Along a cobblestoned street in Cusco, offset by the stone façade of a colonial-era building, there is a green door—easily missed by many, but hard to ignore for those who catch a glimpse of its intricate wood carvings and iron embellishments. This enchanting doorway is a portal to the past, and what lies beyond its threshold is an abode worthy of a grand entrance. Welcome to Inkaterra La Casona, an intimate hotel set within an exquisite 16th-century manor house, and one of Cusco’s most storied dwellings.
The arcades of Inkaterra La Casona’s timeless courtyard have seen many noble visitors, from elite Inca warriors to Simón Bolívar, South America’s celebrated liberator. You are now part of that guest list—invited to experience the splendor of centuries past in this meticulously restored home. Numerous reminders of the region's illustrious history and vibrant present-day culture grace the hotel, from the stonework and exposed beams that frame the building to the baroque furnishings, colonial antiques, and Andean textiles that accent the rooms. And when you step back through that emerald door, Cusco’s beguiling streets await you on the other side.
The manor that houses Inkaterra La Casona is part of the fabric of Cusco, and staying here gives guests a deeper understanding of the city’s many cultural layers. The 16th-century mansion was one of the first Spanish constructions here, and like most of the city’s early colonial buildings, it was placed directly on top of an existing Inca foundation. The original structure held the Warakos Academy—the training grounds for an elite army of Incas. It was later inhabited by Diego de Almagro, a Spanish conquistador of Peru, and for a short while was even home to Simón Bolívar, a renowned liberator of South America.
As empires have fallen and powers have shifted, the manor has remained an important fixture in the city—so much so that the Peruvian government has recognized the building's significance by deeming it a national historical monument.
When you reserve your space through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, you'll be invited on an exclusive architectural tour of this historic manor with the lodge manager. Hear tales from the manor's long and intriguing past, and learn about the restoration process that brought this colonial gem back to its original glory.
Inkaterra La Casona has strong ties to the local communities in and around Cusco and hires all of its staff from the immediate area, bringing a range of professional opportunities to local job seekers. The lodge works with nearby schools, hosting environmental conservation workshops for students and connecting them to relevant activities. Inkaterra La Casona also organizes donation campaigns for surrounding rural villages, providing them with clothes, school supplies, and other needed commodities.
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