Situated in the ancient Andean town of Ollantaytambo, halfway between Cusco and Machu Picchu, Las Qolqas is a sustainable haven for exploration and self-discovery. Its founders, Herman van den Wall Bake and Carlos Gonzalez, have internationally created this peaceful place as a testament to their commitment to the preservation of the environment, local community and culture, as well as harnessing travel as a way to promote sustainable development. Las Qolqas is the newest go-to sustainable resort in Peru that celebrates immersive, restorative and purpose-driven travel experiences with a connectivity to the local culture.
Here are a few reasons why Las Qolqas belongs on your readers’ 2022 bucket lists:
- Reconnect with Earth’s natural beauty without skimping on style: To help the local community retain the charm and heritage without caving into the temptations of development, the Los Qolqas team had the vision to develop this tiny, sustainable hotel dotted with luxurious safari-style tents. Every element on offer has been hand selected and locally sourced – from bed sheets to shampoos – and each purpose-built structure and piece of furniture are of the highest quality, which gives the property an air of understated elegance. This attention to detail enhances the natural beauty of the surroundings through simple design and open flow. From the wooden furniture to the cushions adorned with patterns identical to the local women’s skirts, every detail is handcrafted and intentionally created for Los Qolqas.
- Grab a seat - or learn to cook! - in the Greenhouse for Peruvian cuisine made with seasonal, locally grown, organic ingredients: Inside the gorgeous (and functional!) greenhouse guests can enjoy an immersive look at the draw-dropping scenery that surrounds as they choose from the chef’s “daily special” menu of two dishes that represent a modern and elevated take on traditional Peruvian food. Each handpicked ingredient is organic, seasonal, and locally cultivated by the community or in the property’s orchard. Each colorful meal is fresh, healthy, and high-quality and, for those who want to learn more about the cuisine, guided cooking lessons are available with the chef.
- Find your zen with an all-natural, holistic wellness and spa program: Step into the spa at Las Qolqas and choose from a number of spa treatments that feature products made onsite using local ingredients. From hot stones and facials to saunas and food-based scrubs, there is a myriad of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. Uniquely, Los Qolqas also boasts outdoor showers, a sauna, and a large rustic hot tub that overlooks the bubbling river running through the property.
- Trek the Peruvian trails with expert local guides from the neighboring community: The local population has retained their customs and the region's most incredible archeological wonders, like Machu Picchu, still remain. Visitors can hike the many Inca trails within a half-hour radius of the property or take advantage of the optional guided walks with locals from the neighboring community that provide a glimpse into natural history from a native perspective. Additionally, adventure seekers can book horseback riding, rafting, and more.
- Immersive yourself with Authentic Cultural experiences: Guests have the opportunity to take part in many activities that acquaint them with the local culture, such as listening to a concert from a local shaman with instruments and melodies that transcends time and space, and traditional ceremonies, like the Andean Wedding Ceremony to honor vow renewals and nuptials or the ancient celebrations that honor the seasonal solstices and equinoxes.