With Peruvian cuisine on the rise worldwide, here’s a unique tour that introduces you to Cusco and the Sacred Valley through the best cuisine and restaurants that the region has to offer. You also experience the Peruvian culture of cooking with fresh local ingredients in a hands-on cooking class.

Highlights

  • Discover Machu Picchu while exploring Peru’s rich cultural heritage
  • Relax and enjoy the stunning views on your train journey to Machu Picchu
  • Enjoy an amazing meal at the end of each day at one of our hand-picked restaurants
  • Tour three distinctive ruins in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Dine at Cicciolina, a world-class restaurant hidden on the second floor of an old colonial house
  • Enjoy stone-grilled meeta at Uchu, known for the local Peruvian marinades
  • Take a cooking class and create your own meal at a rooftop cooking course

Brief itinerary

Day Highlight Restaurant Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Lima   Lima
Day 2 Arrival & sightseeing around Cusco Ciccolina  Cusco
Day 3 Cooking class of your choice Uchu Cusco
Day 4 Explore the Sacred Valley Tree House Ollantaytambo
Day 5 Private tour of Machu Picchu Belmond Hotel Aguas Calientes or Ollantaytambo
Day 6 Departing Cusco    

Overview

Explore the rich culture and history of the Sacred Valley while visiting various Inca ruins such as Ollantaytambo, the longest inhabited town in South America. From Ollantaytambo, you will visit the elegant homes for Inca royalty, surrounded by terraced hillsides and extensive aqueducts for agriculture.

Many aspects of the Inca life can also be seen at Pisac, such as ceremonial centers, Incan baths, a cliffside cemetery, and an agricultural area and living quarters. Continue this adventure with one of the seven wonders of the world Machu Picchu. Shrouded in mystery and built on the top of an incredibly steep mountain, this famous citadel city will astonish you.

Best of all, at the end of each day, you’ll enjoy luxurious meals in some of the best restaurants in Cusco. One of which is Cicciolina, a world-class restaurant located on the second floor of an old colonial house where you will dine on only the finest foods made with the purest local ingredients.

Another is Uchu, famous for their stone-grilled meats with typical Peruvian marinades made in their scratch kitchen. Try your hand at culinary excellence by choosing between an authentic Peruvian cooking class, including a trip to a local market, or a chocolate-filled creation experience at the Choco Museum.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Lima's Plaza Mayor

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to Lima, Peru's largest city and central metropolitan hub, and home to one-third of the country's population. Located at the site of a pre-Columbian indigenous Ychsma settlement, which was conquered by the Inca empire in the 15th century and later by the Spanish conquistadores, Lima has a fascinating history and a diverse mix of cultures. Amerindian, European, Afro-Peruvian, and Asian—especially Chinese and Japanese—influences make Lima a dynamic and exciting city to explore. 

Lima's breezy location on the Pacific Ocean and mild desert climate make it the perfect city for exploring on foot. Head downtown to mingle with locals, stretch your legs, and grab a bite to eat in one of the many award-winning restaurants. 

Suggested activities include

  • Explore the historic center of Lima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with fascinating Spanish architecture. Start with a scenic tour of the colonial downtown, which emanates from the main square. Stroll over to the 16th-century Cathedral, which took 80 years to construct and was built in the grandiose style of the Spanish Empire. 

  • Visit the Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion granted by chief conquistador Francisco Pizarro to Jerónimo de Aliaga, one of his captains, in 1535. This is the only house from that era that still belongs to the same family. 

  • Stroll around the Pueblo Libre district to the privately owned Larco Museum of pre-Columbian art, housed in a beautifully restored viceregal mansion built over a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid. The museum boasts a vast pre-Colonial collection of gold and silver artifacts. 

  • In the evening, head to the eclectic "Love Park" in the upscale coastal district of Miraflores, where you can admire a huge kissing statue and beautiful mosaic walls.  The park is built on the cliffs of Chorrillos and is a perfect place to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Pacific. 

  • Enjoy a nightcap at an open-air cafe or restaurant in the diverse Miraflores neighborhood.

Day 2: Imperial City of Cusco

Cusco
Welcome to Cusco! At 3400m above sea level, you may notice the altitude a little

Welcome to Cusco! You’ll be picked up at the airport and dropped off at your lodging. Today will be an easy day as you acclimatize to the altitude of Cusco (11,150 ft.). Enjoy the Plaza de Armas by finding a nice balcony to enjoy a cup of Coca tea. You’ll have a reservation for dinner tonight at the popular restaurant Cicciolina. Incredibly busy and often booked out at least two weeks in advance, this place boasts some of the tastiest dishes in Cusco.

Day 3: Indulge Your Senses

Rooftop cooking course
Cooking class at Rooftop Kitchen in Cusco (© Rooftop Kitchen)

See the open-air market, smell the local seasonings, hear the sizzle of your meal and finally taste the flavors of your own creation. You will indulge today in a cooking class of your choice, with a local company called rooftop kitchen.

You can choose a traditional cooking class, where you will go to the marketplace to buy in-season local ingredients, make a classic Pisco Sour, and create a tasty Peruvian dish, or, if you have a sweet tooth, you can delight in a chocolate cooking class.

The Bean to the bar tour will take you through the entire process of making chocolate, from the chocolate bean to the final product. You will make three types of chocolate drinks, as well as your own homemade chocolate to take home. You can also choose the truffle-making class where you will prepare ganache, temper chocolate, chocolate coats and finally decorate and fill truffles.

Tonight, you’ll dine at Uchu, a great local Peruvian steakhouse. Sizzling meats of all kinds can be had, including alpaca, beef, lamb and pork.

Day 4: Sacred Valley of the Incas

Sacsayhuaman
The giant boulders that make up the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, just outside of Cusco (© Nicole Koch)

We have a full day planned for you today. Your guide and private transport will pick you up early around 8 am from your hotel. We’ll make a quick stop at the archeological site of Sacsayhuaman just outside of Cusco, an Inca fortress with boulders weighing over twelve tons and over eight meters tall.

We’ll then drive forty-five minutes to the Sacred Valley of the Incas where you will visit the ruins of Pisac and its famous marketplace. If you’re looking to take back any souvenirs, this market will offer a great selection. From here, we’ll make a short stop at the ceramics center Semenario. You can stroll through the center on your own or have a fully-guided tour, seeing the process of how these handmade products are created.

Enjoy lunch on the river banks of the Urubamba river at Tunupa, the best restaurant in the Sacred Valley. The grounds are beautiful and it’s the perfect place to relax. Just before sunset is then the best time to see the last stronghold of the Incas, the ruins of Ollantaytambo.

We recommend staying in Ollantaytambo overnight, given this charming town is the ideal place to board your train to Machu Picchu the next day. However, if you would like to ensure you’ll be able to see Machu Picchu at sunrise, it’s best that you spend the night in Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu. Either way, we’ll set you up for a great meal in either locations.

Day 5: Private Tour of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
Spend the early morning and afternoon exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu

If you spent the last night in Ollantaytambo, you’ll take an early morning train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes arriving just before 7 am (approx. 2 hours). From Aguas Calientes, you can then either take a bus or hike yourself up the Inca staircase to Machu Picchu.

Today, you’ll have the entire morning and early afternoon to explore the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu with a full-guided tour. At lunch, you’ll take a brief rest at the Belmond hotel, where you’ll enjoy a buffet lunch. After lunch, take the bus down to Machu Picchu Pueblo. Dinner tonight is at the Tree House, one of the best restaurants in Aguas Calientes.

Tonight, either take the train back to Ollantaytambo for the night or sleep in Aguas Calientes and take the train directly to Cusco in the morning.

Day 6: Departure

If you’re departing Cusco today, we’ll pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the airport in time for your flight.

Map

Map of Sacred Valley Cuisine Tour - 6 Days
Map of Sacred Valley Cuisine Tour - 6 Days