From "I Do" to PeruWords by Stacey Marcus
Couples with an appetite for adventure and an appreciation for nature will adore Peru. Whether you want to tiptoe across a tree canopy walkway in a rainforest, behold Machu Picchu in a cloud forest or photograph pink dolphins and giant water lilies in the Amazon River, you will fall madly and deeply in love with the paradise known as Peru.
While you are climbing to heaven, you must check out Cusco (or what I call Cloud Ten), over 11,000 feet above sea level and the former capital of the Inca Empire, which graciously welcomes international travelers with a bevy of markets,
artisan shops and restaurants.
“Peru is an ideal destination for honeymooners as it offers unique and romantic experiences throughout the country. Whether a city lover or wilderness aficionado, Peru’s hospitality scene has evolved to cater to every travel palate,” says Claire Andre, Inkaterra Research & Development Manager. Ranging in size, aesthetic and geographical location, properties like Inkaterra La Casona, Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica and Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo not only provide guests with luxurious accommodations, they also showcase authentic activities and adventures to create an unforgettable honeymoon.
Our adventure began aboard Aqua Expeditions’ Aria, a 16-suite cruise ship equipped with oversized suites and my personal obsession, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows to watch the Amazon River glide by. “Aqua Expeditions offers a luxurious
and exotic honeymoon option for travelers looking for a truly special, once-in-a-lifetime experience. It combines adventure and exploration along with fine dining, relaxation and sophistication in one of the world’s last untouched paradises, all while offering the privacy and exclusivity honeymooners are looking for,” says Aqua Expeditions’ CEO Francesco Galli Zugaro.
While I treasured piranha fishing and caiman spotting, visiting the village children with their songs and smiles, and listening to the clown frog serenade at dusk, my most namaste moments were spent marveling at the enormity of the Amazon River. It felt like looking through a magical kaleidoscope lens revealing a new crop of colors, ripe with vibrancy and clarity.
Next stop was Machu Picchu, where we got a once-in-a-lifetime chance to revel in its mystical energy and witness one of the most awe-inspiring archaeological wonders (and one of the New Seven Wonders) of the world. What better way to launch a life than creating memories at the Sun Dial and the Temple of the Sun? Intrepid hikers will love the four-day trek along the Inca Trail. However, we opted to stay at the foot of the mountain at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, an exclusive Inca retreat. Reminiscent of an Andean village, we loved every inch of its 12 acres, especially the abundant species of orchids, butterflies and birds.
The last stop on our Peruvian parade was in Puerto Maldonado to visit one of the last easily accessible virgin tropical rainforests. The rainforest lodge at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve pays homage to its home with its thatched roof cabanas and tree trunk boardwalks. Honeymooners can discover birds, mammals, reptiles and butterflies, canoe and canoodle in the steamy plant kingdom. Grooms can channel their inner Tarzan by swinging on a vine, while their brides enjoy spotting toucans high above in the tree canopy.
One of the other highlights of the trip was a brief stay at Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco’s first boutique hotel and Relais & Châteaux property. The 11-suite manor house is truly fit for an Inca king. You can even have a cocoa leaf reading.
My prophecy: If you want your heart to flutter like a butterfly, spread your wings, say “I do” and head to Peru!
Photos (in order of appearance:) Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo (1st, 2nd, 4th,), Aqua Expeditions (3rd), Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica (5th) and Inkaterra La Casona (6th, 7th).
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2014 issue. You can order a copy here.
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