From the fragrant shores of Lake Titicaca, where the Uros Indians live on floating islands made of totora reeds, to the slopes of Machu Picchu and the narrow lanes of Cusco, the visitor is enchanted by the spectacle of eternal Peru. Scenes right out of an illuminated manuscript could give the impression that the country is trapped in its own picturesque history. But a taste of Lima soon dispels the deception: this is a dynamic, effervescent world capital, achieving excellence in every creative field. This 21st-century golden age is embodied in a noble discipline: gastronomy. With star chef Gastón Acurio leading the way, Lima has become an international hotbed of fusion cuisine. The flavors and aromas of the high plateaus — vegetables, flowers and spices — have joined in lasting union with the refinements of the Far East, borne here by the currents of the Pacific, just as Chinese dockers once came to join in the country’s first economic boom, in the days of the guano industry and bountiful fishing.
Despite its new status, Peru also remains a leading destination for its historical heritage, with some 30,000 archaeological sites. Well aware of the value of this asset, the government is actively defending the legacy of the Incas, petitioning for the return of illegally exported artifacts, organizing large-scale exhibitions and opening new on-site museums, like those devoted to the royal tombs of Sipán and the Lady of Cao. This effort is in keeping with the region treasures of this vast country and its broad range of ecosystems — Andean, of course, like Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu, but also a long coastline, active volcanoes and an equatorial rain forest. Drained by wide meandering rivers, the latter is the final frontier of a pioneering form of tourism: here in the “lungs of the planet,” protecting biodiversity is a key priority. And Peru’s neighbor to the northwest shares this commitment. Besides its dedication to preserving the Galapagos Islands and the Jesuit heritage of Quito, Ecuador is now turning its attention to its eastern jungle region, once nearly inaccessible but now a paradise for modern-day adventurers.
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. At an altitude of 2800 m, colours are brilliant: the blue of the sky, the red of the earth and a fragmented mosaic created by a profusion of flowers. Sol & Luna is inspired by this luminous setting and is a paean to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Its architecture is a mix of avant-garde and primitive Peru, its clay walls are a backdrop to both contemporary and traditional Peruvian art, and its stones, beams and bricks from the valley find their natural home here. Its mouthwatering cuisine also draws its inspiration from local gastronomy, yet with a contemporary twist. Sol & Luna is close to archaeological sites and offers a doorway to this lost civilisation. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on a lake. The mere mention of Lake Titicaca is enough to conjure up a dramatic, mysterious world. At an altitude of more than 3 800 meters in the Andes, on the border between Peru and Bolivia, this cradle of Inca civilization is still home to one of the oldest communities in South America. Titilaka Lodge is tucked away in this unique landscape, totally off the beaten track on its own private peninsula, in a refurbished building. The rooms, each with a splendid lake view, are decorated in a contemporary style with touches of local heritage, in symbiosis with the luxuriant natural setting. Just outside the village of the same name, Titilaka offers a taste of the lake dwellers’ traditions and way of life. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. This exquisite 16th-century colonial manor was one of the first Spanish buildings in Cusco, located just steps away from the picturesque main square. Once occupied by the conquistadors of Peru, it is now an exclusive boutique hotel that has been carefully restored to retain its historical heritage and décor. With its suites set around a Spanish courtyard, replete with antiques and original architectural details, Inkaterra La Casona offers sober elegance without sacrificing authenticity. This is the perfect base from which to explore the vibrant capital of the Incan Empire and absorb the mysticism of the surrounding Andean valleys and villages. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in town. Founded 20 years ago in Lima, Astrid&Gastón has recently moved to a beautiful 300 years old house in the centre of San Isidro district. Managed by Chef Diego Muñoz, it epitomizes Gastón Acurio and Astrid Gutsche’s dream of sharing their contemporary take on Peruvian cuisine with the entire world. Astrid&Gastón’s cuisine draws its inspiration from the traditions and the biodiversity of Peru, and yet never breaks its links with the world around it, responding first and foremost to the challenges posed by the future and by our environment.The tasting menu is a journey throughout Peru's different environment in five parts: a living experience with a hint of magic and sensitivity. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. This summer pavilion, dating back to the Belle Époque, is tucked away in the heart of the Barranco district, a protected historic area next to the Pacific Ocean. Marble, exotic woods, a beautifully columned white façade, open balconies and skyhigh ceilings lit by skylights in the roofs – Lima teatinas – give it a charm all of its own. Its renovation was entrusted to sculptors from the Fine Arts Academy and to an Italian cabinetmaker with a view to preserving and showcasing its rich architectural heritage. Hotel B draws its inspiration from the Bohemian atmosphere of the surrounding district and exhibits works by contemporary Peruvian artists, adding to the hotel’s character. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. The lush vegetation of the five hectares of tropical gardens unfolds before you at the foot of the citadel of Machu Picchu, in the heart of the cloud forest. Marked paths invite you to explore the estate’s fabulous collection of ferns and orchids, and admire the many species of birds and butterflies. A little further on, the sacred Inca sites and their secrets await you. After a day spent exploring, it is a delight to return to the comfort and genuine charm of the suites, to savor a warm fire, one of the natural spa treatments inspired by the spirituality of the Andes, or a dish of “quinotto” (quinoa “risotto”) at the riverside restaurant. ... Learn moreless