Indulge in Incan-Inspired Spa Treatments Among the Majestic Backdrops of Peru
Peru’s majestic 16th-century Inca ruins are a reminder of the mystic civilization that once ruled over the rugged Andean peaks and lush Sacred Valley for centuries. Once the Spanish conquered South America, that civilization all but disappeared. Inca traditions, however, can still be found woven into aspects of Peruvian life, including the country’s most luxurious spa treatments.
The Andean Stone Massage at Aqlla Spa, Machu Picchu Town
Aqlla is the ancient Incan word for “the chosen one.” Located inside Sumaq, Machu Picchu Town’s only five-star hotel, the spa features natural woods, ancestral Andean instrumental music and oils, creams, and scrubs prepared with traditional Andean ingredients.
The 60-minute Andean Stone Massage provides a deep massage that soothes sore muscles, realigning inter-cellular activity and creating deep levels of relaxation—perfect for those who just spent the day hiking Machu Picchu. Stones polished by nearby running rivers are heated with eucalyptus leaves and a pinch of salt. They are then covered with oils made with natural local herbs such as verbena, muna and coca leaves and are used to massage the whole body. Emerge with a sense of blissful renewal and the spirit of the Ancient Inca.
The Pacha Mama at the Inca Spa
Located along Cusco’s busy Avenida de Sol, this Inca Spa feels like it is a world away. Built with large boulders indicative of the famous Inca stone work at Machu Picchu, the spa feels like stepping into an Incan Temple. Treatments focus on renewing inner energy, an important component of Inca ideology.
The Pacha Mama treatment combines spiritual ritual with relaxation. Pacha Mama, or Mother Earth, was a key figure in Incan spiritual life as she controlled fertility, harvest and nature. The Incas paid homage to her with sacrifices and offerings. Guests start this treatment by choosing between coca leaves, corn and cacao beans— each representing different aspects of life such as money, happiness and love— to be placed in a pot and “offered” to Pacha Mama. Staff members bury the pot of offerings each August during Mother Earth month.
The experience then moves into a 90-minute treatment designed to leave guests in harmony with nature, through a body scrub and a full body massage combining different sliding and energizing percussion techniques.
The Magnificent Festival at the JW Marriott Cusco
Built on top of an ancient Incan Ruin, the Spa at the JW Marriott honors the region’s ancient culture by offering services based on the Incan calendar’s magical rituals. Capac Raymi, a renewal festival celebrating the sun in the first month of the Inca calendar, was one of the most celebrated festivals in Incan times. The JW Marriott recreated that sense of renewal with its five-hour Magnificent Festival.
The day starts with a diamond dust body scrub that removes dead skin, revealing smooth and healthy glowing skin. The scrub also prepares the skin to be enveloped in their signature gold wrap. Body and soul will be balanced with a deeply relaxing massage before the day ends with a pampering manicure and pedicure. Energies are balanced, inner peace is restored and one leaves feeling as adored as the ancient god Viracocha.
The Chocolate Scrub & Wrap at Zest Spa at Belmont
Cacao, which translates into “food of the gods,” was used in the region for more than 2,500 years. The Incas believed cacao was a source of power and used it for medicinal purposes, including alleviating fever, anemia, poor appetite and mental fatigue.
The Zest Spa at Lima’s Belmont Hotel offers a wide variety of spa treatments using indigenous products from Peru and the Amazon, including the Chocolate Scrub and Wrap. The service begins with an intense cocoa exfoliation that eliminates the skin of impurities. Then, a creamy chocolate body wrap moisturizes and tones the fresh skin. It is the perfect combination of relaxation and rejuvenation for those jet-lagged from a long flight or tired after a long day of sightseeing in Lima.