This Stunning Sacred Valley Hotel Hosts a Private Train Station That Will Take You Straight to Machu Picchu

It’s rare to come across a property that truly takes your breath away. But the Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, with its stunning setting against the foothills of the Chicón mountain and amid the greenery of the Andean rainforest, manages to do just that. And with attentive staff who know your name (and just how you take your pisco sour), a beautiful and relaxing indoor/outdoor pool, and one of the best breakfast spreads in the country, this is one hotel that you’ll be dying to come back to the second you leave. 

Set in the village of Urubamba in the heart of Peru’s Sacred Valley, the Tambo del Inka is a living and breathing homage to the Incan culture that continues to pervade the Valley today. The city itself is well worth the visit; as one of the largest towns in the Andean highlands (and about 90 minutes from Cusco City), Urubamba lies in the heart of what was once the sprawling Incan empire. Today, the city is a hub for transportation, serving as a key departure point to Machu Picchu, the Maras Salt Mines, and Rainbow Mountain. 

With so much activity just outside its borders, it comes as a great relief that Tambo del Inka is a veritable haven for rest and relaxation. Located just off the main road into the city, the sprawling property contains a bit of its own Andean rainforest, a sizable organic garden, an entire series of local shops (including a brewery), and perhaps most critically, its own train station that takes guests straight to Machu Picchu. 

And as impressive as its outdoor activities may be, it’s the interior of Tambo that is truly stunning. Upon entering the hotel, guests are immediately greeted by an airy, open lobby whose decorations pay homage to its Incan heritage. You’ll find quipu, or knotted rope, that were used for both quantitative and qualitative book-keeping; ceremonial staff; and even Incan stone wall-inspired fireplaces adorning the lobby and restaurant walls, and enjoy a cup of coca tea (ideal for altitude sickness) during your check-in process. 

Immediately downstairs from the lobby is the hotel’s on-site restaurant, Hawa, which easily serves one of the best meals you’ll have in the entire Cusco region. Whether you’re looking for something more adventurous—like a pan-fried guinea pig or an alpaca stew—or something a bit more familiar—like a traditional ceviche—the restaurant has something for everyone. And while you may not find a speakeasy in Urubamba (for that, check out Alphonse in Lima), the adjacent bar at Tambo, Kiri Bar, serves one of the best chilcanos you’ll find in Peru.

Unusually, you’ll find many of the rooms in Tambo underneath the lobby floor – this allows better access to the river valley (and the stunning accompanying views). Rooms feature spacious closets, beautifully appointed bathrooms, and rug-covered wood floors that are both cozy and practical for days when you’ll be tracking mud into your room after a long hike. After a long hike, you’ll almost certainly want to visit the Kallpa Spa, where you can either enjoy the unique heated pool – half of which is indoor, and half of which looks out onto the neighboring mountain – or one of the many Andean treatment options the spa offers, including the jacuzzi room, with views onto the aforementioned mountain. 

And if you happen to have the time (and energy) for a little more sightseeing on the property, don’t forget to head outside each afternoon to say hello to the alpacas who pay a daily visit to the property, along with local artisans offering scarves, sweaters, and other handmade goods. 

So whether you’re headed to the Sacred Valley for Machu Picchu or just for a stay at one of the best hotels in the southern hemisphere, Tambo del Inka is sure to please. 

Top Takeaways

Location: Urubamba, Peru 

Rating: Five-Star

The Vibe: Incan eco-friendly luxury 

Food + Drink: There are two main dining options: Hawa Restaurant and Bar Kiri 

Amenities: Fitness center; Restaurant; Bar; Meeting spaces; Pool; Spa; Daily activities; On-site train station 

Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: The truly swoon-worthy indoor/outdoor pool 

5 Nearby Attractions: Machu Picchu, Maras Salt Mine, Rainbow Mountain, town of Urubamba, city of Cusco 

Rooms: 128 rooms 

Pricing: Rooms start at $450/night  

Closest Airport: Cusco Airport (CUZ)

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