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JW Marriott El Convento Cusco’s chef Thais Rodriguez takes guests on a tour through the local San Pedro Market.
JW Marriott El Convento Cusco’s chef Thais Rodriguez takes guests on a tour through the local San Pedro Market.

Peru’s history is alive and well throughout the Land of the Incas. Yet the best of Peru isn’t just in its past—modern Incas are celebrating their proud heritage at the Inti Raymi Festival in Cusco; one hotel’s executive chef is putting a modern twist on traditional Andean cuisine; and a new bed and breakfast found inspiration for its design in Andean folk art.

Feed Your Wonder-Lust
Help your clients feed their passion for adventure with JW Marriott El Convento Cusco’s Feed Your Wonder-Lust package, featuring a full-day excursion to Machu Picchu (including roundtrip train tickets via Peru Rail Expedition), a full-day excursion to Maras and Moray, including horseback riding and snacks, lunch at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, and a decadent 6-course chef’s tasting dinner for two at the hotel’s top-rated Pirqa Restaurant led by chef Thais Rodriguez.

Chef Rodriguez also leads a 5-course interactive cooking lesson that begins with a tour through the local San Pedro Market. Here guests are introduced to the purveyors from whom chef Rodriguez sources her fruits, vegetables and other goods. After walking the market and sampling ingredients that range from cherimoya (a fruit) to queso andino (Andean cheese), with coffee and quinoa along the way, guests are taken back to the kitchen for their lesson.

Package starts at $2,725 for a 3-night stay when using the promo code ES7. JW Marriott El Convento Cusco’s Feed Your Wonder-Lust package must be booked at least seven days in advance and is valid for booking and travel through April 30, 2017. For more information, visit jwmarriottcusco.com.

El Retablo Bed & Breakfast in Cusco.
El Retablo Bed & Breakfast in Cusco.

Cusco’s New B&B
On Dec. 15, the boutique El Retablo Bed & Breakfast property made its soft opening debut in Cusco, Peru, three blocks away from the Plaza de Armas (Main Square). Taking inspiration from retablos (Andean folk art with three-dimensional figurines in vibrantly colored portable boxes), El Retablo features interior spaces hand-painted with intricate details by artisans of the Fine Arts School of Cusco.

The hotel’s 17 guestrooms are spread over two stories and include 10 Superior and seven Superior Deluxe rooms, each with its own distinct design. Amenities include handwoven tapestries and luxury bed linens. In addition to offering a garden patio on the second floor for guests, El Retablo features a spacious ground floor garden patio and an adjacent lounge decorated with flowers, where a traditional breakfast is served daily. Rates start at $139 per night for a Superior room. For more information, visit elretablo.com.

A woman serving food at the Inti Raymi Festival in Cusco. 
A woman serving food at the Inti Raymi Festival in Cusco.

A Glimpse Into Ancient Inca Life
Tour operator Peregrine Adventures has introduced seven new Limited Edition itineraries to connect travelers with some of the most unique festivals and events happening around the world in 2017. Among the new tours is the 21-day Peru Inti Raymi Festival itinerary, departing June 6, 2017. This tour takes guests from the capital’s thriving food scene to the wildlife-filled Ballestas Island, in addition to giving them a rare glimpse into ancient Inca life through the Inti Raymi, one of the most significant festivals of the Inca calendar. Additional highlights of the tour include two visits to Machu Picchu and a fly over of the mysterious Nazca Lines geoglyphs.

“Peregrine prides itself on enabling travelers to see lesser-known parts of the world,” said Leigh Barnes, regional director, Peregrine Adventures North America, in press materials. “These new itineraries allow travelers to mark and revel in events important to the local people.”

Rates start at $3,665 pp, and include accommodations, in-country transport, meals and activities. For more information, visit peregrineadventures.com.