Update from The World Birding Rally 2014

Surbound Expeditions team

The World Birding Rally is in full swing! From the Pacific Ocean, across the northern Andes and into the foothills above the Amazon basin, the teams will likely see nearly 900 species of birds during the Rally as they drive from sandy desert scrub up to cloud forest and down into rainforest. The Rally celebrates Peru’s bird diversity (at some 1,800 species, second highest in the world, after Colombia)—as well as its uniqueness, as evidenced by the country’s roughly 100 endemic species.

The World Birding Rally Teams

The World Birding Rally kicked off on Wednesday with great expectations from all the teams. The highlight of the day was definitely the White-winged Guan, a Peruvian endemic restricted to very few areas in the Northwest dry forest of the country, thought to be extinct for 100 years! In the lead on day 1 was the Sunbird wings (UK/US) team spotting over 130 species.

The White-winged Guan

The White-winged Guan

An intense second day at the World Birding Rally followed, as teams left Chiclayo in coastal Lambayeque and headed to Cajamarca region in the Andean highlands, at 2600 meters above sea level.  The Sunbird Wings (UK/US) were still in the lead at the end of day 2 with 181 species.

The South African team spotted a highly pelagic bird: the Pink-footed shearwater (Puffinus creatopus)

The South African team spotted a highly pelagic bird: the Pink-footed shearwater (Puffinus creatopus)

The Golden-bellied grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysogaster), a colorful bird observed on the road to Cajamarca

The Golden-bellied grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysogaster), a colorful bird observed on the road to Cajamarca

The World Birding Rally kept moving and the teams were overwhelmed on Day 3 by the large number of endemic birds observed in the surroundings of Cajamarca. Final total at the end of day 3 was 293 species spotted, with Sunbird wings (UK/US) currently in 1st place, followed by the field guides (US – 222 species spotted), Surbound (US – 204 species spotted) and Birding Ecotours coming in 4th place (South Africa – 198 species spotted).

An amazing photo of the Grey-bellied Comet, a Peruvian endemic geographically restricted to very few areas in the northern Andes

An amazing photo of the Grey-bellied Comet, a Peruvian endemic geographically restricted to very few areas in the northern Andes

Stay tuned on our channels and on the World Birding Rally Facebook page for updates from the ground in Peru.

Barry Walker and Tom Schulenberg try to spot some Peruvian Terns in Puerto Eten in company of David Fisher, founder of Sunbird Tours

Barry Walker and Tom Schulenberg try to spot some Peruvian Terns in Puerto Eten in company of David Fisher, founder of Sunbird Tours

World Birding Rally 2014

Birding Rally Challenge

It’s that time again! From May 12th to 20th, the fourth edition of the World Birding Rally will take place in Peru. Four teams of renowned birdwatchers from United States, South Africa and United Kingdom will be part of a unique competition due to its non-stop modality. They will travel the Nor Amazon route in search of the bird species that habit this search area.

Route 2014

On this occasion, the World Birding Rally will cover a 1503-km itinerary through twelve life zones and four regions of Peru that will showcase the Pacific coastline, the Andes and the Amazon rainforest: Lambayeque, Cajamarca, Amazonas and San Martín. It is the second time that the World Birding Rally follows this enthralling route, which allowed last year’s teams register a total of 864 bird species (10% of the world’s total species), with 34 endemics among them.

Organized by our team at the NGO Inkaterra Asociación and the Peruvian Tourism Board (PromPerú), the World Birding Rally is part of a strategy to promote Peru as a top destination for bird watching. It is worth mentioning that it is the third country with the largest number of bird species throughout the world (1816 species, 120 of which are endemics). The competition also aims to raise awareness on the environment, and contributes on creating added value in rural areas trough sustainable tourism. Keep up-to-date with the upcoming challenge on Twitter and Facebook with hashtag #BirdingRallyChallenge

 

SAHIC 2014: Your chance to meet our Founder José Koechlin!

SAHIC 2014

SAHIC, the South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference, is the annual event of international level aimed at promoting the Hotel and Tourism business and related Real-Estate industry projects in the region, which has become a classic that continues to re-invent itself year after year. We’re very excited to be returning to SAHIC this year. If you’re attending, this is your chance to meet our founder and CEO, José Koechlin!

SAHIC José Koechlin

Are you attending? Tweet us to let us know with hashtag #SAHIC2014 and @InkaterraHotels 

World Earth Day 2014

Earth Day 2014

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.

World Earth Day

Our world is a beautiful place so let’s take the steps to ensure future generations will have the chance to experience it also. Reflection is a powerful tool, and to pay tribute to our world, here are some of our favourite quotes and images from our home country of Peru in honour of our world. We have much to be thankful for. We can all feel good about the direction conservation is moving, but we can’t stand still. With each of our individual efforts, the next Earth Day will be even better.

Going to Inkaterra  Reserva Amazonica Sunset on the banks of Madre de dios

DSC02382 On route to Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica 

EcoTourism Inkaterra

Cusco

The terracotta rooftops of Cusco 

Earth Day Quotes

Machu Picchu

World Earth Day 2014

The Inca Citadel Overlooking the Citadel at Machu Picchu

Sunset at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica taken by Jorge MazzottiSunset on Tambopota 

We are all responsible for the future health of our planet

Trees in the Amazon Rainforest The Peruvian Amazon

-¦ÍL The Sacred Valley 

World Environment Day

Beautiful Lake Tititcaca - Creative CommonsLake Titicaca 

The future of our planet lies with us

It is our responsibility to cherish our planet. Join us in the World Earth Day celebrations on Twitter with hashtag #WorldEarthDay. For more quotes, and inspiring photography for our home of Peru, check out our Pinterest page.

Spotlight on our GM at El MaPi Hotel Machu Picchu

El MaPi Hotel

We thought it was time to turn our thoughts towards our ByInkaterra property this week: El MaPi Hotel Machu Picchu. Step into the smart, contemporary and cozy confines of El MaPi, amidst the hustle and bustle of Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes), where you can admire and interact with the quaint folksy town and glimpse a peculiar perspective. Here you’ll discover an efficient, lively and people-friendly atmosphere; you are welcomed along with other global guests expecting an unfussy, down-to-earth break. Relax in a pleasant and wholesome ambience after your enlightening visit to Peru’s most distinguished destination, the Machu Picchu Archaeological site. We grabbed ten minutes with our resident manager Gloria Neyra, to find out their latest news.

El MaPi Hotel

1. Tell us a little about your background and how you came to be General Manager at El MaPi

In 2001, I ended my college education as a Tourism Business Administrator, then I stayed 4 years in Puerto Maldonado working for Rainforest Expeditions as their administrator & guide for their touristic lodges – in 2003 I also worked as a guide for Cusco Amazónico – former name of current Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. I had the opportunity to acquire experience in the hotel business when I started working for Inkaterra. I started as a senior reception officer at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, then as a deputy resident manager at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, then as Administrator at El MaPi, byIT, Resident Manager at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción and I am now the Resident Manager at El MaPi, byIT.

2. How is El MaPi unique from the other Inkaterra properties?

El Mapi, byIT, is a practical, easy going city hotel with a different concept than all other Inkaterra Hotels, but still maintains  the same quality as these, giving  an efficient and warm service, with a personalized attention to our guests, always keeping in mind the necessity to protect and maintain the environment. This is why in the hotel you’ll  notice many of our efforts such as recycled material – wood, plastic, forged iron, etc in order to minimize the use of printed paper. Walls and mirrors are our chosen method of transmitting information to our hotel guests.

El MaPi Hotel Reception

3. We hear the recent renovations at El MaPi went really well! How have the new rooms been received?

The current renovations have been received with enthusiasm by our guests who love the new design, especially in this village which is very chaotic and offers limited comfort when our hotel offers a very captivating atmosphere and responds perfectly to the necessities of our current and future guests in search of commodity and comfort. Each space and detail has been deeply thought of for their satisfaction.

El MaPi Hotel rooms

4. What is so special about the area surrounding El MaPi?

El MaPi, byInkaterra, is located along the main avenue of the Machu Picchu Pueblo, just a five minute walk from the train station, one block from the main square and two from the bus station that takes guests to the Machu Picchu Citadel. Besides being so central, our guests only need to walk a few minutes to find shops and the art craft market.

El MaPi Hotel Town

5. How long do you recommend visitors should stay in Machu Picchu?

I recommend that travellers to Machu Picchu stay 3 days/2nights if possible. This gives them the opportunity to discover the Citadel of Machu Picchu with time but also appreciate many other unique attractions, such as the butterfly house, trekking to the Putukusi mountains which face the Machu Picchu Ruins, to Apu Machu Picchu, Mandor, with its falls and interesting wildlife – birds, butterflies, plants, and the Thermal Baths in the upper part of the village.

Laszlo Bolgar PhotostreamApu Machu Picchu, Mandor

6. What’s the signature drink at the El MaPi bar? Any special offers or events coming up?

At our hotel, the signature drink is named:  “El MaPi”,which is a chilcano prepared with pisco, mixed fresh mango pulp, a maceration of lemongrass & pineapple, ginger, lemon & sugar.

The Bar at El MaPi Hotel

7. Apart from visiting Machu Picchu, what would you say is ‘not to be missed’ for visitors coming to the village of Machu Picchu (including local restaurants / bars/ shops)?

Following a visit to Machu Picchu Citadel,visitors must visit the art craft market (below), go to Mandor, trek along the Putukusi mountain or have a drink at El MaPi byIT of course!

RSBasch Photostream

To find out more about El MaPi click here. 

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.

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

Fishing at Cabo Blanco

Iconic ‘Miss Texas’ fishing boat is sailing again in Cabo Blanco, with renowned captain Norm Isaacs on the lead. While it currently serves research purposes in the tropical sea of Northern Peru, the Miss Texas gear is also being tested during excursions. This month, the fishing of a 24-pound Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) was caught on video. Using Boomerang fishing rods tailored for Inkaterra and Everol reels, deckhands Juan Panta and Diego Rehder and angler Alex Passapera (sitting on the Murray Brothers chair) caught the Mahi-Mahi when sailing 12 miles off shore. As soon as it had bitten a cedar plug, the angler did his job and Diego performed the leadering, holding the fishing line to let the catch swim next to the boat. When it was close enough, Juan took care of the gaffing, bringing the fish on board. After weighing it, the catch went into Miss Texas’ ice-filled Engel cooler.

Cabo Blanco

It was just its third expedition and despite sailing dark waters that day, another two Mahi-Mahis were caught while other fish were spotted. It is worth mentioning that just some days before, a 250-pound Black Marlin (Makaira indica) jumped twice near the boat, which allows captain Norm Isaacs to confirm Cabo Blanco’s potential for sport fishing.

Want to keep up to date with the updates from Cabo Blanco? Sign up to our blog or follow us on Twitter and Facebook with hashtag #CaboBlanco

Anaconda found at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción

We have a very exciting sighting this month from Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción!

Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion

It was 10 a.m. when Inkaterra explorer guides Ghlemm and Justo were leading a group of travellers in the ‘Cocha’ excursion. Hidden in some bushes on the shore of Concepción creek, a green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) was encountered. Though it remained tangled and its head could not be seen, a good look at its width and the tail’s end allowed guides to estimate that this snake was about 4 meters long! Other explorer guides were told of the sighting, so they could lead their groups of travelers to where the anaconda remained quiet. Everyone was enthusiastic about it, as this kind of snake is extremely hard to find.

Wildlife spotted at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion

Eunectes murinus (derived from the Greek ‘ευνήκτης’ meaning “good swimmer” and the Latin ‘murinus’ meaning “of mice”, for being thought to prey on mice) is a non-venomous boa species, considered the largest, heaviest and second longest snake. It can reach about five meters long, and female specimens are larger than males in adulthood. Green anacondas are found in South America east of the Andes, from the Guianas to Paraguay, and tend to live in or around water in marshes and swamps from tropical rainforests. Employing constriction to subdue their prey, anacondas eat mostly fish, birds, small mammals and other reptiles. Larger anacondas can even hunt tapirs, deer, capybaras and caimans, though these are not commonly consumed. Though local legends depict this species as a man-eater, little evidence supports this practice.

Anaconda at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion

After about an hour later, the anaconda had migrated as the river and the creek increased their water level due to heavy rains in the area. Such an exciting encounter made a very special day at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion. Have you ever spotted any wildlife during a stay at Inkaterra? Share with us with hashtag #InkaterraWildlife

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