Culinary Journey into the Amazon

Traveling north from Lima into the Amazonas and the Andes, travelers will discover a remote, rugged, and stunning part of Peru in a cloud forest, which is not nearly as well known as the destinations in the south. But with its ancient roots in Andean culture and archaeological sites older than even Machu Picchu, there’s a magic to this part of South America that has the makings of a once-in-a-lifetime journey. Over the centuries the region and gastronomy of the Amazonas and San Martin has been impacted by the likes of the Spanish, Italians, Germans, Polish, Armenians, and Chinese, just to name a few influences.

On your journey into subtropical northern Peru, you’ll experience the immense biodiversity of the region, as well as discover the lost civilization of the Chachapoya, known as “warriors of the clouds,” who were tall and fair skinned. Much of what is known about the Chachapoya comes from its conquerors, first the Incans, and later the Spanish. But amazingly, even though Kuelap was built between 500 and 800 AD, the walled fortress can still be seen today.

Your week-long culinary journey begins with a night in the metropolitan city of Lima. From there, you’ll head north into Tarapoto, also known as the “city of palms,” a thriving busy city. It’s also considered the last connection to “civilization.” Then it’s time to unplug and continue northward to the city of Moyobamba, situated at an altitude of 860 meters, or 2,820 feet. The tropical region was once an Inca settlement and later a commercial center; today it’s the hub of the agricultural area, and is known for its production of rice, sugarcane, and cotton, as well as alcohol and wine.

Continue north to Lamud, a magical city situated in a small valley. It’s the perfect place from which to visit the remote ancient and cultural sites, such as the unique sarcophagi of Karajia, a place only possible to visit by hiking or by horseback (take your pick!) All other transfers will be made in comfortable cars and mini-vans. Along the way, you’ll have English-speaking escorts — long-time collaborators of The International Kitchen — and stay in a variety of charming 3-star hotels as well as a hostel; all of which will prove a comfortable base for your exploration of this vibrant and beautiful tropical region that words alone cannot do justice. (Please note: you’ll be in the magical cloud forest of the Amazonas, not in the Amazon jungle).


Trip Details

Along with all these cultural discoveries, travelers will also partake in a variety of culinary-related highlights, from a lesson involving medicinal plants from the Amazonas, a cocktails class, an introduction to the cacao production in the area, and of course hands-on cooking classes with a variety of chefs who will introduce you to the dishes of the region.

  • Your first class takes place in Lima under the guidance of Chef Jose, a native to Peru who also spent some time in the USA and who studied at Le Cordon Blue in Peru. When not teaching cooking classes, he’s often cooking with his family, especially on Sundays when the whole family gets together.
  • The second cooking course is led by Chef Paul, of your accommodations in Moyobamba. The son of a French man and a Peruvian woman, his cooking style spans cultures, and he’ll share some fusion-style recipes, such as trigotto (think risotto but made with trigo, a wheat) and arroz con pato (rice with duck).
  • Next head to the kitchen of Chef Paul, who heads a modern and lively restaurant in the Amazon.
  • And last but certainly not least, discover the regional specialty of juane avispa with two local women, who have worked at Yacumama for more than two decades. The recipe is one that has been passed down for generations, and the origins of the word come from ‘juan’ as it was a dish that was prepared during the Fiesta de San Juan, one of the biggest fiestas in Peru.
    Through the wide variety of cooking classes, you’ll discover the immense and unique flavors of northern Peru.


We Can Help Plan It All

Flights, additional nights and tours, Transportation, and Much More

We might not be able to pack for you, but there are tons of things we can help with to make your vacation that much better.

Contact us for more information, or you can indicate your interest during check out and we will follow up directly!

Contact Us

 


You May Also Like...


Saved
France
View of the mountains during your cooking vacation in the French Alps Cooking in the French Alps
Learn More

6 Nights Starting At $3,500

Save to Compare

Saved
Mexico
Tacos enjoyed on our Cooking in the Yucatan culinary vacation Culinary Yucatan
Learn More

4 or 6 Nights Starting At $2,350

Save to Compare

Itinerary

Day One

Order of activitites subject to change depending on dates book and schedule changes with domestic flights between Lima and Tarapoto.

  • Arrival to Lima and transfer to your 3-star hotel, Hotel Tierra Viva in Miraflores. Your escort will give you an overview of the week as you make your way to your hotel.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day Two

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, explore Lima’s central market and be introduced to Peru’s exotic fruits and vegetables, where you will select items for your cooking class.
  • A cocktail demonstration will follow, as well as a hands-on cooking class focused on several regional dishes such as Papa a la Huancaina, Cebiche de pollo, and Arroz con Leche.
  • Lunch to follow (drinks not included).
  • Around 11:30 transfer to the airport and fly to Tarapoto. (Flight not included; we recommend the Star Paru flight that departs at 2:45 p.m.) .
  • Land in Tarapoto, a thriving northern city known as the “City of Palms,” which is located in a high jungle plateau. Transfer by car to Moyobamba, nicknamed the “City of Orchids,” where you will arrive around 6:30 or 7 pm. While it’s the capital city of the region, it’s home to less than 50,000 inhabitants, and it’s surrounded by nature with hot springs, rivers, lakes, and caves. Your trip there will take small roads through uninhabited lands, but your driver and guide will know exactly where they are going!
  • Arrive at Casa de Seizo, a quiet and charming hostel managed by a husband and a wife. Dinner tonight will be fresh tilapia right from the pond prepared by the owner.
  • Overnight.

Day Three

  • Breakfast.
  • Depart around 9am for the Amazonas region, which is approximately a 4-hour drive. You’ll go deeper into the dense cloud forest, named as such for the cloud cover hanging at canopy level.
  • Stop for lunch in a local restaurant about 3 and a half hours into your journey. After that it is just a bit further to the Reserve of Huembo, an ecological preserve that features a variety of walking trails, and is considered a birding route. This is a great place to try and catch sight of the famous hummingbird, colibri cola de espatula.
  • Check in to the charming 3-star hotel in the small town of Lamud, where the husband and wife owners will treat you like family for the next few days. Enjoy the beautiful views from the Tambo Sapalanchan hotel.
  • Take part in your next hands-on cooking class led by owner and chef Paul, who specializes in fusion recipes such as Empanada de carne, Olluquito con carne, and Mazamora.
  • Dinner to follow based on your efforts.
  • Overnight.

Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, depart for one of the region’s most spectacular archeological sites, Kuelap. This walled fortress was built by the Chachapoya people – known as the warriors of the clouds – between 500 and 800 AD, which predates the Inca’s construction of Machu Picchu. One of the largest ancient archaeological structures, it’s located on a ridge overlooking the Utcubamba valley. Today you can still visit some of the ancient remains of the civilization’s more than 400 round houses. Your trip there will start with a one-hour drive to Tingo Nuevo, where you will catch the new cable car to Kuelap. After the cable car ride, there is a short (30 minute) hike. The terrain is not very difficult, but remember, you will be quite high up, so we will take our time! To enter Kuelap you traverse an uneven flight of stone stairs, which can be slippery – so wear appropriate footwear. During your visit, your English-speaking guide will explain the importance of this historic place, as well as how life was organized there when about 3,000 people lived there at the civilization’s peak. You’ll have some time to walk around. After about 2 hours, head back to the cable car and take it back to Tingo Nuevo, where you will have lunch.
  • Return to the hotel in the afternoon (about a 1 hours drive) with time to rest before your Peruvian cocktail class, which will most likely feature the Peruvian brandy known as pisco.
  • Dinner at the hotel and overnight.

Day Five

  • Following breakfast, time for your next Amazon excursion! There are 2 choices for today.
  • Choice one: explore the Karajia, the amazing mysterious sarcophagi, or the final resting place of the Chachapoya people. The transfer will take about an hour to the village of Cruz Pata and then you’ll go on a 1.5 km (just under a mile) hike — or horseback ride — through lush fields that offer stunning views in order to get closer to the sarcofagos. The terrain is difficult, so the short distance will take about 30 minutes to traverse. If you are not used to hiking, you might prefer option 2!
  • Choice two: Visit the tranquil place of Tampo Sapalanchan, where you can stroll through the garden and look at the local flora and fauna, and then transfer to Huancas and the Sonche Canyon (about 1 and a half hours by car). Huancas is a little village with a strong pottery tradition, and the Sonche Canyon is some 800 meters deep, affording awesome views.
  • Regardless which choice you do in the morning, you will transfer the to town of Chachapoyas (about 20 minutes) to visit the local market. You’ll have some time to do some shopping on your own in this charming little town too. Lunch included in town.
  • In the afternoon, it’s back into the kitchen for a hands-on class, this time with Chef David Sancon in the hip restaurant of El Batan de Tayta. Dinner to follow based on your efforts, perhaps Ceviche Vegetariano, Cushpirana, and Postre.
  • Overnight at the hotel.

Day Six

  • Breakfast.
  • Drive back to Moyobamba, with a first stop in Rioja, which was once inhabited by two Incan tribes. Rioja is about 3 1/2 hours by car.
  • Your first stop will be at the restaurant Yacumama in Rioja. The word Yacumama can also refer to the giant Amazonian snake as it translates to “mother of the water.” Your very special cooking class will focus on Avispa Juanes, a specialty of the area. The popular and traditional dish is made with chicken and rice as well as an assortment of saffron-based condiments. Part of the cooking process involves wrapping the filling in biajo leaves — truly a unique experience!
  • Lunch to follow will feature Avispa Juanes, but not what you prepared, as it needs 3 or 4 hours of cooking time!
  • After lunch, it is about 45 minutes more by car to Moyobamba.
  • Check into your accommodations, the 3-star hotel El Porton. Dinner tonight will be own. The restaurant right next door to the hotel — La Olla del Barro — is a favorite in the area.
  • Overnight in Moyobamba.

Day Seven

  • After breakfast, continue on to Lamas (about 1 hour 40 minutes away), which is situated not far from Tarapoto, where you’ll be flying out of later in the day.
  • In Lamas, stop at a local chocolate factory for a tour and to learn about the local chocolate production. End the tour with a delicious tasting.
  • Following take a short time to stroll around Lamas, one of the oldest towns found in Peru’s jungle. Even though it is situated in the jungle, it looks like a mountain village, in large part due to the town’s history and ancestral customs. Perhaps explore their museum — which highlights the folklore of the Quechua — or visit the castle made of natural stone.
  • Enjoy one last meal, lunch, in Lamas.
  • Depart for Taratopo, where you might stop in the main square for coffee before heading to the airport. Your flight will be around 6pm, with arrival in Lima around 8pm (flight not included, to be confirmed at time of booking).
    If you’d like to extend your stay in Lima, we are happy to arrange a hotel in Lima for the night.

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

  • 1 night accommodation in Lima’s 3-star Hotel Tierra Viva Miraflores Lima
  • 1 night accommodation in Moyobamba’s Hospedjae Case de Seizo
  • 3 nights accommodations in Lamud’s Hotel Tambo Sapalanchan
  • 1 night accommodation in Moyobamba’s Hotel El Porton

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 5 lunches (beverages not included)
  • 4 dinners (beverages not included

Classes & Instructors

Along with all these cultural discoveries, travelers will also partake in a variety of culinary-related highlights, from a lesson involving medicinal plants from the Amazonas, a cocktails class, an introduction to the cacao production in the area, and of course hands-on cooking classes with a variety of chefs who will introduce you to the dishes of the region.

  • Your first class takes place in Lima under the guidance of Chef Jose, a native to Peru who also spent some time in the USA and who studied at Le Cordon Blue in Peru. When not teaching cooking classes, he’s often cooking with his family, especially on Sundays when the whole family gets together.
  • The second cooking course is led by Chef Paul, of your accommodations in Moyobamba. The son of a French man and a Peruvian woman, his cooking style spans cultures, and he’ll share some fusion-style recipes, such as trigotto (think risotto but made with trigo, a wheat) and arroz con pato (rice with duck).
  • Next head to the kitchen of Chef Paul, who heads a modern and lively restaurant in the Amazon.
  • And last but certainly not least, discover the regional specialty of juane avispa with two local women, who have worked at Yacumama for more than two decades. The recipe is one that has been passed down for generations, and the origins of the word come from ‘juan’ as it was a dish that was prepared during the Fiesta de San Juan, one of the biggest fiestas in Peru.
    Through the wide variety of cooking classes, you’ll discover the immense and unique flavors of northern Peru.

Excursions

  • Cultural excursions to Kuelap, Karajia, and Lamas
  • Nature tour in Huembo

Transfer Details

  • Group arrival transfer from Lima airpot
  • Group departure transfer from Lamas to Tarapoto airport

Miscellaneous

  • Cable car ride in Kuelap
  • Cocktail demonstration
  • Professional local guides
  • English-speaking escort

Accommodation Information

Lamud Tambo Sapalanchan

{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"3000","speed":"300","arrows":"true","dots":"true","rtl":"false"}

_
Lima Terra Viva Miraflores
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"3000","speed":"300","arrows":"true","dots":"true","rtl":"false"}

_
Moobamba El Porton
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"3000","speed":"300","arrows":"true","dots":"true","rtl":"false"}

Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Pricing:
Mid-April through October

6-night Program
US$2950 per person based on double occupancy
  • Subtract US$450 per person when booking 4 or more people

Note that prices do not include round-trip domestic flights between Lima and Tarapoto, to be booked on your own (approximately US $200 per person).

Please inquire for single occupancy pricing.


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks from mid-April through October for a minimum of 2 people. Other start dates also possible, please inquire.

2019
April 14-20
April 21-27
April 28-May 4
May 5-11
May 12-18
May 19-25
May 26-June 1
June 2-8
June 9-15
June 16-22
June 23-29
June 30-July 6
July 7-13
July 14-20
July 21-27
July 28-August 3
August 4-10
August 11-17
August 18-24
August 25-31
September 1-7
September 8-14
September 15-21
September 22-28
September 29-October 5
October 6-12
October 13-19
October 20-26
October 27-November 2

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

There are no reviews at this time.