Whether you are eating ceviche by the coast, preparing aji de gallina in a cooking class, gathering ingredients for your meal in Cusco’s San Pedro market or dining at a 5 star restaurant in the Andes, your tastebuds are sure to be pleased in Peru with our culinary vacations. Much more simply Peru food tours, we explore Peruvian cooking classes and a historical context for all the food you encounter!
Peru has emerged as a culinary tourism destination made popular by Gaston Acurio and Coque Ossio – but also for its fresh tastes and abundance of ‘super foods’! From local market food right through to silver service experiences we celebrate food on our culinary tours and believe you can’t be immersed in a culture without delving into its cuisine!
Pisco, Peru’s prized grape brandy is worth plenty of exploration – and the emerging Peruvian wine scene is also worth some time!
We seek restaurants that feature either traditional or fusion dishes that utilise traditional ingredients. We prefer chefs that work with in season local ingredients, and are always supportive of restaurant that shares our interest in organic, sustainable values.
As we believe that one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a country is through its food, but we offer more than Peru food tours or a ‘cooking vacation’. We offer the chance to get close to Peru with its marvellous maca, quinoa and chia seeds which were used by the Andean peoples for centuries before they were famous!
Note: We offer a “Design your own tour” option, where these suggested itineraries provide the basis for your very own, customized Peru adventure. If you are planning to trek, we can provide an upgraded menu so that you can continue with your exploration of Peru’s culinary delights even when trekking!
From exotic cocktails to learning more about Peru’s signature dish – ceviche, to a Peruvian Japanese fusion tour, this is the ultimate foodie introduction to Peru. (Note, there are some options available within this tour – please ask for more information)
In the evening we will learn more about the so called City of Kings with a Lima by Night tour. This is fantastic tour that shows the city gorgeously illuminated with a fantastic colonial architecture. You will have unique insights into Lima’s history as you stroll around its main colonial buildings before enjoying a traditional Pena show and dinner at one of the city’s popular Pena restaurants. During your entire culinary exploration of Peru, we continually show how the food traditions go hand in hand with Peruvian history.
From the bustling market we’ll head straight to the Lima airport for your late morning flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, the dry mountain air hits you and the light tunes of the panpipes. In order to assist with acclimatization, we’ll travel by car directly from Cusco to the Sacred Valley. Both Sacred to the Incas and green and gentle sanctuary in the high mountains, the Sacred Valley is a perfect place to relax.
Our evening meal is at El Huacatay in Urubamba, and the epitome of culinary tourism! This is a small, family restaurant created with love and little by little it has become one of the most creative kitchens in the region. Not only is it a place where every dish is an experience for the senses but also a refuge where aesthetics and atmosphere are part of the charm. In a family atmosphere you can experience a unique Peruvian fusion menu which combines Mediterranean, Asian flavors and of course local ingredients (mostly organic and ecofriendly).
In the Afternoon we will descend to Pisac ruins which are some of the finest and largest in the entire valley. From here, we will have a short time to shop in the Pisaq market before returning to our Sacred Valley accommodation.
The Seminario workshop has created a new proposal for ceramic art that is apt for today’s modern world. There are gorgeous plates, dinnerwear and other home décor inspirations! This new expression of art is the fruit of more than 35 years of research that Pablo Seminario has undertaken, now known as the Seminario Style. The unique location in the Sacred Valley fosters continual growth and a more widespread recognition of this pair’s artwork.
From the Seminario Workshop we will continue to Ollantaytambo where there will be some free time to explore this atmospheric village. We’ll have lunch in the uniquely located Café Mayu, in the famous El Albergue lodge, which is in the train station to Machu Picchu. The coming and going of trains adds to the atmosphere while we enjoy the unique menu which has been created using fresh organic ingredients from their garden and Sacred Valley. Alpaca steak, fresh salads, homemade fettuccine and fresh trout are a few items available.
El Albergue has an interesting organic garden and we will visit this before taking a late afternoon afternoon train to Aguas Calientes. We’ll dine at one of the renowned restaurants in Aguas Calientes prior to getting an early night in preparation for our Machu Picchu visit tomorrow.
Optional Cooking Class in Machu Picchu
Want to get back in the kitchen? You can take a cooking class in Machu Picchu Pueblo at the Tree house Restaurant. Treehouse’s signature cuisine is the result of fusion: Peruvian, Asian, Italian and Latin-American influences are present in their Andean dishes. These special Peruvian cooking classes last approximately one hour and consist of a participative demonstration of two dishes from their menu.
Adventure Option – Add an extra day or exchange a day
If you would like to do a short hike to Machu Picchu you have the option of ‘exchanging’ Day 4 for an Inca trail hike, or alternatively adding a day to the itinerary.
Wake early to start the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Hike for 5 to 6 hours from the archaeological site of Chachabamba through beautiful cloud forest and along original Inca Trail to impressive site of Wiñay Wayna where we will have lunch. After our break, we will continue the last hour and a half to the Inca site of Machu Picchu before taking the bus into town. Note, Inca Trail permits need to be purchased 3-6 months prior to travel. All trekkers need a good level of fitness and ability to hike about 6 hours uphill.
Evening: Dinner in the town of Machu Picchu
After an early start, appetites are often ferocious and we include the buffet lunch at the Tinkuy restaurant. The wide range of delicious dishes are perfect for getting a taste of different plates. Once everyone is revived and tanks filled, we encourage the everyone to take another look at Machu Picchu before taking the bus back to Aguas Calientes, where we board our return train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy just outside of Cusco.
Option: For those with a passion for trains, and elegant experiences, the Belmond Hiram Bingham offers a magical train journey and unforgettable end to your Machu Picchu visit. Named after the explorer who rediscovered the Inca citadel, the train has two dining cars, an observation/bar car and a kitchen car. As you board, the tables are exquisitely set with gleaming crystal and polished cutlery. The maître d’ will invite you to enjoy a gastronomic dinner, specially created by the onboard chef. This is a highlight of many Peru gourmet tours!
For Active Travellers: We recommend hiking up Huayna Picchu. Meaning ‘Young Peak’ in Quechua, Huayna Picchu is the steeply sloping hill that serves as the backdrop in which most iconic shots of the Machu Picchu ruins are framed. Temple remnants sit atop the mountain’s summit, which can be reached via a steep trail that climbs over 1,000 feet higher than the ruins. The hike to the summit is achievable, taking most fit travelers about 2 hours roundtrip, though parts of the trail are exposed with unguarded drop-offs. Children under 12 are not permitted by the government, people in poor physical condition or those with a fear of heights or vertigo. Permits should be purchased at the time of booking.
Option A: exploration of chocolate
You can choose from two chocolate making workshops. In the “The cacao bean to the chocolate bar” workshop you roast cacao beans, peel them, and grind them into a paste. This cacao paste is used to prepare the first known cacao drink (invented by the Mayas), the traditional chocolate. In the end, from refined chocolate you will prepare your own chocolate that you can take back home. In the second workshop, “Chocolate truffles and ganache” you learn how to prepare chocolate truffles or filled chocolate with flavored chocolate ganache.
A final Peruvian cooking class
We head off the local market in order to better understand the “why?” behind the recently growing popularity in Peruvian gastronomy and cuisine. You can try various fruit such as chirimoya, lucuma, granadilla, aguaymanto, tumbo, pepinillo, etc. depending on the time of year and season. From here you explore the market in search of aji peppers, potatoes, avocado and more vegetables and staples that you will safely prepare and eat.
The menu tackled varies depending on the season. For example, you might prepare Causa with chicken as a starter and as a main dish Alpaca Saltado. Then you sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labour, the culmination of our Peru food tours.
Finally, in a final celebration, we will head to the Pisco Museum which has an entire bar selection of around two hundred bottles of different types of pisco! Their cocktail menu is a diverse and exciting journey through the different genres of Pisco and offers great liqueurs, spices, fruits and herbs to pair them with. The food menu is also has a rustic quality, with some great tapas/antipasti dishes like small portions of Alpaca beef or exquisite homemade sausage. The wine list also includes some great local Peruvian wines that match perfectly with their food menu. This is the ultimate end to a foodie vacation, and our Peru gourmet tours.
We recommend a mid afternoon flight depending on your travel plans. Alternatively, we can connect with one of our highly recommended Peru Short Trips & Extensions.
Which Short Trips complement the itinerary provided here at Peru’s Culinary Wonders? We recommend:
Cuisine of Lima & Wines of Ica: A great 3d/2n tour that explores Lima’s food and wines. Travel south to Ica for Pisco tour, and some excellent seafood. A gourmet Peru tour for foodies!
While in Lima you might like to extend your time for an extra day with the Lima Homestyle Cooking Class.
Options abound, including a trip to Arequipa & the Colca Canyon, or Lake Titicaca, but many foodies might like to finish their Peru gourmet adventure aboard a high quality Amazon Cruise – highly recommended!
Remember that all of Majestic Peru’s tours are complete, well designed trips as described on the website, or simply a solid foundation for you to Design Your Own Tour! If in doubt about which option might suit you best – please contact us!