In honor of International Women’s Day, Aracari is celebrating women who dedicate their lives to leading responsible businesses connected to tourism in Perú. Here, you’ll meet Adriana von Hagen of Kentitambo.
Adriana von Hagen is the founder of Kentitambo, a series of 5 double bungalows with ensuite facilities located on a hillside overlooking the Museo Leymebamba. Kentitambo is located in the town of Leymebamba in the cloud forest of Chachapoyas, northern Perú.
When Adriana arrived, the surrounding natural area was in rough shape. Over the years, she’s transformed it into paradise. “In just over twenty years we have converted a deforested, barren hillside into a lush forest of native species teeming with hummingbirds,” Adriana says. “Thus the name of our lodge, Kentitambo – the hummingbird inn. We have multiple hummingbird feeders as well as plantings that attract as many as 16 species of hummingbirds, in addition to warblers, tanagers, parrots, toucans, and trogons.”
Adriana is the author of a number of books on Inca, pre-Inca, and Chachapoyas culture. She has a deep interest in tropical ecology, archaeology, and handicrafts. “I came to Leymebamba in 1997 to help rescue and protect Chachapoya mummies and artifacts from looters at the Laguna de los Condores and was instrumental in creating the Museo Leymebamba.”
Built With Care
Adriana and her partner Oscar first built their own house in the area, and then decided to have guests visit to view the hummingbirds and relax. As their acclaim grew, they decided to try lodging – and the rest is history. Adriana and Oscar now split their time between Kentitambo, Lima, and the world.
Kentitambo’s location is a delight. “It is a stone’s-throw from the Museo Leymebamba, considered one of Perú’s top five museums as well as its gardens of native flora, over 50 bird species, rooms featuring locally woven textiles, and a dining room offering delicious cuisine,” Adriana explains “Our property is beautiful, comfortable, and safe, with attention to detail in every aspect of the construction and operation. Each bungalow is positioned both to take advantage of incredible views across the valley to the cloud forest beyond, and to provide privacy relative to the other bungalows and main lodge.”
“Each room is thoughtfully appointed and on cold nights we provide guests with hot water bottles so that they can settle into a warm, inviting bed. At breakfast we cater to dietary restrictions and preferences…We provide box lunches for guests who are hiking or visiting Kuelap or one of the many other attractions. Furnishings showcase local artisans, including weavers from Leymebamba.”
A Focus On Sustainability
Sustainability is important to Adriana. “We started the lodge to protect and enhance the cultural and ecological wealth of Leymebamba, the Chachapoyas culture, and the cloud forest,” she shares. “Sustainability imbues every aspect of our operation, from construction, to water and energy conservation in operations, to providing local, sustainably grown food, to enhancing visitor’s understanding of the unique ecology and culture of the region...In addition, we have been engaged in condor restoration efforts, purchasing a condor nesting site in the nearby forest and protecting and enhancing condor habitat, which also shelters a number of associated species.”
Adriana’s team consists of fantastic women. “We have hired and trained over a dozen women in hospitality, cooking, and baking skills, providing them with skills not only for the workplace but for their home and their future,” she says. “In the very rural setting of Leymebamba, employment opportunities for women are rare and it has been gratifying to watch our women employees gain confidence and standing in the community. In addition to the lodge, we run a small café, the Kentikafe.”
For Adriana, luxury means arriving in the middle of nowhere and finding a space like Kentitambo: comfortable beds, beautifully appointed rooms, stunning views, delicious meals, and thoughtful attention to every guest.