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Highlights of Peru with a Focus on FOOD!: The best of Peru's world-renowned cuisine

Days: 9 | From: $5,850/per person

See the classic highlights of Peru, with a focus on the country's varied gastronomic options. Restaurant tours, cooking classes, gourmet picnics and more.

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides
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We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

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At a glance

  • Lima
    2 nights: world-renowned restaurants and cuisine
  • Sacred Valley
    2 nights: sample and learn to cook with traditional, regional ingredients
  • Machu Picchu
    2 nights: time to explore this stunning icon in depth & at non-peak hours
  • Cusco
    2 nights: a traditional “Pachamanca” and a culinary tour in the former Incan capital

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

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Sample itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Lima

Miraflores Beach, Lima

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas and present-day gastronomic capital of South America. Transfer to your first class hotel in Miraflores, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is a great area for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants.

Peru has emerged as a star in the culinary world, and Lima showcases some of its best offerings. In addition to world-renowned dining, Lima offers lively markets and interesting cooking classes. We can also arrange private tours of Lima or visits to any of the city’s museums, and art tours for those with special interests. If you’re ready to dive into the local cuisine, we can make reservations for a multi-course tasting menu at one of Lima’s top restaurants.

Accommodations: Atemporal

Housed in a renovated 1940s townhouse in the chic Miraflores district, this new nine-room hotel provides a relaxed atmosphere with impeccable service. Atemporal offers its guests an alternative lodging experience: The personalized attention to detail includes a Maître de maison, concierge on duty around the clock, house car and chauffeur for short excursions, 24/7 menu created with locally-sourced natural ingredients, and full connectivity. Atemporal is entirely private, meaning only guests and those they invite can use its exclusive spaces, with their offbeat but functional collector’s aesthetic, including a veranda, salon and private garden.

Upgrades available: Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others
Day 2

Lima City Tour & Evening Restaurant Tour

Take a private tour of Lima. Visit the government and historic buildings, see the colonial highlights of the city, and have some time at the highly-rated Larco Museum. Lima is a great place to explore, with many interesting sights and great views of the Pacific Ocean. With your private guide you have the flexibility to see what really interests you and move at your own pace.

Later in the afternoon, set out for a different type of Lima tour: one focused on the city’s highly-rated gastronomic scene. Visit four exclusive restaurants, each with its own specialties. Relax at a bar over the ocean and sample Pisco Sour, the national drink, then try a variety of Amazonian appetizers at an award-winning restaurant specializing in dishes from the jungle. Enjoy a gourmet Peruvian dinner amid illuminated pre-Incan ruins at la Huaca Pucllana, followed by a walking tour of the colonial, bohemian Barranco district with a typical Peruvian dessert.

Accommodations: Atemporal

*Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

Fly to the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Road into the mountains of the Sacred Valley

Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. Your local guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long, fertile river valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Stop along the way for lunch at one of Cusco’s excellent restaurants.

Visit Chinchero, a traditional small town situated on a plateau overlooking the Sacred Valley. Explore a colonial church with remarkable paintings and frescoes, which was constructed over the ruins of an Incan temple and is surrounded by impressive Incan terracing. Chinchero is also home to several highly-regarded weaving cooperatives known for the quality of their textiles. Peru is known for its intricate traditional weavings, many of which use symbols to tell stories or depictions of daily life. Also visit Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times. Your private guide will be there to help you make the most of the entire experience.

Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3

Sacred Valley of the Incas: Huacatay Cooking Class

Head to Pio Vazquez’s restaurant Huacatay, an Andean-style kitchen located in the town of Urubamba. Have an interactive, hands-on cooking lesson, learning about local gastronomy as well as cooking techniques and organic products of the area. You will prepare an appetizer, main dish, and dessert, all inspired by traditional Peruvian dishes, accompanied by a Pisco cocktail, enjoy the fruits of your labor before heading to your hotel.

Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna

The Sol y Luna Lodge is located in Peru's Sacred Valley of the Incas, not far from the town of Urubamba. Peruvian art adorns each of the first class, comfortable adobe cottages, whose terraces offer spectacular views of the mountains. A place that does things the right way, this hotel has long been among our traveler favorites due to the superb accommodations, location, and service. The property offers two outstanding restaurants. There is also a stable with beautiful horses that can be taken out into the surrounding mountains on horseback riding excursions. This is a Relais & Chateaux property.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Alternative lodging options: Albergue Ollantaytambo: for those who want to stay right in Ollantaytambo
Day 5

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu from afar

Travel by train to Machu Picchu, one of South America’s most iconic sites.

Visit this remarkable site with a private guide, enjoy lunch at the famous Sanctuary Lodge, and then have the chance to explore the ruins on your own before returning to your hotel in Aguas Calientes.

Accommodations: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

This hotel sits on its own 12 secluded acres in Aguas Calientes, the town located at the base of Machu Picchu. The hotel is ideally located in natural surroundings, a short walk to the train station and the shuttles that take visitors to the ruins, but just outside the town, which is quite touristy. Guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable one- or two-story whitewashed casitas. Unlike the other hotels in Aguas Calientes, the Pueblo is set in a natural cloud forest, allowing you to experience the beauty of this unique ecosystem during your stay.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Time to Explore the Marvels of Machu Picchu

Sun behind the ruins at Machu Picchu

Return to Machu Picchu in the early morning to observe the ruins on your own. This is a great way to experience the site at your own pace when there are far fewer people around.

You’ll also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu, or hike back along the Inca Trail to Inti Punku (the Gate of the Sun). There is a lot to see in and around Machu Picchu.

Accommodations: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Pachamanca and Cusco

Take the morning train back to Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley. You will be met and driven to beautiful Piuray Lake, where preparations will be underway for a Pachamanca. This is a traditional way of cooking in the Andes, where an oven of hot stones is created in the ground and layers of vegetables, potatoes, meat, fruit, and corn are carefully wrapped and placed in the oven.

While your feast is cooking you can head out on the lake in kayaks or on stand-up paddle boards to take in your surroundings: lush green hills, farm terraces, forests, and snowcapped mountains. Return to shore for your delicious and traditional lunch, getting hands-on immersion in this most traditional of Andean culinary rituals.

After your lunch, head to Cusco and be dropped off at your hotel, located in the historic San Blas district. You will arrive to Cusco in the evening with time to eat at one of the city’s excellent restaurants. Cusco is another of the highlights of a trip to Peru, a fascinating city built on the foundations of the former Incan capital. You can observe massive Incan walls along many of the streets of the city. The city also has a vibrant atmosphere and excellent food.

Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco

A Relais & Chateaux property, La Casona is set in a restored 16th-century colonial manor house, which was built over an Inca complex and later occupied by the conquistadors of Peru. Its 11 suites surround an elegant courtyard, and the hotel offers a dining room, dining terrace, lounge and sitting area. La Casona graciously preserves the site's historic details while offering modern comfort and amenities. An exclusive boutique hotel experience, and one of the top options in Cusco.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Upgrades and alternatives: Palacio Nazarenas, Palacio del Inka, and others
Day 8

Private Culinary Tour and Rooftop Cooking Class

Enjoy a private culinary excursion in Cusco, followed by a cooking class in a high-rise kitchen overlooking the city. Learn about the culinary products native to the Peruvian highlands, and how the country’s varying altitudes give rise to an incredible variety of ingredients. Visit the bustling central market and sample an array of native fruits, then make your Peruvian cocktail, appetizer, and main course.

Take the afternoon to explore more of the city on your own. One fun option if you’re traveling with kids is a visit to the ChocoMuseo (chocolate museum), where you can participate in candy-making and taste some superb Andean chocolate sourced from the highest-quality local cacao beans.

Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9

Depart for Home or Your Next Destination

Today you will say goodbye to your local guide and head to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

*Includes: Breakfast

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Make time to take in a multi-course tasting menu; we can set this up at the top restaurants in Lima or Cusco.

  • Add a few nights in the Peruvian Amazon or Lake Titicaca, both easily accessible from Cusco.

  • Add extra days in Lima or Cusco: Both are worth exploring on your own, and we can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, additional culinary excursions, visits to ruins and historical sites, and active options such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

  • Get to know the less-explored southern section of Peru with some time in Nazca, Arequipa, and the Colca Canyon.

  • Hike to Machu Picchu: Get off the train at Kilometer 104 to walk the last four to six hours along the famous Inca trail. Or see our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu itinerary for information about hiking the whole trail over several days.

  • Include some downtime for rest and relaxation! Some free time to unwind or have a massage will allow you to feel refreshed and ready for the remainder of your trip. Many of our properties include excellent spas or wellness centers. We can help arrange these services or include properties that offer health & wellness amenities.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1-(800)-342-1796

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Why Travel with Vaya?

We're TRUE specialists

South America is the only place we do trips, and no one knows our destinations better. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former U.S. expatriates with years of experience in the region.

Uplifting service

From the first phone call to after you get back, we’re here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.

Thoughtful, respectful travel

Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.