Group Incentive Travel: Cusco & Machu Picchu

Mike May

Just Back From … Cusco & Machu Picchu

It’s on everyone’s bucket list.  We recognize the picture immediately.  Then most of us struggle to remember the names.  Cusco & Machu Picchu.  They’re definitely unforgettable and bucket list worthy.

What intrigues me even now is that my trip occurred with international meeting planners from big incentive houses, like Maritz, and to hear how few had ever done an incentive travel program here.  It’s so popular with individual tourists, but few companies have hosted their club trips here.

Here’s my journal in pictures which speak for themselves with little commentary from me.

MACHU PICCHU

This is the bucket list stop for sure!

Machi Picchu - incentive travel bucket list - check!

Machi Picchu – incentive travel bucket list – check!

Machu Picchu aerial view


Machu Picchu aerial view!

HIRAM BINGHAM TRAIN

If you come this far, incentive groups must take this luxury train from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

Hiram Bingham train at station

Hiram Bingham train at station

Hiram Bingham train winding to Machu Picchu

Hiram Bingham train winding to Machu Picchu

Hiram Bingham dining - this is not your mama's train!

Hiram Bingham dining – this is not your mama’s train!

HOTEL – PALACIO NAZARENAS

This is the newest Peruvian hotel from the Orient Express family. It is sure to be on T+L and Conde Nast award list soon. It is one of my top 5 hotels ever!

Palacio Nazarenas Hotel

Palacio Nazarenas Hotel in Cusco – one of my top 5 hotels ever!

Palacio Nazarenas courtyard - a peaceful retreat

Palacio Nazarenas courtyard – a peaceful retreat

Palacio Nazarenas suite area

Palacio Nazarenas suite area

Palacio Nazarenas bedroom

Palacio Nazarenas bedroom – oxygen pumped in at 10,000 ft elevation

Palacio Nazarenas bathroom - luxury, luxury, luxury

Palacio Nazarenas bathroom – luxury, luxury, luxury

Palacio Nazarenas scented pillows

Palacio Nazarenas scented pillows

HOTEL – HOTEL MONASTERIO

This is the reigning champion of Cusco hotels in the Orient Express family. Nazarenas and Monasterio are next door to each other. You cannot miss with either. Nazarenas is newer and mostly suites. Monasterio is the long-time award winner.

Hotel Monasterio courtyard - Orient Express award winning hotel

Hotel Monasterio courtyard – Orient Express award winning hotel

Hotel Monasterio lobby

Hotel Monasterio lobby

HOTEL – JW MARRIOTT CUSCO

The upscale JW brand within the Marriott family will make Americans comfortable with this luxurious choice. It recently opened to rave reviews too. Fun facts: 6 years to build, $57M cost, building was a church convent, and highest elevation of any Marriott hotel! Personally, I prefer the more localized feel of the Orient Express hotels, but this is an incentive quality hotel and brings peace of mind to US incentive buyers.

SIGHTS OF CUSCO

Cusco locals - tourist photo opp

Cusco locals – tourist photo opp

Cusco young boys - Peruvian children have the sweetest faces

Cusco young boys – Peruvian children have the sweetest faces

Llamas or alpacas? I'm still confused on which has the long neck!

Llamas or alpacas? I’m still confused on which has the long neck!

Cusco city square - life moves a little slower

Cusco city square – life moves a little slower

Cusco Cathedral back view

Cusco Cathedral back view

Mike May

Author Mike May

President | Author of 12.5 Steps to a Perfect Incentive Program and recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Incentive Industry. Expertise: bucket-list incentive trips, motivational incentive program design, matching event goals with the perfect destination & hotel, cost savings strategies, global channel reward programs, and targeted communications.

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  • […] In December, the 12th Annual Leadership Summit gathered international meeting planners at The Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center, which opened in 2011 as the first Westin hotel in South America.  Meeting and incentive planners sampled Lima to expand our knowledge.  In summary, I’d say Lima and The Westin offer wonderful options for business meetings and international conferences.  For incentive travel programs, I recommend only 1 or 2 nights in Lima before taking incentive groups over to the bucket list destinations of Cusco and Machu Picchu (see other blog entry). […]

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