4 May 2018

Tambo del Inka & The Sacred Valley

The seventh stop on our jam-packed Peru trip followed two days at Machu Picchu - we left Aguas Calientes and hopped on a glass-roofed vistadome train for two hours of panoramic views of cloudy forests and beautiful mountain scenery, and arrived at the village of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley.

Swimming pool at Tambo Del Inka, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado, Peru - travel blog

We checked into Tambo del Inka, a stunning five-star hotel part of The Luxury Collection group, situated in the foothills of two rugged mountains, overlooking the Urubamba river and verdant riverside gardens.  The property has 128 large bedrooms and suites with balconies and marble bathrooms, and the decor fuses modern and rustic design with warm colours, huge stone fireplace in the lobby, rough stone walls, wooden beams, hanging tapestries and traditional pottery.

Lobby at Tambo Del Inka, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado, Peru - travel blog

My favourite thing about this beautiful hotel is the gorgeous indoor/ outdoor swimming pool, which we swam in at dusk before having an aperitif on the outdoor terrace bar and heading for dinner at the contemporary Andean restaurant Hawa.  The menu fuses modern international with traditional cuisine using organic, local ingredients: we shared quinoa, alpaca, ceviches, and causas: all the typical - and delicious - Peruvian dishes, whilst listening to a guitarist play by the fire.  For breakfast, we had eggs, fresh fruit and coffee in the huge, bright breakfast room with floor-to-ceiling windows before heading out for a day of exploring.

Moray (Quechua Muray) Sacred Valley, Peru - travel & culture blog
wearing & Other Stories dress

El Valle Sagrado has plenty to see: we hired a driver and travelled along narrow winding roads, passing snow-capped mountains, lush greenery, and little towns with cobblestone streets and locals in traditional dress.  We visited the ruins of a huge Inca fortress in Ollantaytambo with a sun temple and fountains, and the incredible Maras salt mines, where hundreds of salt evaporation ponds cover the hillside.  Salt has been collected here since pre-Inca times, by evaporating salty water from an underground stream which emerges at a hot spring and flows through a complex system of channels, leaving behind evaporated crusts of salt crystals around the ancient terraced pools.  Fascinating, and great that it's still in use after all this time - we, of course, stocked up on a lot of salt.  We also visited the archaeological site of Moray, featuring staggered concentric terraces like an amphitheatre, where each layer has a different micro-climate for growing different crops.  Weren't those Incas clever?  After two days of exploring this beautiful, peaceful part of Peru, it was time for our third flight of the trip - next stop: the Amazon...

Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado, Urubamba 08660, Peru
Maras salt mines, Peru - travel & lifestyle blog

Ollantaytambo Ruins, Sacred Valley, Peru - travel & lifestyle blog

Tambo Del Inka, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado, Peru - travel blog

Salt from the  Salineras de Maras, Peru - travel & lifestyle blog

Breakfast at Tambo Del Inka, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado, Peru - travel blog

Moray Incan ruin,  Sacred Valley, Peru - travel & culture blog

View from Tambo Del Inka, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado, Peru - travel blog

Incan ruins in The Sacred Valley, Peru - travel blog

Pool at Tambo Del Inka, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado, Peru - travel blog

Salineras de Maras, Peru - travel & lifestyle blog

Incredible Maras salt mines, Peru - travel & lifestyle blog

Moray ruins, Sacred Valley, Peru - travel & culture blog
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