Despite increasing limits on the number of people trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the iconic fifteenth-century Inca citadel, voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in July 2007, remains one ofthe world’s most popular tourist attractions.
Machu Picchu attracts up to 700,000 visitors each year. In high season, you can see nothing but waterproof jackets clambering over the Sun Gate at dawn. The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is the ideal place to escape the hordes and get a feel for the spirituality of this UNESCO World Heritage site; the only hotel within the grounds, it has two suites and twenty-nine rooms.
The views, obviously, are spectacular. It is well worth splashing out for a Mountain View room, or better still a Panoramic Room, which comes with its own balcony overlooking the ancient site. Equally impressive is the Tampu Restaurant Bar, where the gourmet dinner is served with views across the ancient ruins.
The hotel will arrange guided visits of the site with knowledgeable guides, but most of all this is a place to escape into another world and be alone. Get up early and walk around the citadel in the morning half-light to really appreciate the unique atmosphere. The crowds are already approaching the Sun Gate, but for a few precious moments you can enjoy perfect peace.