Marry private pools with rustic charm with these luxury stone cottages
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Natural world | Relaxation
Colca Canyon – some 160 kilometres from Arequipa – is Peru at its traditional best. Village communities keep century old customs alive while pre-Inca ruins tell a more ancient story. But it’s the unique collection of topography that really sets the valley apart. From craggy peaks and verdant fields to impossibly stepped terraces and gurgling rivers, this is a picturesque backdrop for criss-crossing hiking trails and the majestic Peruvian condor. The resort itself enjoys a postcard-perfect riverside setting, just a short distance from many of the region’s highlights.
A collection of perfectly formed, luxury bungalows, Belmond Las Casitas (formerly Las Casitas del Colca) seems to be as much a part of the environment as the valley’s old growth forests. They’re constructed from locally sourced stones while terracotta tiled roofs and whitewashed chimneys add to their bucolic charm. Rustic-chic interiors continue the aesthetic with exposed timber beams and vintage furnishings while designer four-poster beds and chandeliers add a touch of class to proceedings. Private terraces – complete with heated pool and outdoor shower – along with Roman-style bathtubs set under glass roofs round off these indulgent offerings.
Take your meals al fresco on the restaurant’s terrace for views out over the property’s immaculate grounds and onto the valley beyond. Here, you’ll be treated to traditional Peruvian cuisine made that bit more authentic by ingredients sourced from Las Casitas’ very own gardens. Start the day with freshly baked, homemade bread and end it with a lomo saltado stir fry or mushroom risotto washed down with a glass from the hotel’s wine cellar – unsurprisingly Peruvian varietals feature heavily. Feeling inspired? Book onto a cooking course.
If your private pool wasn’t enough and you feel like your fireplace hasn’t fully relaxed you, make use of the resort’s spa. Here, massages – taken either individually or as a couple – showcase all natural products including herbs from Belmond Las Casitas’s gardens. There’s also a sauna, which is, of course, scented, with locally sourced eucalyptus leaves. Children are also well catered for with a kids’ play area, cookie baking workshops and a chance to meet the resident alpaca. Lastly, high speed WiFi and attentive room service are both available.
Stay here on these holidays
Whether it’s lavish accommodation, exclusive tours or trips aboard the continent’s most luxurious trains, this itinerary showcases the very best of Peru, from its Incan treasures to its spectacular natural world.
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