Inkaterra’s luxury guide to Peru: Where to stay, eat & visit during your trip
Peruvian eco tourism experts Inkaterra are renowned for providing the ultimate in luxury accommodation and adventures. We teamed up with them to showcase the best of this very special country.
As host to enthralling landscapes, history and incomparable biodiversity, Peru is considered one of the most captivating countries of the 21st century.
With flourishing civilizations dating back to 3,000 & 1,800BC and a thriving ecosystem populated by hundreds of wildlife communities, Peru boasts a diverse campestral prowess, second to none other than perhaps its very own Amazon Rain Forest.
Spanning 2,200km along the Pacific coast of South America, Peru is home to an important part of the majestic Andean mountain range, the Great Inca Trail also known as ‘Qhapaq Ñan’.
Initially established by the Incas as a transportation pathway, the trail is linked to other South American countries and extends more than 6,000km (3,728mi.) in length. Today, the country illustrates remnants of pre-Hispanic civilisations, from the Ancient Caral of 5,500 years ago to the splendour of the Incan Empire in the 15th Century.
Set amid the immense Amazon, which envelopes up to 62% of Peruvian territory, the country is also host to thousands of wildlife species including over 1,835 classes of birds (131 endemic), 84 out of the 104 Holdridge life zone systems and Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake on the globe (3,812m / 12,507ft.a.s.l).
From where to stay, where to eat and what to do here’s your ultimate luxury guide to Peru.
Where to stay
The ancient city of Cusco is an eclectic encounter of traditions. Originally the imperial city of the famed Incan Empire, the city is now an awe-inspiring vision of pre-Hispanic design merged with 16th century colonial formations.
Located in the traditional Plaza de las Nazarenas, Inkaterra La Casona is an artistic and historic hideaway. The refurbished 16th century manor house is the first boutique hotel in Cusco and first Relais & Châteaux property in Peru.
The hotel has earned awards such as Travel + Leisure’s 2018 ‘Best City Hotels in Central and South America’ and is ranked fourth in the Top 100 Hotels in the World, among others.
Standing on the ancient former training grounds of the Inca army, the luxury hotel brings modern amenities to its cultural surroundings. Comprising eleven suites, each is complete with chimneys, radiant heated floors and opulent bathtubs.
Sacred Valley of the Incas
The exquisite countryside of the Sacred Valley boasts close proximity to spectacular sites such as the Maras Inca salt ponds, the Chinchero colonial village, church and local market – all built on former Inca bases, in addition to the circular Inca terraces of Moray.
Nestled between the city of Cusco and the famed Machu Picchu lies Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, a plantation-style hotel set amid imposing green mountains and harvest fields which showcases two styles of accommodation, 12 luxury rooms and suites in the Casa Hacienda and 24 independent casitas.
These quarters feature incomparable views of the Sacred Valley and allow guests to be immersed in open space and serenity. The property also exhibits traditional architecture and interiors illustrated through colonial furniture, Inca masks and handcrafted woodwork.
Boasting a chic rustic design, the hotel’s new Mayu Spa offers a range of therapies in a unique, tranquil setting. Guests are also welcome to experience a number of guided group excursions such as hikes, bike rides and visits to historical museums.
Located above the Urubamba River, is one of the new Seven Wonders of the Modern World and Peru’s most visited archeological site, Machu Picchu. Complete with a fascinating history woven between the Incas and the conquistadores, the citadel stands nearly intact, offering travellers and locals alike, a captivating slice of the past.
For those heading towards this breathtaking site, the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an intimate rest stop. Resembling a typical Andean village, the hotel is surrounded by imposing mountains and hills and consists of 83 casitas and villas.
As a member of Virtuoso & the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, the property showcases 12 acres of exuberant tropical gardens located within the ‘cloud forest’ of Machu Picchu.
Tucked away amid this natural beauty, some 214 bird species, of which 18 are hummingbirds, can be found, in addition to the world’s largest native orchid collection comprising a vast 372 species, according to the AOS.
If you’re looking to unwind after all the excitement of the hotel excursions and surrounding wildlife, there are first-class offerings within the hotel’s restaurants and Unu Spa.
Tambopata National Reserve, Madre de Dios
Known as Peru’s capital for biodiversity, Puerto Maldonado is a stone’s-throw from Tambopata National Reserve in Madre de Dios and is host to some of the most complex eco systems on earth.
Dominating the Madre de Dios River, resides Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. The property offers a varied selection of a-la-carte excursions around the area, such as hiking in the nearby Ecological Reserve, which spans 10,000ha (24,700acre), visits to the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway and adventures to the beautiful and solitary oxbow shaped Lake Sandoval, among others.
What to do:
Indulge in the offerings of the Mayu Spa
The most recent addition to Inkaterra’s spa collection is the Mayu Spa, which means ‘river’ in Quechua. Clad with a chic rustic design inspired by traditional Andean architecture, the Mayu Spa is located between Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba’s organic orchard and an enchanting peppertree forest.
Complete with a pool, four private therapy rooms and a sauna, this new wellness center provides the most soothing and spiritual of spa experiences.
Explore the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu
Take a privately guided tour of one of Peru’s most celebrated ancient ruins, Machu Picchu, and explore the history of the host of events that occurred on site.
To complete the tour, guests are invited to embark on an adventurous hour-long trek up Wayna Picchu. This steep trail overlooks the former Inca palace and leads to a lesser-known quarter, which offers breath-taking views of the site. This excursion will have you in awe of the surroundings, rivers and valleys.
Inkaterra Canopy Walkway
This group excursion is offered by the beautiful Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica property. The activity entails a jaunt across South America’s largest tree canopy ways, conprising seven bridges and eight platforms, which will take you on a journey 98 feet (30m) above ground level through ancient trees, the crisp air and the homes of thousands of animal species.
Where to eat:
Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco
At Inkaterra La Casona, the Corporate Head Chef Rafael Casin, has personally curated a unique Andean-inspired dining experience. Andean tempura trout, quinoa tabbouleh and braised lamb shank are among the popular choices within the hotel’s restaurant and are true taste bud tantalizers
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba
The Earth to Table concept is an exceptional dining offering completely unique to Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba. This is a concept whereby traditional farming techniques are used to create organic ingredients such as quinoa, white giant corn and medicinal herbs.
Carried out with a 10-acre organic plantation, guests are invited to pick their own produce, which is then created in to a luxurious meal by the Inkaterra chefs.
Concluding your trip to Peru, a meander through the streets of the capital, Lima, will give you that final dose of history.
Founded by Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro in 1535, the city overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is renowned in South America for its generous diversity of tradition and modernity; showcasing many museums, colourful squares, parks, ancient architecture and churches.
Between the bohemian district of Barranco and the busy shopping district of Miraflores, the opportunities in Lima are endless for foodies, historians and the curious.
For more details of Inkaterra’s range of luxury accommodations and nature experiences, visit inkaterra.com.