Written by Cristina Buaas
Whether you’re looking for a honeymoon destination or a great place for a family vacation, look no further than the beautiful country of Peru! From exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas to taking cooking lessons in the historic capital Cusco, Peru promises adventure to all who visit. For the outdoor adventurer, the beautiful mountains are full of hiking trails, kayaking in the Huaypo Lake provides an incredible view of the country’s landscape and the unique natural environment of the Amazon. For those who love cultural experiences, the ancient city of Machu Picchu (named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World) is a must-see. In addition, you can tour the remains of the Inca Empire in the Sacred Valley which provides insight into 13th century Inca civilization. If you prefer to focus on relaxation then enjoy the plethora of amenities at many popular hotels and resorts including pools, spas, breath-taking views, great food, and a variety of fun activities.
The Sacred Valley offers a wonderful selection of lodging options. Here are some of our preferred hotels we experienced:
Sol y Luna Lodge & Spa is attached to the Wayra ranch, providing a unique ranch element and top-notch service. As a member of Relais & Chateaux, cuisine is one of the highlights at Sol y Luna. Activities offered include authentic horse shows, hiking, horseback rides at the stables, and a circus show twice a week. Yoga and Pilates are also offered during high season (April to October). There is also a game room and new pool which is sure to be popular with families.
Belmond Rio Sagrado is located in Ollantaytambo and has a lovely riverside setting. This property has a very serene and quiet atmosphere, well-suited for anyone wanting a relaxing vacation. Cooking lessons, yoga, and a great spa are offered here. El Huerto restaurant offers delicious meals with good service as well as occasional special events. A beautiful place to stay for those looking for a calm and enjoyable environment.
Tambo del Inka has excellent rooms and lots of amenities throughout the property. Suites come with butler service and families are able to get connecting rooms if requested. A large spa and game room are available to guests along with a train station at the hotel for added travel convenience. Great for families and those wanting varied activities on site!
Our Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientas preferred accommodations include the following:
Inkaterra Pueblo Lodge is a wonderful choice for those seeking a rustic, natural feel in their accommodations. The property features two restaurants, a spa, pool, hot tubs and an eco-center where naturalists offer complimentary guided hikes throughout the property. Be sure to stop in their beautiful gift shop as well!
Sumaq Hotel offers understated elegance nestled on the banks of the Urubamba River. The restaurant offers delicious, gourmet meals and several tasting menus as well. Activities include spa treatments, cookie making for kids, bird watching, and a Mother Earth ceremony by appointment.
Two of our favorite hotels in Cusco are as follows:
Belmond Monasterio is a revitalized monastery and former national monument from the 1500s. It combines five-star service with historic Baroque style. This hotel features live music in the lobby four days a week, a main courtyard with outdoor seating for meals, massage rooms, beauty parlor, and a fine dining restaurant where a famous opera singer performs from time to time! There is also a historic chapel on site that dates back to 1650. The rooms here are great for couples or families looking for an authentic and charming atmosphere for their vacation.
Belmond Nazaraneas is the sister property and next door to the Belmond Monasterio. It was once a palace and convent but has since been restored to a beautiful urban retreat. This upscale hotel has a refined room product featuring butler service for all 52 suites. The pool area is beautiful and the onsite restaurant serves delicious local cuisine. This is a great option for those looking for the “wow” factor!