Cusco at night

Halloween: The Day of the Creole Song in Peru

Creole Day

Do you not do Halloween? Are all of those silly costumes, sickly sweets and chocolates too much? Well, the Peruvians have a an alternative solution: Creole Music Day. Sounds good doesn’t it? You don’t know the half of it.

So what is it?

To sum up, The Ministry of Culture hosts a meet-up and performance of Peruvian Creole music to celebrate the Día de la Canción Criolla on 31st October.

Cusco Square

Creole Music Day was created in 1944 to celebrate the rich tradition of Peruvian Creole music. The word Creole (pronounced criollo) generally refers to Spanish-influenced culture of the Americas. Creole music was born from a mixture of musical traditions from a variety of groups, including African peoples brought to Peru as slaves. Typical instruments include the Peruvian cajón and the guitar, among others.

Creole Day in Peru

For a taste of Peruvian Creole music, interested parties should head down to the III Encuentro de Centros Musicales (3rd Meeting of Musical Centres), where a number of musicians will demonstrate their skills in the Creole musical tradition. The event begins at 7.00pm and it’s free for anyone to attend.

Inkaterra Cuisine (3) copy

The Peru effect: the rise of Peruvian restaurants across the globe

Finally, Peruvian food has emerged from the shadows and is receiving the international recognition it deserves. In London, the Peruvian restaurant Lima and its head chef Virgilio Martinez were recently awarded Michelin star status (their first of many, we hope) – the first such accolade for a Peruvian restaurant in London. Another proponent of Peruvian food is Martin Morales who, after the phenomenal success of Ceviche in Soho, is opening a second restaurant in Shoreditch. It seems that Londoners can’t get enough of the taste of Peru. And with good reason too…

Virgilio Martinez

You wouldn’t think that nestled away in the corner of South America lays one of the most varied gastronomies. But it is Peru’s location that makes its cuisine so diverse. The seafood rich Pacific Ocean is on Peru’s doorstep, the Amazon gives birth to exotic fruits and herbs, and the Andes provides the perfect climate for potatoes and corn. It is the availability of full, fresh ingredients and the fusion of many different cultures that really sets Peru apart. With common dishes like cerviche, to chifa and nikkei – drawn from Chinese and Japanese migration into Peru, or dishes that can trace their ancestry back thousands of years like pachamanca – succulent meat, traditional, local potatoes and lima beans cooked on hot stones buried underground; Peru really comes alive with its food, and there is a dish to suit even the most discerning of critics.

Peruvian Food

Host to the largest food festival in Latin America, Mistura, Peru – and the Peruvians – take their food exceptionally seriously, with a passion to rival even that of the Italians. Fresh, spicy and full of variety, Peru offers a culinary experience like no other. But, with the bold Mexican and Caribbean flavours to the north, possibly the world’s best steak producer to the south and vibrant, fruity tastes from the east, it is easy to see why Peru has sat somewhat in the shadows until the efforts of a brave few to export it worldwide; and we should all be thankful they did.

Gaston Acurio

London best keep its ears – and stomachs – open for the arrival of “the Peruvian Jamie Oliver”, Gaston Acurio, who is rumoured to have his sights set on the city. It’s about time the rest of the world learnt that food in Peru isn’t just limited to a roasted guinea pig, or half a leg of llama, although they still taste delicious too.

 

Gardens of Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

This month’s top sightings

We’ve had some wonderful wildlife sightings across our Inkaterra properties in the past month. See below for some of our highlights and unique stories from Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion and Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. Each of these sightings are seen and reported by the Inkaterra Explorer Guides during our Inkaterra excursions.

Saltarin

Luis Ortiz, Inkaterra Explorer Guide, has been conducting a Lek Monitoring Project, consisting in a group of males competing for a chance to mate with females, of Band-Tailed Manakins (Pipra fasciicauda) at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. In one of his most recent outings, Luis observed a specimen performing a series of exhibition movements, such as jumping and dancing, in order to attract a mate. The sighting lasted about five minutes, long enough to record the activity, as part of the project, and take the photo above.

Jergon

Written by Lizbeth Chávez, our Explorer guide at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion 

As we headed back to the lodge with two Spanish travellers from a canoe ride at Lake, we were entering the exit canal of the lake and I spotted what appeared to be an extremely poisonous snake. A two meter long fer-de-lance (Bothrops atrox) laid well camouflaged on top of some dead leaves. This snake species is  difficult to observe due to its solitary and silent behaviour. When sighted, it stayed very quiet and still, as if waiting for a distracted prey to walk by. Being underneath the sun’s rays I realised it was basking in order to warm its blood. After a few minutes of observing the snake (which allowed us to take some photos) we decided it was time for us to continue our journey, leaving the fer-de-lance alone sunbathing at the lake.

Caiman-Negro

On the Twilight River excursion with the help of Alan (another Inkaterra Explorer Guide) we observed a rarely seen species of alligator in the Madre de Dios River: a black caiman (Melanosuchus niger). Although we observed the caiman’s head protruding above the water surface, measuring about 70 centimeters long. Calculating the length of his body according to the size of his head (which usually is 7 times longer) we arrived to the conclusion that the caiman was about 4 to 5 meters long from its mouth all the way to the tip of the tail. It was so large that he was not afraid when our boat stopped a few meters away. The caiman stood still for more than 2 minutes, allowing us to observe this reptile in detail: black head,  big eyes, and its mouth filled with sharp teeth. I share with you a photo of the sighting. Enjoy!

A day as a bear at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

A day as a bear...

At 12:30m on September 22nd, Inkaterra staff working near the Vilcanota River reported the sighting of a spectacled bear within the hotel grounds, also known as Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus), walking on the left bank of the Vilcanota River in front of Café Inkaterra restaurant. Fortunately the bear was in sight for more than 30 minutes which allowed staff members and travelers to observe and take pictures of this interesting species. During that time the bear went down to the river, drank water, took a bath, and then climbed a tree to feed on bromeliads. Quite a show. Let’s hope he visits us again!

Spotted at Inkaterra... our spectacle bear family

At 3:45 pm on October 7th, Florentino Candia and Rudy Quiroz, security and logistics personnel at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel respectively, were working near the railroad, when they saw some branches moving on the opposite side of the river. After a few minutes, a spectacle bear (Tremarctos ornatus)appeared from between the branches looking for bromeliads. They immediately reported the sighting to the Ecology and Ecotourism staffs by radio come and watch this interesting species. The bear was 2 years old approximately and looked underweight, due to the dry season that the area was currently going through. The sightings are specially important because we can learn more about the species behaviour, eating and breading habits.

Check back on our blog next month for our top sightings from November!

Inkaterra Bean to Bar experience

Chocolate Week at Inkaterra

Chocolate Week 2013

This week is Chocolate Week (14th-20th October), the one week where it’s socially acceptable to eat chocolate at all hours of the day. Across the UK, brands, businesses and consumers are joining in the fun; from Chocolate Factory Open Days to open screenings of the film Chocolat’, it will no doubt be a week of indulgence. To celebrate this wondrous occasion, Inkaterra has launched a tree-to-tummy chocolatey experience at their Amazon Rainforest hotel Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion. Chocoholics can be enthralled in all things delicious by learning about the world of cocoa, deep in the rainforest.

Chocolate Week 2013

Guides will unveil secrets about the millennium-old cocoa trees and their sought-after pods. Then guests will hike through the plantation’s cocoa groves and learn the magic behind the most decadent of ingredients – used for ceremonial, medicinal as well as culinary purposes in Mayan, Aztec and Inca cultures. Guests also have the opportunity to learn how to make tasty treats including chocolate bars, cookies and freshly baked chocolate bread before tasting the delicious results.

Cocoa pods

José Koechlin, founder of Inkaterra, explains how sustainable practices play a fundamental role in the cocoa harvesting at the property:

Cocoa pods grow along the full length of the tree, which grow particularly tall at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción. In keeping with our conservation ethos, Inkaterra staff only hand-pick pods that grow in the middle of the tree.’

To feel every inch an authentic ‘oompa loompa’, visit Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción from January to March, when the cocoa tree harvest season is at its peak and get involved in a bean-to-bar chocolate-making journey.

Chocolate Week at Inkaterra

Sunset at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

Inkaterra Photo Contest 2013 – Third Quarter Winner

Selen Ediger

We received some incredible entires for our third quarter photography contest, all of which were taken during visits to our Inkaterra properties. We are pleased to announce the Winner of The Inkaterra Photo Contest for the Third Quarter of 2013: Selen Ediger, who visited Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo in 2008. Congratulations Selen! See below for some of our other entries from the third quarter. You can view all our photography on our Pinterest profile here.

Sunset at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica taken by Jorge Mazzotti Sunset at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica taken by Jorge Mazzotti

Selen Ediger, Incredible image of a  (male) white-bellied woodstar taken at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel Selen Ediger, Incredible image of a (male) white-bellied woodstar taken at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Carlos Torres, Black-capped squirrel monkey taken at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion Carlos Torres, Black-capped squirrel monkey taken at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion

Claire Andre, Scarlet Macaw taken at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Claire Andre, Scarlet Macaw taken at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

Our Pinterest ProfileView all the entries for the third quarter on our Pinterest profile 

Jose Koechlin

José Koechlin von Stein wins SAHIC 2013 award

Our founder

Great news for Inkaterra: founder José Koechlin took the award for Developer of the year during the South American Hotel & Investment Conference 2013 (SAHIC 2013), held on September 23rd and 24th at the JW Marriott hotel in Bogota,  Colombia. This prestigious recognition was given for the second time to Mr. Koechlin “in recognition of your tireless and characteristic entrepreneurial spirit, whose devotion to continuously undertake new challenges, either the development of new investments or recovery improvement or upgrade of existing projects, together with the constant contribution for the preservation of the environment, with the marine reserve at Cabo Blanco as your most recent eco-initiatives, is an example of passion, commitment and hard work”, stated SAHIC organiser ‘HVS Global Hospitality Services’.

SAHIC is an annual event of international resonance, which unites South American leaders in Hotel and Tourism business and the Real-Estate industry. Since 2008, it has been celebrated in Buenos Aires (2008), Rio de Janeiro (2009), Cartagena de Indias (2010), Santiago de Chile (2011), and Lima (2012). “SAHIC certainly helps you understand where the industry is today and where it is heading, but above all, it helps you understand where the opportunities lie, how to meet the right partners and build the partnerships that may increase job opportunities”, said its president Arturo García Rosa. In this opportunity, SAHIC gave recognition to the  bold work Inkaterra have been since 1975.

Cabo Blanco

Inkaterra’s most recent project is the recovery of a region of Cabo Blanco in Northern Peru, which during the 1950’s was considered the best zone for game fishing. Inkaterra are working on the protection of the marine reserve Cabo Blanco-Bank of Mancora, and collaborating with local artisanal fishermen guides for the education of sustainable fishing methods, with the purpose of rescuing the area’s biodiversity. Inkaterra wants to transform Cabo Blanco in a model for sustainable tourism, where recreational fishing is a main source of development that encourages economic growth, social inclusion and environmental care.

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Stay tuned on our blog and on our social media channels for updates on this exciting project.