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.

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 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

Inkaterra 4th Quarter Photography Competition Winner

The final quarter photographic competition of 2013 has drawn to a close at Inkaterra. Congratulations to all who took part, please keep a close eye on the Inkaterra website and social media pages for the details of the next competition.

After receiving a number of spectacular images from of talented individuals, from guests to guides, one photograph proved to be the most popular amongst our voters. Our winner is Noe Roger Huaraca Charca with this picture of the Sphaenorhynchus Lacteus or as it is more commonly known, the Orinoco Lime Tree Frog.

As you can see below, we had some stunning images submitted to the competition, and these were some of the best. Take a look at the photos, and hopefully we’ll see you in 2014 and you can submit your own masterpieces – you may even be lucky enough to win!

Clockwise from main: Giant River Otter – John Barnes, Hotel Guest; Yellow Spotted River Turtle – Jesus Glhemm Ccari, Explorer Guide at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica; Brown Throated Three Toed Sloth – John Barnes, Hotel Guest; Rainbow Boa – Carlos Torres, Explorer Guide at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción.

Clockwise from main: Parides Neophilus - Mayra Maximiliano, Reservation Councillor at Inkaterra Lima; Anhinga – John Barnes, Hotel Guest; Andean Mot Mot – José Luis Lavilla,  Explorer Guide at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

From left to right: Spectacled Caiman – Albert Clar, Hotel Guest; Spectacled Caiman, Jesus Glhemm Ccari, Explorer Guide at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

 

 

OMAPED Christmas Chocolatadas

On 20th December, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel was proud to host a very special event in collaboration with OMAPED, the Municipal Office for People with Disabilities in Peru.

More than 200 people in the area of Machu Picchu suffer with some form of disability, meaning that daily life can often be very difficult. As part of their Christmas celebrations, OMAPED organised a special event together with many organisations from across the district, throwing a traditional Chocolatadas for those individuals helped by OMAPED.

The event consisted of entertainment, and like the chocolatadas held throughout Peru at this time of year, hot chocolate and sweets were handed out to those attending. As a final surprise, Papanoel himself, Father Christmas took time out from his very busy December to hand out presents. As part of its ongoing commitment to local CSR initiatives, Inkaterra is proud to be involved with such initiatives as this, helping to spread the spirit of goodwill during the festive season.

Birding Rally Challenge 2013

Next week, from 3rd to 10th December, the third Birding Rally Challenge begins in Peru. Considered the world championships for birding, for those who aren’t in the know, this is the ultimate event in the ornithological world, bringing together the most renowned birding teams from all over the globe in a six-day contest to decide the best Birding Team in the world.

The challenge for the teams from the United States, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Colombia is to cover the greatest number of habitats within a certain area in a limited amount of time counting the number of bird species they can identify; and naturally, the winners are the team that has spotted the highest number of species.

Peru has been specially chosen to host the Birding Rally Challenge because of its expensive natural biodiversity. Peru is a true treasure in ornithological terms. It is home to 1836 species of bird – that is one fifth of all registered species in the world, Peru is the second leading country in the world for bird diversity, and the best in terms of bird observation. The unique habitats that Peru has, from lush wetlands to vibrant cloud forests means it is host to visiting species, as well as the 120 endemic bird species that call Peru home.

Organised by the Inkaterra Hotels, the Inkaterra Association and PromPerú, the teams will travel 840km through Peru, from Tambopata in southern Peru, to the bio diverse cloud forest of Machu Picchu, and the teams will stay at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica and Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

The actual challenge won’t simply be a walk in the park for our teams. They will have to contend with the changing climates of Peru, from the tropics of the rainforest to the coolness of the Andes, not to mention the strict rules about bird sightings.

But this competition is not simply about birdwatching. The Birding Rally Challenge has some core principles behind it. Designed to develop ecotourism in Peru, the competition promotes conservation and sustainable tourism, especially regarding the local communities that are often overlooked by traditional tourism.

In December 2012, the first rally lasted five days, and a total of 692 species were sighted. The second rally, Nor Amazon, trumped this total, with the birding teams observing 864 separate species in Peru – that’s 10% of the world’s registered bird species.

The 9th December is deadline day for our five birding teams, with the closing ceremony and winners being announced at 19.00. Will it be another successful rally for the American team? Only time and a keen eye will tell.

Top sightings at Inkaterra this month

We’ve had some wonderful wildlife sightings across our Inkaterra properties in the past month. See below for some of our highlights and unique stories from Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion and Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. Each of these sightings are seen and reported by the Inkaterra Explorer Guides during our Inkaterra excursions.

SaltarinLuis Ortiz, Inkaterra Explorer Guide, has been conducting a Lek Monitoring Project, consisting in a group of males competing for a chance to mate with females, of Band-Tailed Manakins (Pipra fasciicauda) at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. In one of his most recent outings, Luis observed a specimen performing a series of exhibition movements, such as jumping and dancing, in order to attract a mate. The sighting lasted about five minutes, long enough to record the activity, as part of the project, and take the photo above.

Jergon

Written by Lizbeth Chávez, our Explorer guide at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion 

As we headed back to the lodge with two Spanish travellers from a canoe ride at Lake, we were entering the exit canal of the lake and I spotted what appeared to be an extremely poisonous snake. A two meter long fer-de-lance (Bothrops atrox) laid well camouflaged on top of some dead leaves. This snake species is  difficult to observe due to its solitary and silent behaviour. When sighted, it stayed very quiet and still, as if waiting for a distracted prey to walk by. Being underneath the sun’s rays I realised it was basking in order to warm its blood. After a few minutes of observing the snake (which allowed us to take some photos) we decided it was time for us to continue our journey, leaving the fer-de-lance alone sunbathing at the lake.

Caiman-Negro

On the Twilight River excursion with the help of Alan (another Inkaterra Explorer Guide) we observed a rarely seen species of alligator in the Madre de Dios River: a black caiman (Melanosuchus niger). Although we observed the caiman’s head protruding above the water surface, measuring about 70 centimeters long. Calculating the length of his body according to the size of his head (which usually is 7 times longer) we arrived to the conclusion that the caiman was about 4 to 5 meters long from its mouth all the way to the tip of the tail. It was so large that he was not afraid when our boat stopped a few meters away. The caiman stood still for more than 2 minutes, allowing us to observe this reptile in detail: black head,  big eyes, and its mouth filled with sharp teeth. I share with you a photo of the sighting. Enjoy!

A day as a bear at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

A day as a bear...

At 12:30m on September 22nd, Inkaterra staff working near the Vilcanota River reported the sighting of a spectacled bear within the hotel grounds, also known as Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus), walking on the left bank of the Vilcanota River in front of Café Inkaterra restaurant. Fortunately the bear was in sight for more than 30 minutes which allowed staff members and travelers to observe and take pictures of this interesting species. During that time the bear went down to the river, drank water, took a bath, and then climbed a tree to feed on bromeliads. Quite a show. Let’s hope he visits us again!

Spotted at Inkaterra... our spectacle bear family

At 3:45 pm on October 7th, Florentino Candia and Rudy Quiroz, security and logistics personnel at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel respectively, were working near the railroad, when they saw some branches moving on the opposite side of the river. After a few minutes, a spectacle bear (Tremarctos ornatus)appeared from between the branches looking for bromeliads. They immediately reported the sighting to the Ecology and Ecotourism staffs by radio come and watch this interesting species. The bear was 2 years old approximately and looked underweight, due to the dry season that the area was currently going through. The sightings are specially important because we can learn more about the species behaviour, eating and breading habits.

Check back on our blog next month for our top sightings from November!