As daylight breaks in the Amazon, the forest’s sleepy stillness fills with a cacophony of chirps and chatters. Monkeys swing in the canopy branches and myriad birds flit about in search of a morning meal. These are the sounds of the rain forest springing to life, and this is what you hear when you wake up at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción. Here, your room feels like a natural part the forest. Screens replace walls and high thatched roofs reveal the intricacies of the canopy—so slight are the barriers, it’s easy to forget that they even exist.
During a stay at Hacienda Concepción, intimacy with the rain forest grows with each passing day. Exploration begins right in your room and then evolves as you walk the paths that wind through the property, trek to wildlife-rich lakes, and discover a nocturnal world after the sun goes down. As life under the canopy thrives, you’re at the heart of it, in the optimal position to feel its metamorphoses.
The Amazon is a natural classroom, and Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción was designed to facilitate learning from within the rain forest’s complex ecosystems. Your exploration begins almost immediately after your plane touches down on the airstrip. Newly arrived guests are taken to the nearby Inkaterra Butterfly House, a large butterfly garden and reproduction laboratory that offers an interactive experience with a large and colorful variety of butterfly species. The garden also doubles as an information center where visitors can learn about the incredible biodiversity found in the rain forests of the Madre de Dios region.
After this first encounter with the flora and fauna of the area, guests travel by motorized canoe down the meandering Madre de Dios River before disembarking at the lodge, deep in the heart of the rain forest. From this point, each excursion that the lodge offers is an opportunity to delve deeper into the forest's incredible ecosystem. You’ll have a skilled naturalist at hand to explain how to distinguish between monkey species, or why a certain tree moves through the forest by itself, or which plant could cure a particular disease. A world of lakes, rivers, colorful birds, and diverse wildlife awaits under the rain forest canopy, and the guides at Hacienda Concepción are there to help you discover it.
Guests who book their space through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World will have the opportunity to take a private guided tour of the lodge's cacao plantation. Learn how the beans are organically grown, harvested, and processed; then try your hand at milling the bean and making the local delicacy of cacao bread.
Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción works with the Inkaterra Association, a National Geographic-sponsored foundation, to support conservation and research efforts in the Peruvian Amazon. The association protects 24,700 acres of rain forest and supports targeted initiatives to study and monitor the area's wildlife populations. The group co-sponsors a bird-banding station that collects biometric data on some of the area’s avian species and also promotes the study and inventory of reptiles and amphibians—an initiative that has lead to the classification of five new species.
In addition to working with the association and supporting its research and conservation efforts, Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion has also adopted its own set of sustainability programs to help protect the communities and the ecosystems of the Amazon. The lodge has established waste-management and recycling systems and supports local farmers by buying their crops and providing boat transportation to Puerto Maldonado—initiatives that deter the expansion of farmland into the surrounding forests.
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