Tag Archives: Eco-Tourism

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Inkaterra Founder Jose Koechlin on 40 Years of Inkaterra

Inkaterra founder and owner José Koechlin  visited the UK last week to mark the start of the Inkaterra 40th Anniversary. Mr Koechlin shared his favourite moments, the making of Inkaterra and some teasers of what Inkaterra has in the pipeline. To ensure you don’t miss out, we’ve shared some of the highlights from Mr Koechlin’s remarkable life and a few snippets of his words of wisdom.

Jose Koechlin

José Koechlin has been a pioneer of eco and sustainable tourism, dedicating his life to conservation in Peru since 1975. Throughout these 40 years, Mr Koechlin has chaired numerous tourism and conservation boards including Chairman of the Sociedad Hoteles del Perú, and E-Meritus Board Member of Conservation International (Washington D.C.), adding huge value to their respective sectors in Peru.

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Mr Koechlin sponsored major inventories of flora and fauna in the Amazon basin, resulting in Harvard Professor E.O. Wilson’s inventory finding more ant species at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica than anywhere else in the world. He is responsible for the creation of the world’s largest collection of native species of orchids (372) in their natural habitat (according to the American Orchid Society) at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. As well as orchids, there are 18 unique species of hummingbird at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is also home to the Andean Bear Rescue Centre, one of Mr Koechlin’s concepts that recovers bears that have been negatively affected by human impact and reintroduces them into their natural habitat.

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Mr Koechlin was the founder of ‘The Purification Inca Trail’ to Machu Picchu and also the original Hiram Bingham Trail – having trekked through thick forestation to find the hidden trail.

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Inkaterra have been awarded numerous recognitions, notably Relais & Châteaux 2013 Environment Trophy, the 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Award for Conservation (WTTC). This year Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel was named as one of National Geographic Traveller’s Unique Lodges of the World.

On his visit, Mr Koechlin partook in an interview about his life and works. When asked about the reasoning behind the concept of Inkaterra and his works in sustainability he answered:

‘At the age of 10, I went on a mission at school, who took us on trips to far away places with no electricity and no modernity. It is there that I realised my purpose was to do worthwhile things. Learn what nature has provided so that you may use that wealth to create wealth…’

 

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Inkaterra Participates in World Environment Day

World Environment Day falls on the 5th June every year as an initiative by the United Nations to spread awareness of environmental issues. As strong supporters of the day, we at Inkaterra had a jam-packed itinerary on the day across our properties so we thought we would share a little bit of what we did at Inkaterra Hacienda UrubambaInkaterra Hacienda Concepción and Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel...

Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba

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At our newest property, we invited children of our employees to visit and partake in a day of reforestation activities. The children explored the hacienda’s grounds for a treasure hunt before sharing the World Environment Day activities that they learnt about in school. Each child then had the special opportunity of planting a eucalyptus tree on the grounds to commemorate the day and discuss how important protecting the planet is.

Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción

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At Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion, we placed more of an emphasis on recycling. Victor, our guide and a group of travellers set off on the trails leading from the hotel collecting littered plastic and brought it back to the hotel to recycle. As well as this, students from the Puerto Maldonado´s Guillermo Billinghurst primary school visited the hotel and were given a talk from guides, Alan and Fray on the importance of World Environment Day before heading down the Cocoa trail to learn more from the guides about reforestation at the hotel.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

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The day began at 9am, where all colleagues from house keeping to human resources  went down to the rio Alcamayo to clear the litter and return it to the hotel for recycling. In the afternoon, travellers who were following the Orchid Trail, were given a lecture and demonstration on what we do to preserve the environment on which we work and live.

Deforestation: the facts

In Peru, 715ha of forest is lost everyday from illegal logging and coca growing to name a few.

World Environment Day is very close to our hearts, our sustainability policy highlights our endeavours in saving the planet – Together, we can make a difference.

 

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The Last Month at Inkaterra

April at Inkaterra has been both exciting and action packed with new openings, lots of visitors and some exciting initiatives taking place. made for an exciting and packed April. For those of you that couldn’t join us, we have put together a list of highlights so you can share in the excitement.

From Earth to Plate at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba

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In the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba boasts 100 acres (40.47 has.) of  land, nestled amongst the stunning Andean surroundings. This marvellous landscape has made  way for the hacienda’s new ‘earth to plate’ concept that allows guests to pick  their own produce from some of the most fertile land in Peru before enjoying a delicious meal prepped by chef Rafael Casin. Journalist  Paul Richardson recently visited the hacienda in ‘its glorious setting’  and experienced this concept first hand. Roaming the land with our ecological guide José Luis Lavilla, Paul studied the chacra that is home to a vast expanse of crops including ‘waving fronds’ of potatoes and quinoa as well as tree tomatoes and peppers all of which are used in our kitchen at the property. Find out more about Paul Richardson’s visit here.

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Emotions Travel Community

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In its second year, the  Emotions Travel Community was held at Faena Art Centre in Argentina. All five Inkaterra properties were showcased including our eco- tourism initiatives that we have pioneered for the past 40 years. The event was wrapped up with a cocktail reception, hosted by owner and chef Jean Paul Bandoux from Relais & Châteaux.

 

Movies on the Beach

Cabo Blanco - A sea worth saving - Inkaterra

As part of Cabo Blanco‘s 100th anniversary and to raise awareness on marine diversity, the Inkaterra Asociación organised an outdoor screening of the Disney documentary ‘Oceans’ followed by ‘Rutas de Gigantes’, a film that promotes eco-tourism as a source of income for local populations in Los Órganos and Cabo Blanco.

World Earth Day Celebrations at Inkaterra

World Earth Day Celebrations at El MaPi Hotel, byInkaterra

Our guests had a wonderful time celebrating World Earth Day at El MaPi Hotel last week. See below our highlights from the day. The children staying with us helped our hotel team to plant trees and seeds in the gardens of the hotel. By educating the younger generation, we hope that they will understand and continue to help towards a healthy future for our planet.

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World Earth Day Celebrations

Planting a tree in the hotel's grounds

World Earth Day Celebrations

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37th Anniversary Celebrations at Inkaterra

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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

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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

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

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Inkaterra: Winner of the LATA 2012 Award for Sustainability

It was celebrations all round this week, as Inkaterra was recognised for the third consecutive year at this year’s LATA Awards in London. This year Inkaterra were awarded for their efforts towards Sustainability.

The awards recognise and reward members for their excellence in areas including sustainability, customer service, innovation and promotional success while encouraging travel to the region. The annual awards are highly regarded amongst the Latin American travel industry and seen as a true reflection of the companies who go above and beyond on a day-to-day basis while working in the region. Nominations come from LATA members, all specialists in their field, who are asked to put forward the company or individual, that they think are most worthy of an award in the specific areas. A panel of judges appointed by the LATA committee then decide on the winners.

Since 1975 Inkaterra has been leading the way in eco-tourism and sustainability in South America. Their mission seeks to achieve excellence in eco-tourism and conservation, continually evaluating the real cultural, social and natural values around us whilst creating authentic experiences for their guests. Inkaterra promotes Scientific Research for the Conservation of Ecosystems and Natural Resources funded by Ecotourism, as a replicable model for local communities; offering authentic experiences, capturing, disseminating and educating about the culture and nature of Peru.

LATA Chairman, Chris Pickard, said: “It is always an honour to present these awards to the most deserving members, who really have shone out as leaders in their area of expertise, particularly companies such as Inkaterra that are achieving excellence year after year. These winners inspire and encourage others to follow in their footsteps and highlight the very best that Latin America has to offer.”

Inkaterra are delighted to receive this award and look forward to continue to lead the way in their sustainability efforts in Latin America.

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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.