Machu Picchu llamas Cusco Otter On Tree Manu National Park Phoenix  geoglyph, Nazca Uros Islands, Lake Titicaca Caiman in Manu National Park Amazon Sunset
Destination of the Month Contest for June-July 2011!
See contest details below.
Destination of the Month Contest for June-July 2011!
See contest details below.

Inkaterra

Reserva Amazonica, Pueblo Machu Picchu, and La Casona Cusco

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The Worlds of Inkaterra

From the lowlands of the Amazon basin to the cloud forests of Machu Picchu to the highlands of Cusco is only a modest journey, but it transports you between places that are worlds apart. In only a few days we visited all three for an unforgettable introduction to Peru and its marvels. Inkaterra operates world class lodgings in each location, each with a distinctive character, ambience, and vital connection to its location. Inkaterra is dedicated to serving their guests with the highest standards, and dedicated to preserving the environment and culture in each of their locations.

The links below will take you to our detailed reviews – this introduction is only a few of the highlights from our journey to whet your curiosity!
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Lodge, Puerto Maldonado (see full review here!)
On the boat to Reserva Amazonica from Puerto Maldonado you feel you are leaving much of the modern world behind. Inkaterra greets you at the airport, then check in and the brief bus ride through Puerto Maldonado to the river pass quickly. On the river you begin to feel this new world you are entering as the wilderness glides by. Puerto Maldonado is about 2,000 km up river from the Amazon near Manaus; one is indeed deep in the Amazon basin here!

Despite its remoteness, Reserva Amazonica takes perfect care of their guests. The lodgings are well built and luxurious, on a high bank next to the Madre de Dios River. While there is no air conditioning, everything is perfect, and many adventures await their guests. Guided excursions (by boat and/or hiking) will allow you to visit Sandoval Lake in Tambopata National Reserve, see other nearby lakes and streams, take a variety of hikes through the rain forest by day (or even by night!), sail on the river at night, or most amazing of all walk through the upper canopy of the rain forest, 30m (100 feet) above the forest floor below. Everywhere you go, with luck, you may happen upon all kinds of animals – mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, butterflies, insects, even spiders! Most of the creatures are shy, so quiet and an observant eye are a must.

All excursions are guided, and most are included (a few lengthier excursions have added cost). The guides are well prepared and knowledgeable – for us, most of our excursions were led by Jesus, who grew up in the area and has many years of rain forest experience. Many times he helped us to see things that we might have otherwise missed. See Unique Destinations’ full review of Reserva Amazonica here, with many more photos!
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Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (see full review here!)
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The Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel is just below Machu Picchu in the town of Aguas Calientes (the town is formally named Machu Picchu Pueblo), the jumping off point for visitors to Machu Picchu and its surroundings. At 2,100m elevation (6,900 feet), the hotel is in the heart of the Andean Cloud Forest, far removed from the warm Amazonian lowlands or the cool highlands of Cusco. The hotel is a beautiful village of “casitas” that are practically a separate village at one edge of Aguas Calientes. On arrival you will be greeted at the train station (the only transport into Machu Picchu), and the hotel is just a brief walk from there.

The hotel is truly remarkable, with lovely Spanish-style casitas at home in their environment. In addition to the hotel, the extensive grounds host orchid and fern gardens, a cliff with petroglyphs, waterfalls, and a tea garden. The hotel offers many guided walks through their extensive grounds, with opportunities for bird watching, orchid explorations, or even visiting the Andean Spectacled bears that the hotel is caring for (the bears had been in zoos, and Inkaterra is working to rehabilitate them).

Naturally, visiting Machu Picchu itself is foremost on visitors’ agendas, and it was an incredible high point of our visit. We used the services of a guide whose remarkable knowledge and love for Machu Picchu served to enhance our visit. A well organized and quick system of buses to take visitors to Machu Picchu, and we were overwhelmed during our visit with the beauty and mystery that is Machu Picchu. Our full review is here.
Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco (see full review here!)
Cusco, the ancient capital for the Incan empire, is the location of the highest of the three Inkaterra hotels we visited. The hotel building dates back to the earliest days of Spanish colonial rule more than four hundred years ago. Entering the hotel and its inner courtyard is stepping back in time to a quiet oasis in the city. La Casona is one of Cusco’s finest hotels, with a staff that cares for their guests in every way. For example, visitors sometimes have difficulties with Cusco’s altitude (3,400m, or 11,500 feet); if needed the hotel has oxygen available.

The rooms are beautifully decorated in a Spanish colonial style, and the hotel’s high ceilings are from an era long gone. Some of the adobe walls in the hotel must be a meter thick!

Besides the richness of Spanish colonial buildings in Cusco, especially in the central historic district, everywhere in Cusco one sees the legacy of the Incas. The incredible Incan stonework was often used by the Spanish as the foundations for their buildings. The durability of the Incan work is impressive – the Inca foundations and walls have withstood powerful earthquakes time after time, even as many Colonial building were heavily damaged.

The highlights of our visit to Cusco were our visit to the Incan Temple of the Sun, walking through the narrow streets filled with Incan stone work, and the Colonial Cathedral and the Church of San Blas. We also used services from guides to take us to the Incan ruin at Ollaytantambo in the Sacred Valley on the Urubamba River, visited a market in Pisac, and saw many other sights in the area. Only lack of time kept us from visiting Sacsayhuamán, one of the most famous Incan sites. The blend of cultures and history is strong in Cusco, and the ancient and modern seem to exist together everywhere in the city. Please see our detailed review here.
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Destination of the Month CONTEST 2011 June-July

DESTINATION OF THE MONTH CONTEST
June/July 2011


The prize for the DOM in JUNE/JULY is a marvelous stay at the Inkaterra Hotels in Peru, described below.


To enter, simply answer the following three questions:


What is the name of the Inkaterra hotel in Puerto Maldonado?
What type of bears does the Inkaterra Pueblo Machu Picchu care for?
What is the name of the river in the Sacred Valley of the Incas?


To enter the contest, please send your answers to
contest@uniquedestinations.cl
On the Subject line, please indicate:
Contest Destination of the Month – June/July 2011

NOTE: The winner will be drawn at random from all the qualified entries received by the 18
th of July, 2011.

The prize consists of the following:
- Accommodation for two people in a Superior Rio Cabaña for 2 nights at INKATERRA RESERVA AMAZONICA / Full board / Various a-la-Carte guided excursions.
- Assistance at Machu Picchu Pueblo train station and transfer to the hotel
- Accommodation for two people in a Superior Deluxe Casita for 2 nights at INKATERRA MACHU PICCHU PUEBLO HOTEL / Breakfast and Dinner for two / Programmed excursions within the hotel grounds - Nature, Orchid, Birdwatching, Twilight Walk or Organic Tea Processing.
- Accommodation for two people in a double Patio Suite for 1 night at INKATERRA LA CASONA/Breakfast.


Note: All other expenses including train, airfare and local airport taxes, documentation required for travel, additional meals and beverages, gratuities, telephone and other charges associated with the use of the prize are the sole responsibility of the winner to pay. Blackout dates: July 28 - 29, 2011 and December 23 - 24, 2011 - January 3, 2012. Other restrictions may apply.

Terms and regulations of the DOM contest:
- The winner will be chosen at random
- The Prize can be claimed from July 2011 to June 2012
- The prize is subject to availability.
- The prize does not include international nor domestic airfare to and from or within Peru, nor does it include hotel accommodations prior to the beginning of the tours.


Note: Please coordinate your reservation via e-mail at acadiz@uniquedestinations.cl with a minimum of 30 days prior to your travel date. Valid for two people from July 19, 2011 to July 18, 2012.

Destination of the Month by Unique Destinations

All text and photographs copyright by Alejandra Cádiz and Richard Simon