If you like being one with the outdoors, this is the place for you. I want to mention first an important detail...currently the lodge doesnt take credit cards so make sure to bring enough cash. There are no ATMs in Santa Teresa and there is a money exchange but the rate isn't very good. So come prepared. Ok, about the lodge...
The lodge is located at the edge of town up on on the hill so it has great views of the mountains, eucalyptus tree groves and the river. The sign from the street doesn't do it justice...don't judge it until you get up the stairs. When you get upstairs it feels like you are in a treehouse. You enter into the open lounge area where they have plenty of seating and hammocks for you to relax in (make sure to bring a good book). There is no glass in any of the windows in the lodge so you are connected with nature. The gardens and plantings around the lodge grounds are beautiful and have a tropical feel. Our room was simple and rustic but pleasant. We had a big open window view of the trees and river, and a mosquito net over the bed for protection. It was nice falling asleep to the sound of the river each night. There are 2 shared outdoor toilets (enclosed outhouses w/ toilets), an outdoor enclosed shower (cold water) and an outdoor sink w/ mirror just outside the rooms. Bring a flashlight with you because while there are lights inside the bathrooms, you could use a little light getting there. I enjoyed brushing my teeth and washing my face in the morning while watching the birds in the trees by the sink. You can take a 10 min walk to the town center to the Plaza de Armas, where you will find restaurants and some shops. There isnt much to the town of Santa Teresa, but we appreciated it for what it was. Its a slow, quiet place where you can take in the local culture away from the tourist choas of Machu Picchu or Cusco. Take the opportunity of being here to relax, slow down and soak in the culture. You can grab a taxi to the hot springs from Plaza de Armas, or you can walk, but it's a bit of a hump on a dirt & rock road and can feel long in the heat of the day. The hot springs are beautiful and worth going to. You can sign up for dinner at the lodge and Janet will make you a delicious home cooked meal. They set the tables in the lounge with linens, candles and wine glasses. The menu is listed on the blackboard above the kitchen each day. We had delicious quinoa soup (both nights but it was a different kind each night), chicken stroganoff with potatoes, peppers and veggies and trout with potatoes and veggies, and chocolate banana freeze, and rice pudding. Everything was delicious and homemade. Breakfast was included and made to order. Coffee, fresh passion fruit juice, toast & jam and your choice of eggs or "pancakes" (crepe with chocolate sauce). The second day we went on a coffee tour with Kikae and it was one of the most memorable days of our trip. We drove about 30 min up the mountain to an entrance to the original (unrestored) Inca trail. Kikae has been a guide in Peru for 16 years and still does treks along the Inca trail, so he is super knowledgeable about the history and plants along the way. We walked along the trail for about 30 min, as Kikae pointed out plants and animals. We got to the farm and got to meet the farmer and his wife, pick coffee cherries, mill it, see it roasted, ground and then got to drink it. It was such a unique and memorable experience. On the drive back to the lodge, Kikae took us by a beautiful huge waterfall. Kikae also told us about all the sustainability efforts they are leading, through example and education, at the lodge and within the community of Santa Teresa. We were really impressed and happy that we were supporting people that are trying to do such good things for the enviroment and their community. Overall, the two days we spent here were some of the greatest memories we made on our trip. My advice to future guests would be to 1) do your research and decide if a nature focused/outdoor feeling Eco lodge and small/quiet Peruvian town is what you are looking for in your stay and 2) embrace this environment and be open to new experiences...you never know what will come your way and you may be pleasantly surprised.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the high jungle, it offers a lovely and tranquil getaway. Like a jungle lodge in the Amazon, some windows are open to nature so that you feel like you're part of it all (beds have mosquito netting). There's just something about this place that makes my stress melt away as soon as I arrive. Let me stretch out in a hammock with a good book and one of their awesome pisco sours and I can spends days at a time here, forgetting the outside world even exists. The entire lodge uses natural materials, including wood, rock, and bamboo, and its newest rooms feature private bathrooms. Ever dreamed of living in a grown-up's treehouse? This is that dream come true. The owners and staff couldn't be friendlier and are genuinely interested in ensuring that you have everything you need and are having the best time possible. Make your reservation includes dinner as these are bound to be some of the tastiest that you will have in Peru-lunch can also be added and breakfast is always included. Massages can be booked with advance notice and an outdoor Jacuzzi is currently in the works. The nearby Colcamayo hot springs are actually much nicer as well as hotter than those in Aguas Calientes, the town right below Machu Picchu, despite it being named after the springs. You are much better off getting your fill of the soothing waters here. Other outings that can be arranged through the lodge are zip-lining, a tour of a coffee plantation, and a hike to Llactapata, an Inca site from which you may catch a glimpse of Machu Picchu. If you're a coffee lover, the coffee plantation tour is highly recommended, mostly so that you can buy one of the world's best coffees, organic and grown here in the high jungle. To get here does require a bit of planning but don't let that keep you away. If it was any easier, there would be hordes and then you wouldn't want to go! Basically, you can either take the train or a bus. To take the train, you will need to get a ticket first to Aguas Calientes and from there to Hidroelectrica. At this point, you cannot buy tickets for the second leg until you get to Aguas Calientes so, if you are coming direct from Cusco or the Sacred Valley (recommended) be prepared to get off and have a cup of coffee until your next train leaves. From Ollantaytambo, the trip to Aguas Calientes takes about 1.5 hours and from Aguas to Hidroelectrica, about 30 minutes. The downside to taking the train is that it can be expensive and there are only a few trains per day between Aguas Calientes and Hidroelectrica. For this reason, you can't just go from the lodge to Machu Picchu and back in one day. On the other hand, if you're up for a hike, it's about a two-hour walk from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes and it's a flat, easy trip. Taking the bus from Cusco is infinitely cheaper but will require a bit more investment in time. You will take the bus to Quillabamba but get off at Santa Maria. From there, you can get a shared car to Hidroelectrica and get off at the EcoQuechua Lodge. The entire trip will take between six and seven hours. Spend a couple of nights at the lodge, walk to Aguas Calientes, spend a night there, and then visit Machu Picchu first thing the next morning. You can then do the trip in reverse or take the train back. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Eco Quechua Lodge Peru/Santa Teresa