Culinary Tours

All Peru’s highlights, with a focus on food

Aji 300x225 Culinary Tours


Days: 13 (or 14 including Mistura)

Difficulty: Easy

Highlights: Peruvian cuisine, as yet fairly little-known in the English speaking world, is justly famous throughout Latin America. If you enjoy learning about and eating good food you will love our food tour. We start with the hidden, back-street treats and mind-bogglingly huge produce markets of Lima – long known as the gastronomic capital of Latin America. Then we move on to Cusco for more markets, a very local lunch, and a cooking lesson.

The rest of the trip is less food focused as we catch up on all the major attractions of a Peru holiday – stunning Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, the timeless islands of Lake Titicaca, and much more.

Every year in September we run a trip that includes a day at South America’s biggest food fair, Mistura. Please see the bottom of the page for more details.


Day 1 Arrival day, LimaaHerbs and spices Mercado la Magdalena 200x300 Culinary Tours

We’ll pick you up from your hotel or the airport in time for lunch. Sunday lunch is traditionally a highlight of the week in Peru, and we’ll get straight into it today, with a slap-up criolla (creole coastal food) lunch at a popular local restaurant. Afterwards, we’ll walk off lunch in Lima’s historic center, checking out the historic sights of this colonial capital.

This evening we’ll head to a traditional peña (dinner and show), where we’ll sample a massive range of traditional Peruvian dishes from the amazing buffet, while watching a dance performance that will start to give you an idea of the amazing color and variety of Peru’s living culture.

Included meals: lunch, dinner (L, D)
Accommodation: Lima hotel

Day 2 Lima history and gastronomy

We’ll spend the morning exploring the Lima’s massive produce market, el Mercado de Magdalena, marveling at the range of ingredients on offer in Peru, one of the world’s most bio-diverse countries. For lunch we’ll sample ceviche, Peru’s best-known culinary export, at a restaurant known for preparing the best in the world. In the afternoon we’ll explore the Larco museum, whose collection of ancient porn in the form of erotic ceramics is world famous.

This evening we’re in for a massive treat – el Circuito Magica de Agua (the magic water circuit), a unique and frankly indescribable spectacle – followed by pollo a la brasa (chicken cooked on a spit) – Peru’s most popular dish.

Included meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Lima hotel


Day 3 To Cusco

This morning we’ll fly to Cusco (flight not included in trip price), and have a fairly cruisy morning as we take our time to acclimatize to the 3300m altitude.

In the afternoon we’ll take a walking tour around the highlights of Cusco’s beautiful historic centre – the peaceful, pretty plaza and towering churches, cobbled alleyways of San Blas, and bustling commercial streets around the market – before another memorable dinner.

Included meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Cusco hotel

Day 4 Machu Picchu

We’ll take an early train this morning so we can all spend the day exploring the words-fail-me glory that is Machu Picchu – one of the new 7 Wonders of the World. We’ll have a guided tour (a good one, with no numbers on sticks, we promise), and plenty of time to explore this majestic citadel on our own.

We’ll have dinner at Indio Feliz – a fancy, French restaurant which is Aguas Calientes’s finest and whose incredibly yummy food is world famous in Peru!

Included meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Aguas Calientes hotel

Day 5 Explore the Sacred ValleyaStreet scene in Lima 300x252 Culinary Tours

This morning we’ll explore Ollantaytambo, a pretty Inca village whose cobbled streets tinkle to the sounds of still-working stone Inca canal systems.

Then we’ll drive through the sunny, scenic Sacred Valley, past incredible terracing, ancient irrigation canals and massive hilltop forts, to Urubamba where we’ll have lunch at a famous novo-andino (New Andean fusion) restaurant.

This afternoon we’ll wander through the Inca fortress that bristles over the tiny town of Pisac. Pisac’s bustling town square is home to the region’s largest and most famous craft market, and the surrounding streets are a maze of charming gardens, carved stone buildings, and hidden courtyards where irresistible, piping hot empanadas (pastries) emerge from wood-fired ovens.

Included meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Cusco hotel


Day 6 Free day in Cusco

The oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas and its undisputed archaeological capital, Cusco boasts enough museums, churches, and ruins to make your head spin. Shop for everything from folksy artesanias to exquisite handcrafted jewellery and avant-garde fashion. Check out indigenous markets selling algae by the sack and frogs by the bucket; ancient, llama-width cobbled alleyways that open up into charming plazoletas (little plazas); stunning cityscapes and inviting cafés. There are also plenty of tours and outdoor activities on offer – whatever you feel like doing today, we’ll get you sorted!

Included meals: B
Accommodation: Cusco hotel

Day 7 Cook a Peruvian feast

It’s time to put theory into practice, and cook our own Peruvian meal! This morning we’ll head out to Vinocanchon, Cusco’s main produce market near the edge of town, to browse for supplies for the feast we’ll cook tonight. Produce is trucked here from small producers at every altitude level from Amazonia (as low as 200 metres) to the Altiplano (3800m+), and the variety being unloaded hourly is incredible.

It’s all served up in traditional Cusqueño dishes like rocoto relleno (stuffed hot peppers) and lechón (suckling pig) over the road at Los Andenes de Andrea, a local family favourite where we’ll dine in a sunny garden. Save some room for dinner though – we’ll spend the afternoon preparing a Cusqueño dinner with a talented local cook, and the evening feasting!

Included meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Cusco hotel


Day 8 Food and folklore in the South Valley

Today we start our journey towards Lake Titicaca, exploring pre-Inca ruins, sampling artesanal bread and chicharrones (deep fried pork chunks with corn and mint), and having our future read in coca leaves by the famous brujos (witches) of Huasao along the way.

We’ll lunch on hearty platefuls of duck, pork, potatoes and rice, and the best cakes and ice-creams in the region, at a popular local dining destination.

In the afternoon we’ll visit the amazingly baroque church that overshadows the sleepy village of Andahuaylillas, before arriving at Raqchi, where we’ll spend the night in the guestrooms of our local hosts.

Included meals: B, L,D
Accommodation:Homestay in Raqchi


Day 9 High-altitude hot springs and Altiplano

First thing today we’ll thoroughly explore Raqchi’s huge Inca ruin, one of the main temples of the Inca empire and an important staging post in its extensive road network. Then we’ll head for the Marangani natural hot springs, one of the most surreal stops on our trip, where steaming sulfurous streams link five pools against a background of sweeping plains and snowcapped peaks.

The afternoon brings us to Lampa. In colonial days a thriving metropolis, it’s now a forgotten gem where llamas wander through the main square, past pink stone buildings and the most amazing church we’ve ever had the privilege to visit.

Included meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Lampa hotel


Day 10 To Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca

Today we’re headed for Puno, Lake Titicaca’s hectic port town. Here we’ll visit one of Peru’s best archaeological collections at the Carlos Dreyer Museum, and board Lake Titicaca’s own relic of the age of steam, the still-functional SS Yavari. Puno is great for wandering, with bustling markets, cool cafés for people watching, and plenty of shopping. It’s also home to a couple of Peru’s best fusion restaurants, so dinner tonight will be another treat.

Included meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Puno hotel

Day 11 Lake Titicaca tour

Our exploration of the islands of Lake Titicaca begins with the well-known oddity of the Uros Islands: better known as the Floating Islands, the islands are entirely manmade, woven of totora reeds. We’ll learn about the soggy, reed-based life of the inhabitants, and bounce up and down on the intriguingly spongy ‘ground’, before heading further across the lake to Amantani Island, where we’ll meet our hosts, members of the indigenous Quechua community, and challenge them to a game of soccer (which we will almost certainly lose). Then we’ll hike up to the Pachamama (Mother Earth) temple at the island’s summit, in time watch the world’s best sunset over the rippling water, mountainous islands, and crinkly shoreline of Lake Titicaca.

After dark we’ll return to our family homes. There are no cars or roads on Amantani, and even dogs are forbidden, so the silence after nightfall is complete. This must be one of the most peaceful places in the world.

Included meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Amantani Island homestay

Day 12 Taquile and Puno

This morning we chug across the lake to Taquile. This is perhaps the most beautiful of the islands of Lake Titicaca, with an inviting Mediterranean climate, steep green hillsides, and amazing views. We’ll take our time exploring the pre-Inca ruins and tiny towns along the peaceful pathways of the island. Taquile is famous for its textiles; we’ll see them on the people, learn about their significance, and have the opportunity to buy them in the island’s co-operative shop. In the afternoon we’ll head back to Puno.

Included meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Puno hotel

Day 13 Departure Day

We’ll help you with any last minute shopping and get you to the airport. Thanks for spending this time with us - hasta pronto!

Confirmed group departure dates (or we can run the trip on any day for a minimum of two people):

2013: 28 April, 9 June, 8 September (14 days including Mistura)
2014: 4 May, 1 June, 27 July, 7 September (14 days including Mistura)


In the Mistura trip, we add a day between days 2 and 3:

A day in foodie heaven – Mistura!

Mistura is a big and beautiful thing, one of the biggest gastronomic fairs in the world. There are competitions, giveaways, parades, displays, and lots of food stalls, where a delighted public queues patiently to buy sample plates, from five star restaurants and famous cottage producers, of any of Peru’s 300-plus national dishes. At the feria de frutas (fruit market), the range of Amazonian produce is so huge and diverse that even dedicated foodie Peruvians haven’t heard of many of the fruits on offer! Loosen your belt and hang on tight – Mistura is a ride you’ll never forget!



The trip includes all accommodation and activities specified in itinerary; full Boleto Turistico de Cusco which can also be used on free day; extra permit to enter Huayna Picchu at Machu Picchu; all meals except lunch and dinner on free day (B,L,D = breakfast, lunch, dinner); all ground transport; all guiding services; drinking water at meals. It does not include the flight from Lima to Cusco (ask us for help with making arrangements). The cost for the 13 day trip is $3475 with four or more passengers, $3775 with two or three. The 14 day trip with Mistura costs $3575 with four or more passengers, $3875 with two or three.


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