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TRAVEL - INTERVIEW

Interview with Percy Ccopa, Resident Manager at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica from Peru

When we start making holiday plans, we look at cities and hotels from all over the world. But the idea of ​​vacationing in the middle of the Amazon does not even come to our minds. Interesting but this is really possible. Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica is located in the Amazon rainforest of Southern Peru. I talked with Percy Ccopa about Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Percy Ccopa

Percy Ccopa

TRAVEL - INTERVIEW

by Melisa Kaya

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The idea of ​having a holiday in the middle of the Amazon rainforest is very interesting. It should be a great experience to stay there, to experience local tastes, to go on excursions and to be intertwined with a different culture. With 35 wooden cabins, eco-friendly business rules and all kinds of transfer services, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica offers its guests an unforgettable holiday. To be able to experience the spa experience in the middle of a rain forest, eat meals prepared from local ingredients and drink local drinks, to be completely intertwined with nature and to experience it closely, and it's great to be able to live all these experiences without harming nature. Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica provides its guests these experiences with a 100% carbon-free management understanding while preserving the local fauna and flora without disturbing the balance of nature. I talked with Percy Ccopa, Resident Manager at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica, about their services and Eco-Friendly policies.

Percy, before talking about Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica, could you tell us about your background and your career in Inkaterra Hotels?

I have been working at Inkaterra for the past 14 years, starting as an explorer-guide, a position I kept for a good number of years, and then six years ago I was promoted as resident manager at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción followed by Inkaterra Reserva Amazónico where I still have this important responsibility.

It has been and still is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn about the organization of the Company and deliver my experience in the management of a hotel in the Amazon rainforest. Every day there are new opportunities to learn and also to demonstrate good management in this difficult region of the country orienting our job towards providing high-quality service and the best possible and pleasant experience to our guests who come from all over the world.

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica is located in front of Madre de Dios River. Could you tell us about your location and Tambopata National Reserve?

The lodge is located in the Amazon rainforest of Southern Peru, along the Madre de Dios river, 15km downriver from the city of Puerto Maldonado, capital of the Tambopata Province, in a very strategic place, next to our 10,000ha. Private ecological reserve, in the middle of pristine Amazon rainforest and in front of the Tambopata National Reserve, one of most biologically diverse area in the world across which run three major rivers: the Malinowski, the Tambopata and the Madre de Dios, and is one of the three most diverse protected natural areas of the Peruvian Amazon. It has been declared the Biodiversity Capital of the Country with more than 160 species of mammals and at least 650 bird species and more.

For the past 43 years of operation, Inkaterra have been able to take advantage of this situation and develop a very attractive and comfortable lodge with 35 stand-alone cabañas built on stilts, in the local Ese´Eja style, some of them with direct view to the river and also a recently totally remodeled Ene Spa that provides treatments with natural extracts of plants.

We count with an Interpretation center, a beautiful and typical main house surrounded by exuberant tropical vegetation, all this allows our guests to have a true and authentic jungle experience.

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

How could you describe the hospitality culture in Peru? What does guest mean for you?

Peru is well known for its culture of Hospitality which has increased even more with the development of tourism. Peruvian people are always happy to help, are empathetic and engaged, they always anticípate the needs of travelers or guests who come and visit us with a number of motivations, needs, and expectations which make them decide to Travel, discover other countries, customs and live new experiences such as in Peru; our vital function is to satisfy their needs by providing the best service and attention. As a general rule, in the tourism industry the word “guest” is used to define a foreigner staying in a hotel or a lodge, while in the Inkaterra philosophy, we call them travellers, which means that each person that stays in any Inkaterra Hotels is eco-conscious and in search of unique and authentic experiences

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

Could you tell us about Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and the overall concept?

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica, initially named Cusco Amazónico, was the first ecological lodge and reserve created by Inkaterra in 1975 which are considered a Pioneer in Peru. Its goal was to provide comfortable facilities, personalized service and attention to each and all our guests, sharing unique local experiences in a dramatically beautiful region and area. Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica will always be considered as a Pioneer in the Peruvian hotel business. Its goal is to preserve Peruvian nature and cultures and share them with the world. Each year Inkaterra receive more than 200,000 travellers from all over the world at their hotels and lodges, providing them with authentic experiences as well as a commitment to help and preserve the local communities and cultures.

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

What does eco-luxury lodge mean? What features of Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica makes it Eco-lodge?

A luxury eco-lodge must contribute to foment a type of sustainable tourism, respectful of the environment and with the least negative impact on the local social environment, offering a number of additional activities within the lodge and surroundings: our Ena Spa uses natural extracts of plants, essences, and oils; infrastructures have been inspired by our amazonian ancestors maintaining their techniques and style, for example, the own style of our cabañas with roofs made of “chapajas”, tamichi & wasai – local dried palm leaves, constructions built on stilts in view of the rainy season…Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica does not break the balance with nature, preserves the local fauna and flora, proposes a 100% carbón neutral experience, develops investigations and projects through its NGO, Inkaterra Asociación (ITA), is socially and economically responsible.

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

You are located in the rainforest. How could travellers arrive at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica?

As a general rule, our travellers arrive at Puerto Maldonado airport by air; they are welcomed by our onsite team and transferred by road on a 15min. journey to the local port (Puerto Capitanía) and then for a forty-five minute (15km) boat ride downriver along the Madre de Dios to the lodge and accompanied by our staff that looks after each traveler´s comfort.

Welcome at the lodge by our onsite team with a drink prepared with fresh local fruit (passion fruit/maracuyá, or other according to season)

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica has 35 wooden cabanas. Could you tell us about cabanas that your guest live when they are in the middle of the rainforest? What are their features?

There are four categories of very welcomy and comfortable stand-alone cabañas: Superior, Superior-Río, Suite Amazónica & Suite Tambopata that counts with a private plunge pool. All have been built with Wood, on stilts, in the local Ese´Eja style, with high roofs covered with trensed palms (typical crizneja), comfortable twin or king beds, pure cotton sheets, hypo-allergenic pillows, bathrobe, typical slippers, mosquito netting, windows covered with nets, fan (electricity per hours), electric plugs.

Open bathroom, with basin, running hot and cold water, separate shower and toilets, large cotton towels, a set of ecological toilet articles.

After their excursions, our guests may rest in the “siesta” area equipped with comfortable hammocks. Umbrellas, lanterns, kerosene lamps, and comfortable hammocks,

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

Could you tell us about your services?

INKATERRA RESERVA AMAZÓNICA proposes a large variety of services:

o Restaurant, bar, rest areas located in the Main House

Interpretation Center

o Tea time served near the bar

o Gallery (shop) - extra

o Ene Spa – extra

• A choice of included daily a-la-carte excursions within the reserve and surroundings – subject to weather conditions and availability.

• A selected of guided excursions – some included, others upon request, extra cost

• Treasure Hunt for children – Kit Explorador

Flowering Bath - extra
Cooking classes - extra
Private Transport - extra
Pisco Sour classes - extra
Laundry - extra
Shoe shine - extra
Musical group – extra

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

Could you tell us about the Dining Room & Bar? Please tell us about the gastronomic meals that travellers can taste?

Our dining room located in the Main House counts with very welcoming areas and typical-rustic structures, all made of local Wood, “chapaja” palms, which combine very well with nature.

o Dishes have been elaborated with regional ingredients and from our Green farm.

o Our staff has been trained to respond to any type of food restrictions of our guests.

• Our bar is a very relaxing place located within the main hours. There, our staff may elaborate exotic drinks prepared with local fruit from our Green Gamitana Farm; adding also some tree barks and roots for the maceration of sugar cane or pisco spirits - extra

Among our Peru Amazon typical dishes, we propose:

• The “juane” rice and fish or chicken steamed in a banana leaf

• The “Paca” de Paiche (largest Amazonian fish).

• The “Pataraska” - typical fish preparation

• Amazon chicken brochettes marinated in lemon verbena.

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

And it is time to talk about The ENA Spa. Please tell us about The ENA Spa. Could you explain to us the treatments and therapies that you offer?

ENA is a Word that means water in the typical Ese´Eja language. As part of our general Spa policies, we only use 100% natural products and plant extracts. The therapies have been elaborated according to the necessity and taste of each guest, applying various techniques that maintain harmony between the body and mind

The therapies we propose are the following: Amazonian Exfoliation, refreshing massage, de-contracturing massage with cold stones, tired feet, reflexology, relaxing massage with four hands and our most recommended therapy: “Amazonian Purification”which consists in a lymphatic drainage in which we use Matico and Cat Claws´gel and wrap the body during 20 minutes with a rug named “tocuyo”, meanwhile a facial lymphatic massage is carried out. The therapy lasts 2 hours.

How could travellers spend time at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica?

Our guests live unique experiences in total contact with nature, enjoy our included and a-la-carte excursions guided by a knowledgeable bilingual - Spanish / English - explorer-guide, visit our 344m. long Canopy Walkway located 30m above ground that counts with two 30m high wooden towers, eight platforms and seven bridges, which connect tree canopies with other ones; an excursion to beautiful and solitary oxbow shaped Lake Sandoval located in the heart of the Tambopata National Reserve, in search of numerous species of local fauna and flora, abundant vegetation, hikes along our trail systems, night walking or river tours, …..

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

How can travellers go to the airport after their holiday in Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica finished?

Before leaving Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica our guests are informed to leave their bags ready for check-out so that our team may collect them and bring them to the boat back to Puerto Maldonado. After an hour and 15min upriver boat ride, short road transfer to the Butterfly House where it is possible to see up to 30 butterfly species, also native ornamental and medicinal plants and flowers. Finally, our guests are taken back to the airport and assisted in the check-in for their flight out.

Could you tell us about the excursions that travellers can participate?

List of included excursions within the reserve and surroundings:

o Trail System
o Night river tour
o Night walking tour
o Amazonian garden
o Wetlands
o Inkaterra Canopy Walkway.
o Lago Sandoval.
o Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción (botanical garden, private pond).
o Gamitana creek.
o Tambopata….

List of excursions upon request – at an additional cost:

o Ornithology.
o Lake Valencia.
o Kayak ride…..

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

How can travellers make their individual or business/group reservations? Do you have any advantage packs that you offer to your regular and long-term guests?

• Through our direct online platforms:

• Inkaterra E-commerce – www.expedia.com / www.booking.com

• Direct sales – directsales@inkaterra.com

• Inkaterra Experiences – sales@inkaterra.com

Headquarters Inkaterra – jirón Andalucía 174, Lima 15074 (Miraflores) – T.51 1 610 0400

EEUU 1-800-442-5042 / UK 0-800-458-7506 / SPAIN 900-878-172

Central@inkaterra.com / sales@inkaterra.com

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica - courtesy of INKATERRA

Which is the top season for travellers who want to visit Amazon rainforest? What is the reason?

We operate year around - the dry season is between April-November - but as it is rainforest, it may rain bruskly and hard at any moment.

Between December & March, it is the rainy season - but there may be excellent days with no rain, or brisk rains and then good weather. During this season the Amazon is more exuberant.

How would you describe Peru in one sentence?

Megadiverse

Anything you would like to add that I haven’t asked?

Inkaterra is the first Peruvian Company to have been declared Carbon neutral (1989), the company mitigates the effects of deforestation in the Amazon region and contributes to carbón sequestration by protecting a private ecological concession of more than 10, 000ha of virgin forest since its creation in 1975.

As Professor Tim Baker from the University of Leeds (UK), one hectare of forest protected by Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción, captures more than 200 tons of carbón.

Thank you Percy for your time.

For more information, please click here to visit the website of Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica





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