Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo would be my top recommendation for anyone visiting Machu Picchu and looking to steer clear of the crowds.
The hotel is ideally located just moments from the train station in Aguas Calientes, which takes you up the mountain to visit the spectacular Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Staying two nights here works perfectly to enjoy a full day exploring the Inca ruins, with time to relax and enjoy the hotel in the evenings.
Set high up in the Andean cloud forest, the surroundings of this eco-retreat are beautiful and verdant, with birds darting through the trees and a fast-flowing river meandering through the valley below, adding to the sense of tranquility throughout the property. Designed with a typical Andean village in mind, Inkaterra fits in perfectly with its surroundings; local white-washed stone and red roof tiles are used to create charming, unassuming casitas, all discretely positioned within the gorgeous gardens and spread along the hillside to ensure a sense of escape and privacy.
Rooms are traditionally decorated with carved stone desks, dark wood furniture and soft white linens. Curl up on the comfy armchairs and snuggle into the handwoven woolen throws, beautifully detailed with classic Peruvian patterns. There are plenty of connecting room options for families, and the suites are very spacious, boasting fireplaces and private plunge pools. We’d recommend springing for a suite if you can - there’s nothing more relaxing after a day on your feet, than sinking into your own plunge pool with a Pisco Sour in hand. It’s important to note that due to the altitude up in the mountains, temperatures can drop at night, so be sure to take warm clothing. At Inkaterra you’ll have plenty of extra blankets in your room, and hot water bottles to keep your toes warm.
Rise early to beat the crowds visiting the citadel, and we’ll arrange for a private guide to accompany you and provide detailed information on the region’s history and culture, offering the inside track that makes an exploration of such a special site even more magical. Peru is a very family-friendly destination, with a real range of activities to fit all ages, and exploring the ancient site of Machu Picchu is a magical experience to enjoy together as a family.
On return to the train station, there’s a great market with beautiful textiles and handicrafts that is well worth a perusal. If you have time in the afternoon, walk through the hotel’s vast orchid gardens and watch the hummingbirds hover and dart amongst the flowers - you may even spot a rare spectacled bear! There’s a selection of guided excursions for children (provided with their own explorer’s kit!) and the Inkaterra treasure hunt is great fun.
The hotel’s drawing room offer a lovely atmosphere in the evenings, with lit fireplaces where you can sit and enjoy a drink, or there’s a comfortable library to read or write up your travel diary. Simple and beautifully decorated, the interiors are rustic in style, but offering excellent cuisine, a beautiful spa and fantastic service, a stay here doesn’t lack in luxury.
The dining room in the main lodge serves delicious Andean fusion cuisine, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows opening to the beautiful surrounding scenery. Breakfast is served here in the morning with plenty of options from a large buffet – be sure to indulge before your trip up the mountain!
There are certain places where I feel a spa is really necessary (more than just an indulgence!), and in Peru’s prime trekking country, where you return to the hotel with aching muscles, having faced the elements and altitude, it couldn’t be more appealing. UNU Spa treatments include stone massages, reflexology, facials using local botanical herbs, and there’s a traditional Andean sauna heated by river rocks – wonderfully relaxing! There’s also a pool with natural flowing spring water, along with two heated pools which are perfect for a leisurely soak.
Staff are always on hand to assist, and will ensure your luggage is taken to and from the train station, making arrival and departure seamless and stress-free.
Every time I explore a new destination, whether it’s on an adventure holiday in Peru or a luxury beach escape in the Indian Ocean, I return home full of excitement to share the amazing sights I have seen. Through my own experiences I have developed a love of helping others experience the great wonders of the world; truly getting under the skin of the extraordinary destinations that are at your fingertips. Getting the details right, from which hotel is perfectly located for exploring away from the crowds, to which local guide is most knowledgeable on history or culture or art, is of paramount importance to me. I am constantly seeking out new and exciting experiences and exploring off the beaten track to ensure my clients are receiving the best and most honest first-hand advice.
Take a look at my travel diaries for food for thought on your next trip...