The Eco Quechua Lodge: Hospitality in the Peruvian Jungle
October 22, 2014
Set on the outskirts of the sleepy town of Santa Teresa and surrounded by lush green rainforest, the Eco Quechua Lodge is a small locally run bed and breakfast with an emphasis on eco-friendly stays. Located on a small hill side overlooking the Saqsara River, the lodge offers basic yet charming accommodations in a town where good accommodations are hard to find. The Lodge is located a short ride from the Hydroelectic train station near Machu Picchu, and within minutes of the hair raising zip lines the Eco Quecha Lodge.
In my profesional career as a travel agent, I have had the fortune of travelling all over Peru. From the depths of the Amazon Jungle to the arid pamapas of Lima`s southern coast, there isn`t much I haven`t seen. However, in the last 8 years of living in Peru, one part of the country that I have never managed to visit is the remote town of Santa Teresa situated in the Jungle behind Machu Picchu. On a recent and long overdue visit there, I spent a night at the Eco Quechua Lodge – here is my review.
A Quick Overview
Owned and ran by local married couple Janet and Kike, the lodge started up in 2011 as a small eatery with 2 simple areas for camping. A year later they replaced the camping areas with 12 permanent rooms, 10 with private bathrooms and 2 with a shared bathroom. Separating the upper and lower accommodation areas is straw roofed dining area typical of what you might find further in the depths of Peru´s Amazon Jungle. With 4 large round tables and a few comfy chairs, the dining area is the perfect place to chill out and soak up the unique jungle atmosphere.
Dining area rich with bird life
Rooms at the Eco Quechua Lodge are fairly basic, but clean and comfortable. There are no luxuries like air-conditioning or televisions, but the rooms do offer comfortable beds en-suite bathrooms with wash basins and a showers (2 rooms have shared bathrooms). Double and twin rooms are available at the lodge and triple accommodations can also be catered for. Some of the rooms have quality mosquito nets, whilst others don’t.
The centre piece of the Eco Quechua Lodge is an open sided bar and dining area. The lodge offers the option of an evening meal for 30 Soles, which includes a soup, main-course (usually 2 options) and a small dessert. The bar has a good stock of ice cold Cusquena beer, a small selection of spirits and some local Peruvian wine. Breakfast is also served in the dining area, and includes a freshly made fruit juice, a choice of eggs or pancakes, local bread and coffee/tea. Daily, the lodge staff place pieces of fruit in the surrounding trees which attract an array of colourful finches and hummingbirds.
The lodge is located on a small hillside just as you leave the town of Santa Teresa in the direction of the hydroelectric plant. If you are arriving from Machu Picchu to the hydroelectric plant, the journey to the lodge is about 30 minutes along a bumpy stone and dirt track. Local buses operate the route fairly frequently and charge around 5 Soles each way. The lodge can also arrange a private collection for about 40 Soles which is suitable for 3 or 4 people. The Cocalmayo hot springs are 10 minutes away by taxi, and various zip lines including the famous Cola de Mono Zip Line are within 5 -10 minutes by taxi. If you plan on returning to Cusco via road, be aware that the journey is 5-6 hours long!
My Personal Thoughts
I really enjoyed my stay at the Eco Quechua Lodge. The personal attention that I received from not only the owners, but the manager and the chef was warm and welcoming. The small team of staff really went that extra mile to make sure that I had a comfortable stay – something which many of Peru´s higher end hotels fail to achieve. The evening meal was well prepared and tasty and I highly recommend eating at the lodge. A huge fruit basket was available for all guests free of charge.
ENTERTAINMENT TIP: If looking for fun at night, or to watch sports during the day, or even a taste of home, visit the Wild Rover Hostels Chain for great food, sports and beer! Entrance to their bars is free even for non-guests
There was of course room for improvement at the lodge. The rooms were not very suitable for leaving valuable personal belongings as the doors were fairly weak and unsecure; the temperate shower was in fact a very cold shower (the ones where you stand to one side and flick the water at you); and perhaps the price was a touch on the high side for a lodge of this standard. Backpackers may find the Eco Quechua Lodge a touch out of their price bracket.
Overall, if you´re not expecting luxury, but want a friendly, comfortable and well located place to rest whilst in Santa Teresa, the Eco Quechua Lodge is not a bad option.