Cuzco Food Tours

Gastronomy and Culinary Travel in Cuzco, Peru

Below are two suggested travel itineraries - both include a tour to Machu Picchu and both are with private guide services.

potatoe plates

CUZCO FOOD TOUR: 7 Day / 6 Night Itinerary

DAY 1:
A morning flight from Lima over the Andes Mountains to the ancient city of Cuzco. Upon seeing the beauty of Cuzco, situated in a scenic valley at 11,000 feet, it is much easier to understand what may have prompted the Inca to call this area the "navel of the world". After transferring to the hotel and orientation, you are encouraged to relax at your hotel and get acclimated to the altitude.
cuzco market
Before lunch a walk is planned through the San Pedro market to familiarize yourself with the local ingredients. It is an open-air, local market with many venders and full of color and a great variety of foods. For lunch we go to Tupananchis restaurant for a cooking demonstration and preparation of your own meals.
After lunch, a walking city tour introduces you to your surroundings in this historical city with visits the San Blas Chapel, Arzobispo Palace, the Main Cathedral and Plaza San Francisco´s Botanical Gardens. The Inca founded Cuzco as the capital center of their empire and it is still considered the” archaeological capital of the Americas”. Cuzco is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere and evidence of its long history surrounds you. Massive Inca-built stone walls serve as foundations for the red tile-roofed colonial buildings. Here you can visit some of the oldest and grandest cathedrals in the New World. The feeling of history comes alive in the faces and language of the local Quechua-speaking descendents of the Incas. Tonight and tomorrow you stay in a colonial-style hotel, the Casa San Blas. This boutique hotel is centrally located near the Main Plaza the “artsy” neighborhood of San Blas. (Hotel upgrades are available.) (B/L)
(Note: Except for the last night’s Farewell Dinner, dinners are not included unless requested. You can choose to eat at the hotel, or at any of the nearby restaurants, or the local guide can assist with any desired dinner reservations at such places as Piskuo, Chicha, La Cicciolina, Limo, Cosa Nostra, La Mammacha, or the grand Monasterio Hotel.)

DAY 2:
After breakfast, you begin the day visiting spectacular Inca ruins heading out of Cuzco to the Sacred Valley of the Inca. You will explore the immense Inca fortress-temple of Sacsayhuaman, strategically built overlooking Cuzco. The scale of the construction, with the use of stones larger than cars, is sure to astound. You also visit the Inca shrines of Kenko, an outdoor amphitheater and Tambomachay, where a natural spring still feeds the ancient Inca baths. Later, you go into the Valley to visit the archaeological site and Indian village of Pisac. Lunch is at the La Quinta Dona Clorinda restaurant which sits along the banks of the Vilcanota River. Having great typical Cusquenian food such as quinua soup, cream corn, stuffed trout, cuy and stuffed rocoto, this restaurant is a favorite of the locals.
cusco-tour-pisaq-market
The Inca ruins of Pisaq are strategically located on a ridgetop overlooking two scenic valleys that are etched with extensive agricultural terraces. Covering an area four times larger than Machu Picchu, the central complex of temples in this ancient citadel was protected on all sides by high walls and gateways. In the valley at the colorful Pisac village market, you can examine (and buy) local goods such as; fruits, vegetables, coca leaves, mineral dyes, weavings, stone carvings and a great variety of handicrafts. (B/L)

DAY 3:
After breakfast you leave Cuzco for another day of fantastic scenery and food. First is a visit to the Quechua town of Chichero which is famous for its colorful weavings. There you can enjoy a weaving demonstration and shop for high quality textiles. You also have lunch with some of the local weavers. We will take a picnic lunch and they will prepare their typical lunch of cuy, potatoes, corn, etc., and then all will share.
cusco-tour-chinchero
You then continue through the mountains to view the impressive salt pools at Maras. The ancient pools form by water emerging from the mountain and the evaporating ponds are still used to extract salt. You then visit one of the Inca’s engineering marvels, the ruins of Moray. The site’s agricultural terraces form a sunken amphitheater that creates a variety of mini ecosystems due to differences in sun exposure, altitude, irrigation, and temperatures. It is thought that the site was used by the Inca to experiment with growing different plants.
Later, you continue on into the Urubamba Valley with its spectacular mountain scenery that includes quaint villages, terraced valleys and towering snow-capped peaks, all overlooking the white-waters of the Río Urubamba. Your next stop in this Sacred Valley of the Incas is at the village of Urubamba where we will learn about past and present agricultural techniques and various crops.
You then travel on to Ollantaytambo, an ancient Inca fortress and city. Ollantaytambo is an excellent example of Inca and colonial city planning and architecture. It is also an amazing example of living history, as today's townspeople still live in structures that housed the Incas of the 14th century. The ancient Inca city plan is evidenced by the remaining (and still utilized) roadways, pools, canals and enormous stonework. The original water canals of the Inca irrigation system still function as important parts of the communities' life. Overnight is in Ollantaytambo at the lovely Pakaritampu Hotel. This way you can also have time for exploring in the Inca town of Ollantaytambo and be close to the train station for next morning’s travel to Agua Calientes. (B/L)
cusco-tour-moray


DAY 4:
A short morning drive takes you to the train station for travel further up the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. The rails run along side the Urubamba River, past towering mountains and through lush forests. Upon arrival at the Machu Picchu train station, a 20 minute bus ride takes you 2,000 feet up to the site's entrance. After an introductory walking tour, the late afternoon is free for self-exploration and discovery of this magnificent site, which was built on a mountaintop and surrounded on three sides by the Urubamba River. Lunch is a Toto’s House for a buffet of typical criolle food. The large and popular restaurant features an open area overlooking the river with mountain views and the dining room is dominated by a barbecue pit.
By staying overnight in Agua Calientes at the base of the mountain, you can experience the two most spectacular times at Machu Picchu, sunset and sunrise! Night excursions into the site can sometimes be arranged. Overnight is at the Inti Inn or the Machu Picchu Inn, conveniently located in colorful Agua Calientes. (B/L)
[If you desire to stay overnight at the hilltop Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, there is an additional $300/pp/dbl surcharge which also includes dinner. The surcharge to stay at the beautiful riverside Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is $190/pp/dbl.]
cusco-machupicchu-tour


DAY 5:
Dawn is an incredibly beautiful sight at mystical Machu Picchu. The play of light and shadow from the sun and clouds paints a photogenic and ever changing landscape as the day continues. This is a free day for personal exploration and contemplation. Time to wander Agua Calientes, enjoy the surrounding verdant cloudforest, river and hot springs, climb overlooking Huanya Picchu and/or hike the Inca trail to Intipunku (Gate of the Sun). The unrivalled scenery will provide lasting memories.
Lunch is at El Indio Feliz where the French chef who is married to a Peruvian has created delicious and sophisticated gastronomical fusions. The late afternoon train takes you to the Poroy train station for a road transfer back to Cuzco (to save time) for overnights at the Casa San Blas. (B/L)
Note that the $15 round trip bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu and the $65 admission fee to the main ruins are not included for this day to save you money in case you do not want to go back into the central site.

DAY 6:
In lieu of at the hotel as normal, breakfast will be at the Ayllu Cafe. It is one the only places in Cusco where you can find local coffee roasted the traditional way, with sugar, orange and onion peels and old fashioned pastries and desserts. Traditional hot chocolate is prepared with a creole variety called “chuncho chocolate” and milk “ponches” made with organic raw cow’s milk that is delivered fresh daily by the same man for over 15 years. “Nata” is what is most appreciated from this milk. As the milk is pasteurized gently boiling it, the fat rises to the top and this wonderful creamy skin arises. This skin is carefully spooned and refrigerated overnight to be served as a kind of “butter” to spread on the fresh house baked breads along with a little honey.
Another wonderful day of great food and sights is planned as you explore the South Valley, following the Huatanay River through green fields dotted with willow trees and eucalyptus groves, and passing outlying communities gathered around colonial churches.
Andahuaylillas church
In the scenic and much less visited valley, you will visit the colonial town of Andahuaylillas. Its church, is often called the Sistine Chapel of America because of the beauty of the murals. This church of San Pedro Apóstol was built by Jesuits in the 16th century over a pre-Columbian huaca, or ceremonial space. The construction of the current temple started in 1570 with the creation of a small chapel corresponding to the existing apse and sanctuary; the nave and façade were completed in 1606. The chapel is simple and unassuming on the outside, but on the inside you'll find masterpiece after masterpiece. Inside are colonial period paintings of the Cusquenian School and many ornate carved wodden altars carved covered with sheets of gold. Later you visit the archaeology site of Pikillaqta, whose ruins predate the Inca as a citadel of the Wari culture. This adobe complex was built around 700 to 900 AD by the Huari. Nearby is a small Inca site, known as Rumicolca which was a travel checkpoint for the Incas.
You also travel through the quaint Inca towns of such as Oropesa, where we can visit one of the 47 bakeries that have provided Cusco with its daily bread for generations. At the Inca ruins of Tipon, you can marvel at the scale and immensity of the Inca agricultural terraces which are fed by natural springs. The tall terraces which run up the narrow valley are irrigated by an aqueduct from Pachatusan, the mountain above the site. In addition to the terracing, also at Tipon, are baths, a temple complex, canals and aqueducts.
Ollantaytambo tour

Tipon is one of the lesser visited sites in the Cusco area but it is equally as impressive as those in the Sacred Valley. Lunch is in the village of Lucre, famous for their way the locals prepare duck and desserts made with milk. And on the return if you still have room, you can stop in the village of Saylla, which is about 20 minutes from Cuzco. It is famous for its many restaurants that serve chicharron, or peices of fried pork. On the return to Cuzco you stop for a Lecture at Planetarium Cusco to learn about astronomy, climate, and agriculture.
After a rest at the hotel, you have a Farewell Dinner and Show at the Inka’s Wall, whose specialty is a grand buffet of NovoAndean and international foods, including and extensive salad bar. (B/L/D)

DAY 7:
Unless you have a morning flight out - this is a free half day in Cuzco for personal exploration and relaxation to allow you the maximum amount of choice on activities. Cuzco is one of the world's top travel destinations and a myriad of options are available. If desired, you can arrange a day of white-water rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, or explorations of surrounding remote Inca ruins. The city of Cuzco also offers wonderful art and history museums, countless shops with a great variety of handicrafts, a wide variety of restaurants, pubs and peñas, numerous churches, cathedrals and other outstanding historic architecture line the cobble stone streets. Cuzco is safe to explore on your own and taxis are convenient.
In the afternoon you are transfered to the airport for the flight to Lima and connections for night international flights out. For an additional $75/dbl/pp you may choose to overnight in Lima and fly out the next day or continue travels in Peru. (B) (Note that lunch is not included on this day to allow you the most options.)

potatoe plates

CUZCO FOOD TOUR: 5 Day / 4 Night Itinerary

DAY 1:
A morning flight from Lima to the ancient city of Cuzco. After airport reception, you and your private guide leave Cuzco for a day of fantastic scenery and food, traveling through the Andes Mountains. First is a visit to the Quechua town of Chichero which is famous for its colorful weavings. There you can enjoy a weaving demonstration and shop for high quality textiles. You also have lunch with some of the local weavers: We will take a picnic lunch and they will prepare their typical lunch of cuy, potatoes, corn, etc., and then all will share.
cusco-tour-maras

You then continue through the mountains to view the impressive salt pools at Maras. You then visit one of the Inca’s engineering marvels, the ruins of Moray. The site’s agricultural terraces form a sunken amphitheater that creates a variety of mini ecosystems due to differences in sun exposure, altitude, irrigation, and temperatures. You then travel on to Ollantaytambo, an ancient Inca fortress and city for two overnights at the lovely Pakaritampu Hotel. This way you also have time for exploring in Ollantaytambo and will be close to the train station for next morning’s travel to Agua Calientes. (B/L)
(Note: Diners are not included unless requested. The local guide can assist with any desired dinner reservations, or you can choose to eat at the hotel, or at nearby restaurants.)

machu picchu
DAY 2:
After breakfast, a short morning drive takes you to the train station for travel further up the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. Upon arrival at the Machu Picchu train station, a 20 minute bus ride takes you 2,000 feet up to the site's entrance. Your guides escorts you for a walking tour. To save the time of traveling back down the mountain, lunch is at the luxury Sanctuary Lodge that is adjacent the ruins. A selection of Peruvian and International dishes at the Tinkuy Buffet Restaurant is provided in pleasant surroundings with incredible views.
After lunch you continue with guided explorations of this magnificent site. A late afternoon train ride of about an hour takes you back to Ollantaytambo for the overnight. (B/L)

DAY 3:
After breakfast, you begin the day exploring the Sacred Valley of the Inca. The Urubamba Valley has spectacular mountain scenery that includes quaint villages, terraced valleys, and towering snow-capped peaks. Your next stop is at the village of Urubamba where you will learn about past and present agricultural techniques and various crops.
peru market
Later, you continue on into the Valley to visit the archaeological site and Indian village of Pisac. Lunch is at the local favorite restaurant La Quiuta Dona Clorinda, for typical Cusquenian food such as quinua soup, cream corn, stuffed trout, cuy and stuffed rocoto.
At the colorful Pisac village market, you can examine (and buy) local goods such as; fruits, vegetables, coca leaves, mineral dyes, weavings, stone carvings and a great variety of handicrafts. The Inca ruins of Pisaq are strategically are etched with extensive agricultural terraces and covers an area four times larger than Machu Picchu.
On your late afternoon return to Cuzco, you will see the immense Inca fortress-temple of Sacsayhuaman, strategically built overlooking Cuzco. You also visit the Inca shrines of Kenko, an outdoor amphitheater and ruins ofTambomachay.
Tonight and tomorrow you stay in Cuzco at the conveniently located Casa San Blas. (B/L)

DAY 4:
After breakfast at the locally famous and traditional Ayllu Cafe, is a guided visit to the San Pedro local market for any goods we may have missed in the Valley and to learn more about the variety of produce and goods in the regions. Lunch is at the Tupananchis Restaurant for a cooking demonstration and preparation of your own meal.
After lunch, a walking city tour introduces you to your surroundings in this historical city with visits the San Blas Chapel, the Arzobispo Palace, the Main Cathedral and Plaza San Francisco´s Botanical Gardens. (B/L)

cusco street
DAY 5:
Unless you have a morning flight out - this is a free half day in Cuzco for personal exploration and relaxation to allow you the maximum amount of choice on activities. Cuzco is one of the world's top travel destinations and a myriad of options are available. The city of Cuzco also offers wonderful art and history museums, countless shops with a great variety of handicrafts, a wide variety of restaurants, pubs and peñas, numerous churches, cathedrals and other outstanding historic architecture line the cobble stone streets.
In the afternoon you are transfered to the airport for the flight to Lima and connections for night international flights out. For an additional $75/dbl/pp you may choose to overnight in Lima and fly out the next day or continue travels in Peru. (B) (Note that lunch is not included on this day to allow you the most options.)

Click below for suggested travel itineraries & information:
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Lima Food Tours

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Cuzco, the capital of the Inca