Duration: 9 days/8 nights
Departure Dates: Any day you would like!
Pricing: From $1,995 USD per person
Peru´s diverse historic and geographic landscapes have inspired an equally diverse gastronomic heritage. Because of its varied climates, the country is often categorized into three major regions: the coastal desert, the rocky Andes, and the humid jungle. In turn, these regions have developed unique cultures and cuisines. On this adventure throughout the country, we’ll sample and learn about the entire spectrum of Peruvian food. Along the way, we’ll take in Peru’s most famous highlights. Specifically, our tour combines the very best of Peruvian food and culture with classic highlights such as the Nazca Lines, Lima, the Sacred Valley, Cusco and Machu Picchu.
As with all Ayni travel, this itinerary can be customized or combined with tours and activities in Cusco and beyond. Please contact us for custom itineraries, quotes and questions!
Welcome to Peru´s culinary capital! We’ll be waiting in the airport for transfer to your comfortable hotel in Lima´s seaside district of Miraflores. Relax, rest up, and prepare your appetite for the coming days.
Today your Lima culinary tour begins! Spend the day getting to know this ancient and diverse city. We´ll combine an introduction to Peruvian coastal cuisine with Lima`s historical highlights. Begin the morning in the bohemian art district of Barranco. You’ll visit the local market, shopping alongside moms and sous chefs. We’ll sample fresh fruits and explore an astounding array Peruvian produce. From there, take a break of organic Peruvian coffee, then continue to the Huaca Pucllana ruins for a sampling of classic Peruvian foods. For example, Peru’s signature dish, ceviche. This fish and seafood cocktail, gently marinated in fresh lime juice, is a Lima staple. In addition, We’ll taste other authentic dishes, beverages and cocktails.
From there, continue to Lima’s historic center, visiting the Plaza Mayor, Cathedral, the Presidential Palace. Our final stop is San Francisco church, to visit the bright-yellow Franciscan monastery famous for its bone-lined catacombs, built in 1546 and used as a cemetery in the colonial era.
Today, we´ll traverse the starkly beautiful desert that comprises Peru´s coastal region toward Paracas. Stop for lunch at a family run bodega, where you can learn about and sample local wines and piscos. Spend the afternoon and evening on the shores of Paracas Bay, enjoying lovely beaches and a fresh seafood meal at the restaurant of your choice.
After a filling breakfast, visit Paracas National Reserve for the opportunity to observe flamingos, rolling sand dunes, and beautiful beaches bordered by high red cliffs. Next, soar over the ancient and mysterious Nazca lines, a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Peruvian desert. From a plane, you will look down on the figures, the largest of which is over 1,200 feet long! These figures were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, and scholars believe they were created by the Nazca culture 500 BCE and 500 CE. Specifically, You’ll observe designs ranging from geometric shapes to animals like birds, llamas, jaguars, and monkeys. From there, return to Lima, with drop off at your airport hotel.
After breakfast, fly to historic Cusco, center of the Inca Empire. Spend the day wandering cobblestone streets and learning about Cusco´s most important sites. We´ll visit the historic center, including the Cathedral, Qoricancha, and the historic neighborhood of San Blas.
Next, head to an authentic local market, where you´ll see vendors and shoppers in action, haggling over fresh produce, herbs, meat, and much more. Here, we´ll purchase fresh ingredients for a traditional meal of Peruvian food we´ll prepare with a local chef.
Today, discover Inca ruins scattered across the beautiful open countryside above the city. First, we´ll visit Tambomachay, Pukapuka, Qenqo and the incredible fortress of Saqsayhuaman, which is believed to have served an important function as a military stronghold for the Incas. These fascinating ruins are located high above the city, and we will have excellent panoramic views of the Cusco valley and surrounding hills. After hiking through the ruins and enjoying a picnic lunch, we descend to Cusco to make our very own Peruvian chocolates. Peru is currently the world´s ninth largest producer of cocoa, and this afternoon we will learn a little more about the history and production of chocolate in Peru.
After breakfast, set out with your guide through the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. Along our way, we stop to visit an artisan market, Inca ruins, and a family farm above the Sacred Valley. Help prepare and enjoy a traditional pachamanca lunch with a local family, then learn about traditional agriculture. Here, you will have the chance to talk with them and learn a little bit more about what life is like in the high Andes. Depending on the season, it may be possible to participate in planting, harvesting, or other tasks. In the late afternoon, depart on a scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes, the town located at Machu Picchu’s base.
Explore Machu Picchu! From Aguas Calientes, we will take the bus up a series of winding switchbacks to the entrance of Machu Picchu, where you will finally catch a glimpse of the City in the Sky! On your two hour guided tour, you´ll visit all the famous highlights like , plus lesser-known (but equally fabulous) spots. Add a Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain climb for an extra challenge and breathtaking views of the ruins.
This morning is free for any last minute sightseeing or shopping. In the early afternoon, transfer to the Cusco airport. Say goodbye to Peru and return to Lima to catch your international flight home.
What an excellent tour! I was so impressed with the variety of foods we were presented with each day, and loved the cooking class. Of course, Machu Picchu was a highlight.