Tag Archives: Inkaterra

Image from SoutWindAdventures.com

Festival Season in Peru

Across the world, ‘festival season’ has begun in earnest, and we’ve outlined some of the best festivals and celebrations in Peru this summer, meaning there is no excuse for missing a true Peruvian party.

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In June we have the world-famous Inti Raymi celebration. The Festival of the Sun is a hugely popular event in Peru, and on the 24th June, Cusco will be covered in bright colours, vibrant costumes, colourful dancers and music in celebration. Inti Raymi culminates a week of festivities in Cusco, marking the Incan ceremonies and traditions of the winter solstice. This is a highlight in the Peruvian calendar, and the celebrations have spread internationally, meaning this is more than just a Peruvian tradition, and more of a world class festival.

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July brings a celebration of history, with Fiestas Patrias – or Peruvian Independence Day. In 1821, Peru declared itself independent from Spanish colonialists, and this celebration marks the birth of the best country in South American (of course, we’re biased.) Celebrations are again colourful and vibrant, with traditional dance performances, official street parades, fireworks and traditional entertainments such as horsemanship.
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August is the month dedicated to Pachamama, the Earth Mother. In the Southern Andes, August is the coldest month, and is therefore seen as an ‘unlucky’ time for crop growing and harvest. During this time Andean people believe that they must be on good terms with nature in order to keep themselves and their crops and livestock healthy and protected. Traditionally, before Andean New Year on the 1st August, families prepare to honour Pachamama by cooking a huge feast. The host then digs a hole in the ground, and if the soil comes out cleanly, this means that it will be a good year; If it does not, the year will not bountiful. Before any of the guests are allowed to eat, the first plate of food is offered to Pachamama as a ‘sacrifice’.
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Peru is renowned for its friendly and welcoming nature, and what better time to experience the vibrant culture and traditions that one of these summertime festivals.

 

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Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba Executive Chef – Rafael Casin on Earth to Plate

Rafael Casin, our executive chef at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba conceptualised and created a unique gourmet offering for guests at the hacienda, using his concept: Earth to Plate. With a strong focus on using the produce of the Urubamba Valley to give guests a unique taste experience that is exclusive to Inkaterra. Here, Rafael explains the reasoning behind the concept.

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”The cuisine of the region was our main inspiration behind Earth to Plate. We use as much local produce as possible whilst utilising the organic production of our native farm. Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba has a large store of food with its 3 hectare farm and we have enough local produce which we share with our Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.”

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”The Earth to Plate” concept starts from the minute you arrive with the welcome-drink, chicha morada that is made from the purple corn from the grounds. I would then go for the pastel de choclo for a starter, because there’s nothing better than Urubamban corn.”

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My choice of main would be between the aromatic tagliatelle with wild pine tree mushrooms that only sprout after lightning in the forests around Cusco or the baked smobish trout.”

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”The Earth to Plate” concept means that we rely upon our orchard and local farms to ensure we create fresh, artfully crafted cuisine that will give you a foodie experience like no other.

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For more information on the Earth to Plate concept, please click here.

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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

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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.

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Llamas and Peru

Llamas are synonymous with Peruvian culture and have been at the forefront of the Peruvian way of life for centuries. That’s why we thought we’d share with you just why we love them so much.

Flickr Image courtesy of Jocelyn Saurini http://bit.ly/1DXW0AD

Flickr Image courtesy of Jocelyn Saurini http://bit.ly/1DXW0AD

The llama was one of the only domesticated animals for the Incas and were considered a lifeline for them. They were used as a main source of food, transportation and wool. Llamas almost became extinct with the fall of the Incan Empire, however some managed to survived the harsh conditions high in the Andes, which cemented the llama as a focal point of Peruvian society and culture to this day.

Travel to Peru and you will find young children with their llamas; it is common for children to be given their own llama to raise for their wool,  raising them by hand until the llama (and child) reaches adulthood.

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Quick Facts:

  • Llamas have two toed feet which is why they are so good at being pack animals
  • The llama was so significant to the Incas, that the mountain gods were offered a gold llama which they believed could be used to show the sun’s regenerative powers
  • If their load is too heavy, llamas will lie on the floor and kick their owner until they are unburdened
  • The current population of llamas in South America is up to 7 million

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22nd April: Earth Day 2015

The 22nd of April marks  Earth Day 2015, the world’s largest civic event celebrating and promoting environmental initiatives and a public commitment to conservation and sustainability.

Inkaterra is proud to join millions across the globe in marking Earth Day 2015, with a variety of initiatives occurring across the various lodges and properties .

At both Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica and Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción, guests and staff will have the opportunity to give something back to the environment, with litter picking taking place across the local wildlife trails, and an organised river clean-up to remove refuse and pollutants from areas that many species call home. Inkaterra explorer-guides will also conduct special nature walks highlighting the importance of protecting the local environment.

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Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel will be holding special activities that guests are invited to get involved with, such as a unique Earth Day video screening, and a special explanation by some of the Explorer Guides on the reforestation of the area surrounding the hotel. We have also organised a collaboration with the local school, whereby students will receive a special lecture on the significance of Earth Day, and the implications and responsibilities that this day brings. Additionally, a competition has been organised at the school to highlight the necessity of protecting the local environment, promoting the importance of conservation and sustainability amongst the local population.

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At the newly opened Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, staff are conducting an area-wide litter pick campaign in the Sacred Valley, and will spend some of their day ensuring that the local area is litter and pollution free – just as nature intended.

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We are proud to be part of Earth Day, and are honored to be part of this worldwide commitment to improving and protecting the natural state of the Earth. We encourage all our staff, guests, readers and friends to involve themselves in Earth Day in any way they can.

 

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Inkaterra This Month

The last month has held some exciting activities and news for the team at Inkaterra, one being the launch of our eagerly awaited new luxury property, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here, we will share with you some of the weird and wonderful highlights of the past few weeks from Inkaterra.

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Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba

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Our newest luxury hotel in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas opened its doors  this month. The 12 room traditional Peruvian “casa hacienda” will see a further 24 casitas opening this summer. Each luxury room offers views of the hacienda’s stunning surroundings and private gardens, allowing you to escape into the serene and spiritual Andean atmosphere, in true Inkaterra style.

New Species of Orchid Found at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

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Horticulture fans will be excited to hear that two new orchid species have been discovered in the grounds of our Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo HotelTelepogon Koechlinorum, named after Inkaterra CEO José Koechlin and Trichosalpinx Reticulata both highlight a new record for Peru. The number of new identifiable orchid species at the Inkaterra Orchid Trail has risen to 17 according to recent publications.

 

José Koechlin Named as a Member of the Global Council of Gastronomic Diplomacy

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Inkaterra founder and Chairman, José Koechlin is now a member of the Global Council of Gastronomic Diplomacy. The main actions of this private – public alliance are to promote tourism and promote culture and national identity as well as educate global chefs on Peruvian goods and flavours.

For more news from Inkaterra, please click here. 

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Introducing Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba

We at Inkaterra are delighted to be introducing Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in between Cusco and Machu Picchu.

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Spanning 10 acres (4.05 has) and amongst stunning countryside, the property is home to 12 rooms including a three room ‘Owners Suite’.  All rooms have views of the valley as well as the surrounding area, allowing you to be completely immersed in the open space. An additional 24 casitas will be opening this summer, offering a private and bespoke accommodation choice.

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Custom made interiors and pre-Columbian textiles that cover the walls were carefully picked by Denise Guislain-Koechlin, with help from her husband, Inkaterra’s founder and CEO Jose Koechlin.

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The properties surround a farmland that houses an organic plantation, where you can pick your own produce from quinoa and artichokes to Urubamba giant corn.  Guests are encouraged to get involved in the natural farming methods used to maintain the land, including ”tacllas” – a hand plough, pulled by an oxen.

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Enjoy a range of in house activities such as bird watching (over 30 species of bird are found on the grounds) and horseback riding. Excursions can also be taken to the surrounding areas to ensure you have a truly authentic Inkaterra experience.

For more information on our properties, please click here. 

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Sustainability, Conservation and the Inkaterra Asociación

As the number of visitors enjoying what Peru has to offer is at an all time high, so is the importance of protecting and preserving iconic landmarks and species. Sustainability, conservation and the Inkaterra Asociación is a relationship that endeavours to preserve and protect these landmarks whilst educating others on the key facts.

The Rainforest

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The Amazon Rainforest covers a billion acres of South America, if it were a country, it would be the 9th largest in the world. However, one and a half acres of rainforest is lost every second due to a variety of factors. In 2006, the Peruvian Government gave the concession of eco-tourism – ‘Reserva Ecológica Inkaterra’ – this comprised 10,000 HA of land 15km next to our Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Lodge. From here, the ITA work to generate new eco-tourism products, develop and implement conservation activities and sustain the management of natural resources.

Andean Bears

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Andean bears are the only bear species to be found in South America. The species is under threat from many factors including habitat loss, hunting and the wildlife trade. In the grounds of our Inkaterra Machu Picchu hotel, the ITA have created a rescue centre for this endangered species that is currently home to five bears. Its main objectives are to rehabilitate and work on reproduction and reinsertion programmes.

Cabo Blanco Marine Reserve

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A variety of species can be found in the waters surrounding the country. From various crustaceans and sea turtles to humpback whales and there is no doubt that there are many more amazing and unique species waiting to be discovered. With this in mind, the ITA works to preserve and protect  these species that live there and invests research into the discovery of new ones as well.

For more information on the ITA and what they do, please click here.

 

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La Hora del Planeta – Earth Hour

Following the tragic landslide (huayco) that occurred on Monday in Chosica near Lima, claiming eight lives and leaving many others injured and homeless; targeting climate change has never been more important.

On Saturday 28th March, we will be taking part in ‘La Hora del Planeta’ (Earth Hour) across our lodges to both show our support to those affected by the tragic events in Peru earlier in the week and to make a contribution to helping the planet both environmentally and socially.

Flickr Image by Woodley Wonderworks http://bit.ly/1D57h8b

Flickr Image by Woodley Wonderworks http://bit.ly/1D57h8b

Earth Hour started in 2007 by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) as a lights off event in Sydney, Australia. Now, 7000 countries across the globe participate.  The campaign has been very successful in promoting awareness of the devastating effects on our planet that are a result of climate change.

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Across all our lodges between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm on Saturday 28th March we will be switching off the power and observing these all important 60 minutes. We urge all our followers to do the same – together, we can make a difference.

For more information on Earth Hour and how you can contribute, please click here.