Peru’s Spa Boom
Thanks to its long-standing reputation as a spiritual energy center—and its newfound fame as an adventure travel hub—Peru draws a steady stream of visitors eager to push their bodies and nourish their souls. But while there are near limitless opportunities to hike, rappel, ice climb, and mountain bike through the Andes, finding a reputable, upscale spot to recharge and revitalize has, until recently, proven to be one of Peru’s greatest challenges. But now, thanks to the demand of inte national tourists who won’t settle for less than spotless facilities and well-trained estheticians, a spate of high-end spas have been cropping up all across the country. Services that utilize the secrets of indigenous shamanic healers and bodywork specialists are moving from hard-to-find side streets into sleek, modern spaces that serve up the utmost in customer service. The best part? The cost for treatments are often well below market price back home, making a Peruvian hot stone massage as much of “must-do” as visiting Machu Picchu.
Cost for one-hour massage: $60
When the Orient Express converted this 500-year-old Catholic seminary into a five-star hotel in the late 90s, they made plans to turn the convent next door into one of the largest spa facilities in the Andes. While it won’t be completed until summer 2007, visitors can still sign up for in-room treatments and bath butler services.
www.monasterio.orient-express.com, (800) 237-1236
Location: Machu Picchu
Cost for one-hour massage: $80
After four challenging days on the Inca Trail, a deeply restorative massage is in order. Thankfully, skilled therapists are on call all day at this snug mountain facility, which overlooks the ancient “lost city” of Machu Picchu. After aches and pains are kneaded gently away, spa guests can relax with a Pisco Sour in the private botanical garden.
http://machupicchu.orient-express.com, (800) 237-1236