Machu Picchu Historical Reserve is a magical place that fascinates through its vast archaeological remains, geological formations, unique flora and fauna, and spectacular cloud forest. The most remarkable part of the reserve is the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
The Incas built this citadel at the end of the fourteenth century. As centuries passed, the fortress became totally overgrown by vegetation, and virtually disappeared from sight. Hiram Bingham, Director of the Yale Peruvian Expedition, rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911. Recent research compiled by Yale University has revealed that the Machu Picchu Citadel was not, as Hiram Bingham believed, the traditional birthplace of the Inca people, nor was it the final stronghold of the Incas in their losing struggle against the Spanish. Instead, Machu Picchu, built by Pachacutec at the peak of the empire, was a favored retreat for the Inca nobility.
Machu Picchu Historical Reserve is situated above the town of Aguas Calientes at 2,450 meters (8,038 ft.) a.s.l. The site covers an area of 32,592 hectares (80,535 acres), located in a cloud forest between the Andes and the Amazon Basin, 112 km (70 miles) from the City of Cusco, in a green canyon on the Urubamba River.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel is an 85-room boutique hotel built of stone, adobe, stucco, and eucalyptus beams which creates a lovely Andean pueblo ambience constructed with indigenous materials, respecting environmental sensibilities, building on heritage with its regional themed architecture and design, decorated with local furniture and fixtures to promote native artifacts and crafts.
The hotel employs local people and conducts constant training in sustainable tourism. It uses clean technology and eco-friendly practices such as bio-degradable materials, handmade toiletries and amenities, the practice of re-cycling, proper waste disposal, water conservation and prohibits the use of aerosol sprays.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu hotel offers an authentic Peruvian travel experience involving guests with the Peruvian cultural and natural values. All activities offered within the hotel offer guests with the wealth of nature, flora and fauna, environment protection, conservation and interactive cultural exchanges. Eco- activities within Inkaterra Machu Picchu offered free for guests include Orchids, Birding, Tea Plantation, Nature Trail and Spectacled Bear project.
“Although celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, David Blaine, Demi Moore and Heidi Klum have all checked in en route to Machu Picchu, the real celebrities at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel are the birds. The Cloud Forest garden is home to 33 types of hummingbirds, as well as rare species….” – Rory Ross, “Peruvian Splendour”, Independent Traveller
The hotel grounds include more than 5 km. (3.12 miles) of ecological paths; several spots of observation and contemplation, with indigenous fauna, the world’s largest concentration of wild hummingbird species (18) , birds (180 species), and butterflies (111 species), amongst a diversity of natural wonder. Stays at Inkaterra Machu Picchu are 100% carbon neutral as Inkaterra has been contributing actively to global carbon fixing with its reforestation programs in the cloud forest of Machu Picchu. In 2007, Inkaterra was the first Peruvian organization to participate in a Carbon Neutral Program with Sustainable Travel International and is considered a 100% Carbon Neutral hotel. Guests are offered the possibility to offset their carbon emissions on their trips to Peru and join the effort against global warming.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel through its NGO Inkaterra Association is managing Research, Conservation, Protection, Self-generating Resources Program and Community Development in Machu Picchu. Projects conducted with local communities include reforestation, working with schools, students, volunteers, scientists and researchers. Conservation programs include monitoring & inventory of the local fauna and flora of the Machu Picchu Historical Reserve, the Spectacled (Andean) Bear Rescue Center and the hotel’s Orchid garden with 372 native species in its natural habitat –a world record according to American Orchid Society.
To support its projects, Inkaterra has published books about Flora, such as Orchids in Machu Picchu as well as Field Guides for Birds, Orchids and Butterflies.
“This may be the largest orchid collection in Peru that is open to the public. In all probability it is also the world’s largest orchid species collection set in a natural environment in a private facility.” – American Orchid Society Magazine