Imagine spending two weeks in Peru dedicated to all things delicious. Following this itinerary, you'll visit buzzing food markets in Lima and join in on cooking classes in Cusco. You'll spend a whole day exploring Macchu Picchu, dip into Inca ruins on Amantani Island, and get stuck into some traditional Inca feasts along the way.

Highlights

  • Explore the capital of Lima 
  • See the sunrise from Machu Picchu
  • Take part in a Peruvian cooking class
  • Discover the Sacred Valley
  • Get to know the amazing islands of Lake Titicaca

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Explore Lima  Lima
Day 2 Explore Lima Lima
Day 3 Visit Cusco Cusco
Day 4 Discover the market and ruins of Pisac Aguas Calientes
Day 5 Spend a day at Machu Picchu Machu Picchu
Day 6 Head to Chinchero, Moray, and Salineras  Ollantaytambo 
Day 7 Explore Ollantaytambo Ollantaytambo
Day 8 Visit the Sacred Valley Cusco
Day 9 Join a cooking class in Cusco Cusco
Day 10 Get to the know the South Valley Ayaviri
Day 11 See the best of Lampa Puno
Day 12 Arrive at Lake Titicaca Amantani Island
Day 13 Go to Taquile Island on Lake Titicaca       Puno 
Day 14 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Discover Lima's Food Scene

Women cooking in Lima (Photo credit: Arturo Rojas)

Welcome to Lima! In one of the most passionately "foodie" cities on the planet, you have to try the national dish of ceviche. Walk all that seafood off with a trip through the seaside suburbs of the Peruvian capital, noticing all the remnants of pre-Inca history as you go.

Visit the Circuito Mágico del Agua light and water show — Lima’s quirkiest attraction — before dinner at a peña where you can get a taste of the local folk dance culture. Stay overnight in Lima, and get ready for another adventure in the capital the next day.

Day 2: Get to Know Lima in Depth

Lima
Lima

One of the best things about Peru's food is the diversity of available produce. Ingredients from the ocean, mountains, and jungle all come together at the capital's Magdalena Market, which you'll be visiting this morning for a food sample (or seven). Later on, explore the colonial buildings, grand plazas, and catacombs of Lima's historic center before heading to the waterways of Barranco to sample Peru's answer to the donut — sweet potato dough-based picarones.

Alternatively, if it's September you could attend Mistura. It's the annual food event in Latin America, featuring cooking demonstrations and competitions. At this event, it's possible to taste dishes by internationally-renowned chefs. So, come hungry. Spend the night in Lima before heading a new destination the next day. 

Day 3: Discover Cusco's Delicious Side

Cusco
Cusco

Take a short flight to Cusco. Sitting 10,000 feet (3,300 meters) above sea level, the old capital of the Inca empire has to be one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. Wind through the cobbled streets and historic buildings of downtown before heading to the cosmopolitan Magisterio area for dinner and local craft beers.

Day 4: Head to Pisac and Aguas Calientes

Pisac
A market in Pisac 

Travel the short distance to Pisac. This village is home to the biggest handicraft market in the region and a giant Inca fortress — on this trip, you can explore both.  Taste local street food like choclo con queso (corn and cheese) and wood-fired empanadas before heading to the nearby town of Urubamba for gourmet Novo-Andino (new Andean fusion) cuisine. 

In the afternoon, it's time to catch a train to Aguas Calientes, a town dominated by cliff walls and shrouded in rainforest. This will be your jumping-off point for visiting Machu Picchu tomorrow. 

Day 5: Explore Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
Macchu Picchu

An early start will bring you to Machu Picchu to watch the sunrise. Spend the whole day exploring this ancient city deep among Peru's green mountains, then head back to Aguas Calientes for the night. 

Day 6: Visit Inca Ruins and Salt Mines in Moray and Salineras

Salineras
Salineras

This morning, head for Chinchero to visit outdoor weaving studios and an Inca ruin with incredible views. Next up, check out Moray — a mysterious complex of amphitheaters dating back to Inca times. Take a stroll through the local farmland to Salineras, a surreal patchwork of paths and pools that continues to produce salt using ancient Inca technology. Stay overnight in Ollantaytambo

Day 7: Get to Know Ollantaytambo

Ruins in Ollantaytambo

A perfectly preserved Inca town filled with cobblestone alleyways, sun-filled plazas, and working Inca waterways, this morning explore Ollantaytambo. Have lunch, then go for a hike to the town's Inca fortress — or perhaps on a local distillery tour, or just to a riverside beer garden for a drink. It's really up to you!

Day 8: See the Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley

Today, drive the entire length of the Sacred Valley. Known for its Inca terraces, orchards, farmland, and amazing mountain views, you'll want to take a lot of photos this morning.

For lunch, how about a pachamanca (earth oven) feast? This used to be the celebratory meal of the Incas, and it tastes just as good all these years later. Foods typically include chicken, lamb, banana, yuca, corn, soft cheese, and various kinds of potato that get coated with secret condiments then buried, cooked, and served with uchucuta — a creamy and slightly spicy sauce. 

After lunch, head back to Cusco for an afternoon's exploring, or just for a post-lunch nap. 

Day 9: Learn How to Cook the Peruvian Way

A food market in Cusco
A food market in Cusco

Spend the day with an expert cook learning how to make regional dishes. First head to the Vinocanchón wholesale producer’s market on the outskirts of Cusco to select your ingredients. Then make your way to the kitchen, roll up your sleeves, and learn how to prepare a gourmet Peruvian meal.

Day 10: Discover the Food of the South Valley

The South Valley

The Valle Sur is a favorite local foodie destination for good reason. Each town in the region actually has its own specialty dish: chuta bread in Oropesa, guinea pig in Tipón, fried cheese in Checacupe, and chicharrónes in Saylla.

It’s also home to the church of Andahuaylillas, a building so grand it’s known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas. After eating and wandering and being thoroughly charmed, spend the night in Ayaviri

Day 11: Visit the Cathedral in Lampa

Puno
Floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca near Puno

Today, explore the surreal canyons of Tinajani on the way to one of the most mysterious spots in Peru — Lampa. Once one of the richest towns in the country, it’s now practically a ghost town, making the grandeur of its cathedral all the more impressive.  Inside you'll find a catacomb filled with skulls and skeletons, as well as a full-scale reproduction of Michelangelo’s Pietá. In the evening, head to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, just in time for dinner. 

Day 12: Visit Amantani Island 

Amantani Island
Amantani Island

This morning, take to the waters of Lake Titicaca. First up, visit Uros people and their famous floating reed islands. Then check out Amantani Island. There, eat all the sopa de quinua (quinoa and vegetable soup) you can before exploring this pedestrian-only island a little more. Spend the night on Amantani. 

Day 13: Explore Taquile Island

Taquile Island
Taquile Island

After breakfast, head out on a short cruise across Lake Titicaca to pretty Taquile Island. There, you can explore the island's winding paths and visit peaceful villages where the views look out to the snow-capped peaks of Bolivia. This is one of the most famous textile spots in the Andes, and on a visit, you can learn about the colorful weavings that are made here. In the afternoon, head back to Puno for the night. 

Day 14: Departure 

Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca

It's time to leave Puno and Lake Titicaca. From hiking in the Andes to getting to know the Sechura Desert, if you're staying on in Peru after your two-week gastronomic adventure, there's still plenty to see and explore.