Sol y Luna
There are certain hotels that have you plotting a return from the moment you arrive. Places that make you feel so welcome and so at ease that you want everyone you love to stay there. Sol y Luna is such a place.
Situated in Peru’s scenic Sacred Valley, surrounded by majestic Andean mountains, Sol y Luna Lodge & Spa is a tranquil retreat in a region rich in history, tradition and culture.
It is located an hour’s drive from Cusco and en route to Machu Picchu. Word of the stylish haven, hidden behind adobe walls continues to spread quietly among luxury travelers.
Authentic hospitality reigns at Sol y Luna, and this is clear from the moment you’re escorted to one of the 43 stand–alone casitas (‘little houses’) via charming stone pathways.
Private verandas face terraced mountainsides with garden views and lounge chairs that invite you to relax in them. You will appreciate simple touches: colorful Peruvian folk art, indigenous woods, hand–painted frescoed murals, and a hot water bottle in your bed at night.
All casita categories, including two-story family suites, feature fine linens, heated flooring, luxury toiletries, and complimentary wi–fi. Deluxe and premium casitas offer en suite soaking tubs and private veranda plunge pools.
Should you leave your casita–and frankly, this can be hard–the resort’s exclusive Yacu Wasi spa offers rejuvenating massage, facial and hydrotherapy treatments: an ideal way to recharge and restore after volunteering in a village.
Or you could set off riding one of the hotel’s famous Peruvian Paso horses, unique for their gentle gait and sturdy elegance. Or you can arrange to paraglide over majestic Andean landscapes of snow capped peaks and ancient Inca ruins.
For some, it may be enough to attend an equestrian demonstration at the resort’s Wayra ranch, enroll in a weaving or pottery workshop, attend a cooking class and learn to recreate Peru’s celebrated cuisine, or learn how to make (or simply imbibe) a perfect Pisco Sour at the Chicha Wasi bar.
In the evenings, it can be difficult for foodies to choose where to dine. The Killa Wasi restaurant offers fine dining with a world–class menu for each season created by executive chef, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, one of the world’s finest Peruvian chefs.
Or, perhaps, you’ll opt for a more casual dinner at Wayra, chatting with the gregarious chef Nacho, as he prepares your meal, incorporating local produce (much of which is grown organically in the hotel’s own orchard and gardens) and meats infused with the tastes and traditions of the region.
On select nights a local theater company stages an elaborate outdoor production on the Wayra grounds, dramatically showcasing the legends, traditions and legacy of the indigenous Quechua culture.
Set adjacent to the hotel property, the intercultural school provides education, art and sports for the youth of the Sacred Valley and a way for the owners to give back to the surrounding community.
You are welcome to arrange a visit, should you wish to, and see first-hand how your stay is helping the Sol y Luna Asociación have an enduring impact on the lives of local children, their families and future generations.
Be sure also to leave time (and suitcase space) for a visit to the Sol y Luna boutique, a carefully curated collection. From the handsome broad–brimmed hats worn by Wayra’s Paso horsemen to elegant handwoven alpaca clothing and the unique work of the Peruvian artists featured throughout the resort, the shop features original items.
North west of Cusco, the Urubamba Valley – aka The Sacred Valley of the Incas – stretches for around 60 miles (100 km) through rugged slopes. It is lined with villages, and framed by Cusco and Machu Picchu, and was one of the holiest places for the Incas. You can take a one-day bus tour, but it’s worth committing to a few days of relaxed scenic wonder.
Ways you can help in Sacred Valley
The traditional way of cooking in Peruvian homes is over an open fire, which has three major problems: 1. The fires are unsafe and result in many burns, especially with young children running around; 2. The fires cause respiratory problems because there is no outlet for the smoke; and 3. They are hugely inefficient and […]
Villagers in the communities in the Sacred Valley build their homes through the concept of “ayni” (cooperation between community members). If one family needs a house, they request help of other community members and reciprocate later on with the same number of hours/days granted to them. They continue building their houses by themselves and you can get […]
You can share in the daily activities of villagers in the Sacred Valley, such as doing farm chores, helping out with the animals, knitting and weaving, learning about traditional healing with medicinal plants, and assisting with the harvest if you are there at the right time. This is very much ‘soft volunteering’ where the emphasis […]