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Arrive in Lima
Touch down in Lima: the capital of Peru, the City of Kings and the gastronomic capital of the world. Truly—these days, Lima’s food is a bigger draw than the Incas. Begin your culinary adventure today as you get your first introduction to Lima’s fresh, flavorful food.
Lima Market Exploration & Cooking Class, Visit Larco Museum
Begin your day with a truly local culinary experience as you stop by a Lima marketplace. Wander along isles filled with fresh fish, vegetables and fruits, engage with the local people and purchase your own ingredients for today’s cooking class.
Chef Yurac invites you into his home and shares with you the preparation of traditional Peruvian dishes using your freshly gathered ingredients. Enjoy the hands-on instruction, insight into Peruvian culture and the incredible views of Lima afforded from Chef Yurac’s home.
This afternoon takes you into Lima’s past with a visit to the Larco Museum. Not only does the Larco Museum house the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art in the world, but it’s known for its collection of pre-Columbian erotic artifacts. Learn about the country’s rich past and culture as you explore the museum.
This evening, indulge in a gourmet dinner and gastronomic wine pairing at one of Peru’s most renowned restaurants. After your day of culinary adventure, return to your hotel for dinner.
Travel to Cusco, Explore the Sacred Valley
This morning takes you on a brief flight to Cusco. Another of Peru’s history-rich cities, Cusco offers an enticing blend of Inca and Spanish cultures. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cusco was once the center of the Incan empire and a significant urban center connecting South America’s other regions.
Refresh yourself with lunch at the Hacienda Sarapampa, a traditional Peruvian restaurant whose recipes and ingredients provide unique insight into how the Incas prepared their food. Stories and history lie behind many of these authentic dishes, and it’s also an opportunity to learn about the flavors and sustainable agricultural practices of the Andes.
Today also introduces you to chicha: a fermented beverage made with a base of purple corn. This traditional drink plays an important role in many Peruvian rituals and festivals as well as being a part of the local’s daily lives. Experience the process of making this traditional drink and try some chicha yourself!
Visit Potato Park, Participate in Incan Ceremony, Culinary Lesson, Explore Maras Salt Mines
This morning takes you to Potato Park, an Indigenous Biocultural Heritage Area dedicated to preserving the Quechua peoples’ Andean crops and heritage. Explore the park, look at exhibitions dedicated to the conservation of native medicinal plants and learn about the important role potatoes had in Peru’s past and present.
After, glimpse into the past by participating in a traditional Incan ceremony honoring Mother Earth. Follow this up with another cultural culinary lesson as a local chef shows you how to prepare the traditional dish, “Pachamanca”—a dish that has been around for centuries.
Our day’s adventures continue with a visit to the Maras Salt Mines, where ancient Incans used to extract salt through a unique drying process involving underground streams, thousands of wells and a slow drying process. Complete your day with a tour of the Incan ruins of Moray, where you can wander among immense terraced disk-shaped depressions. As the variations in elevation cause temperature differences throughout the terraces, scholars believe that the Incas attempted to create microclimates here.
Return to the Sacred Valley this evening, relax with another indulgent Peruvian dinner and return to your hotel for bed.
Explore Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu
Take a morning train to Aguas Calientes, a quaint town at the base of Machu Picchu, and pass through stunning Andean countryside. Make your way to Machu Picchu’s stone Citadel, discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Here, you can look out over the lush mountains of Machu Picchu—Old Mountain—and Huayna Picchu—Young Mountain—as well as the winding Urubamba River and Vilcanota. Tour the Sanctuary’s and peak into the Inca’s enigmatic past.
Return to Aguas Calientes this afternoon and catch a return train to Cusco. This evening, discover more of Cusco’s culinary delights before bed.
Explore Cusco, Arrive Lima
Explore Cusco’s rich past—textured with the lasting presence of Incan and Spanish colonial influences—this morning. Stop by the central market, known as the Plaza de Armas or Huacaypata, where ancient Incan monuments neighbor those remnant of the Spanish conquistadors. Gaze up at the Cathedral, whose lavish decor was constructed on top of the ancient Incan temple of Sunturwasi. Then, visit the Convent and Church of Santo Domingo, another Spanish religious building constructed over an Incan temple—this time the Incan temple of Koricancha, or the Temple of the Sun. According to scholars, the Incas once worshiped the sun by plating the walls in gold leaf.
Relax with a farewell lunch before flying from Cusco to Lima. Check-in to your accommodations and spend the rest of the day tempting your tastebuds and your mind with Lima’s incredible Peruvian cuisine and culture.
Mistura Gastronomical Festival
Today might be the highlight of our Peruvian culinary tour as you spend the day at the Mistura Gastronomical Festival. There's plenty of variety to be found here, from the “Huariques”—or street food stands— to Lima’s high-end restaurants. Farmers and culinary artists from around Peru make their way here to celebrate Peru’s culinary revolution. Taste a Pisco Sour, some fresh ceviche and an array of Peru’s best food today.
Make your way to Lima’s airport to meet your international flight home.
Dates & Rates
Prices starting at $3450 per person based on 2 guests.
Internal Flight Information (Not included in the price):
Day 3 - Lima to Cusco $200
Day 6 - Cusco to Lima $200
Gastronomic experiences with well-known chefs and barmen.
Behind-the-scenes colonial haciendas, food workshops.
Visits to the best specialty markets, gourmet shops, and other food sources.
Private touring of the cultural highlights of each region, with an emphasis on local culinary specialties and traditions.
Specialist Local guides and driver & Local land transportation.
Accommodation in hotels as indicated in itinerary.
All tours and cultural visits as indicated with English speaking guide.
All meals and tasting as specified in itinerary.
All cooking demonstration, Hands-on classes and lectures.
Services not specified in the program, extras and tips
International and national flight tickets
Insurance coverage of personal loss, injury, illness or damages incurred during your trip
Personal laundry, dry cleaner, telephone charges
Room service and mini Bar
FAQ & More
Weather in Peru varies by region, for the coast (Lima, Ica, Nazca, Mancora, Trujillo) the best time to visit are the months of November to March when it is summer on the coast. In February in particular you have events like Carnaval, a very fun time of year on the coast. You can visit coastal cities during the winter (June to August) but Lima will be fairly overcast and cold as well as some other coastal cities.
For Andean cities such as Cusco, Ayacucho, Huaraz, Puno and Cajamarca the best time to visit is during their dry season which runs from May to September. During this time you can expect warm days and chilly nights and very little rain.
The Amazon Jungles of Peru have two season and they both can be equally rewarding. If seeing lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying a slightly cooler temperature) is your thing, then the December to May might be your best choice. (Remember: Despite being the "rainy" season, the Amazon only gets about 10% more rain than falls in the low water season). If jungle hikes, exotic migratory on their way through Amazonia, still having the chance to see monkeys and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions top your list, you might be happier choosing the warmer, low water season (June - November).
For this trip it is of course in October when the festival takes place!
U.S citizens do not need a visa to visit Peru as long as it's a tourist visit of less than 90 days. You will be given your visa upon arrival in Lima. It's important that you hold on to this visa as many hotels will ask to see this document in order to exempt you from the IGV or Peruvian Sales Tax.
As Visa and Entry Requirements can change without prior notice, we recommend you check the current regulations before your trip to Peru with the nearest Peruvian Consulate or Embassy.
You must however have a passport that is valid for 6 months after your departure date from Peru.
There are no required vaccinations to visit Peru unless you plan to visit remote areas of the Peruvian Amazon, in which case you will need a yellow fever shot and you may want to take malaria medication as well. The Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos areas have not seen cases of either Malaria or Yellow fever in recent times.
Check with your Travel doctor regarding visiting Peru, we strongly recommend you bring medications for bacterial infections (Ciprofloxacin) that can affect your stomach as well as antidiarrheal medication (Immodium). Dramamine is also great for Altitude and motion sickness. For more Health Information for Travelers in Peru visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Altitude sickness, also known as Soroche in Peru, occurs when there is not enough oxygen reaching your brain. This typically occurs at elevations over 10,000ft. Shortness of breath and a pounding heart are the first symptoms as the thin air in high altitude can make you feel light headed and dizzy. As your symptoms progress you can get extremely nauseous and suffer from vomiting and intense headaches if not remedied by either medication or descending in altitude.
Preventing altitude sickness is easy, always allow for an extra day to acclimate when you visit in a location with high altitude. Relax in your hotel and lie down, drink plenty of fluids and avoid strenuous exercise. It can take up to a week to become full acclimated, many travelers don't have that amount of time so in order to acclimate fastest it is best to take it easy, avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy foods. If you begin to feel mild symptoms then we recommend you drink some Coca Tea (legal in Peru), even drinking carbonated drinks like Coca Cola help. It's important to realize that you get altitude sickness by not feeding your brain enough oxygen, so make sure you are breathing well, take decongestants if you have a cold or can't breathe well. Prescription medications such as Diamox can also be a great help.
In the higher elevation locations such as Cusco it is possible to purchase oxygen and buy medications in case you are having a real hard time acclimating. Most larger hotels in these areas can also offer extra oxygen to be pumped in your room for an additional charge.
Travel insurance is recommended to protect your trip as well as your belongings and scheduling should any unforeseen events arise. Guests must provide their own travel insurance. If you decide not to purchase travel insurance then you are directly responsible for your own belongings and wellbeing. Our guides will always be around to help you should any situation arise, however when it comes to paying for any medical expenses or additional flights due to airline cancellations, you will be responsible for these.
Packing for your trip depends on the season and locations you will be visiting. Peru has almost all of the world’s climates nestled between the coast, the Andes and the Jungle. For that reason it is important that you to pack layered clothing, that is bring a piece of clothing for both hot and warm conditions, clothing you can take on and off easily as the climates change. Refer to the provided packing list for details of what to bring on your specific trip.
Peru is generally safe to visit and the security in the major cities is getting better as the economy and tourism grows. That is not to say that there is no crime, like any of the other big cities of the world opportunistic crimes such as pickpocketing and theft are present. Below are some tips to minimize your chance of falling victim to these crimes.
1. Travel in groups and avoid dark streets at night – Basic advice but good. Thieves will target you if you stumble alone into a dark street. Avoid areas that are not well lit, this applies even if you are in a group
2. When using ATM, have a friend with you – They can keep guard from behind when using an ATM and always check that the card entry slot has not been tampered with.
3. Keep belongings out of site in vehicles - When in taxis or other modes of transport put your belongings under your feet or in the back where they cannot be seen.
4. Valuables – Most hotels will have room safes where you can leave your valuables or will have a safe in reception.
5. Blend in - don't carry large bags or luggage with you all the time, leave valuables at your hotel, try and look and act like a local. If you must check your travel guide or map then step into a cafe or restaurant.
6. Wear backpack on front, bring travel purse - Again avoid carrying large bags, if you must carry a backpack wear it on your front. Invest in a travel wallet, where you can have your money and valuables hidden from view.
7. Be Aware - a commonly used phrase in Peru is Mosca or Fly, the saying means to be aware of your surroundings. When leaving a restaurant or nightclub be sure to check that you have not left any personal belongings.
8. Taxis - If possible always have your hotel call a reputable taxi driver for you if you decide to go explore your location further. Always agree on a price before you get into a taxi to avoid confusion later, taxis are seldom more than S/.20 for a local trip. If catching a cab away from your hotel be sure your driver has identification visible, if possible go to the nearest hotel and ask them to call you a cab.
The currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol or just Sol. $1 is currently worth approximately 3 Sol.
Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second). If you want to use a 110-volt appliance in Peru, you’ll need to buy a power adapter. Most outlets in Peru accept US standard two flat blade male. Some larger Hotels have US 110 volt outlets available.
We recommend you do some reading on Peru's history to make the most of your trip. Travel guides are a great resource, this way you get to know a little more about the locations you are visiting.
We can't stress the importance of learning about the incredible cuisine. Search for recipes online and make a list of dishes to try in Peru. These should include Ceviche, Pachamanca, Anticuchos, Papa a la Huancaina, Causa, Rocotto Relleno among others, there really are too many to name.
Learn a little Spanish. A little Spanish goes a long way in Peru, not only will it help you get better prices in cabs for example but you will be able to barter better on souvenirs and goods. Interacting with Peruvians will be more rewarding as you will learn where the local hot spots are as well as get recommendations for places to see and restaurants to try. Even just learning to say thank you (Gracias) and please (Por Favor) when asking for things will go a long way in how well you are treated by others.
Most importantly we ask that you travel with an open mind. Peruvian culture is very different from the westernized world with different values and customs. You should always be mindful of these and be very patient with people.
Although Peru is going through a great period of economic growth and prosperity it is still a third world nation and the service sector still needs room to better develop. We're sure you'll have a great time in Peru if you visit with no expectations and with an adventurous spirit, a relaxed attitude and curiosity to explore a new culture.