Peru Real Food Adventure
Travel DatesDepartures year round
Sale EndsDec 31, 2023
Day 1: Lima
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Lima, arguably South America's best foodie destination. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and travel group. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where this meeting will take place. Afterwards, set out on a walking tour. In the heart of the colonial district you'll see San Martin plaza, visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery and catacombs, then stop past Lima's Central Market. Here you will discover the building blocks of Peruvian cuisine, including mouth-watering fruits, vegetables, meat and fish sourced from all over the country. This walk is also a great taste of Lima's excellent downtown street food scene. Savour a variety of bite-size treats, including 'anticuchos' (grilled beef hearts) and 'papas' (potatoes), 'masamorra' (purple corn), 'arroz con leche' (sweet rice with milk) and 'picarones' (Peruvian doughnuts). Finish up in Lima's main square with the option of dinner downtown or heading back to Miraflores.
Day 2: Lima
Begin the day with a visit to the vibrant Chorrillos fish market, before heading to a cooking class with 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, you'll have free time to spend as you wish. You might like to walk or cycle around Miraflores or visit one of Lima's excellent museums. In the 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.
Day 3: Cusco
Before departing Lima, head to a Pisco distillery just outside the city to learn how this iconic spirit is produced, followed by a tasting. Then it's 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!
Day 4: Cusco
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. Learn about Andean ingredients with a passionate local cook before preparing some classic Peruvian dishes. After tucking into your creations over lunch, enjoy free time for the rest of the day. You may like to explore more of Cusco's Incan sites, pop by the Museu de Chocolate or relax in the Plaza de Armas.
Day 5: Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo
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.
Day 6: Coffee Farmstay
Awaken to Ollantaytambo, a town that has been built over an ancient Inca city. Take a guided tour of these Inca ruins, keeping an eye out for the legendary Temple of the Sun with its enormous carved blocks, stone water fountains, Incan stairs and terraces. Next, take a scenic 3 hour drive over the Abra Malaga pass to Huayopata where we will have lunch. Visit a local cacao farm for a hands-on experience of the cacao bean to bar cycle. Cacao cultivation has been an important part of Latin American history for centuries. After an insightful day, continue towards a nearby coffee farm for a delicious plant-based dinner, prepared by your host and enjoyed with views of their surrounding farmland. Alongside the peppers and root vegetables that the region is well-known for, taste the caigua, a type of gourd and a local favourite. Tonight, rest easy in simple, comfortable accommodation at your hosts' farmstay.
Day 7: Aguas Calientes
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 variety a huge hit worldwide, and there’s no better place to sample these flavours than here. Experience the production cycle from crop to cup. 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.
Day 8: Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo
Rise early for a morning tour of Machu Picchu. 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 Urubamba river 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).
Day 9: Cusco
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 and your travel companions may like to share one last Pisco sour overlooking the Plaza de Armas.
Day 10: Cusco
Your Peruvian Real Food Adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no activities planned today.