Inkaterra has pioneered ecotourism and sustainable development in Peru. Committed to scientific research and conservation, Inkaterra shares biodiversity and culture with the world through authentic travel experiences. Inkaterra hosts more than 200,000 travellers every year.
Home to 84 of the world’s 103 ecosystems and 28 of the 32 climates on the planet, Peru is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries. When combined, these countries make up 70% of the planet’s total biodiversity. Due to this huge variety in the environment, scientists estimate there to be 25,000 plant species, 472 species of mammals, 20% of the world’s butterfly species and 1,816 bird species in just five main areas of Peru.
The Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest is the most extensive tropical forest on Earth, with the highest density of plant and animal species in the world. Spanning nine South American countries, and 2.5 million square miles of land in total, the Amazon provides essential ecosystem services throughout its territory. The forest is crucial for stabilizing the world’s rainfall patterns and for storing huge amounts of carbon, helping to prevent climate change. The Amazon is also inhabited by millions of indigenous people who, for generations, have called the jungle home.
Guests of the Inkaterra lodges in the Madre de Dios region can discover the variety of native plant and animal species by visiting the Gamitana Farm, which is part of the agroforestry project run by the Inkaterra Asociación.
The Andean Cloud Forests
The Andean Cloud Forests hold the highest number of endemic species – plants and animals that are found nowhere else in the world. These forests occur in the Andes because of the humidity moving west from the Amazon rainforest cooling and condensing into water as it travels upwards to the mountains. The forests extend from about 2,000 feet (600m) to approximately 12,000 feet (3,658m) elevation, and more than 300 species of birds are found in the Cloud Forests of Peru, including the Cloud Forest that surrounds Machu Picchu, with 214 species observed within the exuberant tropical gardens of Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, of which 18 are hummingbird species.
With the steep slopes and fragile soils putting the Cloud Forests at risk of erosion and degradation, it is extremely important to protect the Andean Cloud Forests and their incredible biodiversity.
One of the most well-known species of the Cloud Forest surrounding Machu Picchu is the Andean Bear. Whilst staying at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel you can observe some of these curious creatures by visiting Inkaterra Asociación’s Andean Bear Rescue Center.
Páramo Grasslands are high-altitude ecosystems situated about 10,000 feet (2,048m) above the timberline but 18,000 feet (5,487m) below the permanent snow line. The vegetation is mainly composed of grasses, shrubs, and giant rosette plants. This unique ecosystem is located only in the Andes of Northern Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and some small areas in Central America.
In recent years botanical researchers have concluded that the Andean Páramo is very likely to be the fastest evolving biodiversity hotspot on Earth. Species in the Páramo have evolved within a hugely varied landscape of glacier-formed valleys and plains with lakes, peat bogs and wet grasslands interspersed with shrub-land and forest patches. This landscape, combined with its high-altitude, has resulted in species having to adapt to low atmospheric pressure, the drying effects of strong winds and much more.
Tropical Deciduous Forests
The Tropical Deciduous Forests are found along the northern coast of Peru and southern coast of Ecuador. These environments are dense during the wet summer, but during the dry winter the leaves fall and the canopy opens up, resulting in a wide array of uniquely adapted species. As these forests are located on the equator, they lie directly in the rain shadow of the Andes, the world’s longest mountain range, meaning they get very little moisture from the ocean for up to eight months of the year.
Marine, Coastal and Wetlands
Mangroves, estuaries, lagoons, and oceans all support the complex life that sustains marine fisheries and provides the freshwater to form wetlands. They are significant for their marine biodiversity and critical for migrating birds. Peru’s northern sea holds roughly 70% of the nation’s marine biodiversity, including many endemic species.
New ecotourism initiatives by the Inkaterra Asociación, in the coastal town of Cabo Blanco, aim to restore and conserve the Peruvian Tropical Sea, whilst contributing to the social and economic development of the local community. There are a variety of marine conservation initiatives, ranging from biodiversity inventories and species identification, to the promotion of sustainable fishing and development of the ‘Sea to Table’ concept within Peru.
While staying at Inkaterra you can explore the world wonders of the Amazon Rainforest of South-Eastern Peru and the Andean Cloud Forest, find out more about these stunning ecosystems by visiting www.inkaterra.com.
The influential lifestyle magazine TRAVEL+LEISURE just announced its 2019 World’s Best Award Winners. Inkaterra is named as third best in the ‘World’s Best Hotel Brands’, a selection of the 25 outstanding companies in the hospitality industry. It is the only Peruvian brand mentioned in this ranking.
“It is truly an honor to have a Peruvian brand among the world’s 25 best, according to Travel+Leisure’ readers,” stated José Koechlin von Stein, Inkaterra founder and CEO. “We are so grateful with our travelers’ invaluable support, who acknowledge four decades of teamwork, resilience and perseverance to share Peru’s cultural richness and natural diversity with the entire world”.
Established in 1975, Inkaterra pioneered ecotourism and sustainable development in Peru. According to its holistic approach, the brand produces scientific research as a basis for biodiversity conservation, education and the wellbeing of local communities in the Amazon rainforest of Madre de Dios, the Machu Picchu cloud forest, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the city of Cusco and the Tropical Sea, coast and dry desert of Cabo Blanco in Northern Peru.
Celebrated for its hotels’ artisanal design, inspired by native architecture and built with local materials in harmony with the environment, Inkaterra caters to more than 200,000 travelers every year. The brand is member of various alliances, including Relais & Châteaux, Virtuoso and National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.
TRAVEL + LEISURE PREMIA A INKATERRA COMO UNA DE LAS MEJORES MARCAS DE HOTELES DEL MUNDO
La influyente revista de viajes y estilo de vida TRAVEL+LEISURE anunció este miércoles 10 de julio a los ganadores de los World’s Best Awards 2019. La cadena de hoteles Inkaterra destaca en el tercer puesto de la categoría ‘Mejores Marcas de Hoteles del Mundo’, una selección de las 25 compañías mejor reconocidas en la industria de la hospitalidad. Se trata de la única marca peruana en el mencionado ranking.
“Es un verdadero orgullo que una marca peruana se encuentre entre las 25 favoritas, de acuerdo a la opinión de los lectores de Travel+Leisure”, expresó José Koechlin von Stein, fundador y presidente de Inkaterra. “Agradecemos el invaluable apoyo de nuestros viajeros, quienes hacen posible este reconocimiento a cuatro décadas de trabajo en equipo, resiliencia y perseverancia para compartir con el mundo la riqueza cultural y la diversidad natural del Perú”.
Fundada en 1975, Inkaterra es pionera del ecoturismo y el desarrollo sostenible en el Perú. De acuerdo a su visión holística, produce investigación científica como punto de partida para
determinar la conservación de la biodiversidad, la educación y el bienestar de las comunidades locales en el bosque amazónico de Madre de Dios, el bosque de nubes de Machu Picchu, el Valle Sagrado de los Incas, la ciudad del Cusco y el desierto marino-costero de Cabo Blanco.
Reconocida por el diseño artesanal de sus hoteles, inspirados en la arquitectura nativa y construidos con materiales locales en armonía con el entorno natural, Inkaterra es visitada cada año por más de 200,000 viajeros. La cadena forma parte de diversas alianzas, entre ellas Relais & Châteaux, Virtuoso y National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.
Here at Inkaterra, we’re dedicated to delivering authentic, immersive experiences, while striving to protect and preserve the flora and fauna that flourish in Peru. With an array of exhilarating excursions, we cater to each and every kind of adventurer, from family travellers to solo explorers. Here are just a few of the experiences you can enjoy while staying at Inkaterra:
The archaeological site of Pisaq
While staying at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, you can discover the Sacred Valley of the Incas’ finest and most impressive Inca complex — the archaeological site of Pisaq — from terraces built on its hills and overlooking the typical village of Pisac. To get to this historical point you can hike the winding paths along the mountain cliffs, and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery.
Once you have explored the ancient buildings, you can pay a visit to the colourful town and market down in the valley, where an artisan fair is stocked with fine woven crafts, tapestries, handicrafts and textiles from the local community and neighbouring villages. On Sundays a mass is celebrated in Quechua language with the assistance of local mayors or varayoc wearing their native clothes and accompanied by the sound of pututos (a traditional musical instrument made of a marine shell that emits a powerful sound)
Inkaterra Canopy Walkway
A visit to Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica is not complete without walking along the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway. Start your adventure with a motorised canoe ride to the Interpretation Center before climbing the first tower of the walkway at 125 feet (38m) above the forest floor. Walk through the treetops along seven suspension bridges that link eight observation platforms and enjoy sounds and, smells, also landscapes and views not visible from the ground, while looking out for wildlife hidden in the trees.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is ideally located near the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, you can discover the history of this site with a private guide before trekking up Wayna Picchu or the Machu Picchu mountain. These steep trails, overlooking Machu Picchu, cling to the side of the mountain leading adventurers to a remote corner of the archaeological site for a bird’s-eye view. From the summit, take in the Vilcanota River and the distant snow-capped Andean peaks.
While visiting Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco, from April to December, you can take a two-day tour to the Vinicunca Mountain through our Inkaterra Experiences department in partnership with a friendly local operator. Due to the naturally-occurring mineral gold, red, turquoise, blue and purple stripes, this site is often referred to as ‘Rainbow Mountain’.
From the trailhead of Quesoyoni you can trek uphill to Anantapata, where there are unrivalled views of the magnificent Ausangate Mountain. Spend a night under the stars in Surine Qorcha before continuing on your short hike to the Rainbow Mountain, standing out against the snow-peppered peaks of neighbouring Ausangate. After resting and enjoying the Peruvian landscapes, head downhill, following the K’airahuire Valley, before taking a private transfer from Quesoyoni to Inkaterra La Casona.
This excursion may also be a one-day tour with a slightly different route and is recommended to fit travellers only due to the high altitude.
Whether you’re returning to Inkaterra or it’s your first time visiting us, you can always find an adventure waiting for you. Discover more about the nature activities and excursions offered at each Inkaterra property by visiting our website, www.inkaterra.com.
Be sure to share your adventures with us by tagging @Inkaterrahotels and, if you find yourself daydreaming of Inkaterra, be sure to search #Inkaterra and @Inkaterrahotels to fulfil your Peruvian wanderlust.
I am a native of Villa Rica in the Amazon region of Central Peru. I lived in Paraguay for eight years, after which I returned to my country to stay. I graduated from the Faculty of Forest Sciences of La Molina National Agrarian University, and I have experience in biodiversity inventories in different regions of Peru, forest industries, agroforestry systems of the Amazon, forest plantations and sustainable constructions with bamboo, amongst other things.
What does a day in the life of the Chief of Projects at Inkaterra Guides Field Station consist of?
I start at dawn, monitoring birds with my colleague Noe Huaraca. This is followed by a tour of the Palmetum, a unique Peruvian initiative for education and the conservation of Amazonian plants.
Then, together with Daxs Coayla, we assess the progress of the bio-garden project that shows the immense diversity of edible and useful plants in the Amazon. Due to native communities getting smaller, plants that have been used for thousands of years are being lost, so the bio-garden gives us a chance to gather and protect them.
I spend the afternoon with Liza Linares who is in charge of the GreenLab, the first molecular biology and genetics field research laboratory to be set up in the Amazon basin. The GreenLab is a powerful tool when it comes to deciphering the enormous diversity that this part of the Amazon presents, and so it is here that we determine the progress of our ongoing projects.
Finally, after checking our camera traps (installed to monitor the forest’s large mammals), there remains a large amount of data and information analysis to undertake, as it is this that allows us to continue with our conservation work in all areas of Inkaterra.
What initially drew you to Inkaterra?
It was Inkaterra’s passion for sustainability through research and conservation that first attracted me. Since its conception in 1975, Inkaterra has been a pioneer of eco-tourism, not only in Peru but internationally, and it was this that first drew me here.
How long have you been working with Inkaterra?
I have been working for Inkaterra for over two years, since March 2017.
What did you study before joining Inkaterra?
At the Faculty of Forest Sciences at Lima-La Molina National Agrarian University, I studied various courses in biodiversity monitoring, management and production, specialising in agroforestry systems in the low jungle and cloud forest of the Amazon.
What do you think is the most important aspect of being Chief of Projects?
All of the projects we do at Inkaterra act as a valuable tool when it comes to carrying out our conservation efforts. Our projects allow us to do work that puts value on the forest ecosystem, thus benefiting the forest itself and the people who live in it.
How does your day-to-day work differ throughout the seasons?
It differs a lot since the Amazonian landscape itself changes due to the rainy and dry seasons, which in turn define the flowering and fruiting of plants, the animals’ breeding seasons and the water levels in the rivers. This, in turn, impacts the equipment we require, the clothing we wear and the areas we can reach, amongst other things, and as a result, our work adapts to these changes accordingly.
What is the most interesting thing you have learnt about the Amazon since joining Inkaterra?
The Amazon is one of the most complex and evolved ecosystems on our planet, and it should be understood as an independent organism. The most interesting thing I have learnt since being at Inkaterra is that, unlike forests of the northern hemisphere whose rainfall is influenced by the climatic conditions, the climate of the Amazon is unique and governed by the living organisms that inhabit the rainforest.
What is your favourite time of year in Peru?
Although the rainy season is when the largest number of Amazonian species flourish and bear fruit, I believe the best time to visit the Amazon is during the dry season, from May until November.
What can guests to Inkaterra Guides Field Station expect to discover
Inkaterra Guides Field Station is the Inkaterra property where ecotourism lives together with research and conservation projects managed through the NGO Inkaterra Asociación (ITA). Guests to the Inkaterra Guides Field Station can expect to have a hands-on experience, participating in and learning about the projects we undertake, from bird monitoring to the identification of mammals through camera traps, harvesting edible Amazonian plants from the bio-garden to learning about agroforestry systems.
For more information on Inkaterra Guides Field Station and the other Inkaterra properties, please click here.
Commencing on Monday 24th June is the ancient celebration of Inti Raymi, one of the most important ceremonies in the Incan Empire calendar. Meaning ‘festival of the sun’ in Quechua, the first festival was held in 1412 and is a celebration of both the winter solstice and the Inca new year.
In the times of the Incan Dynasty, Inti Raymi was the most important of four ceremonies celebrated in Haukaypata, Cusco’s main square. Traditionally, the Inti Raymi was preceded by three days of purification and fasting, which included participants consuming only water, uncooked corn and chucam.
Then, on the morning of the solstice, the people of Cusco would gather in the square, remove their shoes and face the rising sun. As the sun rose higher in the sky, people would crouch down and blow kisses in a sign of respect, before raising two golden cups filled to the brim with offerings. Traditionally, the cup on the left was presented to the sun, whilst the cup on the right was for the Sapa Inca (the local ruler) and the Kuracas (his company).
Following days of colourful dances and processions, the celebrations culminated in the sacrifice of llamas, and sometimes children, at the Coricancha temple. This was done as an offering to Pachamama, (Mother Earth) a revered goddess in Incan mythology, in order to ensure a good harvest the following year.
The last ancient Inti Raymi took place in 1535, as the ceremony (along with other Incan religious festivals) was banned by following the Spanish colonisation. However the ancient celebration was revived in the 1900s, and has continued to the present day as a theatrical representation of the original event, re-enacting the original ceremony and attracting thousands of Peruvian people from Cusco and the surrounding communities, as well as travellers from all over the world.
With the main celebration taking place at Sacsayhuaman, Cusco’s nearby Inca fortress and one of the most iconic Inca ruins, guests of Inkaterra La Casona will be staying just a short distance away from the live performances, acts and exhibitions that make up the festival. As one of South America’s largest festivals, Inti Raymi is one of the best ways to experience ancient Peruvian culture.
If you would like to know more about Inkaterra La Casona, or any of the other Inkaterra properties, please click here.
While staying at Inkaterra there is such a
wide variety of nature activities and excursions, each offering a unique
experience for guests to take part in. As the sun sets over the stunning
Peruvian landscapes the adventure continues with a plethora of evening
Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción, Madre de Dios-Tambopata
When dusk falls, take a ride by outboard motorised canoe on the Madre de Dios river. Learn about the river ecosystems, Amazonian creeks, nocturnal animals behaviour, and the southern constellations. This magical evening allows guests to spend time enjoying the Peruvian landscapes and stunning sunsets over the vast Madre de Dios river, taking in the colours, the shadows and the sounds as day turns to night. A particularly special evening excursion for families and friends.
Reserva Amazónica, Madre de Dios-Tambopata
Discover the “Rainforest by night”.
Thriving with the noises and smells of the wild, biological activity differs
greatly between night and day in the Amazonian ecosystem. At Inkaterra Reserva
Amazónica we offer a very special tour of the jungle to give guests a taste of
this. Beginning at twilight, guests are led by one of our knowledgeable Explorer Guides to have the opportunity of
discovering the fauna which would usually be fast asleep during the day.
Venture into the rainforest and experience
the mystery of the animal activity that awakens in the rainforest after dark,
enhancing animal resources to create new adaptation mechanisms. Listen to
nocturnal forest sounds and spot species that only emerge at night.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel and El MaPi, by Inkaterra, Machu Picchu Pueblo
Take a full day to embark on an excursion
to the famous peak of Wayna Picchu –
meaning young mountain – which features in most of the beautiful pictures we
see taken from the top of the famous Machu Picchu. Visit the historical citadel
of Machu Picchu with a private guide, followed by an hour-trek up Wayna Picchu.
The steep trail, overlooking Machu Picchu, clings to the side of the mountain, leading the adventurous traveler to a remote corner of this archaeological site. In addition to a magnificent bird’s-eye view of neighbouring Machu Picchu, the summit also offers a perfect vantage point to take in the Vilcanota River, the mountain of Putukusi and the distant snow-capped Andean peaks. Descend in the late afternoon to find yourself back at Machu Picchu Pueblo, at the start of another wonderful evening with Inkaterra.
If you have checked into Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, our intimate Andean village-style property with terraced hills and exuberant tropical gardens, you can enjoy the Twilight Walk excursion designed to connect visitors to the nature’s core elements like an enchanting waterfall, pre-Inca pictographs and more. Finish the evening with a hearty and traditional dinner in our glass house dining room, surrounded by the wilderness you have become well-acquainted with throughout a very special, historical day.
If you choose to stay at El MaPi by Inkaterra, you will be greeted by our smart, contemporary and cosy atmosphere. Visit the property’s new Spa del Bosque for an essential Deep Tissue Therapy treatment after your day of trekking or, if you’re feeling thirsty, toast to your days achievements with an exceptional Pisco cocktail at the bar.
Hacienda Urubamba, Sacred Valley of the Incas
Wind down in unparalleled luxury at
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba and take in the breathtaking views of the sunset
over the Sacred Valley of the Incas from the relaxation room in Mayu Spa. Having enjoyed the
Terapia Para El Caminante meaning
“Therapy for the Walker” after a long excursion to a nearby ruin, any stress of
body or mind will simply melt away.
Alternatively, if you don’t feel you have stretched your legs enough for the day, take the peaceful and mystical “Twilight Mountain” tour beginning at sunset and ending with storytelling discovery of Andean astronomy. Learn about the importance of the Milky Way’s proximity to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the history of the symbolic Andean Cross and other tales of the unique relationship the Incas held with the dark spaces between the stars.
To find out more about the magical evenings
at Inkaterra visit our website – www.inkaterra.com.
We are pleased to announce that five of the Inkaterra properties have been nominated for the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award 2019. With voting now open until 30th June, we invite you to show your support and vote for Inkaterra!
The Readers’ Choice Awards give Condé Nast’s US-based readers an opportunity to vote for everything from their favourite countries and cities to their preferred resorts, hotels and spas.
This year, Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica & Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción in the Amazon rainforest of South Eastern Peru, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, in Machu Picchu Pueblo, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco, have all been nominated in the ‘Hotels’ category. As the voting considers activities and facilities, design, food, location, rooms and service, we thought we would provide you with a quick reminder of all that our properties have to offer.
Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica
Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica is where the Inkaterra story began in 1975. Offering adventurers a luxurious way to discover the beautiful Amazon Rainforest of southern Peru, the lodge has 35 cabanas inspired by the native Ese’Eja culture. With various a-la-carte local excursions and explorations within the 10,000ha (24,711acre) private ecological reserve and its surroundings, the riverside hotel is a remarkable rainforest retreat.
For those looking to relax, there is the beautiful and inspiring newly redesigned ENA Spa, and for the thrill seekers, the 344m (11,229ft) Inkaterra Canopy Walkway suspended 30m (98ft) above the ground, certainly gets the adrenaline pumping. Even more adventurous travellers visiting Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica may choose to spend a night in the Inkaterra Canopy Tree House, sleeping 30m (98ft) above the ground surrounded by the nocturnal sounds of the forest below .
Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción
With 25 private cabanas dotted around the estate and five rooms located in the main house, Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción is located deep in the heart of the Amazon. A botanical garden, private natural pond and cacao plantation can all be found at the property, with a demonstration of the home grown chocolate making process offered as one of the hotel’s many activities. Other excursions include visits to the beautiful Lake Sandoval, an oxbow shaped water mirror where visitors can expect to see rich and diversified wildlife including Howler monkeys and giant river otters. Programmed excursions are led by local explorer guides, guaranteeing guests an authentic and unparalleled trip.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
With 83 whitewashed casitas and villas (2) set amongst exuberant tropical gardens, terraced hills, waterfalls and stone paths, award-winning Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is a magical Andean village, enveloped in the magnificent mountainous scenery. With 214 bird species and the world’s largest native orchid collection (372 species) within the hotel’s grounds (and in their natural habitat), the hotel embraces and nurtures the natural beauty that surrounds it. Guests are able to partake in activities ranging from an educational visit to the Andean Spectacled Bear project, which protects and rehabilitates the endangered Peruvian Spectacled Bear species, to a lesson in making your own tea at our organic plantation.
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba
Spanning almost 40ha (100 acres) and surrounded by the spectacular and imposing green Andean mountain Range of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is nestled in the hills between Cusco and Machu Picchu Pueblo. Championing sustainability with its Earth to Table concept, guests are encouraged to pick their own produce from the 4-ha (10-acre) organic plantation before cooking their own Andean feast with the hotel’s chefs.
With the recent opening of the MAYU Spa, guests are able to enjoy treatments using products derived from home grown native medicinal herbs in the hotel’s ‘Healing Garden’, whilst soaking up the spectacular views of Inkaterra’s organic orchard and the neighbouring peppertree forest.
Inkaterra La Casona
Located in Plaza Las Nazarenas, a short ten-minute drive from the airport, award-winning Inkaterra La Casona is Cusco’s first boutique hotel and member of Relais & Châteaux in Peru. Encompassed by the dramatic Andean scenery, the beautiful hotel is located within an immaculately restored 16th-century manor house. 11 suites surround the central patio, as well as a dining room and spa, both of which use locally sourced produce and products. Guests are able to enjoy strolling along the city´s cobbled streets, its main square, visit the beautiful cathedral and other colonial churches, museums, take guided tours to its four nearby major Inca ruins, and more. Inkaterra La Casona provides the perfect base for guests to explore the ancient surroundings of the Cusco region.
Beginning her journey with Inkaterra as an Explorer Guide, Claudia has come very far on her career path and is now Head of Ecotourism, an incredibly important position to hold as part of the Inkaterra family. We interviewed Claudia to delve a little deeper into her frontline knowledge of all things ecotourism and how her work is integral to the company initiatives.
What is ecotourism and why is it so important, especially in our current climate?
Being a leader in Ecotourism includes the study and interpretation of the environment. Through sustainable management of the activities, we can provide excellence in service that also improves the quality of the tourism offered and focuses on caring for the environment and the surrounding communities.
What does a day in the life of the Head of Ecotourism at Inkaterra look like?
Every day is a new day to discover. Discover new excursions, new scoutings, and new guiding technics. It is a day in which to learn from our guides and their actions in order to provide the best travel experience ever.
What made you change from your original role as an Explorer Guide to become Head of Ecotourism? Was it a natural progression for you?
My career path began as a Biologist Ecologist. I applied at Inkaterra to be a Guide eager to be in contact with nature while earning a living. As a guide, I discovered how important the relationship with guests is in order to fulfil their expectations through the power of interpretation skills, knowledge, friendliness and service.
Becoming the Head of Ecotourism opened the doors into designing routes and excursions that would not only provide guides with what they needed to show our incredible surroundings but also have our guests immerse in what travel is; learning, appreciating and giving back while having fun.
What achievements and/or projects have made you most proud in your time with Inkaterra?
Since I have been at Inkaterra we have created new experiences mixing our excursions with our food and beverage department, developed team projects for our guides in order to strengthen their knowledge, put into effect training programs to keep our guide’s skills up to date, and implement internships at Inkaterra properties, as well as abroad. To ensure our travellers’ satisfaction in delivering their expectations to the fullest and beyond.
What ecotourism initiatives have you seen in the industry over the last year that have inspired you most?
The use of technology. It is amazing how this tool is helping not only to promote certain areas (for example apps such as iNaturalist and pl@ntNet), but also influencing guests destination choices.
And last but not least, tourism is moving from non-plastic use towards sustainable food sourcing.
What is your favourite excursion at Inkaterra, and why?
I began my work at Inkaterra almost 12 years ago as a rainforest guide. I visit Lake Sandoval at least 3 times a week so it has a special place in my heart. That is where I met the Giant River otters for the first time, how could I forget!.
In terms of developing your team and your work, what do you see as the future of ecotourism for Inkaterra?
I see an Inkaterra Guide Training Program on the works.
Who, if anyone, inspired you to follow your current career path?
My mother, a biologist herself, instilled my love for nature. She has also been a teacher for over 30 years and therefore, her enthusiasm in explaining how everything works and how even the smallest thing is important, have also played a big part in what I do today; helping travellers to learn about Peru, while taking care and showing respect for our surroundings.
Why is ecotourism important and valuable for travellers to take into account when they choose to go abroad?
I believe it is because nowadays travellers value authentic nature and cultural experiences and this is a key factor in Ecotourism activities.
What top ecotourism tips could you give someone wishing to travel more sustainably?
Always, always travel with your own water bottle. By refilling yours, you will avoid plastic bottle consumption.
Reuse your towels and sheets as much as you can.
Avoid travelling with battery-operated items; such as flashlights and some cameras. Most third world countries do not recycle batteries. If you cannot avoid this, please take them back with you once the battery life is up.
Always keep your distance from wildlife. Avoid feeding or interacting with them, they will give you a great sighting all by themselves.
Research the place you will be visiting. In some cases, hotels provide, for example, umbrellas, boots and flashlights, which if noted will help you from buying unnecessary gear you will only use once.
In your opinion what is the most fascinating aspect of staying (as a guest) with Inkaterra and the company in general?
How we deliver guest experiences. From the first hello, all the way to problem-solving. We take care of our guests, as well as our personnel as if they are our family. This is why you feel the love, the sense of place, as soon as you visit one of our properties.
In terms of ecotourism and sustainability, have you noticed a big change in traveller mindset since you started working with Inkaterra?
Most definitely. When I started, travellers would enjoy themselves through what they saw. Nowadays it is not what they see but how they see it. Is it in the wild? Are there projects that they can be part of to give back to the community? Are we, as Inkaterra, respecting, protecting and learning from our surroundings as well? In this industry the how is more important than the what.
Have you got any tips for someone travelling to Peru for the first time?
I would recommend travellers to read a lot about Peru before coming to the country, its history, its geography, climates, resources, its treasures and customs, and prepare their trip with a good guide.
If you would like to discover more about each of the excursions and experiences that Claudia has mentioned be sure to visit our website www.inkaterra.com.
Located on the banks of the Madre de Dios River deep in the Amazon rainforest of South Eastern Peru, the newly renovated ENA Spa at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica is the perfect place for weary travellers to take a relaxing break.
Treatment beds offering stunning views of the Amazonian sunsets, a spa soundtrack provided by the surrounding wildlife and 100% natural products derived from botanical extracts all combine to give guests an entirely local experience.
In addition to the exceptional setting, guests can expect to find a highly bespoke treatment menu built around a combination of ancient Peruvian traditions and exotic indigenous ingredients.
Those looking to experience the healing powers of Peru’s medicinal plants should try the Amazon Purification Treatment. Our signature treatment at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica uses a gel mask made from the Cat’s Claw (uncaria tomentosa) plant to purify and cleanse the body, whilst a face massage helps increase the flow of the lymphatic system.
For the weary walkers, our Foot Therapy is the perfect way to take the weight off. Starting with a foot soak in salts and a selection of plants and flowers from the region, the treatment exfoliates and rehydrates the skin and will get you back on your feet ready to carry on with your Amazonian adventure.
However it isn’t just plants from the surrounding area that we use in our treatments, but the stones as well. Our Cold Stone Massage applies therapy stones taken from the Madre de Dios River to the main energy points of the body, allowing their energy to cool and relieve the tension in the body. Following this, a face massage using a Peruvian turquoise gemstone is used to heal the heart. The stone, which holds the power of Mother Earth, will help improve your peace of mind, self-expression and creativity, ensuring you leave us feeling refreshed and revitalised.
As well as relaxing at ENA Spa, guests at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica are also able to participate in a number of additional excursions. From a night time rainforest trail to a guided afternoon boat ride, the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway to a visit to Lake Sondoval, our excursions and facilities cater to all tastes.
For more information on the ENA Spa, Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica and the other Inkaterra properties, please visit www.inkaterra.com