Still awe-struck from our journey to Machu Picchu, but admittedly a bit tired from the day’s hike and evening of merriment on the Hiram Bingham train, we were grateful to have the chance to spend one more night in Cusco at Belmond Hotel Monasterio. The historic property stands on the original site of Incan Queen Amaru Qhala’s palace and is a former monastery and national monument dating from 1592. As we stood in the lobby to check in, we could easily imagine the monks chanting songs while moving through the stone halls.
On the way to our room we caught sight of the centerpiece of the hotel – a beautiful cloistered courtyard, featuring a tranquil fountain and 300-year-old cedar tree. We also noticed that Hotel Monasterio hosts a live opera night featuring Cusco’s best tenor and soprano in their restaurant, El Tupay, and we were going to miss it by a day! It would have been the perfect occasion to wear the black tie attire we have been carrying around the world. (Yes, we’ve been traveling with black tie in our luggage!) The thought of rest and recovery was top in our minds though, and we were grateful to reach our room.
On the train-ride back to Cusco from Machu Picchu, David and I realized we hadn’t chosen a souvenir yet to bring home with us from our trip to Peru. We are trying to pick up a keepsake from every country on our trip, similar to the collection Doris Duke brought back from her year-long around-the-world honeymoon. During our dinner, we agreed that both of us still had our minds on a beautiful baby alpaca throw we had seen in Cusco. To our sadness, we discovered that the store would close an hour before we arrived back in town. We decided to call the hotel to see if they could help. The staff at Hotel Monasterio couldn’t have been more helpful. They sent someone to the store we had visited who picked up the blanket, and it was waiting for us when we arrived at the hotel.
In the morning we rose early for breakfast in the courtyard and a quick tour of the hotel’s extensive Medieval Art collection before taking one last walk around town and heading to the airport. Our 7 day journey through Peru was definitely the trip of a lifetime and one we will never forget!
Be sure to check out the full series of posts from Peru here: Lima, Cusco, The Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. You can also subscribe here to receive updates from our year-long around-the-world trip!
Thank you Belmond Hotel Monasterio for a wonderful last night in Peru!
Photos by David and Stacie Flinner for stacieflinner.com