for frogs, snakes, and other organisms.

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

This site has become increasingly popular for students of herpetology, visiting the Tambopata region to run their tropical research. The IRCF commented that “the excellent accommodation found at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and natural atmosphere are just as inviting for those just longing to witness amazing biodiversity and learn about its conservation.” Read more about their journey into the Tambopata reserve here.

A Sustainable Future for Manu

Launched in 2010 to assist communities in the Amazon to start their own sustainable enterprises, The Crees Manu Project has helped to alleviate poverty, combat malnutrition, fight climate change and protect the rainforest. Standing beneath the canopy of a pristine rainforest is to experience life at its most exuberant. The Amazon Rainforest, otherwise known as the “The Lungs of our Planet” accounts for around 20% of earth’s oxygen, and there is a need to preserve this beautiful natural ecosystem.

Trees in the Amazon Rainforest

Despite a growing awareness of the importance of the Amazon rainforest, it is still under huge threat from logging, mining and burning. Huge areas have been destroyed, poverty is rife in the region and 60% of the children suffer from malnutrition.  The Crees Foundation was set up to combat these challenges; their goal is to reduce poverty and protect the biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest.

Macaws in the Peruvian Amazon

With the help from the local community leader Reynaldo Ochoa, shown in the above video,  and the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, Crees has created a model that enables the community to benefit from the rainforest in a sustainable way. Reynaldo Ochoa is an inspiration to the people of Manu and to us all in how to lead a sustainable life. For the past 20 years he has dedicated his life to finding new ways of living in balance with his environment. By encouraging farmers to plant trees and enabling families to grow fresh organic produce he is helping to forge a sustainable future for the region. Help and funding has helped them with their work over the last three years, however, their funding is set to end in March 2013. Despite all the work they have done, there is a lot more to be done.

With ongoing donations to their project, they hope to:

  • Build biogardens with local families to combat malnutrition using sustainable practices
  • Plant agroforestry plots with local farmers where native Amazon trees are planted alongside banana crops. This is a sustainable wood and crop production alternative, which conserves surrounding forest from logging activity, and protects species biodiversity
  • Build knowledge and capacity through one to one training and workshops on small enterprises, sustainability and resource management

Inkaterra is an association that pioneers ecotourism and sustainability throughout Peru, and the Crees project’s values and mission reflect those found at the heart of the Inkaterra brand. Just like Crees, Inkaterra’s mission is to promote excellence in conservation and biodiversity. Their vision for the future is focused around supporting the local environment in which it operates. The guides across each property strive to improve the lives of the local people and the sustainability of Peruvian nature.

Inkaterra began research and conservation programs over 35 years ago at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. To bring this into further tuition, Inkaterra created Inkaterra Association - an NGO that is devoted to the biodiversity conversation of the unique ecosystems where Inkaterra works. Through the ITA, 15,000 hectares of rainforest at the low basin of the Madre de Dios River are protected every year. It doesn’t stop there. Their education programs enable the local people, the guides and interpreters and the guests that visit, to learn about the enormous wealth of biodiversity in the cloud forest and the tropical Amazon rainforest, the archaeological sites and the living cultures which assure their “Peruness”.  

To read more about the project click here. By donating you will help generate positive guardians of the forest, ensure sustainable development for the people of the Manu Biosphere Reserve, and enable the Crees Project to develop and continue on the path of success that they have already set out to achieve. The Amazon is vital for the existence and future of all human beings on our planet. It’s time for us to do something about it.

A New Year, A New You, with Inkaterra

The New Year is always a time to stop and take stock of health goals and dietary habits, as well as the time to set exciting and challenging new years resolutions. Reuters has predicted that healthy hotels, wellness tourism and natural spa treatments will be among the top spa trends in 2013.

Sailing along the Peruvian Amazon

With enchanting slow boats sailing through the Peruvian Amazon, the cloud-topping Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and the down to earth characters of the indigenous people, Peru is the perfect place to take a break and get back to nature.

Inkaterra has a unique spa concept that combines both the classic nurturing of what you expect from a treatment, intertwined with a mystical Andean approach. Products at the Unu Spa at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel are 100% natural, derived from local botanical extracts, providing a pleasing spiritual, sensual and soothing experience.

100% Natural Products at Inkaterra

Located next to a romantic natural spring water pond, The Andean Sauna sees stones from the river, bathed in warm water and anointed with a choice of fragranced oils. These are placed on the main energy points of the body and incorporated in a rhythmic massage sequence. The stones release their warmth and power to the tired and tense muscles, promoting inner peace and deep relaxation.

Unu Spa at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

At the Ena Spa at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, a local medicinal plant from the Amazon is used to create the Lymphatic Draining massage. This treatment uses a blend of a cream made from the plant called “Cat’s Claw”, to increase the flow of the lymphatic system. Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a local medicinal plant from the Amazon. Some of its properties include: blood cleanser, detoxifier, diuretic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Located on the banks of the Madre de Dios River, facing Rolin Island, the Spa provides a great spot for watching Amazonian sunsets.

The Ena Spa at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

The spa at Inkaterra La Casona will take you on a soul journey that will leave you feeling spiritual and soothed. The Yacu Therapy Room will give your mind, body and spirit the chance to relax and embrace the mystic and magic of this vibrant Andean capital. The explore and restore package gives you the best of both relaxation and adventure on this four day experience.

Restore and explore package at Inkaterra La Casona

And for a New Year’s Resolution, why not set yourself a challenging and exciting goal, and trek the Inca Trail? The Inca Trail is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be in the top five treks in the world. In just 26 miles (43km) it manages to combine beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and, of course, a stunning mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels. Our hotel being in the town of Pueblo means you can reach Machu Picchu in just one day on our Inca trail excursion.

New Years Resolution: Hike the Inca Trail

Whether it’s a relaxing spa break abound with natural treatments, or a challenging adventure, Peru is the ideal destination for a unique start to this new year.

Travel to Peru in 2013 with Inkaterra

Looking forward to 2013

A new year gives travellers the chance to plan a trip to one of the destinations they have dreamed of visiting. With South America named one of the go-to destinations for 2013, and a 10% increase in tourism to Peru expected, Inkaterra is looking forward to another successful year.

Here are just some of the reasons that the jewel in South America’s western point is becoming a hot-spot in 2013.

Machu Picchu  

For many, a trip to Peru and  South America is only complete with a visit to the centre of the Incan Empire; ‘Machu Picchu’. With unrivalled scenery, this awe-inspiring ancient city has become one of the top destinations for people to see in their lifetime. Set yourself a goal this New Year by hiking the Inca Trail with Inkaterra. Within a day trip, reach the Citadel of Machu Picchu via a steady climb along the Inca trail allows experiencing past diverse mountain habitats, archaeological sites and a beautiful waterfall.

Trek the Inca Trail with Inkaterra

A Gastronomic Paradise

When it comes to great food from the Americas, no other country has yet to rival that of Peru, and the whole world seems to agree. With Peruvian restaurants popping up across the globe such as Lima and Coya in London, and Gaston Acurio’s restaurant empire growing across the Americas and Europe, Peruvian cuisine continues to be the star of the world food stage.  The mouth-watering ceviches, spicy mashed potato causas and tender alpaca steaks have become a firm favourite amongst many. Come to Peru and taste it in its home environment.

A classic Peruvian drink 'Pisco Sours'

The Peruvian Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world, covering over five and a half million square kilometres.  Nicknamed “The Lungs of our Planet” the Amazon Rainforest produces 20% of earth’s oxygen. To see this astoundingly beautiful natural ecosystem on our planet is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Stay in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon with Inkaterra at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, in a treehouse surrounded by only the sounds of tropical birdsong. Climb the banks of the meandering Madre de Dios river and enter another world. Surrounded by a vast jungle canopy, your body and mind can truly unwind, rejuvenate and revitalise.

The Peruvian Amazon Rainforest

Unmatched Wildlife

Peru has some of the greatest biodiversity in the world thanks t0 the Andes and the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest.  Lush greenery accented with wildlife cover the land, while up above a birding paradise is waiting to be discovered. With 1,836 species of birds (20 % of the world total), of which 120 are endemic, Peru possesses an astonishing ornithological diversity. Long-considered a birding paradise, Peru is now recognised worldwide with over 20,000 bird-watchers expected to visit Peru next year, generating an estimated $50 million USD in revenue.

A hummingbird flies close to a flower during the Birding Rally Challenge at "Aguas Calientes" in Cuzco, Peru

Unparalleled in history, natural beauty and diversity, Peru offers a myriad of delightful landscapes, cultural experiences, and exhilarating adventure. Whether you visit to embark upon an adventure, engage in the cultural mosaic of Peru’s charming cities, or simply to evolve the archeologist within, Peru offers a wealth of landscapes and settings to satisfy every curiosity.

A Successful Birding Rally Challenge

What a magnificent week it has been in Peru. The first Birding Rally Challenge was a great success with the winning team from Louisiana State University, nicknamed the ‘Tigrisomas’, identifying 493 species of birds! The challenge, co-organised by Promperu & the Inkaterra Association (ITA) saw six non-stop bird watching days across Lima, Puerto Maldona do, the Inter-Oceanic Highway and Machu Picchu. The UK team – The Forest Falcons – came a close second, narrowly missing out on being crowned the winners by just three species, finding 490 birds in total.

Birding Rally Challenge Results

The competition brought together six teams from five different countries, spotting 649 species of the 700 that can be found in the Tambopata Amazon reserve, all the way along to the iconic Machu Picchu in Cusco where the competition came to a close. Many of the birds that were spotted had never been seen by many members of the teams that were taking part, making it a truly unique experience for all.

On the Amazon River: A Birding Paradise

The event was a tremendous occasion for both Peru and Inkaterra to showcase a very unique experience that enabled visitors to see the vast wildlife that can be found in Peru. As mentioned in the recent article by El Comerico, leader Jordi Sargatell from the Tramuntana team said “Peru is the best country in which species can be seen so close you can almost touch them”.

So closes a very successful first Birding Rally Challenge, with the promise of another in the first half of 2013. Peruvian Vice Minister of Tourism announced another challenge will be on its way in the Northern lowlands of Peru next year.

The Birding Rally Challenge