La Experiencia Amazónica-Viajando como un Rolling Stone!


Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Viajera: Cristina Bustamante

Marketing manager en Metropolitan Touring Peru

La Selva Amazónica es para mí es uno de los lugares más asombrosos y mágicos que he podido visitar en el Perú; y es que una vez que la visitas, te atrapa el calor de su gente, los sabores exóticos de su comida, y sobre todo los brillantes colores de sus paisajes; lo que hace que solo quieras volver una y otra vez.

En esta oportunidad decidí ir a Puerto Maldonado; hogar de una de las reservas naturales más importantes del mundo gracias a su gran biodiversidad, la Reserva de Tampobata, donde está ubicada Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica. Recientemente este eco-lodge a recibido al famoso músico Mick Jagger, por lo que podríamos decir que visitar la selva del Perú es viajar como un Rolling Stone!

Día 1

Salimos de Lima a las 5.20 en un vuelo de 2h 45 min a Puerto Maldonado, con escala en Cusco. A mi llegada nos esperaban los representantes de Inkaterra, quienes  nos trasladaron hacia la Casa de las Mariposas donde nos recibieron con un fresco jugo de maracuyá antes de hacer el check in. Luego, tuvimos tiempo de visitar el mariposario y ver toda clase de mariposas revoloteando a nuestro alrededor.

Después de un viaje de 10 minutos llegamos al Puerto Jetty para realizar un viaje en bote de 45 minutos hacia el albergue, donde el personal nos recibe nuevamente con una bebida helada; y nos dirigen hacia nuestra cabaña.

La habitación era realmente hermosa, contaba con todas las comodidades y amenities de primera sin perder el toque local, y siempre cuidando los estándares ambientales.  Luego de refrescarnos, descansar y disfrutar del almuerzo, empezamos con las actividades….

Al ser primer día, decidimos hacer una caminata de reconocimiento por los alrededores del lodge. Aquí pudimos  conocer muchas de las plantas y árboles de la región, mientras el guía nos contaba el uso que les da la comunidad. Luego de la caminata; decidimos descansar un rato  en la zona de hamacas del albergue, con una vista impresionante, frente al río Madre de Dios.

Por la noche; nos embarcamos en una paseo más emocionante, una excursión por el río de noche. Preparados con nuestras linternas en mano; y cámaras de foto atentas, recorrimos los márgenes del río buscando búhos, ronsocos y caimanes. Nosotros no tuvimos tanta suerte ésta vez; y solo avistamos unos pequeños caimanes. Lo que si vimos con claridad fue el cielo totalmente iluminado con las estrellas del hemisferio Sur.

Al final del día, disfrutamos de la cena y nos dirigimos a descansar y disfrutar de la paz y tranquilidad de nuestra habitación.

Día 2

Nos levantamos muy temprano a disfrutar de un delicioso y energizarte desayuno; para luego  dirigirnos nuevamente al bote que nos llevaría hacia la Reserva Nacional Tambopata. El viaje de 30 minutos nos permite tomar muy buenas fotos del paisaje. Al llegar, realizamos una caminata de hora y media por la selva, donde logramos ver loros, guacamayos, mariposas entre otros hasta llegar al Lago Sandoval.

Desde aquí tomamos una canoa y rodeamos el hermoso lago, observando aves como el shanshos y garzas, monos aulladores, y hasta un caimán en el centro del lago! El paseo dura alrededor de hora y media bajo el sol; por lo que es recomendable llevar bastante agua y utilizar mucho protector solar.

Regresamos al albergue para refrescarnos y disfrutar del almuerzo.

Por la tarde, elegimos visitar el canopy; un sistema de puentes colgantes a más de 28 metros de altura! Caminamos sobre las copas de los árboles, disfrutando del aire fresco y las maravillosas vistas. Esta actividad no es recomendable para quienes temen a las alturas, ya que los puentes se balancean de una lado a otro mientras uno camina. Desde aquí logramos ver a la tucaneta y algunos monos que saltan tímidos de árbol en árbol ante nuestra presencia. Luego de sacar unas buenas fotos, volvemos al lodge.

En nuestra última noche en el albergue, decidimos relajar y solo disfrutar de una exquisita cena y de las bebidas amazónicas preparadas por el barman, donde conversamos con una familia que también se hospedaba en el lodge. Los niños estaban admirados con la cantidad de insectos y animales que vieron en sus excursiones.

Día 3

Llegó el día de despedirnos de Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica. Antes de partir, nos embarcamos en una última excursión a la quebrada Gamitana. En ésta oportunidad, compartimos la excursión con un grupo de simpáticos españoles, con quién compartimos bromas y experiencias del viaje. Luego de caminar por aproximadamente 1 hora por una chacra modelo, donde vemos monos; plantas, frutos, etc, llegamos al punto donde debíamos elegir si íbamos en una sola canoa, acompañados por el guía, o si nos aventurábamos a remar solos…y decidimos claro ir por un poco de aventura! A pesar de que el agua estaba tranquila y el nivel no estaba muy alto, mantener la canoa derecha fue más difícil de lo pensado, quedándonos encallados en más de una oportunidad. Sin embargo, valió totalmente la pena, fue una experiencia única.

Para terminar, regresamos en bote al albergue; a refrescarnos, recoger nuestros últimos bolsos y trasladarnos de regreso a la civilización.

Con mucha pena, pero con la felicidad de haber estado en una de las zonas naturales más preciadas e importantes del mundo, regresamos a la selva de cemento, a la ciudad de Lima; pero con muchos lindos recuerdos y maravillosas fotografías de éste mágico viaje!

The Amazon Experience-Travelling like a Rolling Stone!


Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

Traveler: Cristina Bustamante

Marketing manager at Metropolitan Touring Peru

The Amazon Rainforest is for me one of the most amazing and magic places I have visited in Peru; since once you visit it, the warmth of its people, the exotic flavors of its food and the brightly colors of its landscapes catches you, making you want to go there over and over again.

On this opportunity I decided to travel to Puerto Maldonado, home to one of the most important natural areas in the whole world because of its huge bio diversity, the Tambopata Reserve, where Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica is located. This ecolodge has recently hosted the famous musician Mick Jagger! So now I might say that visiting the Peruvian Rainforest is travelling like a Rolling Stone!

Day 1

We departed from Lima at 5.30 in the morning on a 2.45 min flight towards Puerto Maldonado, with a stop in Cusco. Upon arrival, staff from Inkaterra was waiting to transfer us to the Butterfly’s House, just a few minutes away from the airport, where we received a fresh passion fruit juice before we checked in.

Then, we had some time to visit the butterfly’s house and see all types of butterflies spinning around us.

After a 10 minutes-drive we got to Jetty’s Port to start our journey going dip into the rainforest. We went on a 45 min. boat trip towards the lodge, where once again we were received with a fresh made drink, and directed to our room.

The room was certainly beautiful; it was comfortable and has first class amenities without losing the local touch, and always caring about the ecological standards.

After we freshened up, rested a little, and enjoyed a delicious lunch, we began with the activities.

Since this was our first day here, we decided to make a recognition walk around the lodge, where we got to know lots of plants and trees from the region, while our guide told us about how the local communities use this plants.  After the short walk, we decided to enjoy of the impressive view from the hammocks area, facing the Madre de Dios River.

At night, we embarked on a more exciting activity, an excursion along the river by night. Prepared with our flashlights and the cameras ready to take pictures, we went through the river searching for owls, capybaras and alligators. We didn’t have much luck this time, we only got to see a few small alligators. What we got to see clearly was the sky fully illuminated with twinkling stars from the southern hemisphere.

At the end of the day we had dinner and went to rest and enjoy the peace and tranquility of our room.

Day 2

We woke up very early to enjoy a delicious and energetic breakfast beforegoing back to the boat that will transfer us to the Tambopata National Reserve. Once in the reserve, we had to make an hour and a half walk through the forest where we spotted some parrots, macaws, and butterflies amongst others, until we got to Sandoval Lake.

From here we go into a canoe and surround the beautiful lake, watching birds like the “shanshos” and herons; howling monkeys, and even a big caiman in the middle of the lake. This excursion lasts about 1 and half hours under the hot sun; so it is very important to bring lots of drinking water and sunscreen.

In the afternoon we did the Canopy Walk, a hanging bridges system of more than 28 meters high! We walked over the tops of the trees, enjoying the fresh air and the amazing views. This is not recommendable if you are afraid to heights, since the bridges swings  a lot while you walk. From here we saw a tucanet and some monkeys jumping shyly from tree to tree upon our presence. After taking some good pictures, we went back to the lodge.

On our last night at the lodge we decided to just enjoy an exquisite dinner, followed by some drinks served at the bar; where we got to talk to a family also staying at the lodge. The kids were thrilled with all the insects and animals they saw on their excursions. 

Day 3 

The last day on Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica has come. Before saying good bye to the jungle, we went on our last excursion to the Gamitana creek.

This time a friendly group of people from Spain joined us, with whom we share jokes and trip experiences. After walking about one hour through a model farm, where we saw monkeys, fruits, plants, etc, we got to a point where we had to decide between going all in one canoe driven by our guide, or to go on a separate canoe, paddling by ourselves. Of course, we decided to go for some adventure and go alone on one separate canoe. Even though the water level was not so high, keeping the canoe straight was more difficult than what we thought, leaving us stranded on more than one occasion. However, it was totally worth it, it was a unique experience.

At the end, we returned by boat to the lodge to get our bags and get back to the civilization.

Very sad for leaving, but with  great happiness of having visited one of the most precious natural areas in the world, we went back to the concrete jungle, the city of Lima, but with many good memories and wonderful pictures of this magical journey!

Wine-tasting in Buenos Aires


As the saying goes: “When in Rome…”

It would have been churlish of us not to have spent at least one night concentrating on one of Argentina’s finest, and probably most famous, exports – and tourist attractions – this was a ‘fam’ trip, afterall. Research, research…

So we descended the metallic spiral staircase of El Querandí restaurant (www.querandi.com.ar) in downtown Buenos Aires, to the wine cellar called La Cava, for an evening of deep appreciation of one of the finer things in life.

The evening was hosted by the affable, skinny and funny Sebastián, an Argentine sommelier in his late 20s who wore his knowledge lightly and had a Roman nose apt for his job.

With him, we tasted three wines in all, aided by a map of Argentina projected on the wall, which helpfully explained the three main wine-growing regions in the country: the North, the Centre and the South. Each region produces different types of wines – nearly all of them more alcoholic than other countries – with different-tasting varieties of the same grape in some cases.

To give you an idea of just how important wine is to Argentina these days, you need to know that it’s the world’s 5th-largest exporter and 7th-largest producer, generating an estimated $600 million for the economy every year, with over 1,300 wineries employing hundreds of thousands of people.

Now, to get an idea of how important wine is to the average Argentine, you need to know that they rank 8th in the world’s top drinkers (although Sebastián said 6th, I checked and it’s 8th – no surprise perhaps, in the porteño exaggeration), knocking back around 30 litres each a year. That’s quite a bit.

We were introduced to the Torrontés grape , which I hadn’t tasted before. The one we had was La Pumila, a green-tinged white wine that was refreshing when combined with a nibble of meat, but too acidic for my linking. Interestingly, when we were in the Salta region later on the trip, we were invited to try a different Torrontés and it was sweeter. I preferred the second one.

Then came a Pinot Noir called Malma, which had some body and some kick, and would gone down all-too-easily on a sunny day for lunch. It comes from the southern Patagonian wine-growing region, from the NQN bodega, which can be visited in the famous Neuquén wine region.

Passing along via another nibble provided by an excellent waiter, we moved on to my preferred territory of the dark, richer reds: Finca Intimayo from the Mendoza region, the central part of the country that produces really what many now regard as the world’s best Malbecs. This was the highlight of the night for me. Excellent bouquet – you can’t help get into the terminology…  — not too sharp, not too heavy, an astringency that played on the palate, leaving you with a delicious, lingering taste. Following a glass of that, we then passed on to the main course, a fine – and almost mandatory in Argentina – steak.

Gabriel Nicolai, Manager of Metropolitan Touring Argentina showing us how it's done

All in all, an excellent way to pass an evening among friends: a bit of learning, a bit of tasting, good food, cool decor, fine wine. Salud!

By Dominic Hamilton, Head of Communication, MT Ecuador. dhamilton AT metropolitan-touring.com


To experience ‘tango and wines’ with Metropolitan Touring, see: http://www.metropolitan-touring.com/content.asp?id_page=2159

For more images of wine-tasting at La Cava, see our Flickr gallery

Useful info:  www.winesofargentina.org