- Discover Peru's cultural & culinary highlights
- Learn the secrets of Peruvian cuisine with a home-cooking lesson
- Wander colorful produce & handicraft markets in Pisac, Cusco & Lima
- Experience the magic of Machu Picchu at sunrise
- Sample traditional recipes in the Valle de Sur villages
|Welcome to Cusco!
|Moray, Salineras & Ollantaytambo
|Pisac, Patabamba & Pachamanca
|Full Immersion Peruvian Cooking Day
|The South Valley
|Lima - Gastronomic Capital of the Americas
Day 1: Welcome to Cusco!
Welcome to Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire and a natural starting point for any Peru itinerary. You'll be welcomed first with a traditional Peruvian meal at a local restaurant, before meeting your guide for a relaxed afternoon walking tour of Cusco's stunning historic center. Remember to take it easy if you've arrived from sea level—it takes time to adjust to Cusco's 11,200 foot (3,400 m) elevation!
In the evening, head for Magisterio, Cusco's cosmopolitan residential area. Here you'll dine alongside the city's well-heeled local gourmets, then drop in for a craft beer at Zenith—one of the many microbreweries that have sprung up in Cusco in recent years.
Day 2: Moray, Salineras & Ollantaytambo
This morning you'll explore Moray—a mysterious amphitheater complex of astounding engineering precision and stern beauty. Afterward, a stroll through rolling farmland with views of the high Andes brings you to Salineras—a remarkable patchwork of pools that still produces salt using Inca technology.
Lunch is an organic, gourmet, farm-to-table experience to remember in gorgeous Ollantaytambo, a perfectly preserved, incredibly charming Inca town with atmospheric cobbled alleyways, sun-drenched plazas, and working Inca waterways.
Later this afternoon, take a short (1.5 hours) train ride to Aguas Calientes, the rainforest-gorge town that's your jumping-off point for Machu Picchu tomorrow.
Day 3: Machu Picchu
A spectacular stone city surrounded by steep, lush mountains: Machu Picchu needs no introduction. Today you'll discover the grand main citadel, find hidden nooks and crannies, and experience breathtaking views from this mysterious wonder of the 15th-century Inca Empire.
Rise at sunrise and be rewarded with a guided tour before the crowds arrive. After the magical early morning quiet, there will be plenty more time for your own exploration of the massive site before you take the train back to the Sacred Valley for the night.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Pisac, Patabamba & Pachamanca
This morning starts with a drive through the stunningly scenic Sacred Valley to Pisac: home of a vast Inca fortress and the largest handicraft market in the region. After plenty of time to explore both, you'll make our way to Patabamba— an isolated farming village with million-dollar views. Here you'll sit down for a special lunch of pachamanca (literally “earth oven” in the Inca language, Quechua)—the celebratory feast of the Incas.
Your local cooks will prepare chicken, lamb, banana, yuca, corn, soft cheese, and various potatoes, all lovingly coated with secret condiments, then buried, cooked in hot earth, and served with uchucuta—a deliciously creamy, spicy sauce.
After lunch, you'll head to Cusco, where you’ll have the afternoon free to wander the winding streets and charming plazas of the Inca capital.
Day 5: Full Immersion Peruvian Cooking Day
Today you'll spend the day with a local expert chef who specializes in Peru's regional cuisine. Your excursion starts at the Vinocanchón wholesale producer's market on Cusco's outskirts, where you'll help select ingredients from amongst the city's best fresh, locally-grown produce. Afterward, you'll head to the kitchen, roll up your sleeves, and get down to business, preparing a three-course, gourmet feast (along with a jug of pisco sour to wash it down).
Day 6: The South Valley
Rarely visited by foreign tourists, the Valle Sur is a major food destination for locals. Each village has its own specialty, like chuta (sweet anise bread) in Oropesa, guinea pig in Tipón, and chicharrónes (crispy pork) in Saylla. Today you'll sample each of these delicacies, enjoy a picnic lunch on a lakeshore, and visit a couple of scenic pre-Inca ruins. After a stop in Andahuaylillas—a church so ornate it's known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas—you'll return to Cusco for the evening.
Day 7: Lima - Gastronomic Capital of the Americas
This morning you'll fly to Lima— known as the gastronomic capital of the Americas and one of the best places in the world to eat!
Peruvian food is justly famous for the quality of its ingredients. Your first stop today is a suburban produce market, where elements from the ocean, mountains, and jungle come together in almost overwhelming abundance.
Lunch will be a tour of the best Peruvian coastal cuisine like causa (avocado and seafood layered between mashed potato) and ceviche (the famously delicious marinated raw fish).
Work off lunch with a stroll around Lima's grand colonial center, then head for the picturesque cobbled byways of the historic bohemian neighborhood of Barranco for one last snack of picarones— a sweet, doughnut-like snack made from sweet potato.
Day 8: Departure Day
Enjoy your final morning in Peru with a leisurely breakfast to celebrate one last taste of the country's cuisine. Afterward, transfer to the airport to catch your departing flight.