DetailS about the package
Peruvian food and topography go hand in hand. Using what pachamama (mother earth) gave them, the Peruvians have developed a cuisine that combines local and international flavours. And undoubtedly it is the geography of Peru that makes its culinary culture so distinct.
With the coast providing an abundance of fresh seafood, the Andean highland supplying a variety of potatoes and the Amazon rainforest delivering delicious seasonal fruits, it’s unsurprising that Peru is one of the world’s emerging foodie hotspots.
Why you’ll love this trip
- It’s delicious, diverse and hands-on. You’ll learn the secrets of ceviche, make your own Pisco sour, learn a few Andean cooking tips with a foodie in Cusco and eat empanadas straight from the wood-fired oven
- Pay a visit to a cacao farm and get involved in the whole process from planting to the final product. Enjoy a farm-cooked dinner and stay overnight on the family’s plantation.
- Indulge in an optional tour and tasting at one of the Sacred Valley’s first craft breweries. Whet your whistle with a pint of the fruity local IPA, the citrus tinged American pale ale, the caramel malts of the Ayrampo Roja red ale or the hearty chocolate notes of the imperial porter.
- Discover the breadth of Peruvian cuisine in all its rich and colourful history, from the rustic ‘pachamanca’ tradition to Lima’s world-class urban street food scene
- No trip to Peru is complete without seeing Machu Picchu, so you’ll spend a day exploring this magical metropolis of the Incas
Is This Trip Right For You?
This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. In many countries, dietary restrictions are not common or well understood. If you have dietary requirements, please advise your agent at time of booking to receive information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed.
Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary! Please see the ‘Medical and Health Information’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more details.
The facilities at your coffee farmstay are basic, but comfortable. The rewards of such an authentic local experience are immeasurable.
This trip does NOT include hiking to Machu Picchu. You will make the journey by train and bus. If you would like to hike to Machu Picchu, we recommend our trips Sacred Land of the Incas and Inca Trail Express.
Visitors are not permitted to explore Machu Picchu without a Machu Picchu guide (not our trip leaders) and must follow set routes within the site. This trip includes two guided visits of Machu Picchu and each visit is approximately 1.5 – 2 hours long. Once your guided visits conclude, you will need to leave the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted. Your leader will provide more information to ensure you get the most out of your visits to this incredible site.
Places to be
Maps & Itinerary
Theme: Food Travel
Physical Rating: 2/5
Age: Minimum 15
Group Size: 1-12
head to a cooking class to learn from a local chef who will demonstrate
the art of preparing mouth-watering ceviche, causa limeña and more. Settle in for lunch , enjoying these classic staples of Peruvian cuisine.
In the afternoon, perhaps wander around Miraflores and head towards Parque del Amor (Love’s Park) which has superb views across Lima’s beaches. You might also want to visit the excellent National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology and History. Alternatively, catch a taxi to the Gold Museum or the Larco Museum. The latter is renowned for its ancient pottery collection.
In the early evening, join a walking tour through the bustling beachside district of Barranco, where the streets are lined with traditional casonas (colonial-style houses). This place is home to some of Peru’s best nightlife, and you’ll pop into a bar that specialises in the national spirit of Peru – Pisco. Try the famous ‘pisco sour’ and perhaps indulge in some local snacks.
Before departing Lima, head to a Pisco distillery just outside of the city to learn how this iconic spirit is produced, followed by a tasting. Then its on to the airport for the short, one-hour flight to Cusco. Stretch your legs upon arrival with a stroll down the cobblestone streets; it won’t take long to discover the town’s interesting combination of Spanish and Inca cultures. There are also several impressive Inca ruins within the city to explore. The most easily accessible is Coricancha, which was the Inca empire’s richest temple. The evening is free for your own food adventures. You leader will have plenty of suggestions!
Today is your chance to get hands-on in the kitchen. Take a stroll around San Pedro market. Due to Cusco’s location at the eastern edge of the Andes, there’s ready access to locally-grown avocados, potatoes (thousands of different types), quinoa and aji picante (hot chilli), to name a few products grown in the area. Learn about Andean ingredients, then join a passionate local cook to prepare some classic Peruvian dishes which you will enjoy over lunch.
Leaving Cusco, travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, this beautiful and fertile valley has long been the lifeblood of the high Andes. Maize crops grow all the way from the riverbank, covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls. Along the way, stop in at Maras, one of the largest salt mines in the region, and Moray – a large complex of ruins with beautiful terraces that form a massive amphitheatre. It’s believed that these terraces were an agricultural experiment of the Incas to improve their crop production.
Call in on the Chichubamba community in Urubamba. See the fruit and vegetables they grow, be shown methods for extracting honey and learn about corn beer preparation on a chicheria visit before sitting down to a traditional lunch in a local home.
Our final food stop today is a tour and tasting at one of the Sacred Valley’s first craft breweries. Whet your whistle with a pint of the fruity local IPA, the citrus tinged American pale ale, the caramel malts of the Ayrampo Roja red ale or the hearty chocolate notes of the imperial porter.
Arrive in Ollantaytambo, a stunning archaeological site that marks the start of the classic Inca Trail trek. This evening is free for your own food adventures.
Awaken to Ollantaytambo! The town itself has been built over an ancient Inca city, which is a beautiful example of Inca urban planning. Take a guided tour of these Inca ruins etched into the cliffs, keeping an eye out for the legendary Temple of the Sun (composed of enormous carved blocks, stone water fountains, Incan stairs and terraces, all surrounded by the misty mountains).
Next take a scenic drive over the Abra Malaga pass, taking in views of Veronica Mountain (the third highest in Cusco) along the way. Continue along the winding road into a land of cloud and thick rainforest as you steer into Huayopata. Lunch is included on arrival into Huayopata. The drive roughly stretches for 2-3 hours without stops, travelling at a slow pace which allows you to absorb the natural beauty of the area.
Your first stop takes you to a local cacao plantation. Here, you’ll get a hands-on chance to experience the cacao production cycle – from bean to bar. Cacao cultivation has been an important part of Central and South American history for centuries. Peruvian cacao often offers notes of cinnamon, dried fruits, floral hints and more subtleties. Decide for yourself, as you taste this coveted food at its source.
After an insightful day of learning about life on the plantation, continue towards a nearby coffee farm where you’ll spend the night. Treat yourself to a dinner made from locally-sourced produce before spending the evening in your simple, yet comfortable accommodation, soaking in the surrounding countryside.
Today offers a hands-on insight into the production of one of the world’s favourite drinks – coffee. Wake up and start the day with one of the freshest Peruvian blends you’ll ever drink before taking a guided exploration of the coffee farm.
Peruvian beans make for an excellent drop, bringing together a mellow acidity with a caramel sweetness and sometimes a nutty undertone. The sweet, medium bodied taste has made this strain a huge hit worldwide, and there’s no better place to sample these flavours than here. Experience the production cycle from crop to cup.
After an insightful morning on the plantation, farewell your hosts and drive back to Ollantaytambo. Stretch your legs before a train ride through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes. Sitting at the base of Machu Picchu in a picturesque valley, this quaint town takes its name from the numerous hot springs in the area. Settle in to your hotel for a well-earned rest.
Rise early for a morning tour of Machu Picchu, one of Peru’s real highlights. Catching your first glimpse of the lost city of the Incas through the early morning mist is definitely a memorable moment. The ruins of this ancient (and, until 1911, secret) metropolis are beautifully located, hidden high in the Andes and surrounded by lush cloud, with the river Urubamba running through the gorge far below. Take in the amazing views and the fascinating history of the site as your local guide takes you through some of the 200 buildings, houses and temples. Your guided tour of the site will last for approximately 1.5-2 hours, with plenty of photo opportunities. Due to visiting restrictions at Machu Picchu, we recommend exploring the Sun Gate and Inka Bridge before your guided tour starts. Your leader can advise how to get the most out of your visit. Afterwards, board a train back to Ollantaytambo (approximately 90 minutes).
Stop in at the popular Pisac market, famous for a vast array of local handicrafts. Visit a restaurant and taste delicious empanadas hot and fresh, straight from the horno (a clay oven). For lunch, take part in an ancient cooking ritual known as ‘pachamanca’. This cooking method, which dates back to the time of the Inca empire, sees meats marinaded in spices then placed in a huatia (earth oven) with a selection of root vegetables, cooked slowly over hot stones. Your adventure comes to an end back in Cusco, where you may share one last Pisco sour overlooking the Plaza de Armas. There’s an optional farewell dinner this evening.