Destination Guide

Sacred Valley

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Courtesy of Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado

Machu Picchu may be Peru’s greatest draw, but a visit to the Sacred Valley, which surrounds Machu Picchu and Cusco, is also essential to understand the land that inspired awe in the Incas and the conquistadores.


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Entrance - Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, Sacred Valley, Peru

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

Built as a dormitory for archaeologists, Belmond Sanctuary Lodge has been spiffed to welcome guests who want to stay at the gates of the famous ruins.

Exterior View - Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Sacred Valley, Peru - Courtesy of Inkaterra

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Inkaterra Machu Piccu Pueblo Hotel sits at the base of the mountain where Machu Picchu is, offering a comfortable retreat after exploring the ruins.

view of hotel exterior with red tile roof and long hotel building in a mountain valley

Explora Valle Sagrado

This Sacred Valley newcomer, which opened in 2016, is a classic composition of Explora’s signature elements. As to be expected, the property includes minimalist accommodations, a full menu of adventurous group excursions led by bilingual guides, a setting amidst magnificent landscapes, all-inclusive farm-to-table meals developed exclusively by the renowned Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez, drinks and eco-friendly amenities such as a refillable water station for the reusable water bottles provided by the hotel.

Explora coins their style as “essential luxury,” which frees travelers to enjoy their surroundings without distraction. High ceilings and contemporary, angular edges fit in well with the rust-red, tiered Incan agricultural ruins that surround the main building. The 50 rooms are beautifully yet simply crafted in light wood with neutral fabrics, and offer remarkable views of the surrounding mountains and thriving quinoa and cornfields. The rooms are spacious and at night, open the windows to hear the quiet sounds of nature echoing off the mountains. Locally crafted elements such as Peruvian blankets and animal hides make the public spaces calm yet inspiring and the bar and hotel shop are both well-stocked and worth visits.

Guests will spend most of their days off-property, enjoying the natural and cultural wealth of the Sacred Valley, and return in the late afternoons to eat, drink and relax. While there is a good amount of serenity, the property is best for those who of a more social and communal spirit (and not right for those who wish to have complete privacy throughout their stay).

The property’s spa, hot tub and pool are accessed by crossing through the quinoa and cornfields. The stroll itself is a meditation of sorts, as the rustling of seeds graze against stalks. With the mountains in the distance and a deep inhale and exhale, the special nature of the Sacred Valley and Explora are undeniable.

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