Traditional Pachamanca meal in the Sacred Valley
Pachamanca is a traditional Andean meal cooked in a hole dug in the ground and covered with hot stones. It is a unique and delicious culinary experience worth trying if you visit Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas.
To enjoy an authentic pachamanca, many restaurants and organizations offer gastronomic tours where you can see the preparation process and enjoy freshly cooked food. Typical ingredients include pork, chicken, guinea pig, potatoes, corn, and beans, all seasoned with local herbs.
The food is layered in the hole, covered with banana leaves, and then with hot stones. The heat from the rocks slowly cooks the food, and the mixture of flavors and aromas is genuinely unique. After several hours, the food is taken out of the hole and served on clay plates.
Pachamanca is more than just a meal; it is a cultural and community experience where friends and family gather to enjoy delicious food and share stories and traditions. If you have the opportunity to try pachamanca, don’t miss it!
Seafood in Peru
Peru has a rich seafood culture due to its extensive coastline along the Pacific Ocean. Peruvian cuisine features a wide variety of seafood dishes that are a must-try for any seafood lover.
One of Peru’s most famous seafood dishes is ceviche, which consists of raw fish marinated in citrus juices, onions, and chili peppers. This dish is typically served with sweet potatoes and corn on the cob. Other popular seafood dishes include Arroz con Mariscos (seafood rice), chupe de Camarones (shrimp chowder), and Jalea (mixed seafood platter).
Peru is also known for its abundance of fresh and flavorful seafood, including sea bass, trout, swordfish, and shellfish such as scallops, mussels, and clams. Many seafood restaurants in Peru source their ingredients directly from local fishermen to ensure the freshest and highest quality seafood.
In addition to traditional seafood dishes, Peru has incorporated seafood into its fusion cuisine, creating unique and delicious dishes such as Lomo Saltado de Mariscos (stir-fried beef and seafood) and Causa de Cangrejo (crab potato cake).
Overall, seafood is a significant part of Peruvian cuisine and offers diverse dishes that will delight any seafood lover’s palate.
Other Traditional Peruvian Foods to Try
Peruvian cuisine is known for its diverse flavors and ingredients, resulting in a delicious and unique culinary experience. In addition to seafood dishes, there are many other traditional Peruvian foods that you should try when visiting Peru. Here are some examples:
- Cuy: Guinea pig is a traditional dish in Peru, typically roasted or fried and served with potatoes and corn.
- Anticuchos: Grilled beef heart skewers marinated in a spicy sauce, often served with potatoes and corn.
- Lomo Saltado: A stir-fry dish with beef, onions, tomatoes, and French fries, often served with rice.
- Ají de Gallina: A creamy chicken stew made with yellow chili peppers, milk, and bread.
- Papa a la Huancaína: Boiled potatoes in a creamy sauce made with cheese, chili peppers, and evaporated milk.
- Rocoto Relleno: A spicy dish made with stuffed rocoto peppers, beef, and cheese.
- Ceviche de Pulpo: Octopus ceviche is similar to traditional ceviche but made with octopus instead of fish.
- Chupe de Camarones: A shrimp chowder made with potatoes, corn, and a spicy milk-based broth.
- Pollo a la Brasa: Roasted chicken marinated in a blend of herbs and spices, often served with fries or rice.
- Chicha Morada: A refreshing drink made from purple corn, spices, and fruit.
These are just a few examples of the many delicious traditional Peruvian dishes you can try during your visit to Peru. Don’t be afraid to explore this great country’s diverse and flavorful cuisine!
Touring Peru’s best food markets with a private guide
Touring Peru’s best food markets with a private guide is a great way to experience the local culture and cuisine. In Peru, many markets offer fresh and delicious food, including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and spices. Here are some of the best food markets to visit in Peru:
- Mercado Central de Lima: This is the largest market in Lima and offers a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, and seafood. It is also a great place to try traditional Peruvian dishes such as Ceviche, Anticuchos, and chicharrón.
- Mercado San Pedro in Cusco: This is one of the most famous markets in Cusco and is known for its variety of Andean products, including potatoes, quinoa, and local cheeses. It is also a great place to try cuy (guinea pig) and other traditional dishes.
- Mercado de Surquillo in Lima: This market is known for its fresh seafood and offers various fish, shrimp, and octopus. It is also a great place to try exotic fruits such as lucuma and chirimoya.
- Mercado de San Juan in Arequipa: This market is known for its variety of meats, including alpaca, llama, and guinea pig. It is also a great place to try rocoto relleno, a spicy dish made with stuffed peppers.
Hiring a private guide allows you to customize your market tour to suit your preferences and interests. Your guide can also help you navigate the market and introduce you to local vendors and their products. Additionally, a private guide can offer insights into the local culture and food traditions, making your market tour an enriching cultural experience.
Peru’s gourmet restaurants in the capital and Cuzco
Peru is home to many world-renowned gourmet restaurants, especially in the capital city of Lima and the historical city of Cuzco. Here are some of the top gourmet restaurants to try in Peru:
- Central, Lima: This restaurant is widely regarded as one of the best in the world, and for a good reason. Chef Virgilio Martinez uses indigenous ingredients from all over Peru to create innovative and delicious dishes that showcase the country’s biodiversity.
- Maido, Lima: This restaurant specializes in Nikkei cuisine, which combines Japanese and Peruvian flavors. Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura creates sushi rolls with Peruvian ingredients like quinoa and Ají Amarillo.
- Astrid y Gastón, Lima: This restaurant is run by Chef Gastón Acurio, who is widely credited with bringing Peruvian cuisine to the world stage. The menu features traditional Peruvian dishes with modern twists, such as ceviche with passion fruit foam.
- Chicha, Cuzco: This restaurant is also run by Gastón Acurio and features traditional Peruvian dishes with a modern twist. The menu includes cuy (guinea pig) with crispy quinoa and Peruvian cornbread.
These are just a few gourmet restaurants to try in Peru. Whether you’re in Lima or Cuzco, you’re sure to find a restaurant that offers an unforgettable dining experience showcasing Peruvian cuisine’s rich flavors and traditions.
Specialties food in Peru
Peru is known for its diverse and flavorful cuisine, with various specialties showcasing its culinary traditions. Here are some of the top things to try in Peru:
- Ceviche: This is Peru’s national dish, and it consists of raw fish marinated in lime juice and served with onions, chili peppers, and sweet potato. It’s a refreshing and flavorful dish perfect for hot summer days.
- Lomo Saltado: This is a stir-fried dish with beef, onions, tomatoes, and french fries, served with rice. It’s a popular dish that combines Peruvian and Chinese flavors.
- Anticuchos: These are grilled skewers of marinated meat, usually beef heart or chicken. They are often served with boiled potatoes and a spicy peanut sauce.
- Ají de gallina: This is a creamy chicken dish made with Ají Amarillo, a chili pepper type, served with rice and boiled potatoes. It’s a comforting and delicious dish that is popular throughout Peru.
- Rocoto relleno: This is a spicy dish made with stuffed rocoto peppers, a chili pepper. The peppers are stuffed with meat, vegetables, and cheese and baked until tender and flavorful.
- Cuy: This is a traditional dish made with Guinea Pig, considered a delicacy in Peru. The meat is typically roasted or fried and served with potatoes and a spicy sauce.
- Pachamanca: This traditional Andean dish is made by cooking meat, potatoes, and vegetables in an underground oven heated with hot stones. It’s a labor-intensive dish that is often reserved for special occasions.
These are just a few of the many specialties to try in Peru. Whether you’re a meat lover, seafood fan, or vegetarian, you will find something delicious and unique in Peru’s vibrant and flavorful cuisine.
TASTE TRADITIONAL PERUVIAN DISHES IN TRUJILLO AND CHICLAYO
Trujillo and Chiclayo, located on the northern coast of Peru, offer visitors the chance to taste some of the country’s most traditional and delicious dishes. Here are some of the top words to try in Trujillo and Chiclayo:
- Cebiche: Both Trujillo and Chiclayo are known for their delicious cebiche, which is made with fresh fish, lime juice, onions, and chili peppers. In Trujillo, the cebiche is often served with Chifles, which are thin, crispy plantain chips.
- Seco de cabrito: This hearty stew is made with goat meat, cilantro, onions, and beer. It’s typically served with rice and beans, a popular dish in Trujillo and Chiclayo.
- Cabrito al Horno: This roasted goat dish is often served on special occasions. The meat is slow-roasted until it’s tender and flavorful, and it’s typically served with potatoes and a spicy sauce.
- Arroz con Mariscos: This seafood rice dish is popular throughout Peru. It’s made with rice, shrimp, squid, and other seafood, and it’s seasoned with garlic, onions, and Aji Amarillo, a chili pepper.
- Chanfainita: This is a spicy dish made with beef lungs and potatoes. It’s cooked with onions, tomatoes, and spices and typically served with rice or bread.
- Chicha de jora: This is a traditional Peruvian corn beer popular in Trujillo and Chiclayo. It’s made by fermenting corn with water and yeast and has a slightly sweet and sour flavor.
These are just a few traditional Peruvian dishes in Trujillo and Chiclayo. Whether a meat lover, seafood fan, or vegetarian, you will find something delicious and unique in these vibrant and flavorful cities.
What About Vegetarians?
Peruvian cuisine is known for its rich flavors and various ingredients, which makes it an excellent destination for food lovers of all dietary preferences, including vegetarians. Here are some vegetarian dishes to try in Peru:
- Papas a la huancaína: This is a classic Peruvian dish made with boiled potatoes and a creamy sauce made from queso fresco, Aji Amarillo, and milk. It’s typically served cold and garnished with olives and hard-boiled eggs.
- Quinoa salad: Quinoa is a staple food in Peru, and it’s often used in salads and other vegetarian dishes. Quinoa salad typically includes quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and herbs, dressed with a tangy lime vinaigrette.
- Ají de papas is a hearty potato stew made with Aji Amarillo, milk, and cheese. It’s a comfort food that is perfect for colder days.
- Choclo con queso: This is a simple yet delicious dish made with boiled corn on the cob and sliced Queso Blanco, a mild white cheese. It’s a popular snack at markets and street food stalls throughout Peru.
- Palta Rellena: This stuffed avocado dish is often served as an appetizer. The avocado is stuffed with a mixture of vegetables, cheese, and mayonnaise, and it’s typically done on a bed of lettuce.
- Vegetable stir-fry: Stir-fry dishes are typical in Peru, and they can easily be made vegetarian using vegetables like bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms. They are typically served with rice and a spicy sauce.
These are just a few examples of the many vegetarian dishes available in Peru. With abundant fresh produce and creative culinary traditions, Peru offers various vegetarian options to please any palate.
My tips for making the most out of Peru’s food
Here are some suggestions for making the most out of Peru’s food:
- Try everything: Peru has a rich and diverse culinary heritage, so don’t be afraid to try new and unfamiliar dishes. Be adventurous and explore the different flavors and textures that Peruvian cuisine has to offer.
- Visit food markets: Peru’s food markets are a great way to experience the local food culture and find fresh, high-quality ingredients. Be sure to visit the local markets, such as San Pedro Market in Cusco or Surquillo Market in Lima, to see and taste the local produce and products.
- Take a cooking class: A cooking class is a fun and educational way to learn about Peruvian cuisine and improve your cooking skills. Many cooking classes are available throughout the country, typically including a trip to the local market and a hands-on cooking lesson.
- Be mindful of altitude: Many parts of Peru, including Cusco and the Sacred Valley, are at high altitudes. Height can affect your appetite and digestion, so be mindful of what you eat and drink. It’s also important to stay hydrated and avoid heavy, greasy foods.
- Pair food with local drinks: Peru has a wide variety of traditional drinks that pair well with its food. For example, Pisco Sour is a famous cocktail made with Pisco, lime juice, egg white, and bitters, and it pairs well with cebiche. Chicha Morada, a non-alcoholic drink made from purple corn, is a refreshing complement to spicy Peruvian dishes.
By following these tips, you can fully immerse yourself in Peru’s food culture and enjoy all the delicious flavors this country offers.
Do you have any dietary restrictions?
No problem. Just let us know at the time of booking. We cater to vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose intolerant, fish, vegan, and any food allergies.
What kind of water do we enjoy on the Inca Trail?
Tap water is available at all Inca Trail campsites, and our cook boils it for 15 minutes so it is safe to drink.
We provide plenty of water daily, but you must only carry enough to reach the first lunch stop. You can refill your bottles at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
You will have good food on the Inca Trail with us. Food will be provided five times daily, starting with a delicious breakfast, a snack, plenty of lunch, a happy hour (afternoon tea with cookies and popcorn), and dinner.
Typical meals on Our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 4 days.
Hot porridge, quinoa or oatmeal, fried eggs, omelet or pancakes with fresh bread, fried plantains, thick porridge with large chunks of fresh sweet apples. And boiled water for hot teas, coca tea, coffee, chocolate, and milk.
Lunch and dinner:
First course: quinoa, corn, noodles, asparagus, mushroom or vegetable soup, stuffed avocado, or potatoes.
Second course: Chicken breast, beef stew, quinoa, fried rice, hamburgers, fried chicken, spaghetti bolognese, typical dishes: aji de gallina, escabeche de Pollo, or Ajiaco de Ulluco
Food on the Inca trail
The Inca Trail is a popular trekking route that leads to the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, and the food served on the trail is an integral part of the experience. Here’s what you can expect from the food on the Inca Trail:
- Meals are included: Most tour operators provide meals in their Inca Trail packages. Typically, this includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, snacks, and hot drinks along the way.
- Traditional Peruvian cuisine: The food served on the Inca Trail is typically conventional, with dishes like quinoa soup, Lomo Saltado (a stir-fry dish with beef, vegetables, and rice), and cebiche (a seafood dish marinated in lime juice).
- Vegetarian and dietary restrictions: Many tour operators can accommodate vegetarian and other dietary restrictions, but it’s essential to inform them beforehand. You can expect dishes like vegetable stir-fry, lentil soup, and rice and beans as vegetarian options.
- Local ingredients: The food on the Inca Trail is made with locally sourced ingredients, including fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and grains.
- Basic facilities: The cooking facilities on the Inca Trail are essential, but the cooks are skilled at preparing delicious meals under these conditions. You can expect meals to be cooked on a stove or open fire and served in a communal dining tent or outdoor setting.
Overall, the food on the Inca Trail is tasty and nourishing and provides an opportunity to experience the local cuisine while on a trek through the stunning Peruvian landscape.
Faqs About Inca Trail Food
Can I have vegetarian meals?
Our cooks are happy to provide vegetarian meals. Please let us know your dietary needs when booking your trip.
Can I have vegan meals?
Our chefs are trained to prepare vegan meals. Please tell us if you are a strict vegan and send us a list of foods you cannot eat.
I have a food allergy or special dietary requirements; can this be accommodated?
Yes, of course; when you make your reservation let us know all the details of your allergy at the time of booking so that we can arrange your food according to your needs.
Let us know how severe it causes you and what type of medication you will bring with you in an emergency. If your allergy is severe, you must be accompanied by a friend on the trek knowledgeable about your allergy and how to administer any medication.
VERY IMPORTANT: due to the nature of the remote geographical location of the treks and the lack of nearby AND adequate medical facilities, INKA TRAIL BACKPACKER will not accept any responsibility, directly or indirectly, for any problems due to your special medical or dietary needs. We suggest that you consult with your doctor before booking the trek.
Do you provide water on the Classic Inca Trail tour? If you do the Inca Trail tour, we will give cold-boiled and filtered water during the trek after breakfast on the second day. You will need to bring your canteen or camelback to carry your water. Also, pack sufficient water for the first day of the hike.
Do you provide water on the Salkantay Trek tour?
On this tour, you will always have the option to buy water at each campsite or where we stop for lunch and rest. You will need to bring your canteen or camelback to carry your water. Also, pack sufficient water for the first day of the trek.
Why do you provide water on the Classic Inca Trail tour and not the Salkantay Trek tour?
The main reason is that the Classic Inca Trail only passes through one village on the first day as the following days are protected areas with no population, unlike the Salkantay trek, where we will pass through many towns that will always welcome you.