The Sanctuary of Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
The train journey to Aguas Calientes from Ollantaytambo was a highlight in itself as we wove our way through the mountains catching glimpses of the Classic Inca Trail and the folks hiking to Machu Picchu, the ancient Lost City of the Incas. The scenery was ever changing with spectacular views across the gorges and snow capped mountains standing tall in the background. We wove our way up into the Cloud Forrest and the oasis town of Aguas Calientes, the closest town to Machu Picchu, which was a hive of activity with markets, restaurants, bars and tourists all with the same dream of making the once in a lifetime visit to Machu Picchu. The town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 7 New Wonders. Disembarking from the train we walked the footbridge to the tranquillity of Inkaterra Hotel. The hotel pays homage to the Incas and remains a traditional Andean Village set on 12 acres of lush natural beauty, home to hundreds of species of birdlife, exquisite orchids and other native animals, butterflies and plants. You can’t help but go exploring, walking along the pathways leading from our traditional unimposing hut, locally known as casitas which are a traditional style of accommodation with a touch of luxury. It was easy to immerse myself in the surrounds, listening to the sounds of the birds and waterfalls and the arrival of the train pulling into the station. Here in the Cloud Forrest you can’t help but feel relaxed and in harmony with nature and the lush surrounds and it is a real privilege to have escaped the modern world and enjoy this historical and spiritual sanctuary. The afternoon was complete with a massage at the Una spa where I enjoyed treatments of local botanics, including the coca leaf extract. I met up with my travelling companions for a dip in the warm waters of the natural pool before heading for dinner. The restaurant’s décor embraces the areas heritage, featuring beautiful works of art as it blends in with the environment, showcasing views of the Vilcanota River and surrounding mountains. The menu is superb, a fusion of traditional Peruvian & contemporary cuisine and topped off with an excellent selection of local and international wines. We all enjoyed the food, the wine, the great service and company of our group who all shared in the excitement knowing that tomorrow was the day we were finally going to make it to Macchu Picchu. Early to bed with the sounds of the forest was an idyllic way to prepare for the early start the following morning.
This experience is part of Mountain Lodges of Peru’s 5-day multi-activity and cultural program to Machu Picchu.