Luxury travel in Peru is booming, and the steady increase of visitors every year is leading to a demand for luxury travel, services and hotels. Incredibly, Peru boasts some of the finest hotels in South America, and has much to offer the discerning traveller.
In 1911 when Hiram Bingham revealed a lost Incan citadel to the world, Peru emerged as a new destination for travel in South America. The citadel was called Machu Picchu, and for many years the largely untouched Inca site lay dormant, lost to the Amazon Jungle until Hiram Bingham stumbled on the site with his expedition team. Over the next 100 years many other Inca sites were reclaimed from the Jungle including the citadel of Choquequirao and Winay Winya. In addition to these incredible sites, visitors to Peru can also enjoy the Inca sites of Pisac, Ollantaytambo and the Colonial City of Cusco – which is like a living museum of Inca architecture.
If you are thinking about a luxury Peru tour in the coming year and are considering taking advantage of some of Peru’s best hospitality, we have put together a list of some of the best highlights, and tops on things you need to know.
Peru offers a plethora of luxury Hotels, from traditional colonial hotels to chic contemporary styled boutique accommodations. The very best hotels are located close to the major tourist attractions like Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Sacred Valley. In Cusco we suggest you might want to consider the Monasterio Hotel, originally built in 1595 on the site of the palace of Inca Amaru Qhala. Another popular choice is the very private hotel of La Casona – an 11 suite hotel built around a traditional inner courtyard, and a popular choice for the rich and famous. Other hotels which stand out in Cusco include the well-priced Libertador Hotel and Casa Cartagena, an ultra-modern hotel set in a colonial mansion.
Of-course no trip to Peru is complete without a visit to Machu Picchu, and the very finest way to travel is on the Luxury Hiram Bingham Train. This luxury service operated by the Orient Express Group is one of South Americas finest train journeys. Styled like the 1920’s Pullman Trains of the past, with Royal Blue livery and comfortable seating is an experience not to forget. The service includes brunch on the outward journey, a 4-course dinner on the return trip, a fully stocked bar, plus lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge Hotel adjacent to Machu Picchu. It is important to note that the Hiram Bingham Service does not run on a Sunday.
There is only a handful of luxury Machu Picchu Hotels, and the Sanctuary Lodge Hotel is the only hotel located at the citadel, with the rest of the hotels located on the floor of the Vilcabamba Valley in the small town of Aguas Calientes. The Sanctuary Lodge hotel is situated just a few yards from the entrance to Machu Picchu (and interestingly has no views of the citadel), and is perfect for visitors who want to have the best access to the site. An excellent choice for early risers, those who want to visit Machu Picchu before the crowds arrive or budding photographers who want that perfect shot first thing in the morning. An alternative hotel worth considering is the beautiful Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel by the extremely successful luxury Peruvian hotel chain – Inkaterra. Set in 11 acres of cloud forest and featuring the largest private collection of Orchids in South America, on-site nature walks and their own tea and coffee plantations, the Puebo hotel is more than just a place to sleep.
If you are hoping to spend a little time relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the city then a few nights in the Sacred Valley (just 1 hour from Cusco) is a popular choice. The Sacred Valley is a tranquil region of Peru and offers several high level luxury hideaways, and is situated a few hundred feet lower than Cusco, great for acclimatizing to the altitude. There are several excellent choices, but one of the most prominent hotels is the Sol y Luna hotel located just outside of Urubamba. Set in large, beautiful and well maintained gardens, the Sol y Luna hotel offers guests a selection of charming individual Casitas and Luxury Suites. The hotel also features Wayra, a ranch located towards the lower end of the complex, and offers guests exceptionally high quality guided horse-back riding tours through the Sacred Valley. The Sol y Luna also operates half and full day quad biking tours from Wayra, exploring further afield to the mystical and rarely visited Inca ruins of Moray.
If you are considering a luxury Peru tour sometime in the future we hope that these few hints will help you get the most out of your trip. Peru is an amazing country with incredible history, ancient Inca ruins and many other fantastic attractions. Make sure that Peru is on your list of must visit countries – it truly is a luxury destination not to be missed.
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