Lima, November 2004


LIMA, PERU, NOVEMBER 2004: Jose Koechlin, Chairman and CEO of INKATERRA, announced the opening of South America's most modern Canopy Walk, in the private ecological reserve adjoining its Reserva Amazónica lodge, an hour from Puerto Maldonado.

The INKATERRA Canopy Walk, built by the US firm Canopy Construction Associates (, has, in its first stage, a total length of 345 meters (1131 feet) of which 200 meters (656 feet) are divided between seven hanging bridges, 25 meters (82 feet) in six circular treetop observation platforms, and 120 meters (393 feet) in two 35-meter (114 feet) high towers. The whole structure has been designed to avoid any negative impact on the environment.

These features (camouflaged to blend in with the surroundings and with towers installed to make it possible to spend the night in the canopy) make this Canopy Walk the only one of its kind in the world. Quinilla and shihuahuaco, two of the hardest woods from the rainforest, were used in its construction, and other materials were brought from the US, such as the steel cables and wire mesh ecologically treated against corrosion for protection along the sides. The structure allows comfortable and secure treetop observation of flora and fauna, including orchids, bromeliads, amphibians, insects, birds and primates, in addition to extraordinary views of the beautiful Madre de Dios River and the surrounding landscape, the Tambopata National Reserve, the INKATERRA Ecological Reserve, and the subcanopy, or the zone of the tops of the medium high palms and trees.
In the second stage, to begin in May 2005, the INKATERRA Canopy Walk will be completed with an additional 260 meters (853 feet) of bridges, 10 additional platforms and a third tower over 35 meters (114 feet) tall, which will turn this system of arboreal walkways into one of the longest and most sophisticated in the world.

All of the economic benefits from this project are administered by the NGO Inkaterra Association (ITA) and will serve to finance conservation and social development projects carried out in Madre de Dios. These projects are supervised by the World Bank, International Conservation, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the National Geographic Society. This project has been possible thanks to a loan awarded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) - the United Nations Environmental Program - and the support of the National Geographic Society and the International Finance Corporation (IFC, of the World Bank).

INKATERRA is a Peruvian organization that has pioneered experiences in ecotourism and resource conservation since 1975. It has an alliance with ITA by which profits from the company are reserved for conservation and development programs in two ecosystems having the greatest biodiversity in the world: the cloud forest of Machu Picchu and the wet tropical forest of Madre de Dios. INKATERRA has hotels in both places: the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel and Reserva Amazónica.

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