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.

In the spotlight: Gastón Acurio’s Restaurant Empire

We have much to thank Gastón Acurio for. This iconic chef has been the catalyst for the great movement in popularity for Peruvian food across the world. His first restaurant Astrid y Gastón’ was an instant success in the city of Lima, and over the past decade his food and restaurant empire has gone from strength to strength. With over 30 restaurants and a weekly TV show, Gastón is Peru’s most famous chef, and arguably the best known Peruvian in the world. He is now set to open his 2nd restaurant in Spain in the heart of Barcelona. The Tanta Bistro will bring all the richness of Peruvian cuisine to the people of Barcelona. All cravings of Peru will be met, and there will no doubt be new avid fans of Peruvian food.

Gastón recently collaborated with Jordi Roca, famous Spanish Pastry Chef for the BBC’s Collaboration Culture Project. The BBC joined 14 creative people from around the world together, and then paired them up to work on an art project together. Jordi Roca flew to the city of Lima, where himself and Gaston devised sweets made from different varieties of Peruvian potatoes grown high in the Andes, such as potato and chilli jellies and roses made from potato petals and caramel. Gastón and Jordi took to the streets of Lima to give people the chance to taste their collaboration. The Mayor of Lima and the president’s wife were among the few who were lucky enough to taste their take on Peruvian potatoes.

The growth in popularity of Peruvian cuisine would not have been possible without him. His mission isn’t just about opening restaurants, but about selling the country of Peru to the world. He has been known to describe his country as a happy marriage between history and opportunity, melding a profusion of international influences: Amerindian, European, African, Chinese and Japanese, with Peru’s extraordinarily diverse climate and geography as it’s backdrop.

Food is a big part of the Peruvian way of life and subsequently a focus across all of the Inkaterra properties. We blend traditional Andean food with contemporary cuisine, creating an innovative fusion-style fare, and always impeccably served. For those that love indulging in organic and fresh produce, Peru is the go-to-destination, with Inkaterra the ideal place to rest your head.

As Peruvian food continues to grow in popularity, so too will Gastón. Long may the love of Peruvian food foster across the world.

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