Thursday, October 11, 2012

Agua Caliente (InkaTerra resort), Peru September 2012

Aqua Caliente

This is the town at the base of Manchu Picchu and it runs completely on tourism.  There is a marketplace just outside the train station with enough sweaters, t-shirts, and hats to clothe all of Peru.  There are plenty of places to stay, and guides for hire.  This is where you buy the all important bus ticket for the ride up to MP.  And if you haven't yet guessed from the name, there are hot springs nearby.  Next time....

We got to stay in the extremely lavish InkaTerra.  It is not just a hotel-it has its own restaurant, cafe, spa, naturalists, orchid gardens and sacred rock.  Each room is actually a little house with a lounging area and bathroom big enough to rent if it were in the San Francisco Bay area.  The grounds are all jungle all the time and they have built in running streams throughout the property, in addition to being directly next to the river.

It was lovely to relax into at the end of the hiking day-just the shower alone was a luxury.  Look at how cute the set-up is!  And they offer free Pisco!  We only had a tiny smidge-altitude still kicking our butts.

Dinner was amazing.  Lomo salad, paper wrapped Andean trout, fettucini alfredo, trio of local desserts.  Everywhere else I was able to show reasonable restraint.  Not here. This is where I ate to the point of busting-but I just couldn't turn down dessert!

The next day we decided to NOT head up the mountain again but instead walk the grounds of the hotel.  If we had been more organized we would have signed up for the tours.  We did have a lovely walk on our own-there is a sacred rock, no details, I guess that is why you take the tour.

 There is a water cascade, though it was more of a trickle in the dry season, where we sat and watched birds for a bit.

It is highly recommended to come here to see orchids as this site has found 7 that were previously undiscovered.  Just be sure and come in the rainy season-at the end of the dry season there is less happening.  And yet there are quite a few flowers-I tried to photograph them all :)

These pop open with a loud *snap*

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