Culinary tourism is helping propel visitor arrivals in South America. Diverse ingredients and a wide variety of cultural influences developed over the centuries by the Incas, the Spanish and later Asian and African immigrants, make every meal a taste sensation. My Exclusive Journeys, travel planners of private tours to Latin America and Spain, are offering journeys to Peru that highlight their rich local heritage and food and wine trends.
Memories of Peru: A Lavish Adventure starts at Lima, the capital city, where guests spend the night before flying the next day to Cuzco for three nights. A soothing massage starts tuning them in to the holiday. A guide helps with selecting a restaurant offering culinary delights of this ancestral land. Cuzco ruled over the Andes for five centuries until the conquistadores erected Baroque buildings over Inca foundations giving rise to an incredible cultural blending. Beyond the city, travelers visit tiny Inca hamlets, colorful markets, archaeological vestiges and the enigmatic Sacred Valley.
The next stop is Machu Picchu, the most spectacular archaeological site in the continent, reached after a luxurious ride on the vintage Hiram Bingham train. Travelers may choose to trek the last portion of the mythical Inca Trail to Machu Picchu if they have the energy. After a night here, they board the train for Lima, a modern temple of nouvelle cuisine and world-class museums.
There’s time to partake of a cooking and tasting session in Lima before joining other modern explorers on a luxury cruise into the Amazon jungle with all meals included for three or four nights. Pink dolphins, troops of monkeys, screeching macaws and a plethora of exotic plants are in view. Accommodations feature high-quality cotton sheets, wonderful artwork, panoramic windows and delectable cuisine.
The last stop is Lima before departing for the US. Rates for the 10-night journey (departing daily except Thursdays) start at $2,526 and include land transfers, accommodation, breakfast daily, English-speaking assistance, lunch at a historic hacienda and a massage in Cuzco, meals in Machu Picchu and museum in Lima. International and domestic flights are not included in the rate.