| Getting There |
After landing at the Cusco airport, hailing a taxi to Poroy Station and boarding a four hour train to Machu Picchu, guests will at last be granted entry to Inkaterra. No, it’s not exactly easy access, but the planes, trains and automobiles are worth the pure bliss you’ll experience once settled in your casita, or small house, at the hotel.
The magic starts to happen during the train ride into the Sanctuary. Excitement and anticipation fill each passenger as if Hogwarts is the final destination. With windows surrounding almost every square inch of the train, the scenic ride with the greenest of greenery engulfs everyone. If there’s not an arm reached out in front of you with an iPhone attached to the end of it snapping picture after picture, you’re not aboard PeruRail or IncaRail – the two trains on offer into the vicinity. Let it be known that each passenger is only allowed a small suitcase onboard the train to Machu Picchu as it cannot accommodate room for everyone’s luggage. Wade and I had that rude awakening five minutes before boarding, and we had to consolidate our clothes into one suitcase, leaving the other behind at the station to be picked up during our return.
| The Experience |
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel could not be closer to the train station once in Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes). The on-foot transfer takes less than five minutes before you’re inside the lobby surrounded by fairytale-like waterfalls, ponds, birds and greenery. How convenient!
Like many luxurious hotels around the continent, Inkaterra enjoys leaving the bills behind and offers various packages including half board or full board, making your stay all-inclusive. Two first class restaurants on the property offer delectable meals and a 4pm Tea Time. I do believe this chocolatey dessert may have been the most picture perfect edible to grace my camera. I was so sorry I had to inhale it.
The three-mile long secret garden of Inkaterra can have you exploring the grounds for hours. Each turn manifests new sights such as waterfalls, lush plants, overgrown benches, private trails and pathways to the heavens, or perhaps just observation and contemplation areas for viewing the 372 species of orchids, 201 species of birds or the 111 species of butterflies on offer. You and your camera should be a little overwhelmed. The outside charm of Inkaterra is nothing short of spectacular, and you can absolutely judge this hotel by its cover. The inside, however, gives its counterpart a run for its money.
| The Suite |
All 85 whitewashed cottages within the property are decked out in Andean fabrics, rustic accents and authentic artifacts, giving the hotel the coziest feeling of a small, secluded Andean village. Our Relais & Châteaux suite was the shining star of this Andean village, and that wasn’t up for debate. Set back in its own area with stone pathway and cascading stream included, our home away from home was, in a word, flawless. The definition of cozy can be found in this room with an incredible king-sized bed and crackling fireplace to top off a night.
The bathroom was equally as impressive as my favorite component, the bathtub, had its own room. Not only did it have its own quarters, but it was fit for royalty as the thing could’ve fit the entire family – the king, his queen and whoever else he fancied. I was immediately sold on this place.
But wait! There’s more. Out the jungle-view window existed an outdoor shower, private hot tub and lounge area. We had found our own jungle paradise and all of a sudden, the words came to me.
I was living out my own Disney Jungle Book fantasy in the heart of a Peruvian forest. I could finally die happy.
| Excursions |
Inkaterra offers 17 excursions within its restored cloud forest, all varying in duration and intensity. Wade and I opted for the full-day guided trek to Machu Picchu to climb Wayna Picchu, because duh, but there are many other activities on offer through the hotel including twilight walks and a visit to the tea plantation. Fun fact: All tea served in the hotel is organic and grown within Inkaterra grounds, making 4pm tea time extra special. Additional luxuries include an outdoor pool surrounded by lush vegetation and tropical gardens along with an Andean sauna experience.
| Location |
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel sits on 12 serene acres of natural paradise, just across from the train station of Machu Picchu Pueblo.
- Located 8,038 ft. above sea level, the hotel occupies a private 12 acre mountainside reserve.
- 70 miles from the city of Cusco between the highlands and the rain forest.
- Cusco City is 4 hours away by train; An alternate route is to travel by car to Ollantaytambo and continue by train for one and a half hours.
The entrance to Machu Picchu is a 20 minute winding bus ride away from the town of Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes) where Inkaterra is located. Once at the entrance, presenting your park entrance fee and passport is required. Before departing, you have the option of stamping your passport with big Machu Picchu letters. Additional passport stamps? Gimme the ink. As for what goes on inside the park, I’ll follow up with a How To See and Do Machu Picchu article. Fear not.
| Sustainable Tourism |
Not only is Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (along with various other properties within the collection) remarkably unique in architecture, décor, construction, landscape and location, but the Inkaterra Association promotes the conservation of Peru’s cultural environment and archeological sites. Research is done to manage and protect Peru’s Andes Mountains, Amazon Rain Forest and marine environment. It is committed to the fight against global warming, making the environmentalist in me fall in love with the hotel even more.
Rates for 2014 can be found here.