While Peru has long been a destination attracting budget backpackers and seasoned Globetrotters alike, people often underestimate its capacity for luxury travel. Peru entices travellers with its colonial heritage, incredible historical sites, and mild climate. A luxury Peruvian vacation holds the promise of colonial mansions, boutique riverboats on the Amazon, and sleeper trains venturing across mountainous landscapes.
If luxury is your desire on a trip to South America, turn your compass to Peru and see what this mountainous nation has to offer. Goway offers many trips that allow you to explore Peru in style and from the comfort of many luxury hotels, boats, and trains.
South America’s First Luxury Sleeper Train
A great introduction to the luxury travel scene on a Peruvian vacation is to ride the rails between Cusco and Arequipa City aboard the Andean Explorer. In the not-too-distant past, train travel accounted for much of the world’s movement of passengers, but it’s increasingly become an antiquated way of travel. In the struggle to stay relevant, many trains have transformed their once-routine cabins into luxury accommodations, intent on pampering travellers at a time when air travel becomes increasingly burdensome and restrictive. The Belmond Andean Explorer is one such train.
As South America’s first luxury sleeper train, the Andean Explorer is essentially a 5-star hotel on tracks and offers an incredible experience for Globetrotters who aren’t used to train travel. Travelling one of the highest train routes in the world, the Andean Explorer offers four private cabins, which all come equipped with bathrooms, showers, and personalized service from dedicated on-board crew. The train only takes up to 48 passengers, ensuring that you won’t be crowded on your deliberate, relaxing journey between cities.
While it’s mighty tempting to spend all of your time in your luxury cabin, enjoying the soft linens and incredible views just outside your window, be sure to take advantage of the lounge, where you can enjoy a cocktail and listen to the tunes of a medium grand piano that graces the on-board stage. In the dining car, you can enjoy seasonal dishes designed by chefs from the Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco. Of course, there are few better things to do on board than sip on a Pisco Sour on the Observation Deck, enjoy the fresh air, and gaze up at the majestic Andes Mountains as they rush by. There are few greater luxuries than admiring the Peruvian landscape from a train like the Andean Explorer.
Riding a Riverboat Along the Amazon
Of course, there’s the possibility that you want to be more active in your admiration of the Peruvian landscape. A luxury boat journey down the Amazon allows you to enjoy the amenities of a boutique hotel while also getting your feet wet as you explore this mysterious landscape.
Like train travel, boat travel has fallen by the wayside as the years have passed. However, a Peruvian vacation offers a chance to cruise along the Amazon River and enjoy a luxury experience that you won’t get if you only ever opt for the quickest route between destinations. While Brazil is home to the vast majority of the Amazon, Peru does contain the tail end of the river in its northeastern reaches. In this region you can board one of luxury riverboats of the Delfin fleet and explore the world’s largest river from the comforts of what is essentially a refined and renovated hotel.
The riverboats of the Delfin fleet are impressive. Newly renovated, they incorporate hardwood floors and panels and large panoramic windows that allow you to view all angles of the Amazon and its surrounding rainforest, as you journey down the river. The vessels have luxury cabins with various sizes and amenities, open-air observation decks, and dining rooms serving gourmet Amazonian and Peruvian cuisine.
The Delfin fleet takes travellers deep into Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, a massive rainforest in Amazonia that floods during the wet season, letting Globetrotters explore its lush biodiversity by boat. On this journey you can visit rare pink river dolphins and swim alongside them in the waters of the Amazon if you’re daring enough to brave the waters. You can go on excursions into the surrounding jungle, searching for howler monkeys and sloths, or go fishing in waters filled with piranhas. A journey down the Peruvian Amazon offers luxury, but also the chance to engage with incredible wildlife and landscapes. It’s a clever mix of comfort and adventure.
4 or 5-Day Luxury Cruising in the Amazon Delfin
Stay in Colonial Mansions in the Cosmopolitan Centres
Another aspect of Peru that lends itself to luxury travel is its wealth of colonial architecture. While on your Peruvian vacation, would you want to stay in a colonial mansion in a city celebrated for its food and culture? Peru has several places that fit the bill.
At the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco, you can stay in a colonial building dating back to 1592. Originally constructed as a monastery, the building was converted into a hotel that’s considered among the finest in the world. The building is set in the heart of historic Cusco, right beside the city’s main square, so you don’t have to go far to discover the cultural wonders of the city. Also in the heart of Cusco is the J.W. Marriott, located in a restored convent dating back to the 16th century.
The Marriott has a sister hotel located in Lima that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Located in the upscale Miraflores district, the J.W. Marriott Lima offers a modern hotel with luxury amenities and world-class dining. It’s also close to many of the city’s main cultural and entertainment spots, so you’ll find plenty to occupy your time outside the confines of the hotel. Also in the Miraflores district is the Miraflores Park Hotel, which offers state-of-the-art facilities and breathtaking views of the Pacific.
If you venture outside the main cities, Libertador Isla Esteves is the only 5-star hotel on Lake Titicaca and offers incredible accommodations on the ancestral islands of this world-famous lake. In the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Hotel Aranwa Sacred Valley boasts luxury accommodations within a 17th-cenutry hacienda that combines colonial décor and modern amenities. Located only two hours from Machu Picchu, Hotel Aranwa Sacred Valley is a great base from which to explore one of the world’s most popular tourist sites.
4-Day Monasterio Hotel: Stay of Distinction
4-Day Cusco: JW Marriott: Stay of Distinction
4-Day Miraflores Park Hotel: Stay of Distinction
4-Day Libertador Isla Esteves: Stay of Distinction
4-Day Hotel Aranwa Sacred Valley: Stay of Distinction
9-Day Cradle of the Incas: Holiday of a Lifetime
Camping in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Machu Picchu is the top destination on a Peruvian vacation, and the most popular destination in all of South America. This Inca citadel sits on the top of a mountain, offering incredible views and medieval ruins in the most unlikely landscape imaginable. The fact that it wasn’t discovered by western nations until 1911 only adds to its mysterious appeal. It’s essential that you take the time to explore Machu Picchu when visiting Peru, and you don’t have to sacrifice luxury to do so.
A great option for Globetrotters to explore the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu is to take a luxury camping expedition. You’ll travel alongside porters and guides who take you across this ancient trail and carry your camping and cooking supplies to make sure that you don’t expend yourself traversing the high terrain. Spend your days learning about the Inca Empire and exploring its ruins. Spend your nights sleeping in Bedouin-style tents beneath the stars. This camping expedition erases any possible barriers between yourself and this magical valley, while still allowing you to enjoy a comfortable stay high in the mountains.
A perfect way to close out your time in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu is to ride the Vistadome train back to Cusco. This train features panoramic windows and skylights that let you admire the entirety of the mountains, from their bases alongside the tracks up to their mighty peaks. The Vistadome is a great way to admire nature from a relaxing vantage point.
5-Day Luxury Inca Trail
There are many ways to explore Peru in high style. This South American country is an ideal destination to indulge yourself by riding a luxury train through the mountains, staying in a colonial mansion in the city, and cruising a boutique riverboat down the Amazon River. It’s an experience where you can explore history and culture on a Peruvian vacation… from the lap of luxury.