Savoring Peru’s Culinary Treasures
Peruvian cuisine has been made famous by the likes of world-renowned Peruvian chefs Gaston Acurio and Virgilio Martinez, and in recent memory Peru has been consistently ranked as one of the top culinary destinations the world over. Let the flavors speak for themselves in this private Peru culinary tour for your taste buds. From dining at some of the restaurants voted best in the world, to trying your hosts’ Grandma’s family recipes, to pairing pisco with gourmet hours d’oeuvres, come prepared with an open mind and a hefty appetite! Do you fancy sampling the local delicacy “cuy” (guinea pig), marveling at giant-kernelled Incan corn, digging into a feast fresh from an earthen oven, or trying your own hand at flambeing “Lomo Saltado”? If so, we invite you to come with us to savor culinary delights on a once-in-a-lifetime Peru culinary tour. ¡Buen Provecho!
- In Lima, Peru’s “City of Kings,” dine at restaurants that top the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- Visit an ancient hacienda and learn about the giant white-kernelled corn originally cultivated and worshipped by Incan royalty!
- Dig into a true Peruvian feast prepared al fresco over white-hot stones: the Pachamanca
- Wine and dine your way to Machu Picchu, Peru’s ancient lost citadel
- Learn about salt-harvesting practices passed down through generations at salt pans carved into the mountainside
- Visit indigenous markets where you can sample local spices, peculiar concoctions, and exotic fruits!
- Taste your way through Peruvian cuisine in Cusco, sampling locally-sourced chocolate, coffee, and the grape-based spirit Pisco.
- Spend an afternoon with one of Cusco’s award-winning chefs, learning insider tricks of the trade
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: Arrival in Lima – Welcome to Peru!
Day 2: Introduction to the City of Kings – Tour colonial Lima with your private guide, also visiting the famous Larco Herrera Museum!
Day 3: Lima to Cusco – Fly to Cusco to visit an ancient hacienda and indulge in a locally-prepared gourmet meal, then tour the vibrant Pisac market.
Day 4: Exploring the Sacred Valley – Hike through the expansive Patacancha valley to the steep ruins of Ollantaytambo, and delight in a Peruvian “Pachamanca” feast!
Day 5: The Lost City of the Incas – Arrive to Aguas Calientes by train and spend the afternoon with your private guide visiting the World Wonder, Machu Picchu!
Day 6: Machu Picchu on your terms – Hike the legendary Huayna Picchu, and then enjoy a scenic train ride back to the Sacred Valley.
Day 7: Maras and Moray – Visiting the Agricultural Lab of the Incas in Maras and Moray and Our Friends in a Local Community!
Day 8: Cusco – Enjoy a tour of “The Navel of the Universe” with your private guide, and discover some intense flavors with a Peruvian tasting workshop.
Day 9: Cusco’s Culinary Delights – Spend the morning exploring Cusco’s hidden nooks on your own, and then delight in one of the city’s finest cooking classes.
Day 10: Cusco to Lima and Home – Fly to Lima and embark on a private tour of bohemian Barranco before your international flight home.
DAY 1: Arrive at your hotel in Lima after your international flight to Peru!
Lima is a metropolitan city known for its colonial architecture and mouthwatering ceviche!
When your international flight arrives in Lima, look for your Kuoda host holding a sign with your name on it! We know you’ll most likely be a little tired after your long flight, so we’ll save you the stress of trying to navigate and bring you straight to your hotel where you can shake off that icky flight feeling with a shower and a sleep. Relax into the evening and enjoy a good night’s rest.
Day 2: Take a private colonial tour of Lima’s historic center, and visit the renowned Larco Herrera Museum.
The pre-Colombian archaeology museum of Larco Herrera holds about 45,000 artifacts from the coast of Peru.
Wake up refreshed and enjoy breakfast in your hotel this morning. You have the morning to spend at your leisure, either enjoying the comforts of your hotel or exploring vibrant Miraflores!
At the appropriate time mid-day, we’ll collect you and bring you to the Pueblo Libre neighborhood, home to the Larco Herrera Museum. Housing the country’s largest collection of pre-Columbian artifacts (including extensive gold and silver collections, as well as the infamous erotic archaeological collection) and providing rare open access to their exquisitely catalogued storage area, this museum is the perfect introduction to Peru’s multi-faceted cultural history.
First, you’ll begin your visit with a delicious lunch enjoyed on the vine-covered terrace of the Museum’s café, and then you’ll have time to explore the exhibits.
Next we’ll delve into the heart of Peru’s “City of Kings,” where you’ll visit the Plaza Mayor, featuring the current President’s palace, the Convent of San Francisco (including subterranean catacombs!) and the Casa Aliaga, which is the western hemisphere’s oldest mansion and still owned and inhabited by the 17th generation of the Aliaga family.
Upon completion of your tour, we will bring you to a restaurant of your choice where we will have secured reservations for you. We highly recommend the restaurants Central or Maido, currently holding positions #6 and #7 respectively in the world’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2018 (though please remember reservations here should be secured a month or two in advance!).
Day 3: Fly to Cusco to tour an ancient local hacienda and stop-by the agricultural ruins and vibrant market of Pisac.
The Sacred Valley, lower in altitude than Cusco, offers gorgeous landscapes and a serene atmosphere.
This morning we’ll escort you back to the airport for your morning flight to Cusco. Watch the windows as the desert coast rises into the snow-capped peaks of the Andes!
Just 15 minutes outside of Cusco, true Peruvian countryside will stretch away on either side of you, sheep grazing tranquilly road-side. Impossibly steep peaks rise in the distance. Your journey will take you to an ancient hacienda, nestled in the fertile valley next to the pueblo of Pisac. Step onto the family-owned hacienda grounds and step into centuries past while your hosts expound upon the growing process of Giant White Corn and its profound cultural significance in the Andes Mountains. This hacienda dates back generations, and you’ll immediately be immersed in local customs steeped in the spirits and mysticism of the Andes, and embraced by the warmth of local Peruvians.
Relish your time on the farm with a delicious multi-course lunch with sample dishes featuring none other than the “white gold” giant-kernelled corn, and make sure to visit the on-site stables housing the renowned Peruvian Paso horses. Watch the horses dance with their human counterparts in a “marinera” demonstration, and even go for a quick trot yourself if you feel up to the task!
From there, your exclusive tour of Peru will take you to another valley town – Pisac – where you’ll have the chance to rub shoulders with locals as you survey the artisan offerings of the market. Vegetables, textiles and silver jewelry are just some of the items that are sold here.
Later, return to the hotel of your choice.
Day 4: Hike to Ollantaytambo’s iconic ruins and enjoy a traditional Peruvian feast!
Ollantaytambo is a fascinating Incan town known for its original urban planning and awe-inspiring ruins.
Today’s journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas will start with a drive through the breathtaking Patacancha Valley. At the ruins of Pumamarca we’ll begin our hike down a pre-Columbian trail, following irrigation canals that line terraced fields still in use today.
After approximately two hours of easy hiking, we’ll find ourselves in the Incan town of Ollantaytambo, where the centuries-old influence of the Incas is still very much visible: water from the mountains trickles down to the Inca-built street canals, while original Inca walls and trapezoidal doors are still found here.
With your guide by your side, ascend beyond the stepped, slope-side terraces to the ruins of a centuries-old fortress above town, where the Incas secured an important victory over the Spanish conquistadors. Inspect the intricately hewn stone constructions and have your guide show you the distant quarries from where the Incas sourced these huge stone blocks. This site also afford fabulous views of the valley and the Urubamba River that meanders through it.
We hope you worked up an appetite while hiking, because next on the schedule is a true Peruvian feast: the traditional Pachamanca! The centuries-old Pachamanca tradition involves marinating lamb, pork, chicken, and potatoes in a variety of Andean ingredients and cooking them to perfection in an underground oven. You’ll witness each step of the process: how the oven is prepared, how white-hot stones are layered, and how the feast materializes before your eyes. While waiting for your feast to roast, make sure to wander through the grounds’ organic garden, smell the fresh-roasted coffee produced by the farm’s head roaster, and sample some of the varieties of cañazo (a local Andean spirit) that are produced on-site at the one-of-a-kind distillery.
Upon completion of your tour, we will bring you back to your hotel for an evening spent at leisure.
Day 5: Enjoy a morning train through the cloud forest and visit the Machu Picchu Citadel!
Machu Picchu will take your breath away with its enigmatic and historical atmosphere.
Prepare for a climactic day! In the morning, we will board the train in Ollantaytambo for our journey to Machu Picchu. Watch the cloud jungle pass by through the large glass windows! Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes, we’ll tuck in to an early lunch in order to refuel before ascending to Peru’s lost citadel.
After a bus ride to the gates of this wonder of the world, you will pass through the main gates with your private guide to finally emerge at the top of the world – Machu Picchu. The incredible Inca stone construction will be spread below, alternately hidden and revealed by clouds. Your expert guide will give you a private tour of the ancient city.
Upon conclusion of your tour, return for an evening in Aguas Calientes. Enjoy an excellent dinner on-site at your hotel and fall into bed, lulled to sleep by the sound of the cloud forest around you.
Day 6: Hike one of the coveted, limited-entry hikes, Huayna Picchu!
Huayna Picchu, a not to miss experience while exploring Machu Picchu!
Today you have the option to hike two different trails – Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, so it’s completely up to you on how you would like to culminate your Machu Picchu luxury tour. Feeling adventurous? Consider hiking the steep slope of neighboring Huayna Picchu, which offers unrivalled views over Machu Picchu. Please note that only a limited amount of hikers are allowed to climb Huayna Picchu each day and tickets will need to be purchased in advance along with your Machu Picchu entrance.
In the afternoon, reconvene in Aguas Calientes and board the return train to Ollantaytambo. Your Kuoda host will meet you at the station and bring you to your hotel for a well-deserved good night’s rest.
Day 7: Connect with Andean locals and visit Maras and Moray!
The Sacred Valley is known for its friendly people and breathtaking snow-capped mountain views!
After breakfast, you’ll be taken to see the ancient agricultural site of Moray. Experts today believe these grassy amphitheaters served as a farming laboratory, with the varying temperatures and soils of the ascending terraces providing different growing environments. We’ll pass through the town of Maras – known for its beautiful colonial doorways – before arriving at the town’s still-in-use salt pans. The small white evaporation pools that cover the hillside are still harvested by locals in a traditional manner. We’ll pause for a delicious local lunch, where you’ll be able to sample some regional fare.
Post lunch you’ll have a chance to mingle with the locals during a visit to an off-the-beaten-track highland village on the shore of the icy blue Lake Piuray. This rural community subsists on agriculture and many of the women are master weavers, creating exquisite textiles using generations-old techniques. You will have the opportunity to communicate with the residents, visit their houses and fields, and experience what day-to-day life is like in the Andean highlands. You might also get to meet some of the local children who attend Kuoda’s after-school program (Monday to Friday) – they love sharing their art with visitors.
Later, you’ll return to your comfortable hotel of choice.
Day 8: Explore the hidden cobblestone streets of historical Cusco and taste your way through the most iconic Peruvian products.
Tucked into the Andes Mountains, the city of Cusco lies at 11,150ft (3,300m) above sea level!
It’s time to get acquainted with Cusco, a gorgeous city that wins the heart of most every traveler that passes through it. Get to know the real Cusco during a private tour. After breakfast, meet your guide and wander among the archaeological remains of Sacsayhuaman, where the Incas staged a great battle against the conquistadors. Return to the city and roam the atmospheric streets of the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, which is known for its free-spirited scene. Explore Qoricancha and the Santo Domingo monastery (a colonial structure built on top of the ancient Inca temple of the sun); see where the locals make their grocery runs at the open-air San Pedro market and pass the famous 12-angled stone, whose image appears on the bottle of the local Cusqueña beer.
At the end of the tour, your guide will suggest places to enjoy a delicious light local lunch, but make sure to save some room for the snacks that await you in your Peru culinary tour this afternoon!
First make your way to the Coffee Museum, just a ten minute walk from your hotel, where a stimulating aroma will welcome you in. After a workshop detailing coffee’s history as well as how it is grown, sorted, and roasted, you will be whisked away to the Chocolate Museum. Did you know that Peru is the birthplace of chocolate? Here you will learn about its spectacular history and the unique process that chocolate undergoes from plant to plate. Best of all, make your own chocolate truffles to bring home with you! Lastly, you will find yourself in the Republica del Pisco to taste an assortment of the country’s spirit-of-choice paired with Peruvian fusion appetizers. This is the perfect way to know which Pisco variety you’ll want to take home with you!
Day 9: Spend the morning at your leisure, and spend the afternoon whipping up some traditional Peruvian fare!
Cusco is home of the superfoods! Learn about them all in one of the city’s best cooking classes.
Today you have a free morning. Sleep in and relax, or get up early to watch the Plaza de Armas come to life with the sunrise! You have the whole morning to spend at your leisure, exploring Cusco and its fascinating streets and shops. Have a late-morning snack or light lunch, but nothing too heavy, as you will want to show up to your afternoon activity hungry!
In the early afternoon, continue with your Peru culinary tour by heading to one of Cusco’s best restaurants and spend the afternoon learning about Peru’s culinary history and current cuisine from one of the best area chefs. You will learn how to make Peruvian starters and entrees, accompanied by a never-ending stream of snacks and samples fresh from the restaurant’s oven. Delight your palate with exotic fruits, make Pisco-based cocktails, learn a traditional way to slice vegetables, and spend the afternoon laughing and enjoying this truly special cooking class.
Day 10: Tour the inspired streets of bohemian Barranco and bid farewell to Peru!
The Limeñan district of Barranco is home to Peru’s most influential artists, musicians, and cultural commentators.
Going home is the worst part of any private Peru vacation, but at Kuoda, we’ll do our best to make it as smooth and hassle-free as possible. First, we’ll bring you to Cusco airport for your return flight to Lima. In Lima, a Kuoda host will meet you and take you to the seaside bohemian district of Barranco. See the streets of Barranco come alive as you visit a number of local art galleries and shops that support local artisans. Finally, enjoy a first-class gourmet meal featuring world-renowned Peruvian flavors in a restaurant of your choosing before returning to the airport for your journey home! Buen viaje!
Like the sound of this Savoring Peru’s Culinary Treasures private tour? Get in touch with Kuoda and we’ll start crafting your very own customized private travel experience to Peru!
Notes: There are many additional activities that can be added to the Savoring Peru’s Culinary Treasures private tour, as our tours are entirely customized to your interests, hobbies, and expectations! Please note that Huayna Picchu has a limited entry quota per day and needs to be booked months in advance.
- Spend the afternoon sampling locally-brewed craft beers paired with gourmet appetizers, learning about the up-and-coming beer scene from one of the movement’s founders
- Visit Pisco distilleries in the coastal desert and learn about the political history surrounding Peru’s spirit of choice
- Spend an afternoon in a rural community, learning about modern-day subsistence farming and ancient agricultural practices
- Delight in an Amazonian culinary experience in Lima. Visit a renowned Amazonian restaurant and learn about various exotic fruits and vegetables.
- Experience a Nikkei (Peruvian-Japanese Fusion) culinary experience in Lima. Visit one of the world’s top-ranked restaurants, Maido, for an unforgettable Peruvian cuisine experience!
- Discover why Lima is considered the ultimate city for a Peru culinary tour. Savor Lima’s rich Peruvian cuisine, culture, and fascinating history through a variety of restaurants, styles, and districts in only one day!
- Personalized itinerary planning: Work with a Kuoda Travel Designer to create the trip of your dreams.
- Kuoda hosts take the hassle out of traveling. They’ll be there to assist you – whether with luggage, check in, transport or translating – at every destination during your private tour of Peru.
- Got a question or query? Kuoda operate a 24-hour, seven day a week customer service operation and can provide updates and assistance whenever you need it.
- With Kuoda, you’ll never be bundled in with big groups; each visit, activity, tour and experience will be completely private and conducted by your very own expert, English-speaking guide.
- Our private tours of Peru are fully flexible, which means we can modify them to suit your travel mood. So if you want to cut an activity or add on a new one, just say the word!
- All necessary adventure and trekking equipment will be provided so all you need bring is yourself.
- Receive a customized Kuoda Travel kit upon arrival.
Our staff hand picks the best hotels in the country to ensure you experience utmost comfort and character.
Feel free to browse our recommendations and let us know if you’d like to incorporate a specific property in your customized journey!
This sample itinerary will open your eyes (and taste buds) to the award-winning cuisine of Peru, and allow you to discover and savor traditional Peruvian cuisine. This itinerary savoring Peru’s culinary treasures will serve as the perfect inspiration for any Peru culinary tour!
Please know we will work with you to change or modify these tours however you deem necessary – all Kuoda itineraries are crafted just for you, built to suit your individual interests and schedules. Interested in customizing this particular itinerary?
The price will be based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.