There’s plenty of opportunity to challenge your body in and around Cusco on a trek en route to the region’s archeological gems. But what about some rest and relaxation? A common question our Peru For Less team is often asked is where to go for a good massage or facial in Cusco. I had heard raving reviews about Inca Spa and decided to see what all the fuss was about. Centrally located in the city, Inca Spa offers a range of services that embrace Incan rituals and traditional healing properties using Andean products, such as coca and quinoa.
Spa Treatment in Cusco
My heavenly experience at Inca Spa
A cloud of scented warmth and a welcoming smile from the receptionist greeted me when I walked into the Spa. Having scheduled my appointment ahead of time, I was greeted by name and provided a list of the various treatments offered. I was experiencing the unfortunate symptoms of dry skin that comes with having lived in the thin air of Cusco for the past 18 months, so I settled on a cleanse, exfoliation, and hydration treatment.
The design features of the whole spa resemble Incan times. Large stones tile the floors and walls, and there’s an Incan bath; a waterfall feature adds to the relaxing ambiance. Feeling like I’d been transported to another world, I was taken to a bed after having changed and was tucked into the comfort of warm soft blankets. The dimmed lighting and relaxing sounds of nature music could have easily coaxed me to sleep.
I relaxed into the treatment as my face began its series of deep cleansing with various masks, exfoliation treatments and creams. Unfortunately, my heavenly experience came to an end an hour later. After thanking the therapist, I left with soft, glowing skin and a big dopey smile.
Exploring Incan rituals and traditional healing properties
The ancient Incan rituals used by the spa sets it apart from its competition in Cusco. Each of these 90-minute treatments take you through a sensual and spiritual journey that focuses on renewing your inner energy, an important component of Inca ideology.
I was fortunate to observe the process of some of these rituals on my visit to Inca Spa.
The Pacha Mama treatment (meaning Mother Earth) involves giving an offering of typical and traditional products, such as coca leaves, corn and cacao beans- all representing different aspects of a person’s life, such as happiness, money, family and love. As part of the ceremony, you are asked to carefully select several pieces from each of the products and wrap them in parcel. This is then placed in a pot filled with soil and will be buried in the earth in August (the month of Mother Earth) by the spa staff. The point of the offering is to express good intentions, wishes and gratitude. As with all the rituals the spa offers, the ceremony is finished with a body exfoliation and full body massage.
Along with the rituals and facials, the spa offers a range of specialty massages and body wraps. Again the focus on these is using traditional Andean products to revitalize, cleanse and energize. For hard trekkers, Inca Spa offers a massage especially for lymphatic drainage on the legs. Another unique feature is their Inca bath, which I had the pleasure of sampling (purely research purposes, of course). The blissfully warm water is infused with mineral salts and aromatherapy, and overflows with flower petals and bubbles. In a word: divine.
Prices of treatments range from S/.59.99 to S/.299 (about US$21 to US$107). Inca Spa may not offer you the least expensive option in Cusco, but it will certainly give you a top quality unique experience. The spa is located in the basement of the Eco Inn hotel, at the end of Avenida el Sol (in the direction away from Cusco’s central plaza). If your legs are aching from a trek or you’re simply in search of some pampered treatment, Inca Spa should be your next stop.
Rachael was born and raised in the steel city of Sheffield, England. She fell in love with Latin America after traveling across Colombia in 2012 and eventually landing in Cusco, Peru, a place she now calls home. Always ready to answer a call to adventure, she loves exploring South America’s hidden gems and organizing climbing trips.