A land of spectacular deserts, high mountains and rainforests that teem with wildlife, Peru is also home to an array of dramatically situated pre-Colombian ruins, including Machu Picchu.
Recommended place to stay:
Colca Canyon, Arequipa Region, Peru|www.colca-lodge.com|
Official star rating:
Sitting in the bottom of one of the deepest canyons in the world, with condors soaring overhead and pre-Columbian terraced fields climbing the steep sides of the valley, Colca Lodge is set in spectacular surrounds.
The biggest treat is the location: at the head of the Colca Canyon, it’s the perfect base for exploring one of the world’s deepest ravines, and for joining in on the many activities and tours.
A close second is the on-site spa, including three thermal spring pools, built in natural surroundings and fed by a main spring, which emerges from the ground at 80°C. There is also a separate Eco Spa, with Jacuzzi, steam room and treatments.
The lodge is situated at a bend in the Colca River, in an area that is all about rugged Andean vistas: coffee-coloured peaks surround picturesque settlements with baroque churches. A thin necklace of farming villages line the canyon all the way east, past pre-Inca settlements. The tiny village of Yanque sits across the valley. It’s hard to find a more pastoral setting.
It is three hour’s drive to Arequipa City. The best canyon views (from above) are at the Mirador Cruz de Condor, a 1hr15min drive away. Hiking trails run all around and the hotel can provide guides or information on the best walks.
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