‘Great things are done when men and mountains meet’ – William Blake
In Incan mythology, there is a word for the spirit of the Andes – ‘Apu’. The Andes are a force to be reckoned with; the longest mountain range in the world, host to some of the highest and most inaccessible peaks on the planet, it carves through South America, slicing its way from the windswept southern plains of Patagonia to the Caribbean.
Apu, the spirit, is our lifeblood; part of who we are at Sol y Luna.
The scenery is both awe-inspiring and formidable, ranging from perilous snow-capped peaks and colossal glaciers to parched plateaus, whilst blindingly white salt flats and river gorges adorn its flanks.
Home to the world’s highest active volcano, highest navigable lake, driest desert, and highest capital city, the Andes and its surrounds are also known for its rich mineral deposits, including copper and gold, its ruins of ancient civilizations and quinine, which comes from the small Cinchona pubescens tree and is used to treat malaria.
A giver of life, and one of the most inhospitable and treacherous environments on earth, the Andes provides a world of contrasts and intrigue to those adventurous enough to explore them.
Into the void
Inspired by the soaring mountains that surround this land, Thomas Schilter – the talented, daredevil son of Sol y Luna founders Petit and Franz – took to climbing and adventure sports at an early age. In 2019, at the age of only 16, Thomas (above) and his climbing companion Luis Crispin were the first Peruvians to scale Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes – made famous by Joe Simpson’s account of his own near-fatal descent of this daunting mountain in Touching the Void. It is hard not to be inspired by their story, or by the remarkable landscape and opportunities on offer in the Sacred Valley.
For adventure lovers and thrill-seekers, there is no better destination in South America than the Andes. From hiking to climbing, skiing to cycling, riding to white water rafting, there is something that will charm anyone with an ounce of wanderlust. There are expeditions to appeal to every ability, from gentle strolls lasting a couple of hours to testing, adrenaline-fuelled activities and treks which can last a number of days.
Trekking is undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience and appreciate the magic and the mystique of the Andes, their imposing peaks towering like a boundless series of shark fins, their savage summits veiled in mist.
And remember – once you have experienced the mesmerising magic of the Andes in whatever form you choose, the soothing sanctuary of Sol y Luna awaits. 43 private villas are dotted around 25 acres of blissfully tranquil, bougainvillea and butterly-filled private gardens. With a swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi, and a host of health and wellness experiences on offer in our Yacu Wasi spa, guests are sure to return home refreshed and energised, with memories to last a lifetime.
Contact the team to find out more.
Director and DF: Torazza Gazzone
Mountain Footage and Production Assistant: Thomas Schilter
Music: Juan Manuel Archoni
Graphics: Santiago Cappri
Produced for Sol y Luna, all rights reserved.
Exploring the ancient Inca village of Chinchero
Enjoy the architectural and cultural wonder of Cusco