About 40 km inland from the Pan American highway sits the pleasant valley town of Lunahuaná. Although small, the town has quite a bit to offer in the way of outdoor activities. Good kayaking can be had upriver on the Rio Grande.
Rafting is excellent as well, levels being at 4-5 November to April, 1-2 May to October (T 946-8309, $55). In February the town holds an extreme sports festival. The town is also a good base to arrange a trip to the rarely visited ruins of Incawasi, 8 km west, and Ungara, near Cañete.
Several bodegas sit in the valley including Bodega la Reyna de Lunahuaná that also produces pisco and welcomes visitors (T 449-6433). Visit Lunahuaná’s pleasant Plaza de Armas where stands from area bodegas give free tastings and sell bottles of their pisco.
Where to Stay in Lunahuaná
Villa Sol: The 93 room hotel Villa Sol is the largest hotel in the area. Full service with a pool.
Los Palomos: With 150 meters of terraces overlooking the Rio Canete, the 20 room, white hotel with a large pool is a nice option for those looking to stay close to town.
Refugio Viñak: Though it sits more than 100 kilometers into the Andes past Lunahuaná Refugio Viñakis the reason many are heading in this direction in the first place. The remote lodge, run by the same company that operates the luxury lodge-to-lodge trek on the Salkantay trail in the Sacred Valley, has more than 80 kilometers of hiking trails and sweeping views of the valley below. The restaurant utilizes local produce for Novo Andina meals.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.