Taste of Peru

Peruvian cuisine is considered one of the most diverse in the world and is on par with French, Chinese and Indian cuisine. Thanks to its many influences, from pre-Inca and Inca heritage to Spanish, Basque, African, Cantonese, Japanese and finally Italian, French and British immigration (mainly throughout the 19th century), Peruvian cuisine combines the flavors of four continents, making it an ideal spot for culinary vacations in South America. With the eclectic variety of traditional dishes, the Peruvian culinary arts are in constant evolution and impossible to list in their entirety. Suffice it to mention that along the Peruvian coast alone there are more than two thousand different types of soups, and that there are more than 250 traditional desserts.

Your week-long culinary tour in this amazing country will take place in Lima and Cusco. The history of Lima, the capital of Peru, began with its foundation by Francisco Pizarro in 1535. The city was established on the valley of the Rímac river, and it became the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. Currently a vast metropolitan city, with around one-third of the Peruvian population living in the metropolitan area, Lima still retains its deep roots in Spanish colonial style and architecture. Strongly influenced by European, Andean, and Asian culture, Lima is a melting pot of cultures due to colonization, immigration, and indigenous influences. Like many other world capitals, Lima is home to prestigious museums and cultural sites, many of which are world renowned.

Situated at 11,151 feet, Cusco is the historic capital of the Inca Empire and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. The name Cusco is derived from the Quechua phrase “qusqu wanka” which means “rock of the owl.” The original Incan city, said to have been founded in the 11th century, was sacked by Pizarro in 1535. There are still remains, however, of the palace of the Incas the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun. Today Cusco is the most important tourist destination in Peru and home to one of the newly selected seven wonders of the world: Machu Picchu.

During your Peru cooking school vacation, you will have the unique opportunity to dine in and experience both the traditional city of Lima and the magical capital city of the Inca’s, Cusco. Both cities will offer you a very rich, yet entirely different cultural and gastronomic experience for you to savour. Whether it’s experiencing the richness of Peruvian natural resources in their purest form during a visit to the market in Lima, or feeling the spiritual awakening of seeing the majesty of Machu Picchu, both cities will be sure to leave you with a sense of enlightenment.


Latest Review

No rating given with this review
To sum up: the trip was amazing!! My sister and I both appreciated all the details that went into such a complicated itinerary. There were a lot of moving parts and only a few glitches along the way. The hotels in both Lima and Cusco were lovely and the concierge services were wonderful! Our guides in Lima, Adrian and Rosaria were kind, very well informed and fun to be with. We learned so much about the Peruvian people & culture in addition to the wonderful classes. The chefs we met were very enthusiastic and willing to share the tricks of their trade with us. The tasting dinners at Manifiesto, MAP cafe and especially Malabar were just divine. Thanks, too, to all the drivers who waited so patiently for us at all our stops. Our guides in Cusco/Machu Picchu, Juan and Marybel, were also delightful and a wealth of knowledge. Big gold stars to our driver in Cusco who drove us and Juan hundreds of miles around the Sacred Valley, then picked us up for dinner at MAP cafe, stayed to deliver us back to the hotel at 9:30 pm, and then picked us up again at 5:20 am the next morning and was waiting for us at the bus station late that night. He was our hero!!! We were glad that Wendy and her crew in Lima were able to move our start time on Monday, March 24 from 1:00 to 1:30, as our flight in from Cusco was late and we didn't even get to the hotel til 12:45. The only suggestions for making the tour more perfect would be: * Every country has different guidelines regarding tipping. It would be nice to know going in, what was expected/acceptable in restaurants and for our guides/drivers. * The Vistadome train ride was very comfortable, but we didn't know there would be food service, so we brought rolls and hard boiled eggs from the breakfast buffet. * The lunch at Inkaterra was delicious and in a beautiful setting. We weren't sure if Marybel was supposed to join us or not (as Juan had the day before), so it was a little awkward saying farewell to her after she brought us to the restaurant. Maybe you could specify what the protocol for that is. * Both my sister and I agreed that all the cooking classes should be hands-on. If we wanted just a demonstration, we could watch a YouTube video. You can't really learn to make ceviche by watching someone else. You really have to get in there and squeeze some limes! We also loved getting the spiral bound recipe books, aprons and all the wonderful gifts upon arrival. We would definitely recommend The International Kitchen tours to our friends and are already starting to think about our next adventure! The packet was our "bible" that we took with us every step of the way so we could keep track of when and where we were supposed to be on any given day & time. It was comprehensive and invaluable -- especially the contact phone numbers. Karen and her staff were all supportive, knowledgeable and kind, before, during and after the trip. They were in constant contact with the tour leader in Peru and were flexible enough to accommodate on the spot adjustments to our itinerary. Keven C., CA

Trip Details

During your three hands-on cooking classes you will have the luxury of learning about some of Peru’s most diverse and flavorful dishes. Cooking classes are laid back with an emphasis on learning the importance of the ingredients, as well as the methods and traditions of preparing them. They are always great fun and informal.

  • Your first class will include a market visit in Lima, followed by a class featuring staples of Peruvian cuisine
  • Your second class will focus on the famed Peruvian ‘ceviche’ and other seafood dishes
  • In Cusco your class will feature homestyle Cusquenian cuisine and some of the region’s vegetables
  • Enjoy an informal demonstration class for ‘Lonche’ (tea time) on departure day


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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!

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Itinerary

Day One

  • Arrival at Jorge Chavez International airport. Transfer to Lima hotel and check in.
  • Rest of the day and evening on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day Two

  • Following breakfast and a brief orientation, you will embark on your first culinary tour at the local market.
  • Upon arrival, you will participate in our fruit festival where you will have the opportunity to taste traditional and exotic fruits. After this, you will take part in your very own culinary mission at the market, in which you will be required to pick, purchase and even negotiate with local vendors all on your own! Your mission will be to pick the ingredients to prepare a famous Peruvian dish.
  • Immediately following, you will attend your first hands-on cooking class where you learn to prepare 3 of the most important Peruvian dishes, such as causa limeña, lomo saltado, and suspiro a la limeña.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • Afternoon on your own.
  • Tonight’s dinner is at a top restaurant in Lima, Casa Moreyra Astrid & Gaston. The celebrated restaurant is an unforgettable experience, as the menu is designed by famed Chef Gaston Acurio and leads diners through a journey of Peruvian culinary traditions through a traditional tasting menu.
  • Transportation back to Lima hotel.
  • Overnight.

Day Three

  • After breakfast, embark on your second hands-on class to learn how to prepare the most famous Peruvian dish: “Ceviche,” and some other variations. During your “Ceviche Feast,” renowned Chef Cucho La Rosa will teach you the experience and knowledge required to prepare the best ceviche and related dishes such as “tiradito,” and all seafood combinations.
  • Afterwards, return to the hotel with some time at leisure before leaving for your Pisco tasting (the national drink of Peru) and Amazon fusion dinner at Malabar restaurant, where chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino will prepare a special tasting feast for the senses. Some dishes you may try include fish cured by masato, huatiada potato, paiche dried and black pepper, pork belly and achira, and chirimoya and avocado.
  • Return to the hotel and overnight.

Day Four

  • After breakfast, you will depart for the airport en route to the magical City of Cusco.
  • Once in Cusco, you will check in to the hotel, where you will have lunch.
  • After lunch, you will embark on your guided city tour of Cusco. During this tour you will visit the Cathedral, the Sacsayhuaman ruins and the Korikancha temple, among other historical sites.
  • Tonight, dinner is on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day Five

  • Breakfast as the hotel, followed by your guided tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Cusco. Your tour includes a visit of the beautiful Incan village and fortress of Ollantaytambo, with a quick stop at the Quechua village of Chinchero and the Awanacancha Llama farm.
  • Next enjoy a home-style Cusquenian cooking course featuring a 3-course lunch in the Urubamba Valley.
  • After lunch, you will resume your tour with a very special visit to the Pisac Market, where you will be able to do some local shopping.
  • Your tour will end in the early evening, when you will be taken back to the hotel to rest and prepare for dinner.
  • Dinner tonight will be an exotic 7-course tasting menu at MAP café. You will experience the very best of traditional Novoandina cuisine. This cuisine mixes Andean ingredients with modern techniques to create new and inventive dishes.
  • Overnight.

Day Six

  • Early breakfast at the hotel.
  • After breakfast, you begin your journey to the lost city of the Incas: Machu Picchu. The trip starts with an early panoramic train ride to Aguas Calientes (the train ride is around 3 hours, snack included on board). Upon arrival, take the bus about 30 minutes to Machu Picchu for your tour.
  • During your guided visit of the historical site, you will explore the ruins, learn about how the Incas were able to build such a magnificent structure, and feel the mystical energy exuded by the ruins.
  • For lunch, you will have the opportunity to eat at the Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel, located in the town of Aguas Calientes.
  • In the late afternoon or early evening, take the return train ride to Cusco.
  • Dinner tonight on your own.

Day Seven

  • Following breakfast, you will be taken to the airport en route back to Lima.
  • Once in Lima, you will be taken to your hotel for day use so you can rest and recharge for the last leg of your tour. Once reinvigorated, you will participate in a special walking gourmet city tour of the city that emphasizes the culinary history of not only the city of Lima, but of the country of Peru.
  • Your special walking city gourmet tour will take you to bars, cafés and restaurants, where you will get a taste of what has become a part of everyday life in the city of Lima.
  • At the conclusion of your tour, you will arrive at “La Nacional” restaurant to take part in an extremely important culinary tradition in Peru: “Lonche” (Tea Time). It will be here that you will witness a demonstration cooking class, where you will learn how Peruvians created the most delicious sandwiches and desserts with ingredients and components of its typical Peruvian dishes. Your Peruvian culinary journey will end with your transfer to the airport. (If you would like to spend an additional night in Lima before your departure, we can arrange it on request.)

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

6 nights accommodation based on double occupancy (3 nights in Lima, plus day use of the hotel on departure day, and 3 nights in Cusco)

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 5 lunches
  • 3 gourmet tasting dinners in top restaurants
  • Tea time in Lima on Day 7

Classes & Instructors

During your three hands-on cooking classes you will have the luxury of learning about some of Peru’s most diverse and flavorful dishes. Cooking classes are laid back with an emphasis on learning the importance of the ingredients, as well as the methods and traditions of preparing them. They are always great fun and informal.

  • Your first class will include a market visit in Lima, followed by a class featuring staples of Peruvian cuisine
  • Your second class will focus on the famed Peruvian ‘ceviche’ and other seafood dishes
  • In Cusco your class will feature homestyle Cusquenian cuisine and some of the region’s vegetables
  • Enjoy an informal demonstration class for ‘Lonche’ (tea time) on departure day

Excursions

  • Guided visit of Cusco city
  • Guided visit to the Sacred Valley of the Inca
  • Guided visit of Machu Picchu

Transfer Details

  • Roundtrip transfers from/to Lima airport, as well as roundtrip transfers from/to the Cusco airport on days 4 and 7

Miscellaneous

  • Market visit in Lima
  • Round trip train tickets to Aguas Calientes and bus tickets from there to Machu Picchu (please note the train journey takes a few hours each way and the bus around 30 minutes)
  • Market visit in Pisac
  • Gourmet walking tour of Lima on Day 7
  • Entrance fees

Not Included

  • Round-trip domestic flights (Approximately $340 per person)
  • Domestic airport tax (about $12 per person round trip)
  • International Airport tax (about $31 per person on return flight)
  • Tips and gratuities (All tips and gratuities are optional and up to you. In all restaurants, by law, a 10% service tip is included; It is customary to leave an extra tip that could be $1-5 per person. For guides, $5 per person per day is recommended. For drivers, $1 per person per day is recommended).

Accommodation Information

In Lima stay at the 4* Casa Andina Select Miraflores, a contemporary hotel located in the popular Miraflores district. The bright, spacious rooms offer free WiFi, flatscreen TVs, minibar, coffeemaker, desk, and full equipped en suite bathroom. _(If this hotel is unvailable, a comparable hotel will be substituted.)

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In Cusco you will stay at the 4* Casa Andina Private Collection (or similar). This lovely hotel is in an 18th-century mansion just minutes from the Qurikancha Inca ruins, and also near the Cathedral. The traditional rooms have wood furnishings, flatscreen TVs, coffeemakers, sitting area, and desks, as well as fully equipped en suite bathrooms.
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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Year-Round Pricing:

6-night Program
US$3600 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$675 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$450 per person when booking 4 or more people

Note that prices do not include round-trip domestic flights, to be purchased by client once trip is confirmed (approximately US $340 per person for Lima to Cusco and Cusco back to Lima).


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks for a minimum of 2 people.
Other start dates also possible, please inquire.

2019
February 3-9
February 10-16
February 17-23
February 24-March 2
March 3-9
March 10-16
March 17-23
March 24-30
March 31-April 6
April 7-13
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
November 3-9
November 10-16
November 17-23
November 24-30
December 1-7
December 8-14
December 15-21
December 22-28

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

No rating given with this review
To sum up: the trip was amazing!! My sister and I both appreciated all the details that went into such a complicated itinerary. There were a lot of moving parts and only a few glitches along the way. The hotels in both Lima and Cusco were lovely and the concierge services were wonderful! Our guides in Lima, Adrian and Rosaria were kind, very well informed and fun to be with. We learned so much about the Peruvian people & culture in addition to the wonderful classes. The chefs we met were very enthusiastic and willing to share the tricks of their trade with us. The tasting dinners at Manifiesto, MAP cafe and especially Malabar were just divine. Thanks, too, to all the drivers who waited so patiently for us at all our stops. Our guides in Cusco/Machu Picchu, Juan and Marybel, were also delightful and a wealth of knowledge. Big gold stars to our driver in Cusco who drove us and Juan hundreds of miles around the Sacred Valley, then picked us up for dinner at MAP cafe, stayed to deliver us back to the hotel at 9:30 pm, and then picked us up again at 5:20 am the next morning and was waiting for us at the bus station late that night. He was our hero!!! We were glad that Wendy and her crew in Lima were able to move our start time on Monday, March 24 from 1:00 to 1:30, as our flight in from Cusco was late and we didn't even get to the hotel til 12:45. The only suggestions for making the tour more perfect would be: * Every country has different guidelines regarding tipping. It would be nice to know going in, what was expected/acceptable in restaurants and for our guides/drivers. * The Vistadome train ride was very comfortable, but we didn't know there would be food service, so we brought rolls and hard boiled eggs from the breakfast buffet. * The lunch at Inkaterra was delicious and in a beautiful setting. We weren't sure if Marybel was supposed to join us or not (as Juan had the day before), so it was a little awkward saying farewell to her after she brought us to the restaurant. Maybe you could specify what the protocol for that is. * Both my sister and I agreed that all the cooking classes should be hands-on. If we wanted just a demonstration, we could watch a YouTube video. You can't really learn to make ceviche by watching someone else. You really have to get in there and squeeze some limes! We also loved getting the spiral bound recipe books, aprons and all the wonderful gifts upon arrival. We would definitely recommend The International Kitchen tours to our friends and are already starting to think about our next adventure! The packet was our "bible" that we took with us every step of the way so we could keep track of when and where we were supposed to be on any given day & time. It was comprehensive and invaluable -- especially the contact phone numbers. Karen and her staff were all supportive, knowledgeable and kind, before, during and after the trip. They were in constant contact with the tour leader in Peru and were flexible enough to accommodate on the spot adjustments to our itinerary. Keven C., CA
No rating given with this review
This was an amazing trip! I loved how it combined behind-the-scenes cooking, shopping, and prep with delicious tasting meals and all the logistics for visiting unforgettable sights. The on-site staffers, tour guides, and drivers were great, the hotel accommodations were well-located and well-appointed. The most fun class was with Jose del Castillo at his bar where we made ceviche. And our afternoon at La Nacional with Miguel Hernandez was great. Obviously having a private walking tour of Machu Picchu was the original reason for our trip, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a very long day, but one of the highlights of the trip. There were a few discrepancies in the preliminary packet and the final booklet in terms of pick-up times and logistics, but those were minor. It would have helped to have had a map of Lima and of Cusco to help get our bearings. It would also have helped if the evening drivers who took us to restaurants had contact phone numbers at the ready (we asked & got them) so that restaurant staff could call when we were finished dining. [The International Kitchen staff] were very responsive and accommodating, and quick to resolve questions and issues. Andrea S., MD
No rating given with this review
The logistics worked very well. All the guides, drivers and transfer people were where they needed to be when they were scheduled. The mix of activities was on target, but also added to the energy required to pull it all off. The cooking classes were fun and informative. Diego and Javier at the La Nacional were involved and instructive. The ceviche class was less so due to language and could have benefited from better knives. The pisco mixed drink class was not as advertised and consisted of making one pisco sour and no food. Amadeus was too busy to be involved. Dinners at the Malabar and Manifesto restaurants were excellent… The jungle stay was the most demanding. Great place, great guides (Justo and Luis) and good, not great, food. Lots of learning about the ecology of the jungle. Just blazing hot and humid-- it is the jungle, I guess. Travel through Porto Maldonado added to the effort and the reward of the trip. Time between arrival in Cusco and start of first tour was zero. Not well planned. The city tours were spot on. Rasario in Lima and Juan in Cusco were each good in their own way presenting the culture and and history will slightly different takes. Rosario was very involved, Juan was more analytical and biased , which made for some good debates. Driver Romulo in Cusco was the best. The day at Machu Picchu was just plain too long. The tour was spectacular and everything we had hoped for. Victor, the guide, did an adequate job, kind of rote and on his cell phone too much. Leaving at 5:30 and not returning until 8 pm was too much! We were scheduled for a dinner that night that we canceled. Unfortunate, but we just wouldn't have enjoyed what looked to be an excellent 7 course menu, needing to repack and be ready to leave at 7 the next day. Hotels were excellent and staffs very helpful and welcoming. Ray & Judy G, WI
No rating given with this review
Standard of personal care and attention by all the guides and drivers was excellent. There were only the two of us but there was no skimping on service or experience. The guides were companionable, informative, very helpful and generally gave their all - a very important component of our enjoyment. We experienced a wide variety of foods and styles of cooking and presentation, learning a lot about Peru's history, culture and geography. Very hard to choose best aspects - the fruit and veggie tasting at the Lima markets, the unexpected fun return train trip to Machu Picchu, the exceptional treatment at the Pisco Museum when we turned up at their busiest time instead of quiet 6pm, (however this was a fault with the itinerary as we did not return from Machu Picchu till 9.30pm and consequently did not learn to make different Piscos nor learn about Pisco varieties etc as was detailed in our package) the exceptional quality of our guides and drivers. All partners greeted us enthusiastically and provided excellent service. Unfortunately we did find that the food and eating program was too crowded - it was very hard to enjoy 3 or more dishes and courses at lunch time and then again a degustation at quite an early dining time at night. Too much food in one day detracted from the enjoyment. However we did love this tour and would do another. Christine and John L., Australia
No rating given with this review
The Taste of Peru part of our trip was fantastic and a great experience. The cooking classes were superb and our guide Rosario marvelous. We loved Lima, the market tour the best we have ever had and the dinner at Astrid and Gaston was an experience we will never forget. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better came Cusco which we loved. Our guide Abel was delightful and so knowledgeable about everything. The train ride to Machu Picchu was wonderful as was our guide, Victor, there. Of course it helped we had great weather! It was a great experience and another check on our bucket list. And then the MAP dinner--another great tasting menu experience. The return to Lima went smoothly and our favorite cooking class was the one at Bistro 1087. Anthony, the sous chef and instructor, was fabulous and so kind to put up with a couple of older ladies! And we were right in the middle of the kitchen and all the crew didn't seem to mind. We laughed a lot and had a great time--not to mention fabulous food. Our next favorite cooking class was ceviche at Le Red--absolutely truly hands on and we loved it. Plus it was really good! I can't say enough good things about it. The only disappointment we had was not enough time in Cusco. We would have loved to see more of the Museum and go to other museums and wander around a bit. We were pretty programmed and loved all of it but another day with free time for shopping and wandering would have been nice. Guess we will just have to go back! Susan
No rating given with this review
This was an excellent trip. The guides were very knowledgable, the cooking classes were outstanding and the organization was right on. The only thing missed was a a few cultural experiences like a museum, music or art event. The program was so jammed packed that we did not have time to do any of these things on our own. Defiantly would recommend this trip. Lorraine, OR