Tag Archives: Peru

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Afternoon Tea is Served at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba

An authentic Peruvian style afternoon tea is now being served at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, Inkaterra’s latest property set in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

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The Sacred Valley is home to some of the finest Incan sites that are calling to be explored. After a long day of touring the picturesque villages and hiking in the mountains, guests can retreat back to the hacienda to hang up their hiking boots and relax with an afternoon tea.

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Tea is of course the focal point in the proceedings; mint and chamomile are just a few examples of the infusions on offer that are harvested from the property’s orchard. Some aromatic herbs are proposed to you on arrival to ensure the tea is exactly what you need.

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Other types of organic tea, including black and green, derive from the sustainable farming  Organic Tea Plantation at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, which offers a behind-the-scenes tour where you can witness the traditional tea making process. The tea is farmed using organic agricultural methods combined with ancient manual and carbon-free farming.

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With the hacienda’s Earth to Plate concept in mind, the afternoon delicacies that go hand in hand with the organic tea offerings are baked using ingredients from the Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba Farm. Cakes such as vanilla, orange and quinoa as well as carrot and coca biscuits are just a few of the selection.

Afternoon tea is served at all Inkaterra properties and is adapted to each individual area.

For more information on Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba’s Earth to Plate concept, please click here.

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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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Traditional Peruvian Farming

With the Inca history being so deeply engrained in the local region, it is no surprise that our new Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of the Incas takes inspiration from this ancient civilisation with 10 acres of farmland, the new hacienda uses some of the same methods that the Incas used centuries ago…

Crops such as Quinoa, Potato and Corn are resilient, ideal for the Peruvian climates thanks to how the Incas farmed them all those years ago.  At Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, we have recreated and solely use the traditional methods of the Incas to grow these crops ourselves.

Flickr image courtesy of net_efekt http://bit.ly/1Jq0WVn

Flickr image courtesy of net_efekt http://bit.ly/1Jq0WVn

We use tacllas, a foot plough, developed by traditional farmers to prepare the soil for planting by using human weight to turn up the ground.

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Oxen and llamas are also used on the farm and we also only use traditional oxen carts, instead of modern farming such as machinery and tractors to transport our crops.

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These farming methods have helped us develop our ‘Earth to Plate’ concept, giving guests a completely unique taste and food experience.

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You can experience this traditional farming at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba as part of your Inkaterra experience.

For more information, please click here.

 

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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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.

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What to Take When Trekking in Peru

Whether you are trekking the infamous trek up to Machu Picchu, exploring one of our nature trails or trailing the Amazon Rainforest; we at Inkaterra know how essential it is to plan ahead to make sure your backpack has everything you need to make your adventure enjoyable. We have taken a few tips from our Inkaterra Travel Recommendations Pack for items that should be in your bag when trekking in Peru.

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Footwear

We recommend sturdy hiking boots as opposed to trainers. Ideally, these should be breathable to keep your feet dry and have good ankle support. Definitely break these in before starting your trek – you certainly don’t want blisters ruining the amazing experience! If blisters are a problem, then make sure you have a roll of Zinc tape in your bag – an easy and effective way of avoiding rubbing.

Flickr image courtesy of Alan Levine http://bit.ly/1zB7f6w

Flickr image courtesy of Alan Levine http://bit.ly/1zB7f6w

Trousers

First and foremost, go for long trousers; if you wear shorts or cut offs, you run the risk of mosquito bites. Materials that dry quickly are also recommended, just incase you get wet along the way (this can be likely, the weather changes dramatically depending on elevation and season) Comfort is the most important thing – a baggy pair of trousers allows for room to move and also stops mosquitoes being able to bit through the fabric.

Flickr image courtesy of Katja Schulz http://bit.ly/1c5wV07

Flickr image courtesy of Katja Schulz http://bit.ly/1c5wV07

Fleece

Fleece is the ideal material for hiking or trekking as it’s lightweight and comfortable. It’s easy to carry and can be easily rolled up to fit in your backpack.  It also dries quickly when you get wet – which happens quite frequently in the rainforest!

Rain Poncho

This is the preferable option over a rain jacket. It’s easy to carry, take on and off and can even cover your backpack as well!

Cataraya De Mandor Waterfall Flowing into the Urubamba River

Mosquito Repellent

Plenty of strong natural & organic mosquito repellent is a must! At Inkaterra we provide lemongrass, proven to be an effective mosquito repellent. Ensure your body and even your clothes are covered to make sure you don’t get nipped by pesky bugs.

Flickr image courtesy of Mike Mozart http://bit.ly/1zBc93m

Flickr image courtesy of Mike Mozart http://bit.ly/1zBc93m

For more information on treks and excursions from our Inkaterra properties, please click here.

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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

Jose Koechlin in office

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.