Rainbow Tours’ Latin America Product Manager, Amanda Sweeney, is a self-confessed mountain girl at heart and always seems to be off searching for new adventures. On her recent trip to Peru she scales mountainous rock faces to reach the vertigo-inducing Skylodge Adventure Suites – transparent pods perched 400 metres high above the floor of the Sacred Valley.
When I first found out about this new hotel experience my mind was whirling with questions and I just knew I had to try it out. So I set off for Peru and made my way to Cuzco, not far from the Sacred Valley Pods. As I descended in altitude from the chaotic city of Cuzco, the landscapes began to turn green and lush. Here, the valley floor is flanked by mountains and sheer rock face waits to be explored.
The Sacred Valley Pod staff know that the best way to explore them, is to don a harness and clamber up the valley walls yourself. Safety is paramount and as the experienced rock-climbing and mountain guides ran though some key tips as they attached my safety ropes and harness.
The pods are accessed by ‘Via Ferrata’: a unique way for non-experienced rock climbers to have fun and get the adrenaline pumping. A series of ladders and strategically placed handles help you scale the rock face. You then reach the hanging bridge, hovering over the rock below, I breathed deep and stepped out. Slow and steady does it.
Though I found it challenging at times, I never felt unsafe as I could see that I was securely attached to the metal safety cables.
The further you climb up the valley wall, the more spectacular the views become. Finally, you’re able to spot the pods twinkling in the sunlight, clinging to the rock face. It’s hard to believe you can spend the night up here.
You access the bedroom via a hatch on the pod roof and only when safely inside can you detach yourself from the metal cables. A breath taking panoramic awaits you, unfurling out in every direction. As the sun sets behind the majestic Andes Mountains, guests are able to watch the sky change colours from their bed or visit to the bathroom for a guaranteed ‘loo with a view’.
Sadly, I didn’t have time on my hectic trip to spend the night so, with my harness safely attached once again to the metal cables, it was time to return solid ground with the help of a series of zip lines. Speeding through the valley – one of the most gorgeous destinations in Peru – is simply amazing and should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list. You can’t beat the feeling of the cool mountain air against your skin as your heart hammers against your chest.
Follow in Amanda’s footsteps on our brand new 10-day Ultimate Peru Adventure tour, where you’ll spend one night in the Sacred Valley’s most exclusive accommodation. Due to the remote location we recommend just one night in the Skylodge Adventure Suite, so this tour also includes white water rafting and the opportunity to paraglide or quad bike before visiting Machu Picchu.