FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Sacred Valley

by Tim Leffel

Jan 9, 2020

Saqsaywaman, a citadel on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco
PHOTO: © LUCA ROGGERO – DREAMSTIME.COM

January 2020

WHEN FRANCISCO PIZARRO and his 167 men defeated the Incas with guns, steel and horses in the 1500s, they conquered a short-lived but extensive empire. The Inca god-king ruled an area that stretched from Quito to Santiago.

The Spanish repurposed many of the Inca buildings in Cusco, but the original handiwork endures in the giant cut stones that fit perfectly together. Some luxury hotels, such as Palacio del Inka and JW Marriott El Convento, contain original stone walls dating back to when the New World was still untouched by Europeans.

One of the most important battles between the Spanish and the Incas happened at Saqsaywaman fortress, just a short taxi ride from Cusco. Many local residents still consider the immense structure a sacred site, and it hosts the grand Inti Raymi festival each June.

The Sacred Valley of Peru is home to many other Inca fortresses, temple sites and citadels. The most famous — Machu Picchu — lies at the end of the valley, but many others appear on daytrip itineraries. Those in a hurry may visit Pisac, Chinchero, Moray and Ollantaytambo in one loop. It’s also possible to get to Machu Picchu and back in one day on the Belmond Hiram Bingham Express train from outside of CuThesco, but what’s the rush? The experience proves much more magical if you stay in the Sacred Valley instead, making it possible to mix visits to the monuments with a deeper dive into the local culture and the Andes Mountains.

Hundreds of tour companies run the standard four-day Inca Trail trek, but a more luxurious option — with real beds instead of tent camping — involves taking the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu with Mountain Lodges of Peru. You stay in small hotels along the route and can enjoy a hot shower each night. The company also runs a Lares Adventure trip along the Weavers’ Route in the mountains. Travelers pass through Andean villages, see high mountain lagoons and visit Inca ruins like Ankasmarca, where they may be the only people there. The tour includes a trek to the ruins and terraces of Pisac on foot from the opposite direction of the tour buses. It visits Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu on the last two days.

Another immersion option allows for a stay at the Explora Valle Sagrado lodge in the Sacred Valley and use of it as a base. Its all-inclusive packages offer a selection of 30 active tours, including visits to Machu Picchu, Chinchero, the terraces of Moray and Ollantaytambo. Top-notch guides lead hiking and biking trips, and a comfortable lodge, a spa and an open bar wait at the end of the day.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Sep 27, 2022

Where to Go in 2023: Domestic

It’s never too early to plan that next big trip. Look ahead to 2023 with travel inspiration from these domestic destinations.

8 Reasons to Press the Green Button and Visit Ireland

Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.

Daily
Sep 27, 2022

Ocean Prime Las Vegas to Open Spring 2023

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants' Ocean Prime brand plans to open its first Las Vegas restaurant, and 18th location, in 2023 as the anchor restaurant within 63, a new, multilevel retail and hospitality complex. CMR plans to invest nearly $20 million into Ocean Prime’s new flagship location, centered at the bustling and iconic corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue.

Daily
Sep 27, 2022

Six Senses Zighy Bay Offers Overnight Private Musandam Voyages

Six Senses Zighy Bay sets sail for its latest out-of-the-ordinary experience. The newly refurbished Dhahab, meaning gold in Arabic, offers one- or two-night voyages for the ultimate sea-hotel adventure.

Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Hotels Answer the Call for Business Travelers Seeking Flexibility

As the travel industry finds itself in the midst of the first peak travel season since the beginning of the pandemic, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts commissioned a survey of more than 1,200 U.S. consumers to learn more about business travel habits, learning 65 percent of Millennials, aged 25–44 years old, and 59 percent of Gen Z, ages 18–24 years old, prefer to work for a company offering frequent travel or flexible blended travel as a perk. Blended travel is the combination of business travel with leisure travel.

Slideshow
Sep 26, 2022

6 Reasons to Put Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Minneapolis, Minnesota, with us.

Daily
Sep 22, 2022

Harbor Club St. Lucia Announces Partnership with Isiah Thomas, Cheurlin Champagne

Harbor Club St. Lucia Curio Collection by Hilton announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with luxury celebrity Champagne brand Cheurlin Champagne. Created by NBA star Isiah Thomas and winemaker Thomas Cheurlin, this Champagne hails from the Aube region of Champagne, France. Here, the Cheurlin family creates some of the best low-sugar Champagnes in the world.

Alaskan Wild Wonders by Celebrity Cruises

Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.

Daily
Sep 22, 2022

Tea Experiences in Shizuoka, Japan

Fragrant, soothing and filled with powerful antioxidants, tea is second only to water on the list of beverages consumed around the planet. If your vision of the perfect tea experience includes Japan as a setting, consider visiting the historic tea production region of Shizuoka. Yielding more than a third of all Japan’s tea, Shizuoka lies southwest of Tokyo and east of Nagoya (about an hour by train from either city).