To celebrate the launch of British Airways’ London Gatwick to Lima route, a group of high calibre travel journalists were among the first to experience this new service with a nine-day adventure through Peru in partnership with Inkaterra and Audley Travel.
First stop, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
After a flight to Cusco, a car ride to Ollantaytambo and a train journey to Machu Picchu Pueblo, the group arrived at the rustic Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel in the evening, excited to get some well-deserved rest. They were greeted by a crackling fire, a hot water bottle and a comfy bed ready for a good night’s sleep.
The following morning, despite the rain, the early risers of the group went bird watching in the Andean Cloud Forest, which surrounds the property, accompanied by one of Inkaterra’s Explorer Guides. During the walk, they spotted a wide variety of birds including some of the 17 species of colourful humming bird identified on the grounds. After a hearty breakfast, the group went to the Spectacled Bear sanctuary to visit the bears Pepe and Kina, who were rescued thanks to the Inkaterra Associación (ITA) Spectacled Bear Rescue project, which aims to rehabilitate Andean Bears that have been negatively impacted by humans.
In the afternoon, a few explored the orchid trails around the hotel and tried their hands at picking tea leaves and making their own tea bags. Some also experienced the unique Andean Sauna, located next to the natural spring water pond, where stones are heated in a candle-lit eucalyptus hut.
The Orchid Trail
The group had dinner at the cosy Café Inkaterra, overlooking the Vilcanota River, where they sampled authentic Peruvian dishes such as the delicious ‘lomo saltado’ and guinea pig stew, watching the trains go by.
The next day, as the sun rose, the group split in two and made there way to the historic Machu Picchu citadel. The active members of the group tackled an hour’s hike up a stone staircase, which leads to Machu Picchu. Those wanting a gentler wake up took advantage of the bus service that shuttles daily visitors every 10 minutes. Accompanied by an Inkaterra Explorer Guide, the tales of the Incas history, the ancient citadel and the explorer Hiram Bingham were relayed.
After a full day exploring the historic site, it was time to head back to Machu Picchu Pueblo to catch the train to the Sacred Valley for the next chapter of the Peru adventure.
To be continued…