We are on a bus that is ferrying us back to Lima, the capital of Peru. Outside we pass shanty towns, tiny Peruvian villages, an arid desert, walls plastered with political slogans but my eyes are still swimming with photographs and snippets from the past three days.
When we were planning our trip to Peru, we were most excited about witnessing the wonders of the Amazon Rainforest and Machu Picchu – little did I know that some Peruvian vineyards tucked in an arid corner of the country would feature as one of the highlights of our trip.
We have had plenty of Chilean and Argentinean wines but we hadn’t tasted Peruvian wine till we got to Peru. In Lima, every glass of wine we enjoyed was produced by Intipalka. Over a conversation with a local restaurant owner, we discovered that the Intipalka vineyards were on the way to Nazca Desert. So we had to check them out for ourselves! We promptly booked ourselves into the accompanying hotel and added a wine tasting session (complimentary for all hotel guests) to our order.
A four hour bus ride later we arrived at Vinas Queirolo. Now if you’ve ever dreamt of a place that has literally walked out of Pinterest, this is it! There really is no better way to describe it. White walls are adorned with lush pink bougainvillea, vines dripping out of pots, and arches framed by flowering creepers. Doorways boast of relics from a past time and vintage carriages add character to dreamy courtyards.
Spacious rooms are decorated with a minimalist yet colourful aesthetic. The accompanying balconies are decorated with yet more plants, and a sort of Peruvian palm we saw everywhere we went. Sumptuous is probably the best way to describe Hotel Vinas Queirolo.
That afternoon we went on a tour of the vineyards -Vinas Queirolo owns over 800 acres of vineyards in the Peruvian countryside and they surround the hotel in a manner starkly reminiscent of Tuscany. Eight kinds of grapes are grown here and a number of wines and liquors are produced on site including an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon (my personal favourite) and the local Peruvian brandy Pisco.
At sunset, a couple of the hotel’s vans ferried guests to a panoramic viewpoint – a wee shed on top of a hill from where it’s possible to see hundreds of acres of vineyards and beyond. Hotel staff, with trays full of sparkling wine, were already waiting for guests. But it wasn’t just them. It was almost as if the sun too was waiting for us – it began to dip in the horizon as soon as we took the first sip from our glasses. For the next half an hour all guests stared at the gradual sunset over the vineyards. Garrulous conversations gave way to faint murmurs and then complete silence – such was the beauty of the sunset. See it for yourself:
Next morning I discovered my favourite part at Hotel Vinas Queirolo – the breakfast area cum restaurant. A spacious room held together with the prettiest white metallic poles and glass panes, adorned with delicate lamps, chandeliers, and an unending balcony overlooking the vineyards. It’s safe to say breakfast turned to brunches most days – neither of us wanted to move from the balcony. If I lived in Peru this is where I’d have my birthday parties!!
Breakfast comprised of an array of cold cuts, artisan cheeses, gourmet breads, and loads of unsweetened fresh fruit juice (as an aside fresh fruit juice has to be my favourite part about travelling in Peru – it’s everywhere!). Now I would love to tell you we explored the area and surroundings but truth be told Hotel Vinas Queirolo seduced us into lingering on in the hotel premises longer than we intended. We nipped out for a day to explore the Nazca lines (an incredible experience!!) and an evening in Huacachina, but other than that we hung around in the vineyards educating ourselves about different kinds of wine and testing them out, taking photographs and long walks in the seemingly endless vineyards, and wearing flower crowns and twirling because sometimes that’s just what the doctor prescribed!! 🙂
If you want a virtual tour of Hotel Vinas Queirolo, check out our vlog from there:
- Ica is four hours away from Lima. You can opt for a private transfer that costs around $100 (£65) or take a bus from Lima for $25 (17). We took a Peru Hop bus from Lima to Ica.
- Hotel Vinas Queirolo offers transfers from the Ica bus station
- We suggest staying at Vinas Queirolo for 3 nights – it’s the perfect base for exploring Nazca lines and Huacachina.
- Rooms are clean, comfortable, well decorated, and extremely spacious. Prices start at £120 (we got a great promotional deal for 3 nights, so it’s worth checking for offers). Room rates include the cost of wine tasting, breakfast, and a tour of their vineyards. More information on their website www.hotelvinasqueirolo.com
Have you ever discovered an offbeat gem on your travels? Tell us in the comments below 😀
Planning a trip to Peru? Read our Ultimate Itinerary for Peru.
Fond of unique accommodation? We’ve written loads about our favourite hotels from around the world