Green + Eco-Travel

World's Best Eco-Spas

by Madhu Puri

Machu Picchu, Peru

The spa: UNU Spa at Inkaterra

Green peace: Few places on earth are as spiritually whole as Machu Picchu—or as physically fragile. The Inca Trail is overtrodden, the Andean rain forests are being depleted, and more than 200 indigenous species are endangered. The UNU Spa at Inkaterra, an 85-room hotel a single day's hike from the ruins, addresses these earthly problems as it tends to its visitors' souls. The 12 forested acres play host to more than 160 species of birds, one of the world's most extensive collections of orchids, and all botanicals used for UNU's spa treatments. The spa is 100% carbon-neutral, meaning that all CO2 emissions it produces are offset by a combination of renewable energy—in this case, hydroelectricity—and reforestation projects that protect 30,000 acres of rain forest. The spa treatments draw on Andean ingredients and ideas: Soothe your feet after a long hike with a treatment of natural mint and mountain lemon. Or mellow out in a candlelit Andean sauna, a eucalyptus hut in which stones from local rivers are heated to produce steam. Also on the menu is face massage using serpentine, an Andean gemstone believed to help one retrieve ancient wisdom. Sure, it's a heady doctrine, but chances are, after arriving at the cloud forest, meandering through the wild orchids, and pondering the mysteries of the ancient Incas, things will start to all make sense.

Signature treatment: The two-hour Inka Purification uses the stimulating effects of the coca leaf (yes, that coca leaf) in the form of oils, masks, and creams to detoxify and improve blood circulation ($105).

Inkaterra Machu Picchu
Tel: 800 442 5042
Doubles from $274

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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