Sacred Valley Sky Lodge

As I gear up for my next trip, I am guiltily reminded of just how much I dropped the ball in blogging about Peru. Like always, I took hundreds of photos and constantly jotted down interesting things, people and memories...but then I came home, got back to the daily grind, and that motivation to share and reflect evaporated. But this particular part of the trip was so extraordinary that it is worth posting about, even months after the fact.

Run by mountaineers, Sacred Valley Sky Lodge is dedicated to providing unique excursions. Ours began by getting picked up from our hotel in Cuzco and driven a couple hours away to the base of a formidable rock face. Standing at the base and squinting upward, we could barely make out our accommodation for the night - pods (think the fanciest, most tricked out portaledge you can imagine) anchored by cables some 500 meters above.

Donning harnesses, helmets and gloves, we began climbing via ferrata (i.e. hooked onto a metal cable and gripping what are essentially large metal staples stuck into the rock). We reached the pods just as the sun was setting, and settled in while we waited for the guides to return with dinner. In the meantime we marveled at the panoramic views of the valley and the amenities - ridiculously comfortable bunks, purified water, an eco-friendly toilet. 

Over the course of the next forty-five minutes, our guides came in and out to serve us a multi-course - hot! - meal for which they'd partnered with a local restaurant. Dinner included pumpkin soup with various condiments, quinoa with chicken and roasted tomato, salad, and a brownie with passionfruit sauce and pomegranate seeds. Drink pairings were passionfruit juice and red wine. Oh, and we had real silverware and glasses. Elated, but tired, we slept well that night.

In the morning we had breakfast at a makeshift table erected on a platform resting on top of an adjacent pod before getting ready to head down - this time by zip line. It was my first time doing so, and quite possibly the closest I'll ever get to flying.

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Via ferrata.

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Our pod.

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Zip lining down.

See more photos here.