Inkaterra has been a leader in ecotourism since 1975, developing different research projects in the Amazon and in the cloud forest of Machu Picchu. Their worthwhile projects include having the world’s largest collection of wild orchids; social work support in local communities, organizing workshops for children every summer, working with organic products and educating all travelers staying with Inkaterra. The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is surrounded by a 12 acre private mountain reserve in Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes). We caught up with Joaquin Escudero, Resident Manager of the luxurious Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel to find out more about the magical destination of Machu Picchu during the Christmas and New Year vacation period.
♦ Why do you think that Machu Picchu is the perfect place to visit for Christmas & New Year’s Eve?
The end of the year is during the summer solstice which is a significant Inca event. These dates were very important and celebrating the start of the New Year signifies starting a renewed year with a lot of positive energy. Spending Christmas and New Year in a place so spiritual and energetic as Machu Picchu will also amaze you with the colors and beauty of its flora as this time of year is the rainy season and many of the orchids also begin to bloom in our gorgeous Inkaterra gardens.
♦ Do you have any special celebrations going on or near your hotel during Christmas & New Year’s Eve?
We will be having a special Christmas Eve dinner at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel as well as live music performances and champagne to toast to the festivities.
♦ What is your stand-out Machu Picchu memory at Christmas or New Year’s Eve?
During the Holiday season in Machu Picchu my favorite activity which I recommend to everyone is to go to the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu at the start of the New Year to see the wonderful moment when the sun comes up on the summer solstice.
♦ How do Peruvians celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve?
Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a family occasion in Peru and it is celebrated at dawn on the 24th December and 31st December. Families prepare traditional dishes such as turkey for Christmas and pig for New Year and will usually drink chocolate milk and eat panettone on both dates at midnight.
♦ What is the Christmas and New Year’s Eve activity you would recommend to people staying at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel?
To visit Machu Picchu during the summer solstice and spend the first day of the year in the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, renewing your energy for the New Year. I would also recommend enjoying the orchid garden of the hotel which has some 372 wild and different native orchid species that is according to the American Orchid Society, a world record.
♦ What advice would you give to travelers coming to Machu Picchu during the Holiday period?
To be prepared for the rain, sun and unpredictable weather during this time of year. Make sure to pack good waterproof shoes, ponchos or raincoats to be able to enjoy the best of Machu Picchu.
♦ What is Machu Picchu like to visit during Christmas and New Year’s Eve?
Christmas and New Year is when there are long National Holidays around the world and people make the most of this time to visit the World Wonder of Machu Picchu. At the hotel, we get really busy with a lot of people coming to spend the festive Holiday season with us.
♦ Where and what is the best Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebration in Machu Picchu?
The best celebration would be to see the sunrise at Machu Picchu but of course taking into account that during these special dates it might rain so to take with you the appropriate clothing to comfortably appreciate its beauty.
♦ Please can you share with us a special story from Christmas or New Year’s Eve about Peru or Machu Picchu?
The celebrations that are traditional and customary take place in Cusco with the Santurantikuy Craft Fair being the main event. In Quechua, ‘santu’ means saint and ‘rantikuy’ means to buy something for yourself so together it means to buy yourself a saint. This Craft Fair has been celebrated at Christmas since the 16th Century in the main square of Cusco known as the Plaza de Armas and it is a colorful, cultural and great event to go to.
♦ What will you be asking from Santa Claus this year for Christmas?
I will be asking for many blessings for my family and for the families of all those who make up the great Inkaterra family.