Country: Aguas Calientes, Peru
In today’s era of environmentalism, it’s difficult to believe that eco-hotels were ever a new idea. But when Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel opened in 1991, its commitment to conservation was radical. (Note its Spectacled Bear Project, which rehabilitates the rare bears and reintroduces them to the wild.) The 85-room property sits in a 12-acre cloud forest refuge adjacent to Aguas Calientes, the town and train station at the base of Machu Picchu. Inkaterra’s large grounds and relative privacy are particularly appreciated. (Machu Picchu is stunning, but it’s also crowded. Try day hikes above the site, to the Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu.) Inkaterra’s grounds house 372 species of orchids, eight of which were discovered at the hotel, as well as a tea garden. An on-site spa offers Andean stone massage, and there are numerous nature trails for hiking and bird watching (rooms, from $500; 866-242-2889).