Monday, June 21, 2010

Machu Picchu

The first time I ever remember having heard of Machu Picchu (MAH-choo-PEEK-choo) was during a segment of “Where in the World is Matt Lauer” on Today Show some years ago. I couldn’t have told you where it was, other than in South America.

It’s in Peru.
According to Wikipedia, Machu Picchu (“Old Mountain”) is a pre-Columbian Inca site almost 8,000 feet above sea level. Built around 1400-1450 but only used for about a century, it is often referred to as “The Lost City of the Incas.” Machu Picchu was unknown to the outside world until 1911. In 1983 it was designated as a World Heritage Site, described as “an absolute masterpiece of architecture and a unique testimony to the Inca civilization.” (Wikipedia photo)
Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, in Cusco, is a magical place that fascinates through its geological formations, archaeological remains, the unique flora and fauna and spectacular cloud forest. One of the remarkable remains of the Sanctuary is the Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu or Machu Picchu Citadel.

The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, with an average Trip Advisor rating of 4.5 on a 5.0 scale, would be my first choice. The hotel is located on a private 12-acre mountainside reserve at the foot of Machu Picchu, in the heart of the Andean cloud forest. Winding paths meander through gardens and around waterfalls, and trails traverse the wild forest. The Orchid Trail on the grounds of Inkaterra sports a collection of 372 identified species. (Rocotal Waterfall photo by David Baggins.)

The hotel’s website is worth a look, not only for photos of the rooms and bathrooms, but also floorplans of the various options: Room choices range from Superior (322 sq ft) to Deluxe Superior (same size but with a fireplace) to Junior Suite (430 sq ft with fireplace and "possibility of terrace or balcony" -- which says to me, better ask for it!) to Junior Suite Deluxe (almost 452 sq ft with fireplace/large bathroom).
Real luxury begins at the Suite level: 1259 sq ft with fireplace/large compartmentalized bathroom, and terraces with private outdoor tub and shower. The Inkaterra Suite boasts 1893 sq ft with additional features such as a private swimming pool and outdoor canopied daybed. As long as we're doing virtual travel, I say we go for it!

Garden-view tub in the Suite Inkaterra

A suite

The sauna hut for the end of the day

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