Peru Food Adventure (21 days)
Why you'll love this trip
Join us on a trip that will have you discover Peru through its big variety of delicious food, and enjoy activities that will bring you closely in touch with the local people.
Example trip itinerary
Day 1. Arrival in Lima, the gastronomical capital of Latin America
Welcome to Peru! When you arrive, a member of our staff is waiting for you at the airport to escort you to your hotel. You are welcomed with a Pisco Sour, Peru’s national cocktail, and we show you how it is made (most flights arrive in the evening, but if you arrive early, we can kindly reserve your lunch or dinner place at one of Lima’s top restaurants such Central Restaurant (chef Virgilio Martinez), Astrid & Gaston (chef Gaston Acurio), Nikkei Maido from chef Mitsuharu (“Micha” Tsumura).
Day 2. Lima
Today your private guide shows you the historical center of Lima and takes time to explore a traditional coffee bar, a local market to get you introduced to the products of the different regions of Peru: Coast, Andes and the Amazon. You have lunch in a good “cevicheria” where you can taste some of Lima’s iconic dishes.
In the evening, we take you on a gastronomic journey in the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco. Featuring a plethora of world class restaurants, you can indulge in a tasting tour, visiting some famous places, as well as hidden gems that only locals know about. Your local host guides you through this former beach town, now Lima’s most hip-artistic area, while tasting a variety (8 to 12) of different dishes. From traditional Peruvian dishes (that can be adapted to a vegan version), to fusions that reinterpret local ingredients, turning them into a delicacy that results in an incredible explosion of flavors. This tour offers you a peek into Peru’s superb diversity, both biological and cultural, while you stroll from one place to another, enjoying the magical and enchanting ambiance of Barranco. We can include a stop at Barbarian, one of the best craft beer bars in town, for a beer tasting in between restaurants. Around 10pm, we return to the hotel. (B, D)
Bonus: If you don’t mind waking up very early, we can also arrange a visit with an expert to the big fish market of Lima where you can see fish and seafood from the Amazon, Andes, the North and South of the country being sold.
Day 3. Along coastal fishing villages to the bay of Paracas
Your private guide picks you up in the morning and drives you to Pucusana, a fishing village in the south of Lima. Here, we can join a local fisher in a traditional boat where we can take a look at the local catch at sea. After lunch, we continue our way to Paracas, with the possibility to get to know some other fishing villages and beaches and the hacienda San Jose. (B, L)
Day 4. Paracas - Ica
After breakfast, we take you to the harbor (close to the hotel) to start a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands. With a nature guide onboard of the speedboat you can observe the marine fauna: many sea lions, birds, possibly Humboldt penguins and more. The tour is approximately 2 hours. After this, we take you inside of the Paracas reserve to a hidden spot for an amazing lunch with a magnificent ocean view. After this, you travel 1.5 hours further south to Ica, the wine region of Peru. You visit an artisanal bodega where we enjoy a local wine and pisco tasting. If you come in the month of March, you can participate in harvest festivities. You spend the night at a hotel located at the Huacachina Oasis. (B)
Day 5. Ica - Arequipa
Enjoy breakfast and a free morning with views over the oasis and enormous sand dunes of the Ica desert. Around noon, you embark on a comfortable bus to travel to the white colonial town of Arequipa (2400 m.a.s.l). You arrive late in the evening, and someone is there waiting for you to take you to your hotel to rest. (B)
Day 6. Arequipa
You have a free morning to rest, acclimatize and explore the historical center of Arequipa. Your hotel is located at walking distance from the main square and the city is easily explored by foot. Around midday, we start a “picanteria” tour. A picantería is a traditional lunchtime restaurant. In Arequipa, you discover a variety of dishes (spicy, mild & neutral) with ingredients that are different from anything you have ever tried before! The tour is designed for customers who want to enjoy the different dishes and flavors of our traditional Arequipa regional cuisine, considered one of the best in Peru! (B, L)
7. By volcanoes and through national parks to the Colca Canyon
In the morning, your local guide and driver pick you up from your hotel to start your 2-day excursion to the Colca Canyon. This tour includes a small group of other travelers in a touristic transportation. You drive out of Arequipa along the volcanoes Misti, Chachani and Picchu Picchu. On the way to the Colca Canyon, we drive through the “Salinas and Aguada Blanca” National Reserve where you have the chance to observe llamas, alpacas and wild vicuñas in their natural habitat. At “Alto Sumbay”, an Andean community at the opposite border of the reserve, we make a stop to have a local coca tea. Moving on, we pass “Tocra”, a high plain (4400 m.a.s.l.) where you can see lakes with wild birds. The highest point of our tour is “Pata Pampa” (at 4910 m.a.s.l.) where we can enjoy views of the Ampato, Sabancaya, Hualca-Hualca and Mismi volcanos. From here, we go down to the Colca Valley and your hotel (3580 m.a.sl). After lunch, we recommend to acclimatize to the altitude or take part in a short hike with your guide to explore this beautiful area. You can also choose to relax at the natural hot springs near the river.
8. Condors, llamas and agricultural terraces in the Colca Canyon
Breakfast is served at the hotel. Today your guide takes you to further explore this scenic agricultural region of Peru. You take a beautiful walk along the terraces, talk to local villagers and see what they are working on: depending on the season, they can be sowing or harvesting, herding animals or preparing the land. If you like, you can try a typical home-made lunch at the house of a local family. Everything is prepared with the local products from their fields (quinoa, potatoes, oca, eggs, etc.). If you enjoy eating meat, maybe tonight you could try some alpaca meat.
9. Colca Canyon to Puno
In the morning, you and your guide go looking for condors. From the look-out points over the deep Colca Canyon, you have incredible views and -if you get lucky- you can see the majestic Andean condor soar over this dramatic landscape. You can walk around and stop at some tiny villages, such as Yanque and Maca. In the afternoon, you continue your journey for 5 hours to Puno, the city located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. On the way there, you can enjoy views of beautiful high-altitude lakes where you have the chance to see flamingoes. When you arrive in Puno, our staff is waiting for you, where you are briefed about the plan for the next days at Lake Titicaca. Tonight is a great night to try some of the specialties of Puno: fabulous quinoa soup or well-prepared guinea pig.
Day 10. The islands of Lake Titicaca and homestay
In the morning, a local “cyclo” picks you up and takes you to the little lake harbor. With your local guide you embark on a slow boat to explore the Lake Titicaca and its beautiful islands like Taquile Island, voted as one of the most beautiful islands of the World and Unesco’s Cultural World Heritage Site. We take a walk around the island and learn about the local culture and island traditions. The men here have incredible knitting skills, essential to be able to conquer the heart of a good wife. We taste a fresh trout fish for lunch with a nice view over the lake. In the afternoon, we navigate to the floating reed islands of the indigenous Uros people. Your local guide tells you everything about their peculiar lifestyle. You spend the night at the Aymara community of Luquina Chica with a local family, an excellent way to experience life in the Andes. (B, L, D)
Day 11. Luquina community homestay - Lampa
In the morning, you have time to make bread and eat breakfast with your host family and take part in some of their daily activities (this may be feeding animals, fishing, taking care of the small children, harvesting quinoa, planting potatoes). You can choose to help prepare lunch with your host mom or take a walk along the shores of the lake and see what is going on in the community. After lunch, we drive to the beautiful town of Lampa, where few visitors come and where you spend the night in a nice casona hotel. On the way there, we make a small stop at the remains of the Temple of Fertility, an interesting small temple where until nowadays some locals still come to offer coca leaves asking for fertility. (B, L)
Day 12. Puyos de Raimondi, the Tinajani Canyon and Pucara
Today you experience a beautiful, authentic, part of the Peruvian Andes that only very few visitors get to know. You are surrounded by surreal geographical landscapes in the Cordillera range and see the unusual Puya de Raymondi forest and the Tinajani Canyon. We talk to the local artisan Teodoro Pacco in his workshop and enjoy a delicious coffee from the Puno jungle, roasted in the city of Pucara, famous for its ceramic “Toritos” that Andean people put on top of their roof to bring good luck to the family that lives in the house. (B, L)
Day 13. Roasted lamb in Ayaviri
A short drive (1 hour) takes you to Ayaviri, a rural place in the Andes, famous for its typical regional Andean cuisine. You can witness the process and enjoy a “Cancacho” meal, meaning “roasted lamb”. It is lamb traditionally cooked in a wood-fired brick oven served with native potatoes, chili, and local malt beer. After lunch, you can enjoy a siesta in the car and enjoy the beautiful Andean landscapes during our drive (4 hours) from here to Cusco, the capital of the Ancient Inca Empire. (B, L)
Day 14. Cooking in Cusco
In the morning, a local chef walks with you around the San Pedro market to see the regional products, and together you buy ingredients for a dish you prepare together for lunch (you get several options to choose from).
In the afternoon, you can enjoy some free time to explore the beautiful historical center of this town and enjoy dinner at one of the many great restaurants the city offers. (You can chose from regional Cusco restaurants, Peruvian food to world-class novo-Andean or international dishes). We are happy to make reservations for you. (B, L)
You spend the night at Los Niños hotel.
Day 15. Salt and Native potatoes
You might have heard that potatoes are originally from Peru, right? Well, today we are going to explore the world of native Peruvian potatoes. We drive to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and we make a short stop to visit the scenic community-owned salt mines of Maras. We see how salt is harvested here in the same way as in pre-Inca times. We buy some to try later. From here, we go to the circular Inca terraces of Moray, where we start to learn about how the Incas adapted crops like native potatoes to different altitudes. After a fantastic lunch we drive to Pisac. We take a look at what is going on at the market and then we drive up to the beautiful Inca terraces of the Pisac ruins and further on a little dirt road between the fields and through tiny indigenous villages to the community of Paru Paru. The community is part of what is called the “Potato Park”, an Indigenous Biocultural Heritage Area comprised of 6000 villagers from six Quechua communities that together hold the largest on-site diversity of potatoes in the world: approximately 1400 varieties. They manage landscapes, ecosystems, biological and cultural assets for the collective benefit of participating communities. We are welcomed by our villager friends and our local hosts proudly show their potatoes; you learn how to make a “huatia” which is a small oven made of earth to cook potatoes on the field while they tell you stories. For dinner, we enjoy a warm organic home-cooked meal. (B, L, D)
Day 16. Ancestral Pachamanca meal
In the morning, we show you around the community. Paru Paru cultivates over 100 native varieties of potato, corn, and quinoa, as well as a few foreign crops they have adapted to the region, such as barley, wheat, fava beans, carrots, radishes, cilantro and parsley. Our hosts showcase some Andean agricultural techniques using ancestral tools. You can choose between some activities such as taking llamas grazing, a guided hike to explore the spectacular views of the nearby valley, fishing trout in a high-altitude lake, and -depending on the season- you could join in harvest activities and festivities of potatoes, purple, orange, yellow or red quinoa or other crops, or join a medicinal herb demonstration or also join women in weaving activities.
Around noon, we say goodbye to our new friends and drive to Ollantaytambo for another fantastic lunch experience. We enjoy a Pachamanca lunch in a beautiful setting, an ancestral meal cooked under the ground with pre-heated stones and local herbs. You also have the chance to taste pisco at the distillery in the garden. Later in the afternoon, we take a beautiful walk around the tiny original streets of the beautiful Inca town of Ollantaytambo. (B, L)
Day 21. Departure
At proper time, we pick you up from the hotel 3.5 hours in advance to transfer you to the airport for your international flight.
Day 17. Cacao and hot chocolate at Huayopata
From Ollantaytambo, we drive to the community of Huayopata where we visit a cacao farmer. To get there, we pass through the Sacred Valley and enjoy its stellar scenery. When we pass the highest point at the Abra Malaga, with an altitude of 4,316 meters, we go down into the cloud forest. When we arrive at the farm, a member of the family welcomes us and serves us lunch. In the afternoon, they take us around the farm and literally walk us through the whole process of cacao production and roasting. At the end, you have the opportunity to enjoy a hot chocolate drink. We spend the night at the farm. (B, L, D)
Day 18. Coffee plantation and train to Machu Picchu town
After a rural family breakfast, we walk (or take a 20-minute drive) to visit a second farmer family. This family is specialized in coffee and they show us the process from bean to cup. We learn about what makes good quality for organic coffee. You have the chance to roast in a traditional way and to share a great cup of coffee with the family. After lunch, we drive a bit further to the Hidroeléctrica station from where you take a 30-minute train ride to Aguas Calientes, the little town of Machu Picchu that is tucked away between the river and impressive steep, green mountains. We have reserved a table for you at a French-Peruvian restaurant in town for a great included dinner tonight. (B, L, D)
Day 19. Machu Picchu
In the morning, your local guide picks you up from your hotel to take you with the local shuttle bus 30 minutes up the mountain to the ‘Lost city of the Incas’. You take a 2.5-hour private guided tour of Machu Picchu where you can explore the temples, fountains, plazas and the Inca history of this spectacular archeological wonder of the ancient world.
Built without the use of mortar, metal tools, or the wheel, Machu Picchu stands as a testament to the power and ingenuity of the Inca Empire.
After the tour, you have time to enjoy lunch in town and, in the afternoon, you travel back by train and private transport to your hotel in Cusco. (B)
Day 20. Lima
Enjoy your last free moments in Cusco to buy some souvenirs, enjoy a massage or grab a drink around the plaza before we take you to the airport for your local flight back to the capital. We take you to your hotel in Barranco. We can make reservations for you at one of Lima’s world-class top restaurants if you wish for a spectacular last night dinner. (B)
- Activities & Entrances:
- Foody tour in Barranco (private service)
- Fishing in Pucusana (private service)
- Tour to Ballestas islands (shared service)
- Picanterias tour in Arequipa (private service)
- Tour to the Colca Canyon of 3 days and 2 nights (shared service)
- Spending 1 day with a villager at the Colca canyon (private service)
- Tour to Uros, Taquile and Luquina (private service)
- Tour Cordillerano in Lampa (private service)
- Cooking class in Cusco (shared service)
- Tour to Pisac and Paru Paru (private service)
- Activities in Paru Paru and tour to Ollantaytambo (private service)
- Coffee and Cocoa tour (private service)
- Tour to Machu Picchu (private service)
- All entrances, guide and tickets for all the places.
- All transfers to/from airports and train/bus stations.
- Private transport from Lima to Pucusana and to Paracas
- Cruz del Sur bus from Paracas to Ica
- Cruz del Sur bus from Ica to Arequipa
- Shared transport from Arequipa to Corporaque
- Shared transport from Corporaque to Puno
- Private transport from Puno to Lampa
- Private transport from Lampa to Ayaviri and then to Cusco
- Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Huayopata
- Train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes
- Shuttle bus: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu round trip
- Train Expedition from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Flight from Cusco to Lima
Based on double-room accommodation with private bathroom in centrally located, clean, characterful, 3-star hotels.
- All breakfasts (at the hotels).
- Other meals mentioned in the itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
- Professional local English-speaking guides.
- Support from Vamos Expeditions staff.
- Other food not mentioned above (our guides will give you good advice on where to eat well)
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses, extra activities and tips
- International flights
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We will craft and tailor the perfect dream journey for you.
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