Spotlight on our Butterfly Keeper at Inkaterra

Butterfly House at Inkaterra

Located near the Puerto Maldonado Airport, the Butterfly House here at Inkaterra is a welcome and information centre for all travellers that pass through our doors. Here you will understand the fascinating transformation of these colourful insects. We caught up with our butterfly keeper at Inkaterra Helmut Rengifo to find out a little bit more about these incredible insects.

1. Tell us a little about your background and how you came to be a butterfly keeper?

I used to work in the “Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana – IIAP” which is an organisation dedicated to Scientific & Technological Research for Development, specialising in the sustainable use of the biological diversity in the Amazonian regions. It develops activities in a decentralised way, promoting the participation of state & private institutions as well as of the civil society.  I dedicated myself to studying the local biodiversity, its management as well as the breeding of immature Lepidoptera until I had the opportunity to start working at the Japipì Butterfly House –  Inkaterra Butterfly House´s former name -  considered one of the best butterfly farms in Peru & was a great opportunity of experience for me.

 2. How long has the butterfly house been there? What do you feed the butterflies?

The Butterfly House has been around since 2001 and is under Inkaterra´s management since 2007 onwards.

Butterfly House - Inkaterra

The butterflies eat as follows: when they are still caterpillars or larvas: their surrounding host plant leaves; when they are adults: fruit juice from ripe fruit, the liquid from their excrements, pollen, flower nectar, liquid produced by any material in decomposition.

3. What does a typical day look like for you here at Inkaterra Butterfly House?

A regular working day at the Butterfly House starts with cleaning followed by feeding  hundreds of hungry & voracious caterpillars! Then we have to count the number of caterpillars and check the newly born ones from the night.

Butterflies at the Inkaterra Butterfly House

In the afternoon we have to place new food for nocturnal caterpillars; then the pupas are hung on the shelves, and the new posturas or butterfly eggs are  collected. The day ends with the liberation of the butterflies born that day in the exhibition enclosure.

4.  There are around 3,800 species of butterfly here in Peru. Which is your favourite and why?

The Panacea prola, because it is the one I have been doing major research work. It is truly stunning.

The Panacea prola

5. Have you noticed a change in the number of butterflies in recent years at the Inkaterra Butterfly House?

Yes, we have noted that many of the butterflies we have in the Butterfly House do not lay as many eggs as they used to do. We don´t have a proper answer to this but are observing their comportment on a daily basis.

6. There has been press in the last year in regards to a decreased number of monarch butterflies in South America. How can we help towards increasing the butterfly population?

A possible way to increase  the population of these types of butterfly would be to seed host plants from which the Caterpillar usually feeds from, in various places. This way it would be favourable for the Caterpillar to lay its eggs in a place where it can feed, therefore the regular reproductive cycle could continue.  If the plants disappear, the butterflies also disappear.

Butterflies at Inkaterra

Butterflies are one of our favourite things to see here at Inkaterra. Are they yours too? Share your pictures you’ve taken of butterflies with us on Twitter or Facebook with hashtag #InkaterraButterfly

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

 

 

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!

A Journey with Inkaterra

The great affair is to move

For many travellers, it’s all about the journey. The act of getting from one place to the next is where the fun is. Looking out at passing towns on a train or meandering on a boat through glistening waters gives you time to ponder and reflect on where you have been and where you are going. But gone are the days when boarding a plane gets our adventurous juices flowing, the time has come to explore more unconventional forms of travel.

Here we share with you two of the monumental journeys you can take with us here at Inkaterra that will give you the chance to see some of the remote, picturesque landscapes for which our country is famed.

A train journey from Inkaterra La Casona to  Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

A train journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu

It’s been said that the train journeys in Peru are some of the most spectacular in South America. Boarding the train in Cusco, you’ll travel along a mountainous backdrop to Aguas Calientes for Machu Picchu. Passengers are treated to jaw-dropping scenery as well as some rather unusual on-board entertainment. There’s even the chance to get some shopping done – watch out for the stewardess modelling some alpaca clothing for sale!

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A boat ride along the Madre de dios River to Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción 

A boat ride along the Peruvian Amazon

Jumping aboard a long boat at Puerto Maldonado jetty, you’ll set sail along this wide tributary of the Amazon River to Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción and Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica.

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The Madre de Dios River flows through Southern Peru’s rainforest region, the country’s biodiversity capital. With plenty of caymen, birds and turtles to spot, it’s a fun way to start any trip in the Amazon jungle.

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

UNESCO World Earth Day

World Earth Day 2013

Today, across the world, communities are celebrating UNESCO World Earth Day: an annual event to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and is celebrated in more than 192 countries every year. The environment and sustainability has been at the forefront of our decisions here at Inkaterra since our inauguration in 1975, and we continue to integrate sustainable business practices into all aspects of our operations.

Here are some of our core initiatives that we undertake to ensure a healthy future for our planet. Our world is a beautiful place so let’s take the steps towards to ensure future generations will have the chance to experience it also.

1. Creation of the Inkaterra Association: In 2001, we established the NGO INKATERRA Association (ITA), which develops scientific, technological, social, and cultural research to help manage and protect the biodiversity of Peru’s Andes and Amazon Rainforest.

2. Carbon Neutral: Since 1989, we have belonged to a carbon stock-monitoring network with the University of Leeds (UK); and in 2007, Inkaterra became Peru’s first carbon-neutral travel organisation. We protect more than 42,000 acres of original forest, which helps to directly reduce 3,315,000 tons of carbon. All Inkaterra hotels use clean technology and sustainable practices to ensure that each guest has a 100% carbon-neutral stay.

The garden at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

3. Eco-friendly products: Over the years Inkaterra has substantially increased the amount of eco-friendly and biodegradable cleaning products used at each hotel. Additionally, all in-room amenities are organic and eco-friendly, and bottles are made from recycled glass.

Eco-friendly products

4. Water Conservation: It is a goal of ours to measure, control and decrease overall water consumption at all properties. We are verified by the Rainforest Alliance, and we also organise an annual cleaning campaign for the Vilcanota, Alccamayo and Madre de Dios riverbanks.

Our annual clear up at Inkaterra

5. Recycling: Eco-consciousness is a company-wide practice here at Inkaterra, and the headquarters in Lima follows suit by actively recycling paper.

6. Conserving Trees: For the next 30 years, Inkaterra is managing five Forestry Concessions throughout Peru for conservation, research and educational purposes. Inventories of flora and fauna will be regularly taken and various environmental education workshops and volunteer activities will be available on a regular basis. Wildlife: Before Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel was built, the area was only used for cattle; after the restoration took place, numerous native species of birds and other wildlife began to re-appear. Today there are constant wildlife sightings, including the endangered Spectacled Bear and several types of hummingbirds. We founded a Spectacled Bear Project in order to rehabilitate these bears, many of which have been harmed or affected by human impact.

Spectacled Bears

8. Energy Consumption: Each Inkaterra property has an employee responsible for managing and monitoring energy (as well as water, waste and other sustainable-related activities). We have 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.

9. Responsible Construction Methods: All Inkaterra properties are built using the least amount of energy and new materials possible. At Inkaterra’s newest property, Hacienda Urubamba – scheduled to open in late 2013/early 2014 – only basic modern machinery is being used during construction. Traditional techniques and tools will be implemented whenever possible, such as using oxen and tacclas (an Andean foot plough) to plough the fields, whilst 14 acres of the land will be dedicated to cultivating 100% carbon-free organic products.

10. Education: Inkaterra offers many workshops and programs for local children (as well as adults) centred on the importance of sustaining the environment. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel holds an Environmental Education Workshop for local children run by the Inkaterra Association (ITA).

Inkaterra offers many workshops and programs for local children

We must educate our children

11. The Inkaterra Canopy & Anaconda Walk: This system of bridges, platforms and towers at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica offers an expansive window into the world of the tropical rainforest, enabling guests to better understand the area’s vast ecosystem without causing a carbon footprint. Nature experts at Inkaterra constantly monitor and study wildlife, endangered ecosystems as well as flora and fauna in the area.

The towers at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

12. Staying Local: Many of the products used in Inkaterra hotels are purchased from local suppliers, which enhances the economy of these communities and cuts down on transportation. The majority of produce at Inkaterra comes from local farms that are run by both the Inkaterra Association and nearby native communities.

Make every day World Earth Day

What are you doing to help towards the future of our planet? Share your thoughts with us on twitter #WorldEarthDay

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!