Peru – The Realm of The Incas

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The most direct way to reach Peru, although it may not seem so, is via Madrid into Lima. On Susie’s recent trip to this magnificent country, she then flew onwards to Cusco which is located approximately 3,300m above sea level.

Susie’s whirlwind trip of 5 days, of which two were taken up with over night flights, took in some of the most renowned hotels in the area, all of which have their unique selling points and suitability’s.

The Monasterio Hotel in Cusco is an Orient Express property, with 127 rooms and suites. Due to the high altitude, 84 of the rooms can be oxygenated to help alleviate altitude sickness. This 16th-century hotel was originally built as a monastery in 1592 and is now one of the world’s finest hotels. It has a fantastic central location and is a ten-minute drive from the airport and just two blocks from the Plaza de Armas, Cuzco’s central square, where the cathedral and most important museums are located. The centre of the hotel is the courtyard edged by stone cloisters and with a 300yr old cedar tree and gardens – both breakfast and lunch can be taken here. A full buffet breakfast is ready from 04:30 for those catching the train to Machu Picchu or a breakfast box can be ordered the night before. This is highly recommended as the breakfast on the train, in standard class, is not very appetising.

The Villas Urubamba are five private villas offer an idyllic setting for discovering the Urubamba valley, a pastoral patchwork of richly cultivated land, dotted with colourful villages, surrounded by majestic mountains. Each of the villas has a slightly different interior and either 2 or 3 bedrooms. A cook/maid accompanies each property and will create wonderful dishes from home grown produce. You will wake up to the sounds of the cockerel and magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. The villas would be best suited to groups of friends or large families and would be a perfect way to unwind after a touring the countryside.

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel located adjacent to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu and the perfect base by which to explore the area. One of the world’s major heritage sites, Machu Picchu is a sacred and magical place of spectacular sunrises and mystical moonlit nights. This is another Orient Express property and as there are only 2 suites and 29 rooms, all are at a premium, especially those with a mountain view. The reason to stay at this sought after hotel is purely the fact that you can be the first in the morning and last to leave at night and witness sights that the ‘day trippers’ will not see.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is a lovely hotel in the town that oozes calmness. The hotel is set in 12 acres of tropical gardens near to the train station and has 85 cottages located throughout the grounds and an Inca sauna and pool. The hotel has its own conservation programme to protect spectacled bears – at present they have 2 in residence. This is an excellent alternative to the Sanctuary Lodge, you can catch the first bus to Machu Picchu and be at the gates as the site opens, you just need to wake up little earlier!

In addition to these more prestigious and highly regarded properties are many smaller and equally as charming hotels, which Susie, Jackie and Di can all advise on personally and help you plan your trip. Please do not hesitate to give them a call on 01428 658 777 to discuss.

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