No longer just a stopover on the way to Machu Picchu, this vibrant village in the Sacred Valley is a destination in its own right, thanks to crowd-free ruins (including an Inca fortress); sustainable accommodations modeled after glamping grounds (eco lodge Las Qolqas’ indoor/outdoor spa along the Urubamba River is the perfect antidote after a day trekking the famous Lost City); and local restaurants featuring Andean dishes highlighting the region’s produce and flavors (both Chuncho and the restaurant at Las Qolqas, which also proudly serves Peruvian wine, offer farm-to-table fare that pays homage to the land’s offerings).
Llamas roam freely in the hills along a roughly eight-mile trek to the Pumamarca ruins (at 11,142 ft., the panoramic views reveal the village below and seemingly endless lush farmland), easily accessed from the grounds of Las Qolqas. Afterwards, see what’s on tap at Cervecería del Valle Sagrado, which offers seasonal beer selections, many made with local fruit. Guided tours led by knowledgeable locals can be arranged by hotels and inns, including the 100-year-old El Albergue, where guests are invited to get their hands dirty on the on-site farm, which produces corn, quinoa, and potatoes.
Last year, Starlodge Adventure Suites, a short train ride from the center of town, debuted, giving visitors the chance to sleep in a capsule in the mountains for a real adrenaline rush. And a new initiative endeavoring to assist Indigenous villages with responsible tourism development is well positioned to make Ollantay (as the locals call the village) another Sacred Valley star.
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