A Review of 2012 for Inkaterra

A successful 2012 for Inkaterra

The dawn of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on all that Inkaterra has achieved in 2012; a year filled with great memories, discoveries and successes.

2012 began well with Inkaterra becoming the first Peruvian hotel chain to win the ‘International Certificate in Sustainable tourism’ by the CU Green Choice Sustainable Tourism Standard. The minister of Tourism and Commerce commented, “It is an honour that a Peruvian hotel chain is the first organization worldwide awarded with such an important Certification.”

February was an exciting time for Inkaterra when two new species of orchids were found at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. This harks back to an observation made back in 2001 by the American Orchid Society who announced that in all probability Inkaterra has the world’s biggest collection of native orchid species (372) in their natural habitat, within a private setting.

Guides at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Inkaterra was in the spotlight again in March with Conde Nast Johansens, the international luxury travel guide,  who nominated Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel as the “Most Excellent Eco Resort” in the 2012 Awards for Excellence. Inkaterra was the only hotel to receive an award in Peru.

The conservation efforts of Inkaterra were highlighted in April with the team picking up the award for Conservation at The Tourism of Tomorrow Awards. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organised by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the winners were announced at the WTTC’s Global Summit in Tokyo, April 16-19, 2012.

The Inkaterra Team pick up the award for Tourism of Tomorrow

Throughout the summer we saw the continuation of the Peruvian food craze with the opening of fine dining restaurant Lima in London. With other Peruvian food diners launching across the globe, and the ever-growing empire of Gaston Acurio, Peruvian food is considered one of the most varied and rich of the world. The World Travel Awards took note of the trend naming Peru as the Best Culinary Destination in the world in 2012. Hailed as a ‘gastronomic superpower’, the South American country fought off stiff competition from notable foodie destinations such as France, China, Italy, Spain and Thailand to come out on top as the best place in the world to eat.

Ceviche

Festivals in Peru are a time for celebration and remembrance. This June, as they do every year, visitors from across South America and around the world travelled to Cusco for the annual Inti Raymi festival, the most important ceremony of the Inca Empire calendar. Each winter solstice, native residents honour the Sun God marking the beginning of a new year: the Festival of the Sun.

There were celebrations a plenty in October, as Inkaterra was recognised for the third consecutive year at this year’s LATA Awards in London. This year Inkaterra was awarded for its efforts towards sustainability.

November was an exciting time for Peru, Inkaterra, and birding enthusiasts across the world. Inkaterra Associación (ITA), worked alongside the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) & PROMPERU as co-organisers, to launch Peru’s first ever Birding Rally Challenge. The challenge was a great success with the winning team from Louisiana State University, nicknamed the ‘Tigrisomas’, identifying 493 species of birds! The UK team – The Forest Falcons – came a close second, narrowly missing out on being crowned the winners by just three species.

The Birding Rally Challenge

In November, the awards continued with Inkaterra being nominated in The World Travel Awards for the World’s Leading Corporate Social Responsibility Programme at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. We were also delighted to received the Relais & Chateaux Sustainability Award at the R&C Congress in Torino.

To round off an excellent year, in December, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel was awarded first position in Peru in the Travel + Leisure 500 Best Hotels of the World in 2013.

Another great accolade for Inkaterra was brought about by education. Mr. Diego Comín, Professor at Harvard Business School (HBS) presented Inkaterra in its very own unique case study for Harvard Business School. The case discusses Inkaterra as a leading Peruvian ecotourism organisation and the unique business model that is currently in place.

2013 looks to be an exciting year already, with a further Birding Rally Challenge already in planning, and the opening of Inkaterra’s Sacred Valley property ‘Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba’, due in the second half of the year. On that optimistic note, Inkaterra looks forward to 2013 and wishes everyone a joyous Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Sunrise over the Peruvian Amazon River

New species of Orchid found at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Inkaterra has been in the spotlight again; this time for its magnificent collection of orchids. The American Orchid Society has stated that in all probability Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel has the world’s biggest collection of native orchid species (372) in their natural habitat, within a private setting. Now biologists and nature lovers will be excited to hear that two new species of orchid have been found on the premises of the hotel.

Biologists have confirmed the presence of the new-to-science and recently identified bromeliads around Machu Picchu and at the hotel itself. The two bromeliad species, Guzmania inkaterrae Gouda & C.Soto and Tillandsia machupicchuensis Gouda & Julio Ochoa, have been acknowledged by Dr. Eric J. Gouda, Seed Distribution Manager at University Utrecht Botanical Gardens, Netherlands. The Andean cloud forest is home to a large range of native orchids and it is one of the most significant sites from which visitors to the Machu Picchu Nature Reserve can appreciate these beautiful flowers. The unrivalled Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel’s native orchid garden and expert guided trails are available for those eager to learn more.

Whilst at the hotel, guests can feast their eyes on the miniscule Lepanthes, Trichosalpinx and Stelis, the enormous Phramipedium caudatumand the fragrant Ida locusta, not forgetting the vast range of other orchid species, such as the Kefersteinia koechlinorum and the Masdevallia marizae Luer & Rolando. Not only an orchid-lover’s paradise, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is a must visit for all kinds of nature lovers.  The hotel can arrange excursions to see its 200 species of bird, 111 species of butterfly, experience a magical twilight tour, visit the organic tea plantation and of course witness the mighty ruins of Machu Picchu.

The best way to see these natural wonders is by taking an Orchid Trail Excursion: A three day, two night trip through the Andean cloud forest. Trip highlights include:

  • Personalized guided tour of Inkaterra Machu Picchu Orchid Trail by one of our nature specialists or, upon special request, by our Resident Chief Biologist, an author of the book, “Orchids at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel”.
  • A large variety of native orchids to be seen at the peak blooming season in their cloud forest habitat, with their natural pollinators.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the grand glass-walled restaurant overlooking the Vilcanota River and the Machu Picchu cloud forest.
  • Choose excursions from an array of nature activities: Nature Walk, Bird Tour, Twilight Walk, Tea Plantation and Tea House.
  • A relaxing De-stress massage.

Make 2013 the year you come to Peru and see this wonder of nature for yourself with Inkaterra.

Inkaterra: A World Travel Awards Nominee

It’s been another great week for Inkaterra. We have been nominated in The World Travel Awards as a potential winner of the World’s Leading Corporate Social Responsibility Programme for our Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Voting for the awards is now open and closes on November 25th. The World Travel Awards was founded in 1993 to recognise, acknowledge and reward excellence in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry worldwide. Now in their 19th year, The World Travel Awards is regarded as the highest achievement in travel, tourism and hospitality.

Since 1975 we have ensured that our CSR efforts have been at the heart of everything we do 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 global warming; thus, everyone needs to be part of the solution. Inkaterra has become a truly Carbon-Neutral organisation, and every guest at Inkaterra has a 100% Carbon Neutral hotel stay. In addition, Inkaterra actively encourages their clients and guests to offset their carbon emissions of their flights through Sustainable Travel International (STI) Carbon Calculator (online at the Inkaterra website).

This is just one of many acts that we carry out to ensure we act responsibly in all our decision making. We are devoted to ensuring our conservation and scientific research is achieved through self-supported sustainable tourism, always respecting authentic cultural, social and environmental values of the local communities in which we operate.

Inkaterra is setting a precedent as one of the leading and most influential tourism companies in Peru, taking the lead in sustainability and the fight against global warming. After 37 years within the hospitality industry, we are honoured to be nominated in this WTA category, and hope that others feel that we deserve this accolade also. Please register and nominate for Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel here.

Winners will be announced in December. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on Inkaterra and the World Travel Awards.

Spotlight on: The Birding Rally Challenge

Inkaterra Associación (ITA), is proud to announce that they will be working alongside the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) & PROMPERU as co-organisers, to launch Peru’s first ever Birding Rally Challenge. 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.  We’re all very excited here at Inkaterra for this forthcoming Birding Rally Challenge.

Competitors and guests will have the privilege of staying at the Inkaterra properties across the competition. Commencing on November 29th at Tambopata, the competition will cover over 700km of Peru as they travel up the high Andes over the South Interoceanic Highway and finish at the biodiverse cloud forests of Machu Picchu.

Competitors will have the chance to see over 739 bird species in just one small geographical spot. This is the first competition that brings together the world top birders, with 4 ornithologists per team: eBirders –Cornell, and LSU-Louisiana Team, from USA; the Falcon Forest Team from UK; The Zululanders from Southafrica; the Tramuntana Birding Team from Spain; and the Ararajuba Team from Brazil.

Here is a detailed overview of the plan for the 6 day competition:

November 27th: Arrive in Lima

November 28th: Press Conference / Teams Introduction

November 29th: Transfer to Puerto Maldonado City – Madre de Dios

November 30th: DAY 1 – Tambopata / Valencia Lake

December 1st: DAY 2 – Tambopata / Sandoval Lake

December 2nd: DAY 3 – Tambopata / Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Trail Systeym

December 3rd: DAY 4 – South Interoceanic Highway, Machu Picchu Town

December 4th: DAY 5 -  Machu Picchu Citadel

December 5th: DAY 6 – Machu Picchu Surroundings / Award & Closing Ceremony

December 6th: Transfer to Lima / Press Conference

December 7th: Teams return to their countries

The competition consists in the registration of as many species of birds by sight or sound during the route (the responsible use of bird calls playback is allowed). The team that registers the largest number of species will be named the winner.

Stay tuned for more news of the fast approaching Birding Rally, and follow us on Twitter for live updates from the event.

A Honeymoon Escape with Inkaterra

Pass

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.

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!

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.

Educational Travel Community: Opening doors to Open Minds

As part of the Educational Travel Community’s commitment to advancing responsible tourism, the Educational Travel Community (ETC) hosts an annual Responsible Tourism Conference. This is to recognize the efforts of it’s members and their partners working diligently in the field to develop and implement responsible tourism initiatives. 

Educational travel facilitates deeper, more enduring connections between travellers and the communities they visit through strong interpretation, experiential programming, and meaningful engagement. The Educational Travel Conference is the world’s only travel industry meeting to bring this exclusive group of professionals together, under one roof, for several packed days of outstanding educational sessions, keynotes, and collegial roundtables designed to address a variety of critical and timely topics, as well as skills workshops, networking opportunities, and special events.

Inkaterra are pleased to announce that they have been awarded a 2nd place Honoree award from the committee for their efforts towards Responsible Tourism and education, which will see them receive a cheque for $1000 at the awards ceremony in Orlando early next year. This money will go towards enhancing the current efforts that Inkaterra take in order to pursue an educational experience for both workers and guests alike.

Inkaterra have several programs in place that aid in educating the local communities at each of their properties. At Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica there is continual training practices in place for the Inkaterra interpreters or guides who are kept ready to teach about the enormous wealth of the biodiversity in the cloud forest and the tropical Amazon rainforest, the archaeological sites and the living cultures which assure their “Peruness”. Inkaterra also actively support the development of the Science and Environment curriculum in the local community school of Madama, located near the Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica lodge, in the district of Las Piedras, as also at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Guests are included in the educational programs also, with programs in place to create awareness and education on biodiversity and archaeological sites to guests staying in the Inkaterra chain of hotels.

Inkaterra believe in benefiting and helping the local communities in which they operate as much as they can. By encouraging the development of local communities, taking into consideration their environment and culture, Inkaterra hope to assist in helping Peru towards a educated, sustainable and brighter future.

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 Sustainable Future at Inkaterra


With people slowly growing to understand the consequences that their lifestyle inflicts upon the environment, as well the growing trend of ‘Being Green’, it has never been more prevalent for travel companies to encourage an eco-friendly, sustainable environment.

For over 37 years, Inkaterra has pioneered and promoted sustainable tourism in Peru. Throughout the years at both Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel and Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, the team has introduced thousands of people to the natural wonders and the indigenous cultures of Peru. Creating authentic experiences for their guests, with a focus around excellence in ecotourism and conservation is the fundamental meaning behind the Inkaterra experience.

The Sustainability Policy at Inkaterra aims to preserve the environment, preserve the native cultures, and develop sustainable tourism in Peru. Here are just some of the sustainable targets outlined in Inkaterra’s policy:

  • Define and respect authentic cultural, social and environmental values.
  • Create professional development opportunities and encourage the recruitment and training of local staff.
  • Develop contingency plans for natural, social or financial disasters.
  • Encourage the development of local communities, taking into consideration their environment and culture.
  • Use environmentally friendly products and maintain good communication with suppliers.
  • Use energy and water efficiently, and provide adequate waste treatment.
  • Offset the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the organization’s operations, in order to be carbon neutral.

The recent Virtuoso Travel Week conference in Las Vegas, an event showcasing the news and updates from the luxury travel market, identified ‘Sustainable Tourism’ as a key emerging trend. Top destinations and travel providers expressed a strong commitment to products and practices that support this movement. Inkaterra, a leader in this recent emerging trend, has had this at the heart of all their movements since opening in 1975.

To put it simply, sustainable tourism is the desire to preserve this beautiful world in which we live in. Can you imagine a future without outstanding natural beauty like that seen at Machu Picchu and in the Peruvian Rainforest? By hoteliers creating a sustainable and eco-friendly strategy, they will be able to assist in preserving these astoundingly beautiful places that are found at all corners of our world. By embracing a sustainable living environment, we hope that our grandchildren will be able to one day experience the same beautiful locations that we have had the privilege of visiting.