Why Go: The exact purpose of the Moray in Peru remains a mystery, but the enormous complex of concentric circles sinking deeper and deeper into the earth at an altitude of 11,500 feet is no less fascinating. Hiking through pastoral farming communities surrounded by the majestic Andes while your guide connects questions about the past to realities of life in the Sacred Valley today awakens under-utilized glutes and dormant curiosities alike. Explora Valle Sagrado launched in July with 27 such walks, bikes, and van tours designed to unlock the geography and culture of the region for guests. Among the adventures on offer are treks to the Moray and to Machu Picchu—the latter is a full-day excursion that includes three hours at the monument.
What to Expect: The 50-room base camp on a working corn plantation should not be the focus of your experience with Explora. Since opening in 1993 with Patagonia’s Hotel Salto Chico, Explora has stayed true to its mission. The outfitter builds remote lodges with no Wi-Fi or TV in their modest rooms. Meals come with the price of the stay (from $2,160 per room for three nights, all-inclusive), and guides seem to be chosen for being knowledgeable, fit, and enthusiastic. In late 2016, the property’s spa will open with treatment rooms, heated pools, and saunas in a 17th-century colonial house called Casa de Baños Pumacahua.
How to Get There: Fly to Cusco by way of Lima; Explora will pick you up at the airport. (explora.com)