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Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Calle Palacio 136 Plazoleta Nazarenas
Cusco,  
Peru

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Overview

Stay at Belmond Hotel Monasterio, one of the most unique hotels in Cusco, and experience the thrill of staying in a protected national monument. Discover inspired restaurants and boutique rooms and suites, all clustered around a tranquil central courtyard.

The ideal hotel from which to discover the delights of the city, its doors open to a vibrant scene of old and modern architecture, markets, galleries and cafes serving exciting Andean cuisine.

Exclusive SmartNights Amenities

  • $100 Spa Services credit, once during stay (Not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

The following amenities are subject to availability at the time of arrival/departure:

  • Upgrade
  • Early Check-In, 12 Noon
  • Late Check-Out, 4:00 PM

Check In: 1:00 PM
Check Out: 11:00 AM

Accommodations

Number of Rooms: 122

Superior King room with oxygen

These unique rooms are enriched with oxygen to promote better sleep and faster adjustment to the high altitude.

Includes a King size bed, Oxygen-enriched room, Marble bathroom, Spanish colonial décor, City or courtyard views. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child age 5 years and under sharing existing bedding.

Size 15-17 sqm / 161-183 sqft

Superior City View with Oxygen

Size 15-17 sqm / 161-183 sqft

These stunning rooms feature colonial Spanish décor and offer views of the colorful neighborhood of San Blas.

Includes a king size bed, Oxygen-enriched room, Marble bathroom, Spanish colonial décor. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child, 5 years or younger, sharing existing bedding. Some can connect to a Deluxe Twin Room with Oxygen.

Deluxe King room

Each Deluxe King Room is unique as befits a converted monastery.

Includes king size bed, Marble bathroom, Spanish colonial décor, City or courtyard views. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child, 11 years or younger, using a rollaway bed, subject to availability. Some connect to another Deluxe King Room. Size 17-20 sqm / 183-215 sqft

Superior King room

Superior Rooms feature warm and inviting Spanish colonial décor, each unique with its own architectural quirks.

King and twin size bedding, Marble bathroom, Spanish colonial décor, City or courtyard views. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child, 5 years or younger, sharing existing bedding. Some can connect to another Superior King Room. Size 15-17 sqm / 161-183 sqft

Superior Twin room

Each Superior Twin Room is unique and features views of the colourful city or tranquil courtyard.

Includes Two twin beds, Marble bathroom, Spanish colonial décor, City or courtyard views. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child, 5 years or younger, sharing existing bedding. Size 15-17 sqm / 161-183 sqft

Superior Twin room with oxygen

Each of these unique rooms is enriched with oxygen to promote better sleep and faster adjustment to the high altitude.

Includes two twin bedsOxygen-enriched room, Marble bathroom, Spanish colonial décor, City or courtyard views. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child, 5 years or younger, sharing existing bedding. Size 15-17 sqm / 161-183 sqft

Deluxe Twin room

Each Deluxe Twin Room has its own little architectural quirks and features colonial Spanish décor.

Includes Two twin beds, Marble bathroom, Spanish colonial decor, City or courtyard views. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child, 11 years or younger, using a rollaway bed, subject to availability. Some connect to another Deluxe Twin Room. Size 17-20 sqm / 183-215 sqft

Deluxe twin room with oxygen

These unique Rooms feature charming colonial interiors with additional space to luxuriate.

Includes two twin beds, Oxygen-enriched, Marble bathroom, Spanish colonial décor, City or courtyard views. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child, 11 years or younger, using a rollaway bed, subject to availability. Some can connect to another Deluxe Twin Room with Oxygen or a Superior City View Room with Oxygen. Size 17-20 sqm / 183-215 sqft

Deluxe Junior Suite with oxygen

Two level Deluxe Junior Suites with Oxygen feature a bedroom on the mezzanine level and a living room on the lower level.

Includes a king size bed, Oxygen-enriched, Marble bathroom with shower only, Spanish colonial décor, City or courtyard views. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child, 11 years or younger, using a rollaway bed, subject to availability. Size 42-45 sqm / 452-484 sqft

One Bedroom Suite with oxygen

Spacious and elegant, One Bedroom Suites are the perfect choice for romance in one of Peru’s most unique honeymoon hotels.

Includes King size bed, Oxygen-enriched, Separate living area, Marble bathroom with separate bathtub and shower, Spanish colonial décor, Courtyard views. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child, 11 years or younger, using a rollaway bed, subject to availability. Size 45-53 sqm / 484-570 sqft

Junior Suite with Oxygen

Most of these junior suites span two levels. An airy bedroom sits on the mezzanine, while stairs lead down to a spacious living area.

Includes King size bed, Oxygen-enriched, Marble bathroom with shower only, Spanish colonial decor, City or courtyard views. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child, 11 years or younger, using a rollaway bed, subject to availability. Size 42 sqm / 452 sqft

Deluxe King Room with Oxygen

Each of these rooms is equipped with a unique oxygen system that promotes better sleep and faster adjustment to the high altitude.

King size bed, Oxygen-enriched, Marble bathroom, Spanish colonial decor, City or courtyard views. Maximum occupancy is 2 adults plus 1 child, 11 years or younger, using a rollaway bed, subject to availability. Size 17-20 sqm / 183-215 sqft

Guest Services

Car Rental Counter

Concierge

Massage Service

Multilingual Staff

24-Hour Concierge

24-Hour Front Desk

24-Hour Room Service

24-Hour Security

Airport Check in Kiosk

Baggage Storage Services

Business Services

Butler Service

Catering

City Tours

Complimentary Wireless (WiFi) Internet

Cooking Classes

Currency Exchange

Doctor On Call

Doorman

Evening Turndown Service

Front Desk

Housekeeping

In-room Safe Deposit Box

Turndown Service

Twice-Daily Housekeeping

VIP Treatment

History Tours

Newspaper

Registration Desk

Welcome Drink

Wi-Fi

Bilingual Staff

Charging facilities in room

Complimentary High Speed Internet Access

Cultural Events

Daily Newspaper Upon Request

Dry Cleaning and Laundry Services

Hairdryer

In-room minibar

iPod Docking Stations

Luggage Assistance

Luggage Storage

Morning Newspaper

Room Service

Transportation Arrangement

Wake Up Service

Facilities

Business Center

One of the top luxury hotels in Cusco, Belmond Hotel Monasterio is the perfect stage for a social event or corporate function.

Lobby Lounge

Meeting & Conference Facilities

Belmond Hotel Monasterio is the perfect stage for a social event or corporate function in Cuzco. Find a range of services and equipment to make your event a success.Choose from a dramatic conference in the majesty of the Chapel, or an inspiring incentive al fresco on the main patio.The hotel has developed a wide variety of menus for different occasions. Moreover, our chef will be happy to assist with the planning and creation of a special banquet. We can also arrange a variety of entertainment.

Afternoon Tea

Bar

Lobby Bar: Elegant, colonial-style atmosphere; ideal for sampling coca sours or pisco sours and other exotic cocktails.Live jazz and blues three times a week (6:30pm-8pm).

Boutiques

Business Corner

The historical building offers a unique backdrop for your conference, team building or incentive event.

Chapel

The Chapel is decorated in Baroque style, with gold-plated pictures frames. Magnificent paintings depict scenes from the life of its patron saint.

City Tours, Theatre and Cultural Events

Whether you're into white water rafting or a four-day trek through the Sacred Valley, there's plenty of fresh air fun just outside the hotel walls. Our team can arrange guided cultural tours, classes in traditional crafts or an afternoon cooking regional specialties with our Chef.

Café

Cultural Events

Broaden your horizons with a day full of cultural activities. Begin with a guided tour of the hotel's extensive art collection, before learning about the gastronomy of Peru with a cooking demonstration. Later, enjoy a delicious three-course dinner in El Tupay accompanied by a live opera show.ART Tour the Hotel's extensive art collection, guided by an expert in religious art and Peruvian history. The tour also includes a fascinating insight into the rich and unique history of the stunning Chapel.

Gift Shop

A nice an unique selection of souvenirs will be at your disposal.

Living Areas

Massage Rooms

Choose relaxing aromatherapy or a reviving Thai massage from the massage menu. Or call your personal Bath Butler to prepare an exquisite and indulgent end to a day of adventure and exploration.

Massage Treatments

Andean massage, reiki, shiatsu and aromatherapy treatments available.

Non-Smoking Rooms and Suites

According to Peruvian Law 25357, it is forbidden to smoke in public indoor areas and/or in rooms. The hotel reserves the right to apply penalty charge for breaking this regulation.

Restaurant

Illariy: Perfect for breakfast in the cloisters overlooking the courtyard with live guitar music (5am-10:30am).Classic Peruvian and international dishes served at lunchtime (11am-4pm). El Tupay: Open for dinner, offering globally inspired Peruvian cuisine (C: 6:30pm-10:30pm).Three times a week the restaurant stages a vibrant opera night featuring Cusco's best tenor and soprano. Lobby Bar: Elegant, colonial-style atmosphere; ideal for sampling coca sours or pisco sours and other exotic cocktails.Live jazz and blues three times a week (6:30pm-8pm).

Wedding Facilities

Share an unforgettable journey and be swept away by the romance of Cusco, one of the world's best destination wedding locations.rimming with timeless charm, Belmond Hotel Monasterio is one of Peru's best romantic hotels and makes for a unique wedding venue.Hold your ceremony in the dazzling chapel, built almost 500 years ago and gemmed by beautiful artwork. Or take your vows in the main courtyard, surrounded by the cloistered walls and landscaped gardens.

Hair Salon

Hospitality Desk

Salon

Bakery

Children’s Activities

Green Areas

DINING

Illary Restaurant

Savor classic Peruvian and international dishes in the
cloisters of our leafy courtyard.
Lunch: 11am-4pm daily

Breakfast: 5am – 10:30am
Lunch: 11am – 6pm

El Tupay Restaurant

Discover globally inspired Peruvian cuisine overlooking
the courtyard. Three times a week, we stage a vibrant
opera night featuring Cusco’s best tenor and soprano.

Dinner: 6.30pm-10.30pm daily

Deli Monasterio

Be tempted by an array of home-baked breads filled
with delicious meats and cheeses, tempting cakes and
pastries and exquisite teas and coffees.

Weekdays: 8am – 9pm
Saturday: 9am – 9pm
Sunday: 10am – 6pm

The Lobby Bar

Unwind in our bar’s elegant, colonial-style atmosphere
and sample a coca or pisco sour or other exotic
cocktails. Enjoy live jazz and blues three times a week.

Open daily: 6.30pm-8pm

Attractions

Archaeological Sites in Cusco

There is a wealth of archeological sites in and around Cuzco.

Ruins close to the city include:
 
Sacsayhuamán Archeological Park:
 
Two kilometers from the city, this monumental complex, together with the city of Cuzco, is considered the first of the new seven wonders of the world, a huge construction planned and built by Andean man.
 
The Incas called it 'the House of the Sun' and the Spanish called it 'a fortress' due to its zigzag shape and the 1536 revolution. It was one of the most important religious complexes of its time.
 
Every 24th June, local inhabitants hold the 'Festival of the Sun' or 'Inti Raymi'. Sacsayhuamán has witnessed and staged many important historic events. The Sacsayhuamán archeological complex covers an area of 3,000 hectares and is located north of Cuzco (Cusco).
 
Puca-Pucara:
 
This construction is six kilometers from Cuzco (Cusco). 'Puca' in Quechua means 'red' and 'pucara' means 'fortress/watchtower'. Located at a strategic point along the road to the Antisuyo (the jungle area of the Incas' empire), it also served as a checkpoint on the Inca road and was a military and administrative center.
 
Tambomachay:
 
Seven kilometers from Cuzco (Cusco), at 3,700 meters above sea level, this site was popularly known as the 'Incas' baths'. Researchers believe Tambomachay was an important center for the worship of water. It is an archeological complex made up of well-crafted canals, walls and windows which show the Incas' extraordinary architectural talents and their in-depth knowledge of hydraulics.

Churches and Cathedrals

From the Spanish colonial Cathedral to the archeological sites still uncovering Inca artifacts and the restaurants serving the very best in Andean cuisine, Cusco has a wealth of treasures and sights.

The Cathedral
 
This early 17th century baroque cathedral houses a chapter house, a sacristy, ten lateral chapels and is linked to the churches of El Triunfo (Triumph) and Jesus Mary. Its exterior and interior facades are in the Renaissance style. The interior is decorated with cedar and alder wood carvings. The most striking of these are the pulpit and the wooden carvings on the altars and pews, which were made by Martin Torres and Melchor Huamán.
 
Paintings in the cathedral include Our Lady the Ancient, The Pardon, The Last Supper by Marcos Zapata and The Christ on the Cross by mestizo painters. Anonymous artists are also on display as are objects d'art of embossed silver, such as the frontispieces.
 
The Company of Jesus
 
The main floor is in the shape of a Latin cross and its twin-towered exterior is very graceful. The altar pieces were made of cedar and gilded with gold leaf. Paintings by Marcos Zapata, Basilio Santa Cruz, Basilio Pacheco, Cipriano Gutierrez and Rivera and important sculptures representing Saints San Jeronimo and San Francisco are on display in the sacristy.
 
The Mercedes Church and Convent
 
The facade of this late 17th century church is exceptionally beautiful with its baroque church spire. Inside there are three naves with pilaster pillars and arches. The church is most famous for its jeweled monstrance, which was done in two different styles. The upper part is in the Baroque style and was completed in 1720 by Juan de Olmos, a Spanish silversmith. The lower part is in the Renaissance style and was made by Cuzco silversmith Manuel de la Piedra in 1805. It weighs 22 kilograms and is almost one and half meters high. It is encrusted with 1518 diamonds and 615 precious stones, including rubies, topaz and emeralds.

Church of Santo Domingo
 
This Dominican order was founded in the city of Cuzco in 1534 and was the first Dominican convent to be built in Peru. The church and convent were built on top of a great Inca temple and the most important religious building in the Tahuantisuyo. It was called the Temple of the Sun or Coricancha. The church retains its 16th-century style and is a showcase for Cuzco's architectural evolution. The baroque church spire dates from the early 18th century and is a monument to Peruvian architecture.

Learning & Discovery at Hotel Monasterio

From weaving to rafting, Hotel Monasterio is perfectly situated for a Peruvian adventure.

Discover the wide range of activities that you can do inside or outside the hotel:
 
Art Tour
 
Tour the Hotel’s extensive art collection, guided by an expert in religious art and Peruvian history. The tour also includes a fascinating insight into the rich and unique history of the stunning Chapel.
 
Cooking Class
 
Take home a unique souvenir—the techniques to create inspiring Peruvian cuisine. A short lecture and demonstration provides insight into the history of local dishes. You will also receive a special Hotel Monasterio apron to commemorate the day.
 
Cultural Experiences
 
Tailor-made programs can be arranged to experience authentic Peruvian life. Learn about the production of famous exports, like cotton and fruit. Or learn about the rich history and intricate art of Andean weaving.
 
Treks & Tours
 
The concierge will help you arrange the perfect tour. Explore the architecture of Cuzco, or the green hills of the Sacred Valley. The more adventurous guest can take a two-day trek to the breathtaking Machu Picchu, or a four-day tour along the Inca Trail.
 
Horse Riding
 
The dramatic country around Cuzco is the perfect setting for a horseback ride. Venture to stunning archeological sites, or take in the vistas as you journey through the Sacred Valley.

Experiential Tourism at Ccoñamuro

2018 - Consider one of the oldest communities of Cusco, Ccoñamuro, located in the Urcos province about 49km from the city, preserves its traditions passed down through generations by producing high quality organic potatoes, which are served on the Belmond Hiram Bingham and Belmond Hotel Monasterio restaurants. The hotel has been working with Ccoñamuro since 2010, setting up a fair trade strategic alliance, that has diversified the agreement by offering experiential tourism.

Whether you are staying in Cusco or the Sacred Valley, our hotels are eager to give you a once in a lifetime experience in a native community of Cusco. Our guests are able to visit and experience the communities' everyday activities, understand their traditions and beliefs, and take home a little of Cusco’s magic.

This visit includes transfers from the hotel, a special tour to the churches of the Baroque route and a bilingual guide. Afterward, guests will experience several activities related to agriculture, textiles and enjoy a traditional meal.

This beautiful experience will be available from April to December for all our guests to enjoy. One of Belmond's objectives is to care for their local communities by making a lasting impact on their every day life while respecting their traditions and embracing their diversity.

Andean Adventures

ON BOARD the Belmond Hiram Bingham train to this breathtaking historic sight, you might expect an atmosphere of hushed anticipation. What you don’t envisage is a local band pounding out Latin rhythms as the barman dispenses pisco sours. As the train leaves the high Andes for the Amazon cloud forest, the open-air observation car fills with guests gathering to dance to guitars and the cajón drum beat.

Visit Peru with Belmond and you quickly learn to expect the unexpected. Surprises come tumbling down like the rapids of the Urubamba River surging alongside the train.

Arrive at Machu Picchu to stay at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, located beside the “Lost City” gate, and you are ready to explore terraces of jigsaw-tight giant stones. But few visitors are prepared for the site’s tropical beauty, lush with flowers. Tucked behind the Lodge is a glorious garden containing 137 of the 370 varieties of orchid found on this mountain alone. Orchid specialist Leonidas Chahuayo lovingly tends them and gives private tours, pointing out tiny flowers that hide under leaves or disguise themselves as insects. He works alongside guide Cecilia Cabrera, who also leads intriguing tours of the citadel and can take you to espy indigenous birds or medicinal plants. Perhaps the ultimate experience, though, is to relax in the hotel’s hot tub, which is overhung with gorgeous exotic blooms that frame a view over the citadel.

Back in the Sacred Valley, as dawn breaks over Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado, you may hear the echoing blast of a conch shell being blown. It’s the village shaman announcing the start of the ceremony to honour earth goddess Pachamama, beside the blazing fire that he builds at the water’s edge. Hypnotic chants and rituals conjure up an ancient world in this exquisite setting among trees and hummingbirds. An equally memorable way to enjoy the riverside setting is to savour a pachamanca—a traditional Peruvian meat dish cooked using heated stones in a pit—or to relax in the garden over a lunch of produce grown in the hotel’s own kitchen garden.

Saddle up to explore further afield on horseback, either on local forest trails or adventure treks to the glistening Maras salt pans or the archaeological riches of Pumawanka. For even more exciting thrills, hit the water and go river rafting along the roaring Ollantaytambo rapids, glimpsing amazing Inca terraces as you speed by.

High above the valley, in the city of Cusco, guests of both Belmond Hotel Monasterio and Belmond Palacio Nazarenas also have the opportunity to gain special insights into local life. With its gold-encrusted baroque-style chapel and collection of museum-quality 17th-century Cusqueña school paintings, Belmond Hotel Monasterio is a work of art in itself.

Guests can marvel over magnificent and vibrant images of winged saints and scenes from Peruvian history on the hotel’s Art, Cooking and Opera Tour. The circuit also includes a visit to the kitchen to discover recipes from the same era as these works of art. The grand finale is a dinner with an opera or classical music concert by leading Peruvian performers, served in El Tupay restaurant.

At adjacent Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, a former palace and convent, innovative food is high on the agenda. Its gourmet restaurant, Senzo, features an exciting menu based on ingredients from the surrounding Andes that guests are highly unlikely to have encountered elsewhere. Many are the result of the kitchen team’s research and visits to local farms, and are specially grown for the hotel. True foodies will want to join the chef on a tour of Cusco’s San Pedro central market, to be dazzled by the towering arrangements of exotic fruit and vegetables. They then head back to the hotel to master the art of cooking quinoa, tubers, alpaca meat and other Peruvian specialities. Every guest will want to discover the hotel’s secret garden and its many herbs before selecting their favourites to be brewed in a special tisane. This can be enjoyed as part of an exclusive afternoon tea—opt for Andean specialities like muña or coca leaves to indulge like the locals. Or sign up to a pisco tasting session, with the chance to discover the hotel’s special recipe for a knockout pisco sour cocktail.

Peru's capital, Lima, brings art and cuisine together—and how! The city’s creative and culinary scene is bubbling, with new galleries and restaurants opening by the week. Must-visit museums like the Museo Larco, with its breathtaking displays of ancient treasures, have been joined by contemporary and revamped spaces with cool monikers such as MAC (works from 1950 onwards) and MALI (from pre-Columbian works to new photography), not to mention stylish private spaces where you can buy pieces by local artists who are developing international reputations.

Lima’s artistic hub is the district of Barranco, conveniently close to Belmond Miraflores Park. The hotel offers a Bohemian Barranco Tour, which takes in the home of Peruvian artist Victor Delfín and photographer Mario Testino’s contemporary gallery, MATE, among other fascinating highlights.

Peru’s capital city is increasingly becoming known as a cutting-edge gourmet destination, with so many restaurants to sample that visitors have impossible choices to make. Find out more on a Gastronomic Discovery tour, including a guided visit to the colourful and extensive Surquillo food market, a private cooking class and lunch at the hotel’s innovative Tragaluz restaurant.

All of these astonishing experiences create indelible impressions of Peru. It is the world-famous Inca glories that first tempt visitors to the country, but these rich details will embed it in visitors’ memories forever.

The Pisco of Peru

STEEPED IN the history of the Spanish conquistadores, Peru and Chile argue over ownership of Pisco. In both countries, colonisers discovered fertile lands for grape-growing and their Quebranta crops were so successful that they started exporting wines back to Europe. The grapes discarded in the wine-making process were made into a strong aguardiente or grape brandy. They named it Pisco, after the port town in Southern Peru where it was originally made—in turn named for the rounded earthenware pot used to store it.

These days Peru allows two types of Pisco production, the pure version still being made from the Quebranta, Mollar and Negra Corriente grapes and a more aromatic version made with different grape varieties. The famous Pisco Sour, acid yet sweet, smelling of ripe grapes, is a combining of Pisco with lime juice, sugar syrup, bitters and egg whites, which bring the signature frothiness. The best brands are Campo de Encanto or BarSol for export, and, commonly found in shops in Peru, Biondi and Portón.

By the time of the 19th-century American Gold Rush, Pisco had become madly popular with Californian miners and acquired a celebrity following, including the writer Rudyard Kipling, who gushed: "[Pisco is] compounded of the shavings of cherubs wings, the glory of a tropical dawn, the red clouds of sunset and the fragments of lost epics by dead masters."

Explore the finer points of pisco beneath the magnificent vaulted ceiling of The Lobby Bar at Cusco's Belmond Hotel Monasterio to the sounds of cool jazz. The hotel offers a wide range of the finest labels, including special infusions with Andean herbs.

Peru on a plate

WE PERUANOS LOVE to eat and we like to take our time. Eating is like making love—it shouldn’t be rushed,” a Peruvian friend told me while dining in Lima. In fact, from Andean superfoods to Amazon superfruits, much of the produce we take for granted, including potatoes, tomatoes, chillies and the Inca staple quinoa, is native to Peru. The country has been blessed with a unique geographical mix of mountains, rivers, coast and jungle and a multitude of microclimates that have given its produce a diversity that few other countries can match.

Add that to the variety of culinary influences from hundreds of years of immigration—from the Spanish conquistadors and African slaves to Chinese and Japanese workers—layered on top of the country’s pre-Hispanic cultures, and you have a genuine gastronomic melting pot.

Now a new generation of chefs is sourcing singular local ingredients, reworking some of the country’s classic dishes into gourmet fare and turning the country into one of the world’s hottest food destinations.

THE CLASSICS

Peru’s iconic dish is ceviche, raw fish ‘cooked’ in the extra-acidic juice of local limes, and every region of Peru has its own variation of the dish. In the Amazon they might use freshwater river catfish, but at Belmond Palacio Nazarenas the chefs will demonstrate how to rustle up an Andean ceviche, marinating trout with lime juice and yellow chilli for no more than five minutes, adding herbs from the hotel’s secret garden to the resulting tangy liquid known as tiger’s milk.

In Cusco’s 17th-century cathedral, an indigenous artist’s depiction of the Last Supper has guinea pig, or cuy, on the menu, washed down not with wine but with chicha morada. In the villages along the fertile Sacred Valley the menu has barely changed, with cuy-on-a-stick and homebrewed chicha (a fermented maize drink made from purple corn in the age-old way) still for sale.

In the bucolic setting of Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado, guests can indulge in a pachamanca—‘land pot’ in Quechua—or a typical Inca barbecue. “It’s more than just a method of cooking, it’s a centuries-old celebration of fertility and life,” says Patricia Pinillos, General Manager at Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado.

Large river stones are heated then layered into a hole in the ground with meat wrapped in corn husks—traditionally llama, but nowadays more likely to be chicken or lamb—and potatoes, yucca and fragrant herbs such as muña, or Andean mint. The hole is covered with earth and the food is slow-cooked for hours, emerging succulent and smoky.

The Spanish conquistadors brought vines to Peru in 1553 intending to make wine, first planting them in the Andes and then, with more success, in the fertile soil near the coast of Ica. They stored the wine in local clay jars, inadvertently creating the brandy-like pisco in the process.

Peru’s signature spirit has only recently emerged from oblivion to become a favourite of master mixologists the world over. Bartenders and butlers at Belmond Palacio Nazarenas are on hand to mix the perfect Pisco Sour—a cocktail made with lime juice, egg white and a dash of Angostura bitters.

“When people sneeze once, you say ‘salud’, twice and you say ‘Pisco Sour’,” said bartender Luis Gonzales.

 

TO MARKET

Once just a stepping stone for visitors to Cusco and Machu Picchu, Lima has become the country’s gastronomic hub. With the Andes and the Amazon both only an hour’s flight away and the coast on its doorstep, there’s a huge range of produce available and guests at Belmond Miraflores Park can explore the chefs’ favourite market, Surquillo, on a gastronomic tour.

Stalls are piled high with gaudy fruit—pitahaya, which purports to cure all ills; creamy, nutty-flavoured lucuma; and chirimoya, a sweet cross between a banana, peach and pineapple—potatoes of every shape and size, and rainbow-hued corn.

Hernán Castañeda, Belmond’s Corporate Chef in Peru, says: “This market focuses on suppliers that specialise in fresh, organic produce from the coast, highlands and rainforest, demonstrating the country’s enormous biodiversity. Epicureans and food lovers will be amazed by the colours and textures of the fruit and vegetables, and they can even choose their own ingredients and learn how to cook them back at the hotel.”

Peru has some of the most abundant fishing grounds in the world, thanks to the icy Humboldt Current that runs along its Pacific coast, which is why seven days a week, starting at 4am, the raucous cries of fishermen fill Lima’s Villa Maria market, as they hawk everything from swordfish to sardines, and dexterously fillet the day’s catch.

It’s also one of the reasons that Japanese chefs—including the legendary Nobu in the early 1970s—were drawn to Peru, creating Nikkei, a Peruvian-Japanese fusion of ingredients and techniques in dishes such as tiraditos, delicate slivers of the just-caught raw fish, like a cross between sashimi and carpaccio.

The Inca economy was based on farming and the fertile, undulating, evergreen Andean valleys still produce the same ingredients: tubers—there’s said to be as many as 3,000 varieties of potato—corn, high-altitude grains such as black quinoa and amaranth, tarwi beans (traditionally peeled by donkeys treading on them), trout, llama, alpaca and guinea pigs.

More than just a sacred site, Machu Picchu’s agricultural terraces and crop stores have revealed that produce was also central to Peru’s spiritual life, while at the less-visited Inca site of Moray, easily explored from Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado, the Incas carved three enormous amphitheatre-style pits out of the earth. The temperature between the bottom and the top can vary by as much as 20°C and many researchers believe that it was the site of sophisticated agricultural experiments.

In Cusco’s colourful San Pedro market, fedora-clad Andean women sell bottled snakes, dragon’s blood and gnarled maca root—the Andean answer to ginseng. Nothing goes to waste: platters of pigs’ trotters and cows’ noses sit next to unidentifiable innards and jars of intestinal juices. Regional specialities include pink salt from the Maras pans—ancient terraces fed by mountain water—and chuño, potatoes that resemble small white pebbles after being freeze-dried in the cold mountain air.

 

THE CHEFS

Chef Jean Paul Barbier stresses the importance of fresh, local ingredients in every dish at Belmond Miraflores Park’s Tragaluz restaurant. The aim was to create a restaurant with a fun, relaxed atmosphere, serving easy yet sophisticated food. The eclectic menu comes with a unique twist, blending local elements with Asian and Mediterranean flavours.

A hearty dish from the Peruvian coast, arroz con mariscos—scallops, shrimp, octopus, clams and squid mixed with creamy grains of rice—is served in a pot straight from the oven, while paiche (an Amazonian river fish) comes with local chorizo and banana and palm heart salad. For meat lovers there’s suckling pig confit with aubergine purée and garlic foam, or melt-in-the-mouth barbecued chicken in a barrel with tangy anticuchera sauce and Peruvian tubers.

“Lately we have been trying to revive some of the old traditional recipes from Lima, such as the ponderaciones dessert. The Peruvian curled or rosette fritters are a typical sweet of Lima, created by nuns at cloistered convents during colonial times. The thin, spiral-shaped crusts are fried and served as an accompaniment to ice cream or topped with dulce de leche or jam. It’s also part of the menu at El Huerto at Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado,” says Hernán Castañeda.

Gastón Acurio—known as the godfather of Peruvian cuisine—has taken traditional ingredients to another level at Astrid y Gastón, his colourful restaurant in Lima.

He’s elevated the humble causa, cold mashed potato layered with avocado and seafood, to an art form; refined ceviche for more sophisticated palates and recreated staples such as mazamorra morada, a purple corn pudding, in gourmet form.

Much of the Amazon’s bounty is still untapped but, at his restaurant Ámaz, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino sources as many Amazonian products as possible to use in dishes such as tofu flavoured with chonta (heart of palm), served with a catfish caviar and cecina (dried, salted pork) broth.

You can even get a jungle-style Sour blended with cherry-sized camu-camu, a superfruit that, gram for gram, delivers 30 times as much Vitamin C as an orange.

ON THE STREET

But it’s not all about haute cuisine. Until recently, anticuchos were considered nothing more than a cheap, late-night street snack. Now the Peruvian take on kebabs—tender, succulent morsels of beef heart, marinated in vinegar, garlic, cumin and ají panca chilli, then skewered and grilled over charcoal—have made their way onto restaurant menus.

Street food has become a great source of national pride and other favourites are enjoying a revival, such as picarones, ring-shaped doughnut-like fritters made from a pumpkin or sweet potato dough and served with a sugar syrup spiced with a heady blend of cinnamon, anise and orange peel.

In inexpensive, family-run huariques, the compact menus feature hearty traditional dishes, such as caldo de gallina, a rich chicken stew spiced up with the yellow chilli—a popular hangover cure, I’m told—papas a la Huancaína, slices of boiled potato in a spicy, cheesy sauce, and chifa; or Chinese-influenced dishes, such as lomo saltado—wok-fried beef, tomatoes, peppers and onions, served with a double-carb helping of rice and chips.

And there’s always a queue at Lima’s hole-in-the-wall sandwich mini-chain La Lucha Sanguchería Criolla for its traditional Peruvian doorsteps filled with lechon (suckling pig), carne asada (grilled beef), accompanied by some out-of-the-ordinary chips, made from rich red huayro potatoes.

Map / Location

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Belmond Hotel Monasterio is only a ten-minute drive from the airport. It is just two blocks from Cusco's central square, where the cathedral and most important museums are located. Replete with historic architecture and brimming with spirit, Cusco is one of the best places to visit in Peru.

GETTING HERE

Belmond Hotel Monasterio can provide transfers between the airport and the hotel upon request. The best way to get to the hotel is by car, which normally takes between 15-20 minutes.

Options for transfers will be provided on booking, or you can contact us for more information.

Professional taxis will also be available at the airport.

 

Nearby airports: Cuzco, Peru
Distance: 5 Miles