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Gold from the Gods: Heal your body and soul in Peru
For centuries, Peruvians have incorporated local traditions and ingredients into their wellness rituals. Today, hotels and spas are tapping into that history for the benefit of their guests, putting a unique and unexpected spin on the region’s appeal.
Nestled in the Andean Highlands, Peru’s Sacred Valley combines incredible natural beauty, fertile lands and hot springs to create the perfect environment for a world-class wellness retreat. Holistic wellness has been part of the culture and lifestyle in Peru dating back to 1438, when the Incas ruled the area.
Located in the heart of the Sacred Valley is Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado - part of Marriott International, which pays homage to Peru's long history of holistic wellness. “Traditional medicine is still very important,” says Carmen Aguilar, spa manager at Tambo del Inka. The Incan word tambo means resting place, used by the Incas to recharge their energy during their travels.
“People here heal many diseases using Andean herbs and visit shamans for advice. Shamans would heal not only your body, but also your soul. They knew about the importance of holistic wellness.”
If you’ve ever visited the Andes mountains, you may already be familiar with coca leaves, used as medicine to remedy altitude sickness and aid digestion. Considered sacred by the Incas, they wore pouches filled with leaves to chew and to brew for tea.
Coca was commonly available during the Inca Empire. Now it’s incorporated with quinoa, gold, local mud and Maras salt into the luxurious treatments offered at the spa, coupled with health-boosting Vichy showers and water beds. “Many of these Andean ingredients offer natural benefits and are used in body wraps, exfoliation treatments and massages,” Aguilar says. “Our spa continues these ancient traditions and shares them with our visitors through the creams, essences and treatments offered that incorporate local ingredients.”
The moisturizing and stimulating Gold from the Gods massage, which uses goldenberry and lime blossom extract to deliver antioxidants to the skin, is as heavenly as it sounds. For the decadent Misti Mud Therapy body treatment, coca leaves, volcanic mud and quinoa nurture and soften skin.
With spring-fed indoor and outdoor pools, and plenty of spaces to relax, the spa at Tambo del Inka, located a short distance from historic Cusco, provides everything any wellness traveller could want. The mineral-rich natural hot springs maintain temperatures of 30 to 40 degrees Celsius − an ideal range for relaxing muscles and revitalizing tired bodies, especially ones that may have hiked the steep mountains to reach the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail.
Tambo del Inka is part of The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts and is a LEED-certified property set on lush grounds with designs that pay homage to the Incas by featuring their traditional motifs on soft furnishings such as carpets and drapery. Each room has a private terrace, which looks out over the natural beauty of the Sacred Valley.
The hotel’s four resident alpacas add a calming presence to the grounds. In ancient times, the Incas prized these animals, which served as a source of food and companionship, as well as the soft fleece that only royals were permitted to wear.
The Sacred Valley remains a source of pride among the local people who share its beauty and traditions with travellers.
This content was produced by The Globe and Mail's Globe Content Studio.
The Globe's editorial department was not involved in its creation.