9 Days Peru Culinary Tour

  • Lima - Cusco - Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes

Overview

Machu Picchu Inca Trail and Culinary Tour in Peru

Let your taste buds guide you on this amazing culinary tour as you explore Perus unrivaled geographic and cultural diversity, from cosmopolitan Lima, to the colonial city of Cusco. Savor insider access to Lima culinary scene as you learn the secret to the perfect ceviche, sip world-class Andean coffee, and sample variations of Pisco, the national spirit. Travel to Peru would not be complete without a journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Machu Picchu, one of the true wonders of the world, nestled on a ridge surrounded by sacred peaks.

Highlights

  • Coffee, pisco, and gelato tastings
  • Peruvian cooking classes with expert chefs
  • Discover mystical Inca ruins and Machu Picchu
  • Pachamanca celebration with locals in the Sacred Valley
  • Explore vibrant Quechua markets and villages
  • Exclusive tasting menu in Lima's Chinatown
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfasts
  • 8 days with instruction
  • Spanish, English
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For this food tour, Access Trips selected traditionally decorated, charming inns, and hotels. You will enjoy the best of Peruvian hospitality in a central location. All of the accommodations offer en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning in comfortable, clean rooms that reflect the local culture.

Day 1, Lima

Welcome to the tour! Prepare yourself for one of the most fascinating, colorful, and culture-rich countries on the planet. Also, prepare for some of the worlds best food! If your flight arrives before dinner, you will get your first taste of delicious Peruvian cuisine at one of the worlds top restaurants.

Meal plan: dinner.

Day 2, Experience Lima culinary scene

After breakfast, you will set off to visit bustling Surquillo market, where you will mingle with the locals and taste some of the Perus delicious native fruits. Next, you will learn the secrets of making the perfect ceviche in a chef-led demonstration, followed by a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, you will visit a gourmet coffee producer at his flagship coffee shop in Limas bohemian and historic district of Barranco. You will sip some fantastic coffee and learn how the coffee industry impacts local farmers. You will end the day sampling pisco, Perus national spirit. This evening is yours to enjoy Lima on your own or to try one of Limas many incredible restaurants.

Meal plan: breakfast and lunch.

Day 3, Explore downtown Lima and Chinatown

This morning, you will head to the historic center of Lima, with its striking colonial buildings and colorful streets. You will stop in at the stunningly well preserved Casa de Aliaga, the oldest house in the Americas to be inhabited by descendants of the same family. Dating back to the 1500s, it has been home to the de Aliaga family for 17 generations. Next, you will stroll through Limas Barrio Chino, or Chinatown, historic home to Perus small but culturally important Chinese community. Liliana is the general manager of Limas top Chifa (Peruvian-Chinese food) restaurant and she will graciously lead you on a tour of her restaurants kitchen.

Afterwards, you will join her in the dining room for an exclusive tasting menu. Her English is excellent and she shares fascinating insights into Perus Chinese history. You will make your way back to Limas most outstanding gelato shop. Using Italian techniques, and local Peruvian ingredients like chocolate, coffee, and its myriad native fruits, you will meet the young partners who are pioneering this delectable treat in Lima. Tonight, you are free to discover dinner on your own.

Meal plan: breakfast and lunch.

Day 4, Cusco, cooking class

This morning, you will get up early and head to the airport for a short hour and twenty-minute flight to Cusco. Access Trips has intentionally kept todays schedule light to give you time to adjust to the altitude. You may need a rest at your hotel, but if you feel up to it, this is a great time to soak up Cuscos culture-rich atmosphere. In the late afternoon, you will head to a charming local restaurant for a hands-on cooking class. Starting in the bar, you will learn how to make a delicious Pisco sour before heading into the kitchen to prepare scrumptious Andean delicacies that will soon become your dinner.

Meal plan: breakfast and dinner.

Day 5, Cusco

Cuscos vibrant San Pedro market is one of the most fascinating places to people watch as Quechua villagers come from the surrounding areas to sell their produce. You will continue on for a tour of Cuscos most important historic sites. Cusco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire, from the 13th century until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Because of its importance to the Incas, the Spanish made it their center for colonialization of the entire Andean region. The Spanish invested heavily in building incredible structures on top of the Inca sites.

You will tour the Plaza de Armas, with its impressive cathedral, Qorikancha, or Temple of the Sun God, and the Iglesia de Compaia de Jesus, where you can climb up the towers for a birds eye view of the square. You will then head out to explore the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, the Inca fortress perched high above Cusco. This evening is free for you to explore on your own. If you would like to try guinea pig, an Andean delicacy, your guide will be happy to recommend some of his favorite cuy restaurants.

Meal plan: breakfast.

Day 6, Pisac, pachamanca celebration

Today, you are off to a small village near Pisac, in the Sacred Valley. You will spend the morning with three lovely ladies who invite you into their home for a pachamanca celebration. Dating back to Inca times, this ancient tradition is not unlike a barbeque, where sharing a meal demonstrates appreciation and reverence for the edible gifts that come from the earth. Meaning literally earth pot, a pachamanca is an oven created out of stones or clay bricks lining a hole in the ground. A fire is lit inside until it is hot enough to put in heaps of marinated meat, vegetables, and potatoes.

Traditionally, the meal is hearty and provides sustenance to farmers working out in the fields, as well as a welcome break to collectively savor and share the rewards of their labors.The entire process takes several hours, so you will take a break and explore the colorful Pisac market. This is a great place to pick up some souvenirs, or just to people watch and photograph. You will then return to the village as your hosts pull the meat, veggies, and potatoes out of the earth oven and enjoy the steaming hot meal together. This evening is once again free for you to enjoy Cusco.

Meal plan: breakfast and lunch.

Day 7, Discover the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

You have a big day today as you load up the van and venture deep into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Your first stop is Chinchero, the highest altitude of the tour at just over 12,300 feet. Chinchero is a weavers village, and you will visit a womens weaving cooperative to learn how they make natural dies and spin alpaca fiber. Next, you will tour the village church and Inca agricultural ruins. If its the right time of the year, you will visit some local farmers to watch how they dehydrate potatoes to store for the winter months.

You will then head to Moray, a site of Inca ruins that were used for agricultural experiments. Taking advantage of the micro-climates, the Incas studied how crops grew at different altitudes and adapted those crops for broader farming use. After a picnic lunch at Moray, you will visit the salt ponds at Mara. Mineral rich and excellent for cooking, these ponds are owned by villagers and have been mined since Inca times. You will walk right out to the ponds, which are terraced on the side of a mountain.

You will go to the end of the road at Ollantaytambo, and explore the vast Inca ceremonial center built into the hill overlooking the town. Then, you will hop on a train and ride about two and a half hours to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. You will arrive just in time to check into your hotel and head out for a quick dinner. You will want to go to bed early tonight because tomorrow is a big day and it starts early!

Meal plan: breakfast and lunch.

Day 8, Machu Picchu

Today is the day many have been waiting for. Built on a ridge and surrounded by sacred peaks, the improbable setting for the architectural masterpiece of Machu Picchu is just as awe-inspiring as the ruins themselves. Starting with a 05:00 wake-up, you will take an early shuttle to Machu Picchu, arriving at dawn. Machu Picchu was built in harmony with the sun and the moon, and watching the sunrise over the sacred site, will be a memory you will savor for a lifetime.

You will have several hours to tour the ruins. After the guided tour, you can wander at your leisure, soaking up the atmosphere.You will return to Aguas Calientes in time to catch an afternoon train back to Cusco. Tonight, you will celebrate the end of this incredible tour with a delicious farewell dinner of Novoandina cuisine.

Meal plan: breakfast and dinner.

Day 9, Cusco

The tour ends today and it is time to fly to Lima and then home.

Meal plan: breakfast.

  • Explore Cusco
  • Explore Lima (Barranco, Chinatown)
  • Explore Ollantaytambo
  • Explore the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, the Inca fortress perched high above Cusco
  • Machu Picchu guided tour
  • Picnic lunch at Moray
  • Visit Chinchero
  • Visit Surquillo market
  • Visit the salt ponds at Mara
  • Visit to Pisac (pachamanca celebration)
  • Visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas

This culinary tour will take place in Peru, visiting Lima, Cusco, Pisac, and some fantastic locations in the Sacred Valley of Incas (Chinchero, Moray, Mara, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes, and Machu Picchu).

On this tour, you will be served all breakfasts, four lunches, and three dinners, including the two dinners you cook yourself. With meals at top Peruvian restaurants, intimate conversations with restaurateurs and chefs, and a cooking ceremony in a local village, you will truly explore the many facets of Peruvian culture through its rich culinary heritage. You will even learn about the ancient Incan influence on food cultivation through visits to select archaeological sites. Peruvian food is the ultimate fusion cuisine, stemming from its geographic and cultural diversity.

The Andean highlands provide quinoa, maize and more than 3,000 types of native potatoes. The Amazon region supplies delicious seasonal fruits, more than 20 of which are indigenous, and Perus 1500 miles of coast line delivers abundant fresh seafood. Culinary influences were brought to Peru in waves, by the Spanish, Japanese (Nikkei), Chinese (Chifa) and west Africans. These immigrants brought their culinary techniques and recipes and combined them with Perus agricultural bounty to create new genres of cuisine with exceptional flavors and textures.

Exclusions

Please plan to bring from 10 to 20 USD per lunch and from 20 to 30 USD per dinner for the five lunches and six dinners that are not included, as well as money for snacks, drinks, and bottled water.

Climbing Wayna Picchu

On day 8, head to Wayna Picchu, (the iconic mountain situated just behind the ruins) at 10:00 for the short but very strenuous climb. The ascent takes a little over an hour and the feeling of satisfaction when you reach the peak, along with the birds eye view of Machu Picchu, will take your breath away. Reservation in advance is required.

Restaurants

Lima is the most cosmopolitan of all Peruvian cities, a vibrant economic hub and home to three of the worlds top 50 restaurants. Please note that many top Lima restaurants require reservations far in advance, so please let Access Trips know if you would like their help to make a reservation.

  • 2 cooking classes (one demonstration, one hands-on)
  • 3 dinners
  • 4 lunches
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Coffee, pisco, and gelato tastings
  • Daily breakfast
  • Entrance fee and round trip train tickets to Aguas Calientes
  • Expert bilingual guides
  • Group airport transfers in Lima (day 1) and Cusco (day 9)
  • Guided market tours in Lima, Cusco, and Pisac
  • Guided sightseeing in Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu
  • Pachamanca experience (includes lunch)
  • Round trip bus transfers between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
  • Sightseeing entrance fees
  • Discretionary gratuities
  • Drinks, snacks, and remaining meals
  • Internal airfare from Lima to Cusco
  • International airfare
  • Mandatory travel insurance, including emergency medical evacuation
  • Optional activities
  • Private room upgrades
  • Taxi rides for non-included meals or activities
  • Visas

Arrival by airplane

Please arrive at Jorge Chvez International Airport (LIM). Access Trips will pick you up in the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Access Trips an inquiry.

Testimonials

  • Review by Traveler

    "Fascinating trip. Colorful and friendly people. Helpful, knowledgeable guides and drivers who did indeed become our friends. Interesting history, culture and food. Excellent and informative excursions. Congenial group. Quite a memorable experience. We feel fortunate to have been able to be part of it. "

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  • Review by Traveler

    "I wish I could give Pototo higher than a 10. He's a gem. Very warm, knowledgeable, and professional. He and his wife Pilar sponsored a happy hour at their home which was a highlight of our time in Havana. "

    Access Trips site, edited

  • Review by Jen D.

    "What a trip! I loved the insider-access, especially the visit to our guide's home! I also loved the farm and lunch in the Vinales Valley. Our guide was great, professional, informative, and had a good sense of humor."

    Access Trips website, edited

  • Review by Helen

    "I just want to say that our tour was by far the best trip we have ever been on. The guide was wonderful, and so was the driver. We felt like we spent a week with family members. I cant think of enough superlatives to express our appreciation for being teamed up with these two. Thank you."

    Access Trips website, edited

  • Review by Rachel

    "The trip leaders were always willing to assist you in any way and very proactive. Karim achieved his mission to make sure all were happy."

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  • Review by Chef Jen Demarest from California, USA

    "A great way to experience a new culture is through its cuisine. On its culinary tours, Access Trips does an amazing job of finding top chefs to teach cooking classes while offering insider access to the local culture."

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  • Review by Courtney from USA

    "I had an amazing trip. I loved everybody. I consider myself very lucky to have been in such a small group and was able to make such strong ties because of it. I got to take back a sport with me for the rest of my life. How many vacations can you say that about? You have something very special I hope that your success only gets bigger from here."

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  • Review by Sean from UK

    "This is just a quick note to thank you for the best trip Ive ever been on. I had a superb time, got to do lots of things I didnt think I could, ate muffins, and met, rode, and laughed with some great people. Thank you!"

    Access Trips website, edited

  • Review by Michael from Belgium

    "The trip was brilliant, awesome, inspirational, reviving, and fun. It was absolutely the best skiing trip Ive ever done. When I signed up I was thinking that even if half of what they claim is true, itll be amazing. I was a bit scared of expecting too much and getting disappointed. But, in reality, it was better than anything I had hoped for. I even caught myself dreaming I was practicing a 180 and a 360."

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  • Review by Megan from USA

    "Thanks again for a great time! My friends are already rolling their eyes and saying "Enough with the stories, we get it you had a great time!" Keep up the effort! People are dying out there for this type of experience."

    Access Trips website, edited

  • Review by Herve from France

    "I started working yesterday, but I am not very concentrated because my brain is full of the wonderful images of these 2 weeks I spent with Access Trips. Its sunny every day in my head after this tremendous vacation!"

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  • Review by Tamar Lowell

    "Trip of a lifetime is the only way to describe Access Trips' Mexico mountain bike and surfing trip. The biking is challenging and takes you through the real Mexico. You will ride past cowboys on horseback herding cattle and stop in a number of tiny villages. There, you are able to try homemade ice cream or a hot treat out of an earthen oven. If you are really lucky, you may sample some local moonshine called "ricia" that is as smooth as any tequila.The terrain is spectacular. The accommodations in Moscato are in an adobe and plank and timber hacienda; truly beautiful. Just as you are getting saddle sore, it is off to Sayulita, where you can soak up the sun, sand, surf, and drink cervezas. The surfing is at a picture postcard beach with surfing for every level and Sayulita has more varieties of fish tacos than you could try in two weeks. This was a great trip; best I've ever taken and I am a repeat customer."

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Access Trips’ goal is to give you unparalleled insider access to authentic culinary and cultural experiences, experiences that will turn into lifetime memories.

Speaks English

Offers starting at --

9 days / 8 nights

Availability

This vacation is available on selected dates, please choose an arrival date below.

 

Low season
  • April 10 - October 23, 2017 

 

Holiday season
  • December 26, 2017
Departure:
Tuesday June 13, 2017
(9 days / 8 nights)

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