Here come the girls: Female Spectacled Bears are welcomed with open paws at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Two new females join The Spectacled Bear Project

Two female spectacled bears (Tremarctos ornatus) named Kina and Josi have been welcomed into the Bear Rescue Project at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. The two bears, who are twins, now have a new place to call home thanks to a collaboration between the Inkaterra Association (ITA)´s representative, resident biologist Carmen Soto at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, the Wildlife Technical Administration (ATFFS), the Attorney General’s Office and the Forest Police.

The local circus

The local circus

Found in a local circus, the bears though docile and well fed by their tamer Ramiro Chávez, were chained to a box that served them as a shelter inside the circus tent. The owners cooperated with the authorities and organised the transfer from Arequipa to Inkaterra’s Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Access to Peru’s renowned bear sanctuary is only possible by foot or train, and the Perurail railway company kindly helped the mission, allowing Kina and Josi to travel from Pachar Station to Machu Picchu Pueblo in a special wagon.

Have arrived at the Spectacled Bear Project at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, Kina and Josi’s quarantine began. After settling into their new home, they were introduced to male resident bears, Yogui, Pepe and Coco. These bears were also found in inadequate circumstances, and now are kept at Inkaterra in a perfect living space for them, with sufficient daily nutrition of fruits and vegetables.

The transportation of the two female bears was a success

Coco, the youngest of the bears (3) was then transferred by rail to a fenced semi-captivity area at Chacra Inkaterra (the Inkaterra green farm) nearby. There, Coco will have a hectare to explore and feed himself from the nearby trees. After forty days, Josi will join Coco for them to get to know each other a little better…

The green native farm at Inkaterra

With a vulnerable conservation status, the spectacled bear is under threat of extinction due to illegal hunting and the loss of habitats due to deforestation and increasing human populations. This then has a negative knock on affect for o ther local wildlife. Spectacled bears have many kilometres of territory and when feeding, spread seeds around their habitat. This contributes to the growth of plants that feed many other species. The disappearance of spectacled bears thereby contributes to the loss of this bountiful ecosystem.

The spectacled bear at Inkaterra

As these bears lose their survival capabilities when under human influence, they cannot return to the wild immediately (in some cases they will not adapt ever again). Inkaterra’s Spectacled Bear Project provides the best conditions for these five bears and is an on-going project towards the conservation and reproduction of these species. With these two new female spectacled bears, there’s hope that more bears will be able to call this place home.

A Sustainable Future for Manu

Launched in 2010 to assist communities in the Amazon to start their own sustainable enterprises, The Crees Manu Project has helped to alleviate poverty, combat malnutrition, fight climate change and protect the rainforest. Standing beneath the canopy of a pristine rainforest is to experience life at its most exuberant. The Amazon Rainforest, otherwise known as the “The Lungs of our Planet” accounts for around 20% of earth’s oxygen, and there is a need to preserve this beautiful natural ecosystem.

Trees in the Amazon Rainforest

Despite a growing awareness of the importance of the Amazon rainforest, it is still under huge threat from logging, mining and burning. Huge areas have been destroyed, poverty is rife in the region and 60% of the children suffer from malnutrition.  The Crees Foundation was set up to combat these challenges; their goal is to reduce poverty and protect the biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest.

Macaws in the Peruvian Amazon

With the help from the local community leader Reynaldo Ochoa, shown in the above video,  and the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, Crees has created a model that enables the community to benefit from the rainforest in a sustainable way. Reynaldo Ochoa is an inspiration to the people of Manu and to us all in how to lead a sustainable life. For the past 20 years he has dedicated his life to finding new ways of living in balance with his environment. By encouraging farmers to plant trees and enabling families to grow fresh organic produce he is helping to forge a sustainable future for the region. Help and funding has helped them with their work over the last three years, however, their funding is set to end in March 2013. Despite all the work they have done, there is a lot more to be done.

With ongoing donations to their project, they hope to:

  • Build biogardens with local families to combat malnutrition using sustainable practices
  • Plant agroforestry plots with local farmers where native Amazon trees are planted alongside banana crops. This is a sustainable wood and crop production alternative, which conserves surrounding forest from logging activity, and protects species biodiversity
  • Build knowledge and capacity through one to one training and workshops on small enterprises, sustainability and resource management

Inkaterra is an association that pioneers ecotourism and sustainability throughout Peru, and the Crees project’s values and mission reflect those found at the heart of the Inkaterra brand. Just like Crees, Inkaterra’s mission is to promote excellence in conservation and biodiversity. Their vision for the future is focused around supporting the local environment in which it operates. The guides across each property strive to improve the lives of the local people and the sustainability of Peruvian nature.

Inkaterra began research and conservation programs over 35 years ago at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. To bring this into further tuition, Inkaterra created Inkaterra Association - an NGO that is devoted to the biodiversity conversation of the unique ecosystems where Inkaterra works. Through the ITA, 15,000 hectares of rainforest at the low basin of the Madre de Dios River are protected every year. It doesn’t stop there. Their education programs enable the local people, the guides and interpreters and the guests that visit, to learn about the enormous wealth of biodiversity in the cloud forest and the tropical Amazon rainforest, the archaeological sites and the living cultures which assure their “Peruness”.  

To read more about the project click here. By donating you will help generate positive guardians of the forest, ensure sustainable development for the people of the Manu Biosphere Reserve, and enable the Crees Project to develop and continue on the path of success that they have already set out to achieve. The Amazon is vital for the existence and future of all human beings on our planet. It’s time for us to do something about it.

37th Anniversary Celebrations at Inkaterra

Inkaterra

The end of 2012 saw the celebration of Inkaterra’s 37th anniversary. The last three decades have been filled with great memories and successes for Inkaterra who are considered a leader in luxury eco-tourism and conservation in Peru. In collaboration with the Inkaterra Association (ITA) the staff took to the main square on Sunday December 16th, in the town of Machu Picchu to mark the celebration.

Educating the local children about conservation and the environment

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 16.22.34

The Inkaterra Fair was held in order to inform the population and visitors about the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and the different activities that take place at Inkaterra. The team spoke of each of their individual conservation programs that run throughout the year such as the rescue centre for the Andean bears. Dr. Phil Wittman, Research associate at ITA spoke to the children about the ecology of insects in the Machu Picchu area and the production of honey, vegetables and herbs that take place at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo. He also sensitised children to the efforts that Inkaterra achieve to benefiting the local environment and conservation.

A fun filled day for everyone

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 16.22.24

With delightful treats being served also, the event was an educational, fun filled day.

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.