Imagine taking a hill-side in the heart of a cloud forest that is also home to one of the world’s most celebrated archeological sites on earth, and transforming it into a travelers’ retreat – a place to relax, explore nature, encounter the wonders of the Inca civilization and to luxuriate in a atmosphere of refinement, caring and hospitality.
Back in 1975, that was exactly the dream of Inkaterra’s founder, Jose Koechlin, an entrepreneur from Lima whose dream was to make Machu Picchu available to visitors in a way that would be loyal to the site’s holistic Inca heritage. And that would enable guests to immerse themselves in the natural biodiversity, beauty, tranquility and mysticism that are the hallmarks of the Cusco Cloud Forest. Thousands of tourists take the train from Cusco daily to visit the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu, discovered in 1911 by American explorer, Hiram Bingham. And 85% of those visitors spend a few hours at the site, and then board the train back to Cusco.
Koechlin’s dream was to create a haven for visitors that would allow them the luxury of a leisurely visit to Machu Picchu combined with an encounter with what he terms ‘The Inca Experience.’ “The Andes is the home of wonders,” says Koechlin, “not merely archeological remains, but a place of mystery with an aura of tranquility, exotic plants, rare birds and wildlife – and it is all this that we wanted to make accessible to visitors to the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.”
“We needed faucets that would look ‘authentic,’” says Denise Koechlin, so we had them produced at an iron-foundry in Lima. We wanted Inca blankets for the beds, so we commissioned the wool from sheep farmers, had it dyed to our specifications, and woven by a team of local seamstresses. We designed the furniture – replicating the Andean low-log chairs that symbolize humility.”
Each guest is provided with a soft cotton bathrobe, as well as rubber slippers ingeniously carved – with conservation in mind – from used tires! Each bathroom contains a basket of amenities unique to Inkaterra: fragrant aromatherapy oil and a terracotta container in which to warm it, citronella lotion in a brown glass bottle, organic soap and shampoo and a terracotta skin exfoliator, created by Sandra Masias and produced uniquely in Inkaterra’s own workshops. Every aspect of the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel expresses the imagination of Koechlin and his team of visionaries.
Then there is the Fern Walk, and the chance to see 16 different species of hummingbirds, 162 bird species and 108 species of butterflies. And there is the bear sanctuary, where Inkaterra in association with The Bear Rescue Program readapts endangered Andean Spectacled Bears for release back into the wild. All within the hotel private gardens. The Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is self-reliant for much of its produce too – with its own avocado groves, tea plantations and herb garden fragrant with mint, verbena, lemongrass and rosemary. The hotel farms its own trout and has access to organic free-range Andean beef.
The Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel has 83 rooms and suites. It is a fusion of opulent comfort, excellent cuisine, Incan style and construction, a mélange of tropical gardens, plantations, natural beauty and conservation. Its visitors are able to transform a customary exploration of the extraordinary ruins of Machu Picchu into an authentic encounter with the “Inca Experience.”
To know more about Inkaterra, visit www.inkaterra.com or call 1-800 442 5042