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Guide to the Sacred Valley of Peru

May 10, 2016

yoga retreat in Peru

Take a taste of Peru’s awe-inspiring beauty in preparation for our upcoming FP Escapes retreat

A visit to Peru’s Sacred Valley is one of those bucket list, once-in-a-lifetime kind of trips. Not only is the verdant region in the Andean highlands home to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, but it also houses the charming town of Cusco and a number of small colonial villages as well.

The region is a vibrant feast for the senses, from the lush, green landscape to the bright, graphic local textiles worn (and sold) by local villagers. And, at the height of the Incan Empire, this was the civilization’s capital, lending it a rich cultural heritage, too.

A couple of months ago, writer and photographer Lucy Laucht was lucky enough to make the journey to this magical place. Her wanderlust-inspiring Instagram account and beautiful blog gave us a taste of the Sacred Valley’s awe-inspiring beauty. Here, her guide to this otherworldly region, a taste of what to expect on our upcoming FP Escapes retreat with Free People and guide Ashleigh Sergeant into the heart of Peru.

Where to stay:
Inkaterra La Casona in Cusco is an exquisite 16th-century colonial mansion which was, at different times, a training ground for Incan soldiers, the home of a conquistador and his family and lodging for Simon Bolivar, Peru’s “El Libertador.”. Today, that heritage is evident in antique furnishings, local art and bright traditional Peruvian rugs in each of the rooms.

Also in Cusco, Los Ninos is run by a Dutch-founded non-profit foundation that serves underprivileged children in the town. It’s a rambling colonial home with a sunny courtyard and a little store selling great textiles woven by local artisans.

In the mountains, Inkaterra Machu Picchu in Aguas Calientes is a haven nestled in the cloud forest below the Incan ruins. It’s a lovely, welcoming, sustainability-focused hotel.

Where to Eat and Drink:
In Cusco, UCHU Peruvian Steakhouse had amazing smoked alpaca (really!) and steaks and an awesome wine selection. Plus, the food is served on cool volcanic stones.

Limo is another great option in town. The menu is a fusion-style mash-up of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines. The ceviche, tiradito and sushi are excellent, but there are also many traditional Peruvian dishes on offer.

Before or after dinner, head to El Pisquerito, a pisco bar with delicious cocktails and a sophisticated vibe.

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