Saturday, October 19, 2013

Peru Lures Luxury Travellers From Asia

Exotic Landscape, Rich Heritage and Colourful Culture Offer Luxury Adventure in the Ancient Land of the Incas

From the world famous train journey to the glorious Inca citadel of Machu Picchu to mesmerising pageantry and cruising the majestic Amazon, Peru has been a magnet for adventurous travellers for generations. Yet while 5,000 years of ancient history and astonishing nature beckons at every turn, today this fascinating odyssey exploring South America’s most exotic destination can now be enjoyed in 5-star style.

Luxury hotels are not only near historic monuments – they are part of them, or nestled amid breath-taking scenery once accessible only by arduous hike.

In the capital of Latin cooking, Peru is the birthplace of exotic fusion cuisine, revealed to the world by legendary chef Nobu Matsuhisa, from a complex geographic and cultural diversity blending Spanish, indigenous, African and Asian influences with ingredients from the high Andes to the Amazonian jungle.

With 5-star service and comfort amid a kaleidoscope of experiences arousing all five senses, Peru is a luxury travel destination like no other. 

: Tradition and Modernity

La Huaca
Restaurant La Huaca in Miraflores
by Denise Tejada
The capital of Peru is not just a transit point; it is a destination in itself, a melting pot of the country’s gastronomy, culture, art, shopping, architecture and tradition. In the culinary capital of South America, Astrid & Gaston, Malabar and Central rank among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. No fewer than seven Lima restaurants are rated among Latin America’s Top 15.
The ancient capital is a treasure trove of historic architecture, from temples, squares and stately homes that shelter cultural centres and museums to important archaeological sites enhanced for tourism.

Yet Lima is also a modern and cosmopolitan city, beating to a new pulse where the 21st century and Andean cultural traditions meet in an eclectic melting pot of nightlife, theatre, street food, music and exhibitions.

: Empire of the Senses

City of Cusco
by Heinz Plenge Pardo

 Not even the Incas - supreme rulers of the Tahuantinsuyo - could ever have imagined the luxury of their most strategic Andean stronghold today. For Cusco, known by the ancients as the ‘navel of the world’ is a true first-class experience in one of South America’s most popular tourist destinations.
Luxury hotels in historic monasteries and stately Spanish colonial homes; creative restaurants blending the best of Andean ingredients with the finest contemporary gastronomy; and gateway to glorious Machu Picchu and a ‘sacred valley’ – the capital of the Incas is all of this and more.

Deluxe Train to Machu Picchu

Modern-day comfort is the norm these days on the stunning train journey up the Andes to the iconic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, synonymous with Peru, aboard the luxury train "Hiram Bingham". Named after the tireless explorer who discovered the ruins a century ago, this replica of the Pullman trains from Europe’s ‘golden age’ of travel in the 1920s is a luxury experience for all the senses, from fine Peruvian dining to astonishing views of the landscape en route from an observation wagon.

For a train journey along a track less travelled, the company also operates a luxury train from Cusco to Puno, known as the "Andean Explorer", on another journey recognised as one of the best train rides in the world.

Boutique Luxury in the Sacred Valley

The ‘Sacred Valley’ of the Vilcanota River,  the heartland of the Inca Empire near Cusco, today presents a different face, with first-class tourist services extending from rural tours and gastronomy to well-being spa treatments that leave an indelible mark on the traveler's memory.

: Luxury Amazon

Aqua Cruise
by Gihan Tubbeh
Imagine cruising the longest river on the planet aboard a floating 5-star hotel, voyaging from the source of the Amazon where the Ucayali and Marañon rivers meet, through one of South America’s most beautiful natural reserves, Pacaya-Samiria. The journey is topped with an exquisite gastronomic experience combining the best Amazonian ingredients, against a breathtaking jungle backdrop, viewed from the deck and panoramic cabin windows. It is a real life action film, or nature documentary, for your eyes only.
You breakfast alongside pink dolphins, spend a lazy afternoon observing multicolored birds, with an ice-cold cold drink at hand. Through the balmy night, listen to the thousands of sounds of the jungle, or go on an outing in search of alligators in the black waters!  Visit native shore communities to learn about the lifestyle of their gentle inhabitants, who live on fishing, hunting and small-scale farming, far from what we call civilisation.

Colca: Valley of Wonders

The valley of the Colca River, located at the foot of one of the deepest canyons in the world, is a magical place among the merry, traditional Collagua peoples, heirs to a rich culture famous for embroidery and extraordinary festivals. Here, you can also stroll around colonial villages rich in Andean baroque art, visit the temples of Yanque and Lari, and admire the charasmatic Andean condor - the King of the Mountains – in majestic flight. The hand of man has carved formidable cultivation terraces into the Andes, at Choquetico and Ocolle. Amid it all are unique luxury experiences: beautiful converted farmhouses with thermal spa waters in each room, Andean gastronomy, intense natural encounters, and environmentally friendly hotels and lodges.

Paracas: Comfort by the Sea

The scenic bay of Paracas, neighbouring a National Reserve beside the Pacific, is a seaside retreat of sophisticated accommodation and unique experiences penetrating secrets of both the sea and desert. Imagine sailing towards the Ballestas Islands in a luxury catamaran, with a glass of champagne; or staying overnight in a bespoke campsite set especially for you, amid mystical ancient drawings in the arid dessert; or windsurfing on one of the most breath-taking coasts in the world.

Tambopata: Jungle at your Feet

The buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve in the south-eastern jungle of Peru offers the greatest of Amazonian diversity, in close harmony with environmental conservation. Explore scenic Sandoval Lake at dawn, encountering alligators and a myriad of native bird and animal species, and the vibrant pulse of the tropical rainforest. Beneath the rainforest canopy, discover fabulous plants and creatures along a jungle walkway. On return, relax in a hammock with a book, in the midst of absolute tranquillity, as the sun sets on a sparkling starry night.

Spas: Passion for the Body

In many of Peru’s luxury hotels and lodges, spas constitute a core of the trip's experience. Their specialty is Andean treatments, massages, and relaxation and meditation techniques in serene well-being centres that embrace local traditions nurturing body and soul amid majestic vistas.

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