Aguas Calientes. Meeting Aunt Lucy.

As I mentioned in both my planning post, and day out to Machu Picchu, my friend Ian and I stayed at the Inkaterra hotel, in Aguas Calientes (the town at the base of Machu Picchu).

This is located right next to the railway station and the area that the hotel complex occupies is actually the same size at the entire town.

It’s billed as an eco-lodge type property, but is very much full service.  Our package included a number of tours of the huge site, all guided by the brilliant team.

Also included, was full board which was a full breakfast in the main restaurant, two lunches in the café and two dinners in the main restaurant.  The food was really outstanding and the staff absolutely top-notch.  Finally, we also had two, 30 minute spa treatments included.

We had a number of guided tours run by staff at the hotel and one of the most memorable was a twilight walk through the grounds the evening that we arrived.  Our guide took us through the property explaining some of the native Inka plants and herbs, showing the kitchen garden that they used and finally a stargazing tour of the skies.  Being a big city dweller it was incredible seeing the stars in such vivid detail, almost moving.

The next day was Machu Picchu which I’ve covered in my post here.

Our final day we packed in pretty much everything else.  It was still the end of the rainy season and it pretty much bucketed it down until lunchtime.  However we got a great view of some of the wildlife including the hummingbirds that they have.

The video below was taken on my iPhone 7 at 240 frames per second.

After that we were taken for a nature walk around the entire complex, shown some of the rare orchids that they have.

They also have a sanctuary there for the Spectacled Bear.  These are for bears that have been rescued from the circus and are retuned to one of several enclosures they have there.  They have a couple of large more captive style ones for bears that are unfortunately less able to fend for themselves. They also have a more semi-wild style enclosure which is around one square kilometre.

As you can see from the photos, we managed to take a few snaps of Aunt Lucy who seemed to be enjoying her retirement very much.

Overall, I really can’t recommend the Inkaterra highly enough.  It had just the right balance of great staff with excellent English that were super friendly and genuine, without being over-bearing as you get sometimes in some really high end places.

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