Tag Archives: Inkaterra Associación

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Our Inkaterra January 2014 Workshops

2014 has kicked off to a busy start here at Inkaterra with  several successful workshops for our local community, all with the aim of promoting sustainability and ecotourism here in Peru. So far, there have been events for our Inkaterra guides, the local children and for disabled people around the Machu Picchu area. You can read more about each of our events below.

Birding at Inkaterra

Peru is renowned for its birdlife, and the area around Machu Picchu is particularly spectacular in birding terms. We are keen to promote the area as a birdwatching hotspot, and to really allow visitors to really test their binoculars, the Inkaterra Asociación organised a training course for local guides from both Cusco and Machu Picchu. The seminars were led by Manuel Bryce, Fernando Ángulo and Barry Walker, all experts on ecotourism, conservation and birdwatching. Held over four (very rainy) days, participants were taken on field excursions and attended lectures on guiding techniques, conservation ethics and virtual tools for birdwatching. The aim of the training course was to strengthen and empower the local guides to increase Machu Picchu’s presence on the global birdwatching stage, promoting it as the birdwatching destination.

Another session has already been arranged for March showing how committed the local guides are in these conservation projects.

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As part of our commitment to social responsibility, the Inkaterra Asociación organised a creative finger painting workshop for disabled citizens from the region around Machu Picchu. In conjunction with OMAPED, the government office for the disabled, the workshop was held in the Ministry of Culture’s offices. Participants spent the day getting their hands dirty painting pictures of animals that live in and around the cloud forests of Machu Picchu.

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Our Inkaterra Asociación ran a series of children’s workshops during the summer vacations this January to educate children aged 5 to 12 on the importance of ecotourism and conservation. Through games, experiments and seminars the children were taught key messages on themes such as recycling, climate change and natural sciences, both locally in Peru and internationally. The workshops were run by our team of explorer guides, biologists, anthropologists and volunteers from the Inkaterra Asociación, and will help to raise awareness and respect to the local environment.

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We are proud to support local initiatives, and these are the first of many workshops and seminars that will take place for 2014. Stay tuned right here on our blog and on our social media channels for details on the other social initiatives that we will be running throughout the year.

Spectacled Bears at Inkaterra

Here come the girls…

Two new females join The Spectacled Bear Project

Two female spectacled bears (Tremarctos ornatus) named Kina and Josi have been welcomed into the Bear Rescue Project at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. The two bears, who are twins, now have a new place to call home thanks to a collaboration between the Inkaterra Association (ITA)´s representative, resident biologist Carmen Soto at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, the Wildlife Technical Administration (ATFFS), the Attorney General’s Office and the Forest Police.

The local circus

The local circus

Found in a local circus, the bears though docile and well fed by their tamer Ramiro Chávez, were chained to a box that served them as a shelter inside the circus tent. The owners cooperated with the authorities and organised the transfer from Arequipa to Inkaterra’s Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Access to Peru’s renowned bear sanctuary is only possible by foot or train, and the Perurail railway company kindly helped the mission, allowing Kina and Josi to travel from Pachar Station to Machu Picchu Pueblo in a special wagon.

Have arrived at the Spectacled Bear Project at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, Kina and Josi’s quarantine began. After settling into their new home, they were introduced to male resident bears, Yogui, Pepe and Coco. These bears were also found in inadequate circumstances, and now are kept at Inkaterra in a perfect living space for them, with sufficient daily nutrition of fruits and vegetables.

The transportation of the two female bears was a success

Coco, the youngest of the bears (3) was then transferred by rail to a fenced semi-captivity area at Chacra Inkaterra (the Inkaterra green farm) nearby. There, Coco will have a hectare to explore and feed himself from the nearby trees. After forty days, Josi will join Coco for them to get to know each other a little better…

The green native farm at Inkaterra

With a vulnerable conservation status, the spectacled bear is under threat of extinction due to illegal hunting and the loss of habitats due to deforestation and increasing human populations. This then has a negative knock on affect for o ther local wildlife. Spectacled bears have many kilometres of territory and when feeding, spread seeds around their habitat. This contributes to the growth of plants that feed many other species. The disappearance of spectacled bears thereby contributes to the loss of this bountiful ecosystem.

The spectacled bear at Inkaterra

As these bears lose their survival capabilities when under human influence, they cannot return to the wild immediately (in some cases they will not adapt ever again). Inkaterra’s Spectacled Bear Project provides the best conditions for these five bears and is an on-going project towards the conservation and reproduction of these species. With these two new female spectacled bears, there’s hope that more bears will be able to call this place home.

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LSU Tigrisomas Team – USA – Winners of The Birding Rally Challenge, Peru 2013 – Nor Amazonica

The Birding Rally Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the LSU Tigrisomas team from the USA who are the winners of The Birding Rally Challenge, spotting 636 species of bird. The UK Forest Falcons came in close second, spotting 601 species of bird across the seven day rally in the northern regions of Peru. A special congratulations also to Braulio Puma, guide of the winning LSU Tigrisomas team, who is head of the explorer’s guides at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. A wonderful rally was had by all! Stay tuned on our blog and social media channels for news and information on the next Birding Rally Challenge coming to Peru.

The Birding Rally Challenge Results

Congratulations Braulio Puma, guide of the LSU, Tigrisomas

The Winners

Ernesto Benavides Photo taken by Peruvian photographer Ernesto Benavides

The Winners  Photo taken by Peruvian photographer Ernesto Benavides

EB0_3940 Photo taken by Peruvian photographer Ernesto Benavides

 

Cusco Local (1)

A Sustainable Future for Manu

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Launched in 2010 to assist communities in the Amazon to start their own sustainable enterprises, The Crees Manu Project has helped to alleviate poverty, combat malnutrition, fight climate change and protect the rainforest. Standing beneath the canopy of a pristine rainforest is to experience life at its most exuberant. The Amazon Rainforest, otherwise known as the “The Lungs of our Planet” accounts for around 20% of earth’s oxygen, and there is a need to preserve this beautiful natural ecosystem.

Trees in the Amazon Rainforest

Despite a growing awareness of the importance of the Amazon rainforest, it is still under huge threat from logging, mining and burning. Huge areas have been destroyed, poverty is rife in the region and 60% of the children suffer from malnutrition.  The Crees Foundation was set up to combat these challenges; their goal is to reduce poverty and protect the biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest.

Macaws in the Peruvian Amazon

With the help from the local community leader Reynaldo Ochoa, shown in the above video,  and the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, Crees has created a model that enables the community to benefit from the rainforest in a sustainable way. Reynaldo Ochoa is an inspiration to the people of Manu and to us all in how to lead a sustainable life. For the past 20 years he has dedicated his life to finding new ways of living in balance with his environment. By encouraging farmers to plant trees and enabling families to grow fresh organic produce he is helping to forge a sustainable future for the region. Help and funding has helped them with their work over the last three years, however, their funding is set to end in March 2013. Despite all the work they have done, there is a lot more to be done.

With ongoing donations to their project, they hope to:

  • Build biogardens with local families to combat malnutrition using sustainable practices
  • Plant agroforestry plots with local farmers where native Amazon trees are planted alongside banana crops. This is a sustainable wood and crop production alternative, which conserves surrounding forest from logging activity, and protects species biodiversity
  • Build knowledge and capacity through one to one training and workshops on small enterprises, sustainability and resource management

Inkaterra is an association that pioneers ecotourism and sustainability throughout Peru, and the Crees project’s values and mission reflect those found at the heart of the Inkaterra brand. Just like Crees, Inkaterra’s mission is to promote excellence in conservation and biodiversity. Their vision for the future is focused around supporting the local environment in which it operates. The guides across each property strive to improve the lives of the local people and the sustainability of Peruvian nature.

Inkaterra began research and conservation programs over 35 years ago at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. To bring this into further tuition, Inkaterra created Inkaterra Association - an NGO that is devoted to the biodiversity conversation of the unique ecosystems where Inkaterra works. Through the ITA, 15,000 hectares of rainforest at the low basin of the Madre de Dios River are protected every year. It doesn’t stop there. Their education programs enable the local people, the guides and interpreters and the guests that visit, to learn about the enormous wealth of biodiversity in the cloud forest and the tropical Amazon rainforest, the archaeological sites and the living cultures which assure their “Peruness”.  

To read more about the project click here. By donating you will help generate positive guardians of the forest, ensure sustainable development for the people of the Manu Biosphere Reserve, and enable the Crees Project to develop and continue on the path of success that they have already set out to achieve. The Amazon is vital for the existence and future of all human beings on our planet. It’s time for us to do something about it.

Inkaterra 2012 Review

A Review of 2012 for Inkaterra

A successful 2012 for Inkaterra

The dawn of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on all that Inkaterra has achieved in 2012; a year filled with great memories, discoveries and successes.

2012 began well with Inkaterra becoming the first Peruvian hotel chain to win the ‘International Certificate in Sustainable tourism’ by the CU Green Choice Sustainable Tourism Standard. The minister of Tourism and Commerce commented, “It is an honour that a Peruvian hotel chain is the first organization worldwide awarded with such an important Certification.”

February was an exciting time for Inkaterra when two new species of orchids were found at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. This harks back to an observation made back in 2001 by the American Orchid Society who announced that in all probability Inkaterra has the world’s biggest collection of native orchid species (372) in their natural habitat, within a private setting.

Guides at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Inkaterra was in the spotlight again in March with Conde Nast Johansens, the international luxury travel guide,  who nominated Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel as the “Most Excellent Eco Resort” in the 2012 Awards for Excellence. Inkaterra was the only hotel to receive an award in Peru.

The conservation efforts of Inkaterra were highlighted in April with the team picking up the award for Conservation at The Tourism of Tomorrow Awards. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organised by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the winners were announced at the WTTC’s Global Summit in Tokyo, April 16-19, 2012.

The Inkaterra Team pick up the award for Tourism of Tomorrow

Throughout the summer we saw the continuation of the Peruvian food craze with the opening of fine dining restaurant Lima in London. With other Peruvian food diners launching across the globe, and the ever-growing empire of Gaston Acurio, Peruvian food is considered one of the most varied and rich of the world. The World Travel Awards took note of the trend naming Peru as the Best Culinary Destination in the world in 2012. Hailed as a ‘gastronomic superpower’, the South American country fought off stiff competition from notable foodie destinations such as France, China, Italy, Spain and Thailand to come out on top as the best place in the world to eat.

Ceviche

Festivals in Peru are a time for celebration and remembrance. This June, as they do every year, visitors from across South America and around the world travelled to Cusco for the annual Inti Raymi festival, the most important ceremony of the Inca Empire calendar. Each winter solstice, native residents honour the Sun God marking the beginning of a new year: the Festival of the Sun.

There were celebrations a plenty in October, as Inkaterra was recognised for the third consecutive year at this year’s LATA Awards in London. This year Inkaterra was awarded for its efforts towards sustainability.

November was an exciting time for Peru, Inkaterra, and birding enthusiasts across the world. Inkaterra Associación (ITA), worked alongside the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) & PROMPERU as co-organisers, to launch Peru’s first ever Birding Rally Challenge. The challenge was a great success with the winning team from Louisiana State University, nicknamed the ‘Tigrisomas’, identifying 493 species of birds! The UK team – The Forest Falcons – came a close second, narrowly missing out on being crowned the winners by just three species.

The Birding Rally Challenge

In November, the awards continued with Inkaterra being nominated in The World Travel Awards for the World’s Leading Corporate Social Responsibility Programme at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. We were also delighted to received the Relais & Chateaux Sustainability Award at the R&C Congress in Torino.

To round off an excellent year, in December, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel was awarded first position in Peru in the Travel + Leisure 500 Best Hotels of the World in 2013.

Another great accolade for Inkaterra was brought about by education. Mr. Diego Comín, Professor at Harvard Business School (HBS) presented Inkaterra in its very own unique case study for Harvard Business School. The case discusses Inkaterra as a leading Peruvian ecotourism organisation and the unique business model that is currently in place.

2013 looks to be an exciting year already, with a further Birding Rally Challenge already in planning, and the opening of Inkaterra’s Sacred Valley property ‘Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba’, due in the second half of the year. On that optimistic note, Inkaterra looks forward to 2013 and wishes everyone a joyous Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Sunrise over the Peruvian Amazon River

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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.