No picture of Machu Picchu can prepare you for seeing it with your own eyes. Perched high in the Andes, it is one of few places in the world that can be described as truly unmissable. It’s on everyone’s travel wish list, attracting a million visitors each year. But there’s only one way to see it in style: by staying at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.

WHEN WE SAY we’re one of a kind, we mean it. Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel that sits at the entrance of the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. For years we have been the unofficial gateway to the Inca world, inviting our guests to explore with unrivalled access and expert guidance.

While most visitors to the citadel endure a winding bus ride from Aguas Calientes, our snug retreat is a few footsteps away. Wake before sunrise and be the first through the gates. The mountains look magnificent emerging from a thick cloak of mist, and Machu Picchu is stunning in solitude.

Stop, breathe and soak it all in; once-in-a-lifetime experiences like this deserve to be savored.

By mid-morning, when the path in front of the hotel is well travelled by visitors, our lodge reveals itself as an oasis of calm. Butterflies lift into the gentle breeze and hummingbirds provide flashes of dazzling colour. Indulge in a massage rooted in Incan techniques. Unwind with a yoga lesson or take a quiet moment to meditate in our garden, facing Huayna Picchu.

Want to delve deeper into Peru’s indigenous culture? Let a shaman guide you through a Pachamama ceremony. You’ll offer decorative gifts up to Mother Earth in return for blessings of health and prosperity. Couples may prefer to renew their wedding vows Andean style, looking out towards the mythical mountains. Or, head to our Tampu Bar for medicinal muña tea. The Andean herb has been soothing for centuries—sink into an armchair and unwind with a cup.

Come evening, Tampu Bar is alive with talk of pisco. Victor and Diego are a knowledgeable and entertaining double team. Learn the history of liquor, taste different infusions, or kick back with a pisco sour by the fire. The restaurant is a delicious exploration of Peruvian flavours—don’t miss the suckling pig macerated in corn beer.

Sitting in the shadows of the Lost City, our lodge is the perfect introduction into this remarkable part of the world. With Machu Picchu never more than a few steps away, tranquility, wonder and beauty are at the heart of our unique experience.

Explore Belmond Sanctuary Lodge