Peru offers a wide variety of holiday styles for the traveller depending on their taste and budget. While the country has long held an attraction for the adventure traveller keen to scale the mountains to reach the ruined city of Machu Picchu or to travel through the Amazon jungle, in recent years Peru has seen a real boom in luxury tourism.
Several high class properties and boutique lodges have opened up, while getting around between the major tourist sights has become a lot more comfortable with the addition of several luxury tourist trains. Here we take a look at a handful of the excellent options available.
As the principal city for Peru’s tourist activities Cusco offers a rich variety of places to stay. If you are looking for something truly special, it’s hard to beat staying in a 300 year old former monastery. The Hotel Monasterio has kept most of the original features of the monastery, while its interior furnishing gives a nod to both modern and colonial Spanish styles.
Staying in the calm of this beautiful building provides the guest with a striking contrast. You can experience the monastic calm within the walls of the hotel, yet a few steps outside and the noise of the Cusco streets takes over and draws you into its historic heart.
Hiram Bingham Train
Hiram Bingham ‘discovered’ Machu Picchu in 1911, and no doubt his pioneering voyage was anything but comfortable. A hundred years later and you can now reach the famous ruined city in the ultimate style. The luxury train, named after the American explorer, now whisks passengers from Cusco to Machu Picchu in a little over three hours. On board you can enjoy the stunning scenery of the Urubamba river while feasting on the finest food and drink in beautifully furnished carriages.
The journey between Cusco and Puno cuts through some truly splendid scenery. The 10 hour journey has always passed remarkably quickly as a result. Now, making the journey even more comfortable, you can take the Andean Explorer, a steam train owned by Orient Express. As you would expect with such a brand behind it, the train offers the highest levels of luxury for its passengers, with fine food, entertainment and even an observatory carriage. There’s no excuse to fall asleep on this journey!
Casa Andina on Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca offers memorable views from all angles. Whether you arrive in Puno by air or by train, most visitors are drawn to the lakeside as if by a magnet. Yet to enjoy the best of Lake Titicaca a journey to stay on one of the islands dotted around the lake is highly recommended. You can choose varying levels of comfort on different islands but for escapism in style it’s hard to beat Casa Andina on Suasi Island. The trip out to Suasi takes in several of the well known islands on the lake, while Suasi itself is privately owned with its own llama, alpaca, guanaco and vicuna.
There are no TVs in the spacious rooms, but the stunning lake views mean that you won’t be missing your remote control at all. As expected on a small exclusive island, there is a gourmet restaurant where you can enjoy excellent freshly prepared food, with roaring fires keeping the guests warm on the winter nights.
See the special section of our site for more information about holidays to Peru.
by Andy Jarosz