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Last updated: 09 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Alex Robinson

There’s only one reason to stay at the Sanctuary Lodge: this is the only hotel on the mountain next to the Machu Picchu ruins. At the tip of a cloud forest peak, the Sanctuary Lodge has an unrivalled position: the entrance to the Inca citadel is, quite literally, just a few steps away.

During the busy high season, this can offer the distinct advantage of being first at the gate in the mornings. You’ll get to see Machu Picchu at dawn (its best time) without the crowds – who have to bus-up from the valley below. And you can leave long after everyone else has gone. 

Few guests, therefore, care that the rooms are three-star simple, cubic-shaped, with space for little more than a bed, with plain wooden ceilings and French windows opening onto a modest terrace and shared lawned garden. For the price, rooms are small and plain, but there’s a decent restaurant serving a hearty pre-ruin early breakfast, and glorious Andean views throughout. 

Surrounding area

The Sanctuary Lodge is located at the top of a zigzagging mountain road, a few metres from Machu Picchu’s main gate. Other than the hotel and the ruins, there’s nothing else at the top of the mountain, making the area around the hotel a busy tourist destination by day (especially in high season) and supremely quiet at night.

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Key facilities

Airport transfers: Not available
Beach: None
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
Parking: Not available
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Jacuzzi (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Hiram Bingham Train

Cusco, Cusco Region, Peru[2.4 miles]

One of the world’s most spectacular train rides, the journey between Cusco and Machu Picchu via the Sacred Valley combines dramatic landscapes and absolute luxury.

Best for ages: 18+ | £550 | 3 hours

Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes, Cusco Region, Peru[2.4 miles]

The Incas’ magnificent 15th-century mountaintop citadel sprawls across ten hectares of Peruvian cloud forest. Its elaborate architecture comprises ceremonial centres, residential areas and agricultural terraces. Wayna Picchu, the cone-shaped mountain, rises imperiously behind.

Best for ages: 8+ | £28

Hike the Inca Trail

Cusco, Cusco Region, Peru[18.4 miles]

A once-in-a-lifetime, 4- to 5-day hike through the Andes, retracing ancient trails, combines mountain vistas, cloud forest and subtropical jungle. The finale is incredible – the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu, rising from the misty mountains.

Best for ages: 18+ | £377 | 4-5 days

Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay



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.

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