Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

MAR-APR 2013

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More than Machu Picchu Each of the 21 suites and two villas spread over 2.5 lushly landscaped acres at Hotel Rio Sagrado by Orient Express are oriented to overlook the Urubamba River. style dinner with heavy American influence orchestrated by chef Rafael Piqueras. The sound of the river rushing over the boulders just outside our window provided a wonderful soundtrack for a peaceful night���s sleep. We���d turned in our bus tickets to Machu Picchu the night before and two staf members from Hotel Sumaq waited in line for us at the bus stop at 5:30am so we wouldn���t have to. An hour later, the bus stopped in front of the hotel, the staf members hopped of, and we took their seats. Among the frst to arrive, we headed to the trailhead for Wayna Picchu ��� the prominent peak seen behind the ruins in most photographs. Planning ahead for this experience is essential as only 400 people are given tickets to attempt the ascent each day. Dually strenuous and exhilarating, hiking shoes and stamina are a must, but the bird���s eye view of the ruins and the chance to stand at the edge of a several thousand foot drop, are well worth it. After summiting and catching your breath, I���d advise taking the much less traveled trail to the Temple of the Moon, located a few thousand feet below the peak, where a ceremonial shrine with niches, purportedly used to hold mummies, has been built into a large cavern. Following the return train to Ollantaytambo, we bedded down at Hotel Rio Sagrado by Orient Express. Ideally located 44 between Cusco and Machu Picchu, each of the 21 suites and two villas, spread over 2.5 lushly landscaped acres, have riverfront views of the mighty Urubamba. The property���s riverfront orientation makes it appear rather non-descript from the street side, especially for those arriving after dark, as we did. Rooms are best described as rustic contemporary, pared down to white walls with vaulted lashed-beam ceilings. An orange velvet upholstered headboard and local textile bedspread enlivened the d��cor. Doors led to a private terrace. Te chic bath included a two-person rain shower with a rear glass wall to savor the river and mountain views. Recycling bins and toiletries, in large bottles, help reduce and reuse waste. We rewarded ourselves for another day of hiking by seizing on a last minute cancellation and indulging in a couples massage at Mayu Wilka, the onsite spa. Relaxed and hungry we took a short walk along a Jasmine-scented walkway to El Huerto, the hotel restaurant. Tis area of the country is known for a wide variety of high-altitude potatoes of all shapes and sizes as well as 40 diferent kinds of corn, and a variety of indigenous ingredients, including four local trout options, played heavily into the menu. Since we���d arrived at night, the next morning we were awed by the sunrise view of the river and mountains, whose scrubby brown/green vegetation were in stark contrast to the

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