Things to do in the Sacred Valley, Peru

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Apus Peru FOCUSThings to do in the Sacred Valley, Peru

This series is a collection of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s around the web.

We hope these tips and stories will inform and inspire you to visit the Sacred Valley. If you have already been, please share a tip on things to see and do in the Sacred Valley.

 

 

 

Sacred Valley Travel Essentials – What You Need To Know About a Visit To The Sacred Valley

Exploring The Sacred Valley – While this article does not provide a lot of text, what it does provide is many pictures to help paint an image of the region, especially for those who have never been. I find images to be helpful to gain a sense of what the culture, and community is like.

The Symbolism Is Strong With This One – This is a fun read that highlights the story of how the beloved ruins of the Sacred Valley came to be.

The photo below is just one example of these ruins. It shows a close up of the God Tunupa
overlooking the city of Ollantaytambo

Things To Do In The Sacred Valley

Hiking With Llamas…And Kids! – Peru is known for its many incredible trekking trails. This one just so happens to be kid friendly! You get the chance to get to hang out with some pretty cool llamas as well as hike with them – who wouldn’t want to do that?!

To Market, We Will Go – It’s no secret that the Cusco region hosts one of the world’s most famous markets drawing many tourists and visitors! As it is a tourist destination, it can be a little hectic at times, remain patient and take your time as this is one stop worth waiting for! Also, please note that some of the vendors may not enjoy having their photo taken, so please ask before doing so!

 

 

Festivals Galore – The Sacred Valley hosts some incredible and exciting festivals throughout the year! This is a great, and helpful calendar of sorts that highlights when each festival takes place as well as a short description of each. The festivals provide a chance to not only see but to take part in the culture.

Learning On Vacation – While visiting, why not take up a few fun and exciting classes? These are just a few that are offered through this particular group. You can take cooking classes, learn how to weave and even learn Spanish!

 

 

Another Path Less Traveled – Speaking of weaving, Apus Peru offers a tour designed to take you away from hiking the dirt trails and instead give you a glimpse at another village tradition – weaving! (don’t worry, we still go hiking). This particular village is one of three that our NGO Threads of Peru works with!

Where To Stay in the Sacred Valley

A Family Friendly Stay – If your looking for somewhere family friendly to stay – look no further! This blog post has you covered! Please note that these suggestions are not limited to just families – anyone can stay! I found this post to be helpful as it highlighted the pros and cons of each of the three main towns located in the Sacred Valley

 

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Photo via www.worldoftravelswithkids.com

 

 

The Best Of The Best – This is a longer list of suggestions on where to stay when visiting the Sacred Valley. Again, these are family friendly but not limited to just families. Each hotel has a fantastic little description along with it, as well as a photo!

Don’t Break The Bank – If you are a solo hiker, or even a couple looking for a quick and clean place to stay, this is a list of many hostels located in the region. With affordable prices, they might be a worthwhile option! I love that this site provides reviews of those who have visited previously so that you know what to expect from each.

Sacred Valley Hotel – recommendations from the folks at Apus Peru. These hotels have been tried and tested by people that work in the area.

 

 

 

 Where To Eat In The Sacred Valley

Looking For Food Fuel In The Sacred Valley – A fantastic travel website that breaks the restaurants down by not only area but cuisine type too! It uses a simple dollar sign to show the range of prices for each restaurant – how helpful! When clicking on each restaurant it will open a new page which has a short description, address, phone and website of each restaurant should they have one.

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Things to do in Trujillo, Peru

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Apus Peru FOCUSThings to do in Trujillo, Peru

This series is a collection of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s around the web.

We hope these tips and stories will inform and inspire you to visit Trujillo. If you have already been, please share a tip on things to see and do in Trujillo

 

Trujillo Travel Essentials – What you need to know about a visit to Trujillo

A Brief Taste – This website offers up a quick, but helpful read on the history of Trujillo, as well as a short paragraph detailing the climate and community. Perfect if you are in a hurry and need a fast read!

What To Do?  – This website is not a blog, however, it does provide a fantastic list of things that you can do in Trujillo. I especially love that each activity is rated, and has reviews by many who have previously visited! I can’t tell you how much I love reading reviews, they can be so useful! 

 

 

Traveling to Trujillo With Kids

Child-Friendly Activities – This list provides many fun activities for the littles to do on your trip. From horseback riding to exploring on a reed boat, there are always fun and exciting things to do! 

Eating in Trujillo

Looking For Grub – One of the best things to do while traveling is to take the time to try, and enjoy all of the many different culinary experiences. This is a smaller sized list of recommended restaurants to stop at, but full of good content including the locations for each! I will try to pretend I’m not completely jealous!

Where Stay in Trujillo

A Home Away From Home – Again, as with before this is not a blog post but rather a long and helpful list of places to stay in Trujillo. From hotels to hostels, there are plenty and all at very affordable prices! Reviews, ratings and most with free breakfast included!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things to do in Cusco, Peru

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Apus Peru FOCUSThings to do in Cusco, Peru

This series is a collection of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s around the web.

We hope these tips and stories will inform and inspire you to visit Cusco. If you have already been, please share a tip on things to see and do in Cusco in the comments down below! 

 

 

Cusco Travel Essentials – What you need to know about a visit to Cusco

The Do’s and Dont’s of Cusco – It can be scary traveling to a new place, especially one that is on the other side of the world! Even small tips and tricks, such as the ones that this website provides can make an enormous difference in your visit!

Activities In Cusco – This website gives a fantastic rundown of the top 10 things you can do in Cusco from hiking the Inca Trail to mountain biking, the possibilities are just about endless! This website also links to a great Peru travel guide to help you plan your own trip to Cusco! I highly recommend taking a look at it!

 

 

 

Save Money on Travel in Cusco

You Don’t Have To Skimp On The Fun – Some people may think, that saving money on a vacation means you have to limit your to-do list of fun activities, but that just isn’t the case! This website offers many helpful tips on how to help keep cash in your wallet – isn’t that everyone’s dream?!

Currency Matters – One of the most important things to know when traveling to a new place, is what kind of currency they use, and if traveling from another country – the conversion rate. This website can help with both questions, plus more!

Visiting Cusco with Kids

The Kids Won’t Get Bored – Traveling with kids anywhere, can be a terrifying thought.Y have to account for packing more, spending more and finding kid friendly activities. In Cusco, you won’t have to worry about a lack of things to do. From the local markets to the all-age workshops, there is no doubt you will find something that you can all enjoy!

Great Eats For Kids – Not only does this website list a few great places for kids to find delicious food, but it also lists several other activities for children – including a planetarium!

Cusco for Food Lovers

Delicious Dining in Cusco – This website is written by a wonderful duo, who have traveled to many locations around the world, including Peru. On this particular blog post – you can find many photos from their own personal trip including information about some fantastic restaurants. I may, or may not have drooled over those photos (shh, don’t tell anyone!)

Where to stay in Cusco

Cusco Hotel – recommendations from the folks at Apus Peru. These hotels have been tried and tested by people that work in the area.

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Photo via lickmyspoon.com

 

 

A luxurious retreat at the Rio Sagrado…

Nestled into a hillside alongside the roaring Urubamba River and with the craggy mountains of the Sacred Valley as a backdrop, the Belmond Rio Sagrado property is beautifully placed for those looking for a serene getaway, located halfway between Machu Picchu and Cusco.

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Rio Sagrado means ‘Sacred River’ in Spanish and the connection with the river, mountains and earth are evident in many aspects of the hotel.  When you arrive you are seated in a cosy study, filled with books and with a huge telescope for viewing the night skies, which were so important in Incan times.

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Originally constructed as a family vacation spot, with the original villas now accommodating larger groups of up to 10 people,   the Rio Sagrado hotel has expanded out over a hillside, with a variety of different rooms and options. Natural materials are a feature, and the way that the rooms and casitas mould over the hill makes you feel that it’s grown organically.  With only 23 rooms in total, it’s a small, boutique hotel with a feel of exclusivity.

Food is a feature, and we were offered a delicious pachamanca picnic by the river.  El Huerto (the Orchard) restaurant is a delicious fusion of Urubamba’s best-kept culinary secrets and provides elegant dining by the river.

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A highlight is an outdoor heated pool, fantastic for year round relaxation, which sets this hotel apart from most other SV Hotels which only offer unheated (and therefore cold!) pools.   A beautifully appointed spa is located in a wooden and stone building and offers a luxurious range of treatments using local therapies.

As you would expect for a property of this standard, the Rio Sagrado rooms have been created with careful attention to detail.  Balconies are carefully concealed from their neighbours using plantings of indigenous trees, and you can shower looking out over the landscape –with your private parts modestly obscured by clouded glass! Large beds, pima cotton sheets – and heated wooden floors, as expected from a hotel like this, your stay will be extremely comfortable.     We also were pleased to see recycling options in the rooms.

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As the aim of the hotel is to getaway from the busy world, relax and connect with nature there are no televisons in the rooms, but wifi is accessible if you wish.

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Finally a word on access – the hotel does offer one disabled/easy access room at the top of the hill and provide a golf buggy to access all locations in the hotel, including the restaurant located near the river. Otherwise, access to the rooms is via a series of steep steps and may not be a wonderful option if you struggle with climbing or descending steps!

 

Hotel Sol Y Luna: Heaven on Earth

The name, Sol y Luna evokes a connection with the stars, sun and moon which in turn reminds us of the Incan connection with the heavens.  The Incas believed that the Sacred Valley was a reflection of the Milky Way and with warmer climes, lush vegetation and flowers; the Sacred Valley was literally heaven on earth.

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The 2013 Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Awards placed the Sol y Luna Hotel at Number 1 Hotel in South America, – and it was included in the list of top 25 hotels in the world  – no mean feat!

And yet, despite being located in ‘Heaven on Earth’ and such a prestigious accolade, these rammed earth, rustic bungalows, set in abundant, beautiful gardens are natural and not in any way overconfident or boastful.  They fit in with their surrounds, and are in harmony with the earth.

On the day of our visit, it rained and we ran from Casita (little house) to Casita, enjoying the space, winding paths and flowers.  Each room has its own unique touch, decorated in a simple, yet elegant manner and you can imagine enjoying the space with your family.

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The decoration in common areas (reception, library etc.) has been done by a Limeno artist…. and is very memorable, quirky and fun!  Contemporary pieces are found throughout the property, including in the restaurants and guest rooms. This really adds to the atmosphere of the site and sets this hotel apart from the other hotels in this price range in the Sacred Valley which belong to chains and are a little less personalised.

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Their spa is housed in a stunning building, surrounded by extensive stained glass walls, and named Yacu Wasi – “the house of water”.  It is a space that seems made for a peaceful, pure restoration, but possibly also an understated indulgence!

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Having grown organically since being first built in 1996, the Hotel Sol y Luna now offers a series of different standards of room, all of them bungalow style.  The Casitas are very nice, well decorated but a little older and simpler. The Deluxe Casitas are very large, luxurious and decorated with attention to detail – they are clearly Peruvian, yet with modern amenities to complement.

The property has two restaurants, both known for their great meals and high quality cuisine.

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And perhaps if we haven’t provided enough superlatives about this great experience, there is the fact that Sol Y Luna has a foundation that supports children’s education in the Sacred Valley.  This belief that tourism needs to give something back mirror’s Majestic Peru’s own beliefs.   Sol y Luna’s Association now supports not just local schools, but provide Vocational training and other initiatives that support a stronger local economy.

Sol y Luna is much more than a hotel – it is an experience.

 

Cusco Wining and Dining.. a continuation

Given the fact that 40% of travellers come to Peru for gastronomic tourism we are following on from Megan Malley’s ‘foody’ blog about Cicciolina in November. Here we have a review of another of Cusco’s high end restaurants; Limo! Go ahead Megan… https://www.facebook.com/limocusco 

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Thank you to M GASTON for the foto View from the balcony at Limo, Plaza de Armas

Thank you to M GASTON for the foto of Cusco’s Plaza de Armas

Limo restaurant has one of the greatest dining views of the city. If you book ahead and request a table on the enclosed balcony, you will be looking right out over the beautiful flower-filled Plaza de Armas and the surrounding cathedrals. It is also the best place to go for gourmet Peruvian food, and is particularly renowned for its ceviches.

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For those with an interest in gourmet Peruvian food, this is one of several restaurants run by Coque Ossio, an internationally renowned Peruvian chef. I started the night with a Pisco Sour, the traditional cocktail of choice here, but the menu also includes an enormous selection of drinks made with different types of Pisco. The kitchen always sends out a complimentary cup of crispy potato wedges with three traditional Peruvian dipping sauces. I ordered a main course of Asian-style ceviche, which was absolutely delicious.

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The menu is well thought out, and the dishes are complex and flavorful. The sushi at Limo is unbeatable, and if you sit at the bar you can watch the chef make each roll by hand. 

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Well then, thanks to Megan for her Limo review. Look out for the third and final installment covering 4 more unmissable eateries in Cusco, Peru: South America’s leading culinary destination 2013, World Travel Awards http://www.worldtravelawards.com/winners2013-12.