This week is Chocolate Week (14th-20th October), the one week where it’s socially acceptable to eat chocolate at all hours of the day. Across the UK, brands, businesses and consumers are joining in the fun; from Chocolate Factory Open Days to open screenings of the film Chocolat’, it will no doubt be a week of indulgence. To celebrate this wondrous occasion, Inkaterra has launched a tree-to-tummy chocolatey experience at their Amazon Rainforest hotel Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion. Chocoholics can be enthralled in all things delicious by learning about the world of cocoa, deep in the rainforest.
Guides will unveil secrets about the millennium-old cocoa trees and their sought-after pods. Then guests will hike through the plantation’s cocoa groves and learn the magic behind the most decadent of ingredients – used for ceremonial, medicinal as well as culinary purposes in Mayan, Aztec and Inca cultures. Guests also have the opportunity to learn how to make tasty treats including chocolate bars, cookies and freshly baked chocolate bread before tasting the delicious results.
José Koechlin, founder of Inkaterra, explains how sustainable practices play a fundamental role in the cocoa harvesting at the property:
‘Cocoa pods grow along the full length of the tree, which grow particularly tall at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción. In keeping with our conservation ethos, Inkaterra staff only hand-pick pods that grow in the middle of the tree.’
To feel every inch an authentic ‘oompa loompa’, visit Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción from January to March, when the cocoa tree harvest season is at its peak and get involved in a bean-to-bar chocolate-making journey.
We received some incredible entires for our third quarter photography contest, all of which were taken during visits to our Inkaterra properties. We are pleased to announce the Winner of The Inkaterra Photo Contest for the Third Quarter of 2013: Selen Ediger, who visited Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo in 2008. Congratulations Selen! See below for some of our other entries from the third quarter. You can view all our photography on our Pinterest profile here.
View all the entries for the third quarter on our Pinterest profile
Great news for Inkaterra: founder José Koechlin took the award for Developer of the year during the South American Hotel & Investment Conference 2013 (SAHIC 2013), held on September 23rd and 24th at the JW Marriott hotel in Bogota, Colombia. This prestigious recognition was given for the second time to Mr. Koechlin “in recognition of your tireless and characteristic entrepreneurial spirit, whose devotion to continuously undertake new challenges, either the development of new investments or recovery improvement or upgrade of existing projects, together with the constant contribution for the preservation of the environment, with the marine reserve at Cabo Blanco as your most recent eco-initiatives, is an example of passion, commitment and hard work”, stated SAHIC organiser ‘HVS Global Hospitality Services’.
SAHIC is an annual event of international resonance, which unites South American leaders in Hotel and Tourism business and the Real-Estate industry. Since 2008, it has been celebrated in Buenos Aires (2008), Rio de Janeiro (2009), Cartagena de Indias (2010), Santiago de Chile (2011), and Lima (2012). “SAHIC certainly helps you understand where the industry is today and where it is heading, but above all, it helps you understand where the opportunities lie, how to meet the right partners and build the partnerships that may increase job opportunities”, said its president Arturo García Rosa. In this opportunity, SAHIC gave recognition to the bold work Inkaterra have been since 1975.
Inkaterra’s most recent project is the recovery of a region of Cabo Blanco in Northern Peru, which during the 1950’s was considered the best zone for game fishing. Inkaterra are working on the protection of the marine reserve Cabo Blanco-Bank of Mancora, and collaborating with local artisanal fishermen guides for the education of sustainable fishing methods, with the purpose of rescuing the area’s biodiversity. Inkaterra wants to transform Cabo Blanco in a model for sustainable tourism, where recreational fishing is a main source of development that encourages economic growth, social inclusion and environmental care.
Stay tuned on our blog and on our social media channels for updates on this exciting project.
October is Mes Morado (or purple month) in Lima, Peru, and the faithful dress from head to toe in purple as a sign of their devotion to El Señor de los Milagros (the Lord of Miracles).
This Christ figure, known for its miracle-working powers, is housed in the Church of the Nazarenes, and thousands of purple clad worshippers come to pray and make offerings during the month of October. There are several processions on different dates in October, including a 24 hour long procession which is one of the largest in all of the Americas annually. Tens of thousands of the faithful dressed in purple tunics, sing hymns and pray as they accompany a huge two tonne litter which bears the painting of the Christ from the church of Las Nazarenas. The smell of incense and the steady beating of drums add to the solemn atmosphere as the procession winds its way along the narrow, purple clad streets of Lima.
The origins lie in colonial times, when a slave drew an image of Christ on a wall. The wall with the image stayed standing despite an earthquake which destroyed all the building and many around it. Thus, this image has since become one of the most venerated in South America, and the church of Las Nazarenas was built around it.
The whole of October is classed as Purple month but key procession dates are October 18th, 19th, and October 28th. How are you celebrating this festive time in Peru? We’d love to hear!
We’re pleased to announce we have been nominated in the first boutique hotel awards from Mr & Mrs Smith! Please vote for us here and you could win a five-night trip to the place that wins Best Smith Hotel 2013 (hopefully us!)
Here are all the facts you need to know for this fantastic competition
Vote in the Smith Hotel Awards and you’ll be entered into a draw to win a five-night stay for two at whichever hotel brings home the award for Best Smith Hotel 2013.
- You’re going to have the time of your life.
As well as a stay at the Mr & Mrs Smith hotel of the year, the winner will also get:
As well as a stay at the Mr & Mrs Smith hotel of the year, the winner will also get:
- Two return flights to wherever in the world the winning hotel is
- All transfers to and from the hotel
- Use of an Avis hire car for the duration of your trip
- £1,000 towards food and drink during your stay
- An optional activity programme, tailor-made by our in-the-know team of GoldSmith travel concierges
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. Make sure to check back here every so often, as we’ll be giving you our top sightings from the past month.
It was a cloudy day, Fredy Apaza, storage personnel, was returning to Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel from the train station with a guest. He was entering the hotel when he saw the top of the branches moving on the other side of the river in front of Café Inkaterra. Much was his surprise when he recognised the family of Spectacle Bears (Tremarctos ornatus), a mother with two small cubs. He reported the sighting by radio to the Ecotourism staff and hotel personnel. Guests passing also were lucky enough to see this unique sighting.
Angel Layme and Percy Jauregui were at the Ecocenter when the Public Areas Supervisor, Julio Huaylla, came to inform them that he had found a green snake near the NGO ITA office (Inkaterra Association). Since snakes can be very dangerous, they took the snake catching equipment to try and capture the snake. When they arrived they realized that it was a Dichrours drymoluber snake (or commonly known as “Chicotillo”). They were able to capture the snake and release it without any problems in a remote area.
Our visitor returns!
As some of guests gathered in front of the Ecocentre to begin their excursion to the Andean Bear Rescue Centre, one of the travellers observed a big bird flying near the top of the mountains. Using their binoculars they could identify that it was the same bird that they saw a couple days ago; the Black and Chesnut Eagle (Oroacetus isidori). The eagle once again, was flying with the help of warm air drafts looking for food. Fortunately, their cameras were at the ready to capture it this time round.
Have you taken an image of a wildlife sighting at Inkaterra? Why not enter our Inkaterra Q3 Photo Contest? This could be just the opportunity for you to showcase your photography 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 third quarter of 2013. The winning photograph will be published in our September 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 email@example.com by September 30th. Good luck!
Last weekend, bird fans from all over the UK flocked to the 25th Birdfair, held at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve from 16-18 August. Over the three days, 350 exhibitors and thousands of visitors were welcomed through its gates, including celebrities such as TV favourite Bill Oddie, to peruse the stands and enjoy an extensive program of lectures.
Speaking at this year’s event was ornithologist Guy Kirwan, who participated in the inaugural Birding Rally Challenge in Peru last autumn. This multi-day bird spotting competition was organised by Inkaterra Association and brought together 24 of the world’s top birders in six international teams, who travelled from Tambopata in southern Peru, to the biodiverse cloud forest of Machu Picchu.
Guy gave an inspiring presentation about his experiences in Peru to an audience of over 100 keen birders. He spoke knowledgeably and enthusiastically about the birds that his UK team, ‘The Forest Falcons’, spotted in the Amazon Rainforest while staying at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and Inkaterrra Hacienda Concepcion. He also included details about the Spectacled Bears that were spotted on the final day while the teams were staying at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.
Over its 25 years, Birdfair has raised more than £3million to support international conservation initiatives, resulting in the establishment of many new national parks and reserves globally. www.birdfair.org.uk
We’ve had quite a few requests for our Gazpacho Soup Recipe from Inkaterra. You can now make it in the comfort of your own home with the below recipe. We’d love to see your photos. Share your gazpacho soup images with us on our Facebook wall or on Twitter with hashtag #InkaterraGazpacho
1. Place the red tomato, red pepper, olive oil, dijon mustard, white vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender and mix them for 2-3 minutes until creamy (no lumps)
2. Allow to cool for a period of two hours
3. Add cut onion, celery, avocado and pepper in brunoise if wanted
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 third quarter of 2013. The winning photograph will be published in our September 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 firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30th. See below for some inspiration from last quarter’s winners.