Is Peru on your short list for your next wellness vacation?
Story courtesy of Liana Mallia Photos courtesy of Butterfield & Robinson
Butterfield & Robinson’s wellness collection is all about authentic immersion into the local practices and ancient traditions of the world’s most incredible regions. It’s about opting to traverse by bike or on two feet instead of going by vehicle. And it’s about ending each heart-pumping day with nutritious fare and exceptional spa properties. And all of that can certainly be said for their wellness trips to Peru—one of the crown jewel’s of the world’s wellness hotspots.
Peru is a paradise for the active traveler: a vibrant land home to ancient ruins and beautiful landscapes perfect for hiking and biking, nutritious gastronomic feats, and a wealth of sumptuous lodges to bed down in at day’s end. And with a little B&R magic, a trip to Peru entails a jam-packed itinerary that makes use of their local friends to provide travellers with the most immersive wellness and spiritual healing practises on offer.
Those seeking to start the day slowly will love the optional morning yoga and meditation sessions held on the hotel grounds. After setting intentions for the day, the journey to wellness kicks off with a coveted hike on ancient trails through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Thanks to its elevated position high up in the Andes, hiking in high altitudes has extraordinary health benefits as blood cells can deliver oxygen more efficiently to the rest of the body. This mountainous hike is as beautiful as it is energizing—B&R takes you through the Sacred Valley, down to the circular terraces of Moray, and then to the Maras salt terraces, where you’ll have the chance to observe the local people harvesting salt as they have been doing so for centuries.
Throughout the week, there will be two heart-pumping hikes to Machu Picchu. The
first trek is 5-7 hours and will allow you to relax and observe the sprawling Incan
citadel in the afternoon when most people have left the area. Entering Machu Picchu
on the Inca Trail at the Sun Gate, the same way in which the Incas used to centuries
ago, is an experience of a lifetime and one of the most spectacular highlights of the trip. The second trek, after an optional morning yoga class, is an adventurous hike up Machu
Picchu Mountain, the highest mountain peak in the area. At its summit, Inca priests once
performed rituals on special days of the year and liturgical greetings to the Salkantay Apu.
Come mealtimes, you’ll get the chance to refuel from those long treks with nutritious Peruvian cuisine and learn about an ancient cooking technique called the ‘pachamanca.’ This traditional way of cooking uses an earth oven in which local ingredients such as fresh tubers, vegetables and meats are marinated and mixed with herbs, and cooked underground using wood-fire heated stones. This presents the perfect opportunity to practise mindful eating and its interconnectedness, which can improve digestion and help you truly feel connected to the textures, flavors and tastes of the region’s cuisine.
Educational Wellness Offerings
Following the first night in the Sacred Valley, the journey to wellness continues with a traditional Andean ceremony led by a Peruvian Shaman. This is the perfect introduction to Andean spirituality as you will be encouraged to cleanse from heavy experiences and ask for protection and blessings for yourself, your families, animals and the land.
Following day three in the Sacred Valley, B&R will whisk you away to the town of Urubamba to participate in a guided Sound Healing session. Using a combination of sound activation through different indigenous instruments, your expert local guides will assist in creating an environment that acts as a catalyst for healing in the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of your being.
The final day of B&R’s week-long wellness expedition will focus your visit on two significant locations in Cusco: the Cusco Market and Sacsayhuaman archeological site. Accompanied by an Andean spirituality expert, you’ll visit the San Pedro market to learn about the use of medicinal plants and spiritual paraphernalia in healing ceremonies. After the market visit, you’ll head to the Sacsayhuaman citadel to participate in a final meditation in the open-air nearby the ruins.
While your days will be jam-packed with adrenaline-pumping activity, there’s no better way to end each evening than from the comforts of your comfortable lodges to make use of all the rejuvenating amenities. Here’s where you’ll be staying:
Hotel Rio Sagrado
B&R’s first lodge on trip is Hotel Rio Sagrado, a luxury hideaway nestled alongside the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley. Rio Sagrado is constructed with natural elements, and its grounds resemble an authentic Andean village. Here you can indulge in the spa or take a stroll through the gardens and spot the hotel’s baby alpacas wandering by.
Sanctuary Lodge Machu Picchu
Sanctuary Lodge Machu Picchu embodies the three truths held sacred by the ancient Incas: “Location, location, location.” But besides being the only hotel in the lost city’s citadel, this exclusive retreat also scores high on what B&R holds sacred: it’s been refurbished by the Belmond group; its services are unequalled in the valley, and it has breathtaking llama’s-eye views.
Sol Y Luna
A gorgeous little place, the Sol y Luna has just upgraded their grounds to include a bigger pool. With all‐private casitas, it feels like your own hideaway in the Sacred Valley. There’s also an on‐site school for local children that guests can support with donations towards an educational endeavour for the local community during their stay.
The final night’s lodge is Cusco’s Palacio Nazarenas, a former palace boasting a fabulous spa, the city’s first outdoor pool and stylish restaurants serving cutting-edge local cuisine. This intimate urban retreat is enriched with oxygen and its own private bar where guests can create drinks accented with fresh ingredients grown at the hotel.
For Butterfield & Robinson, travelling for the mind, body and soul has always been at the core of their philosophy. Slowing down to see the world has been their guiding principle for over 50 years now, and their wellness trips to Peru perfectly capture the essence of slow travel. Whether you’re looking to experience Peru’s wellness offerings with B&R on a Scheduled trip with kindred spirits, or go Bespoke and travel with friends and family, the journey to wellness with B&R offers endless possibilities.
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Liana Mallia is a Marketing Editor at Butterfield & Robinson, the world’s leading luxury active travel company since 1966.