Machu Picchu was revealed to the world, when the famous historian, explorer and archeologist Hiram Bingham stumbled upon the site whilst on an expedition in 1911. Initially the importance of the citadel was over looked, and only when he returned over a year later the true significance was realized.
Perched high up on the edge of a cliff set deep in the high jungle of Southern Peru, Machu Picchu fabled ‘The Lost City of the Incas’ is truly a first class destination for many world travelers. Invisible from the Urubamba Valley below, Machu Picchu lay dormant for more than 4 centuries, nestled neatly at 2,800m (4,000 feet) above sea level. It was considered to have been abandoned by the Incas at the time of the Spanish invasion, and became something of folklore and mystery, until it was re-discovered hidden and preserved in the dense jungle of Vilcabamba.
This incredible Inca Citadel combined with many other top attractions like Lake Titicaca, the Amazon, Nazca and Cusco make Peru a very attractive destination for travellers seeking something new and exciting. This demand for travel to Peru has seen a large increase in visitors, and along with it the increased demand for luxury travel.
Below are our top 10 tips to get the best out of your luxury Peru tours.
1) Plan several months in advance to avoid disappointment – Popular hotels, trains and services are often booked up 3 – 4 months in advance. Plan ahead to ensure that you get everything you want.
2) Travel agents can save you money, often 40% or more – If you are planning your trip through a travel agent, remember that they probably have special tariffs for the hotels that you want, often offering reductions in excess of 40% on standard level rooms are available. Booking direct through the hotel website can often be much more expensive.
3) Alternative Luxury Options to the Hiram Bingham Train – The Hiram Bingham Train is one of the best train rides in South America, and is one of the finest ways to travel to Machu Picchu, however, since 2009 there has also been another operator on the scene called Inka Trail who also offer luxury services. Talk to a travel professional about the alternative options.
1) Some Regions are better for Luxury Travel to Peru than others – Cusco, The Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and Lima are well developed areas to find great luxury services and accommodations. Other regions are less developed and may fall short of your expectations.
2) The Sacred Valley offers some superb luxury options – For those seeking a more relaxing tour of Peru, take advantage of the new luxury developments that are available in the Sacred Valley, like the Libertador Hotel at Urubmaba, The Aranwa Hotel, El Rio Sagrado by Orient Express and the Casa Andina Private Collection hotel at Yanahuara.
3) Stay in Paracas not Nazca – For those that want to visit the famous Nazca Lines, south of Lima you may want to consider staying in the area of Paracas rather than actually in Nazca. There are some good hotels in Nazca, however the best luxury properties are in Paracas. Hilton, Libertador offer luxury properties in Paracas, and it is possible to fly the Nazca Lines from the small airstrip of Pisco.
1) Select your luxury hotels well- Although Peru is still considered by the west as a third world country, it is actually quite an expensive destination for luxury Peru tours. Luxury hotels can range from US$ 200 – 1,800 per night, depending on the hotel, room type and location, and the overall cost can quickly mount up.
2) Best Hotels in Machu Picchu – There are 3 principle luxury hotels near to Machu Picchu, the Sanctuary Lodge Hotel, The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel and The Sumaq hotel. After that there are really only 2 superior tourist class hotel The El Mapi Hotel and The Hatuchay Hotel.
3) Best Hotels in Cusco – There really is a great selection of Luxury hotels in Cusco, and the most popular are The Monasterio Hotel (Orient Express), La Casona (Inkaterra), The brand new J.W. Marriott Hotel (opening in July 2012), the stylish Casa Cartagena and the more moderately priced Libertador Hotel.
4) Best Hotels in Lima – Again there really is a great selection of luxury properties in Lima, and you may want to check out the Miraflores Park Hotel (Orient Express), The J.W. Marriott overlooking the Pacific Ocean or perhaps The Country Club Hotel (located in San Isidro district).
If you are planning a luxury peru tour some-time soon, then we hope that these top 10 tips will help you get the most out of trip. Peru is an amazing country, and we know that you will be sure to enjoy the incredible attractions that the country has to offer, and with these tips you will be sure to take advantage of the best Peruvian hospitality available.