As one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Peru is a magnet for chameleonic globetrotters. In a mere week, travellers can journey through the dry coastal desert, high Andean mountains, and tropical Amazon rainforest—all while soaking in the country’s innovative food scene and a few pisco cocktails along the way. Home to 84 of the 103 existing ecosystems and 28 of the 32 climates on the planet, Peru gives new meaning to the choose-your-own-adventure travel style. While more hotels have popped up to accommodate the droves of tourists who visit Machu Picchu annually, only a handful have managed to gracefully blend high-end design with local culture, gastronomy, and sustainability.
Here, three recommended luxury lodges to stay at in Peru.
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
With dense rainforest covering more than half of the country, the Peruvian Amazon is expansive yet accessible. A 35-minute flight from Cusco will bring travellers to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to the forests of Madre de Dios and the Tambopata Nature Reserve. The intrepid have the option to sleep in the heart of the jungle, surrounded by flora, fauna, and the calls of over 540 bird species at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. The rustic yet luxurious eco-retreat boasts 35 private cabanas inspired by the Amazon’s Ese’Eja culture. Electricity is limited and Wi-Fi is unavailable, but going off the grid is part of the appeal. With an à la carte menu of excursions led by seasoned explorer guides and the sounds of the jungle serving as a sublime soundtrack, the need for Internet fades away. Highlights include spotting caimans, turtles, monkeys, and endangered giant river otters at Lake Sandoval, fishing for piranhas, and exploring the treetops via Inkaterra’s canopy system.
SUMAQ Machu Picchu Hotel
Framed by the lush mountains surrounding Machu Picchu, SUMAQ lives up to its name, meaning “beautiful and pleasant” in Quechua (the indigenous language of the Andes). After trekking through the Lost City, travellers will find solace in the hotel’s mahogany wood-filled quarters, complete with a spa and scenic views. Showcasing local artwork and textiles, the plush abode is practically a love letter to Peru. The proof is in the 7-course pudding, also known as the hotel’s renowned tasting menu. Featuring standout Peruvian signatures such as alpaca, Andean tuber carpaccio, and lucuma panna cotta, the menu highlights traditional flavours with a fine dining twist—exactly the type of medley that has put Peru on the culinary map. With one of the new seven wonders of the modern world gracing its backyard, SUMAQ is a warm respite for those wishing to cap off a Machu Picchu adventure in the lap of luxury.
Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable body of water, is said to be the birthplace of the Incan empire. Today, it’s a sapphire portal to the past; home to the man-made floating islands of Uros and UNESCO World Heritage Site Taquile, where centuries-old weaving and knitting rituals are well preserved. Encapsulating the region’s tranquil charm is Titilaka, a boutique lodge situated on a private peninsula. The Relais & Châteaux property is designed to connect guests to the enchanting surroundings through spectacular views of snow-capped peaks. Located at an altitude of 3,812 metres, the air is rarefied, but Titilaka aids in the acclimatization process by offering guests oxygen, if needed. By day, travellers can indulge in excursions to islands, villages, and archaeological sites. By night, the lodge is transformed into a cozy oasis where guests can enjoy sunset bonfires, stargazing, and gourmet dining—all while swathed in alpaca wool and bathed by the lake’s twilight glow.
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