Ollantaytambo, Peru

Las Qolqas

Price per night from$184.09

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD184.09), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Naturally con-tented

Setting

Mystic Andes Mountains

The African safari tents of Las Qolqas look just as at home in Peru’s Sacred Valley as on the savannah – chosen specifically by the eco-conscious team to not only blend with the soaring Andean backdrop, but to totally immerse guests within their garden-wrapped, mountain-cradled surroundings. Hummingbirds flit between the native flowers tents are named after, and condors nest on the cliff above the glass-topped wellness dome, where uplifting yoga classes help stretch out hike-weary muscles. Throw in an organic greenhouse restaurant and riverside spa, and for all in-tents and purposes you’ve struck Inca gold.

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Facilities

Photos Las Qolqas facilities

Need to know

Rooms

16 standalone tented lodges.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 1pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £158.77 ($202), including tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include a breakfast spread of seasonal, home-grown produce from the organic gardens (freshly-made fruit bowls, juices and jams), plus à la carte options like Peruvian pancakes and eggs. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.

Also

Many of the tents have ramp access and no-step showers, plus extra-wide clearance on the lodge doors for wheelchair-users.

Hotel closed

The property is open between 1 March and 31 January each year, closing for annual maintenance during February.

At the hotel

Botanical gardens, organic vegetable garden, fire pit, sauna, outdoor onsen, geodesic wellness dome, lounge, boutique, charged laundry service, and free WiFi. In rooms: private terrace, wood-burning stove (in twin and family tents), electric heater, minibar stocked with organic, local produce, herbal tea-making kit, flashlight, and eco-friendly Anyah bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Each tented lodge is surrounded by a different type of native flower, which gives your room its name (and unique aroma). As the sacred flower of the Incas and national plant of Peru, the cantuta-covered lodge is a strong choice if you’re visiting during spring (September to November), when its bright pink flowers are in bloom. There’s an African safari-style feel to every lodge, but especially in the upper bedroom of the Group Tents where you can sleep directly beneath the canvas.

Spa

Drawing on ancient healing rituals of Andean medicine, the tented spa (open daily between 10am and 6.30pm) at Las Qolqas stands on the banks of Patacancha River – which means the Peruvian-inspired treatments are set to the soothing soundtrack of running water. This riverside setting has inspired the 60-minute hydrotherapy circuit, starting in the barrel sauna, followed by a mineral-rich soak in the outdoor onsen, before a refreshing cleanse in the wood-panelled Spanish shower (with overhead mountain views). The massage menu is extensive, varying from Shiatsu and Thai techniques to hot stones – and the list of Andean beauty and hydration treatments is equally impressive. Local, all-natural ingredients like Maras salt, quinoa powder, honey, Quillabamba coffee beans, and coca leaves form the base of medicinal pastes, body wraps, and exfoliating scrubs – which will give your skin an Incan-descent glow. Yoga and meditation classes take place in the sustainably-constructed, glass-roof geodesic dome, which is flooded with natural light (or twinkling stars by night). The majestic Apu Pututuyuc rises 800 meters above the dome, a rugged cliff which is home to nesting condors that swoop above your wellness sessions – and the mountain air is filled with sweet scents of chamomile, Andean mint, and rosemary from the surrounding aromatic gardens and fruit orchards.

Packing tips

Focus more on your footwear for this trip – trekking boots should be sturdy yet lightweight, and ideally waterproof. You’ll also want to save some space in your suitcase for some handwoven textiles made by local Patacancha artisans, available to purchase from the hotel’s boutique.

Also

With all the Andean hiking, your step count will be through the roof here. Soothe weary muscles with a post-trek foot reflexology session from the comfort of your tent’s private terrace.

Children

The two-bedroom Family Tents are ideal if you’re traveling with little ones; larger families can spread out across two floors in the Group Tents which sleep up to eight.

Sustainability efforts

A stalwart protector of its Sacred Valley setting, Las Qolqas Eco Lodge keeps the environment and local community in mind at every mountain-backed turn. The safari-style tents are thermally efficient, make use of solar-powered lighting and recycled water, are stocked with eco-friendly amenities, and sit within botanical gardens planted with native flowers. The property is strictly plastic-free, and has adopted a zero-mile approach for its restaurant, bar and spa – growing a variety of seasonal, organic produce in the on-site orchards and vegetable garden (from which guests can gather ingredients for their meals). The grounds are carefully tended and irrigated with recycled wastewater (treated with bio-digesters), and the compost is monitored on a weekly basis by the resort’s biologist. Las Qolqas extends a helping hand to neighboring villages through its non-profit association, which includes running various educational programs with local schools, Queñuas tree-planting and reforestation projects, and supporting the maintenance of Ollantaytambo’s archaeological sites and Inca terraces, trails and walls along the Patacancha River.

Food and Drink

Photos Las Qolqas food and drink

Top Table

The outdoor picnic-style tables and circular benches give you a three-sixty view of the surrounding mountains.

Dress Code

Something down-to-earth (because you might be picking your way through the gardens beforehand).

Hotel restaurant

The greenhouse backdrop of Pututu restaurant (named after the Inca conch shell which sounded the sacred call to Pachamama, or ‘Mother Earth’) sets the tone for the organic, homegrown dishes picked and prepared by chef Linder Padilla and his team – with some help from the diners, who are invited to gather produce from the hotel gardens and within the greenhouse itself for their own earth-to-table plates. Garden-grown ingredients are topped up with fresh finds from local markets, resulting in a wholesome, seasonally-changing menu. Think pink trout ceviche tossed in lime juice, chili, cilantro, and toasted Andean corn kernels, and signature desserts like the aguaymanto cheesecake (a fruity, creamy treat flavored with golden gooseberries).

Hotel bar

The wood-panelled Pututu bar (open daily between 7am and 10pm) is exclusively stocked with Peruvian spirits, specializing in punchy local flavors. Pisco and aguaymanto sours (sprinkled with Las Qolqas’ flowers), chilled olluco wine, locally brewed beers and herbal teas all feature on the Urubamba-focused menu – and there’s a daily happy hour from 5pm to 7pm.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7am until 10am; for lunch, it's 12.30pm until 3.30pm; rock up for dinner from 6.30pm until 9.30pm.

Room service

Garden-to-tent dishes can be delivered to your lodge between 7am and 9pm.

Location

Photos Las Qolqas location
Address
Las Qolqas
Las Qolqas Eco-resort Km 2 Carretera a Willoq Valle del Rio Patacancha
Ollantaytambo
08676
Peru

Two kilometers east of Ollantaytambo in the Peruvian Andes, Las Qolqas lies at the heart of the Sacred Valley, midway between Machu Picchu and Cusco.

Planes

Alejandro Velasco Astete International is the closest airport (two hours’ drive from the hotel), which is mostly served by domestic flights, contrary to its name. International arrivals can land in Lima, then take a direct flight to Cusco (in under 90-minutes). The hotel is happy to help with airport transfers for $50 one-way (for up to six passengers).

Trains

The hotel offers a free shuttle service to Ollantaytambo train station (the closest hub to Machu Picchu and starting point of the Inca Trail). There are regular daily departures to Aguas Calientes from Ollantaytambo with both Inca Rail and Peru Rail (aka the Machu Picchu train).

Automobiles

Tourists are generally advised to avoid getting behind the wheel in Peru (private taxis with experienced local drivers tend to be the safest and most reliable option). If you do decide to brave the mountain roads, opt for a four-wheel drive and make use of the hotel’s secure parking (free of charge).

Worth getting out of bed for

The hotel’s outdoor onsen and wellness dome aside, soaking up Las Qolqas’ mystical setting mostly involves hiking and biking your way along rugged mountain trails. Half- and full-day treks to the Incan fortress of Pumamarca, the mystical Perolniyoc waterfall, Ollantaytambo’s Intipunku (‘sun gate’), and pink granite quarries of Cachiccata can be organised through the hotel (using their network of experienced local guides). Keen cyclists can book mountain-bike tours between Ollantaytambo (the 15th-century Inca fortress and archaeological center are worth stopping for) and the quaint town of Pacha, crossing the Inca bridge of Huayronccoyoqpampa over the Vilcanota river. Naturally, the spectacular Machu Picchu will be on your must-see list – the Unesco World Heritage Site can be visited in a day by train from the hotel. The lesser-known villages of Patacancha and Willoq are home to a colorful community of weavers, who still proudly wear their ancestral garb and are only too happy to share their ancient textile-making techniques with visitors. Ask the hotel about their freshly-prepared picnics, which can be provided on all tours and treks (the local team knows all the best stop-off points too).

Local restaurants

The organic Peruvian dishes prepared by Las Qolqas’ chefs are difficult to stray from, but if you’d like to head into Ollantaytambo for an evening we’d recommend Amanto - Cocina Sagrada. The setting is rustic but the menu is refined, serving up prettily presented plates of quinoa-crusted shrimp, alpaca carpaccio, and Andean potatoes stuffed with balsamic-drizzled avocado. Ranch-style Chuncho (which roughly translates as ‘wild’ in the Quechua language) has some outdoor seating overlooking the picturesque Plaza de Armas, and has a strong vegetarian focus – using ingredients grown from its own gardens. The pumpkin stew topped with Andean cheese is the perfect warmer on chilly Peruvian nights.

Local bars

The Peruvians take their cocktails seriously, particularly when it comes to the pisco sour (a zesty hit of lime juice, pisco brandy, egg white, and angostura bitters) and the chilcano (a fizzy take on the pisco with ginger ale). Watch the Machu Picchu trains pass by from your window seat at El Albergue (tucked beside Ollantaytambo’s station) as you sip your pisco sour – or try one of the Sacred Valley Brewery beers on tap.

Reviews

Photos Las Qolqas reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this mountain-cradled glamping lodge near Ollantaytambo and unpacked their Peruvian pottery and alpaca blankets, a full account of their back-to-nature break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Las Qolqas in Peru’s Sacred Valley…

From the moment the tented tops of Las Qolqas come into view, you’ll feel as though you’ve stumbled across a lost-to-time village. Don’t be deceived by the rustic exteriors though, these eco-friendly lodges are as up-to-date as any adventure traveler could wish for. Wood-burning stoves keep you toasty at night (with chunky alpaca blankets to bundle yourself up in should you wish to stargaze from your private terrace), and there’s plenty of wildlife-watching within the hotel’s grounds to be done by day. Pitched at Inca trail-hitting glampers, bucket-list-topping Machu Picchu is an easy day trip away; and closer still is its gate-keeper, Ollantaytambo, perched on pyramid-shaped agricultural terraces overlooking the Vilcanota River. 

Back at basecamp, Las Qolqas has thought of everything to keep hikers happy, healthy and organically fueled. Peruvian cooking classes take you on a journey of the senses, starting in the Ollantaytambo market where you can choose your ingredients from artisan stalls to be cooked up in the greenhouse restaurant and garnished from the garden. Post-trek rituals include healing Andean herbal baths, soaking beneath the stars in the riverside onsen (you can often see the Milky Way on clear nights), and music workshops with Tahuantinsuyu spiritual guides. If the stars are truly aligned for your visit (as in, you’ve booked during a special solstice), you’ll be invited to join shamanic rituals to thank La Pachamama (‘Mother Earth’) and have your fortune told during a coca-leaf reading. Whatever your future holds, a stay at Las Qolqas should be on your not-too-distant horizon.

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Price per night from $184.09