Peru: Food and Culture

Professor Aaron D. Sachowitz

June 28 - July 7, 2024

$3,940 per person double occupancy, $4,240 single occupancy

Peru is a gastronomic mecca, home to some of the best and most innovative fine dining in the world, including the reigning World’s Best Restaurant in 2023, as well as delicious street and traditional foods. Well known foods like potatoes, quinoa, sweet potatoes, amaranth, and cacao all come from Peru, and you’ll discover others, like lucuma, maca, and camu camu. In Peruvian food, one can taste both the country’s deep indigenous roots and the consequences of Spanish colonization. Since the arrival of the Spaniards also brought deeply engrained middle eastern influences, successive waves of immigration to Peru has resulted in further culinary influences from Italian, French, Chinese and Japanese flavors, techniques, and cuisines. Peru truly is a culinary melting pot, where the traveler’s tastebuds open the door to a rich world of history and culture.

Join us for 10 days as we use food as a lens to explore ancient archeological sites and modern Peruvian culture. We start in the capital, Lima, where we will visit museums and archaeological sites to see the role of food in the many pre-Colombian cultures that called Peru home, as well as spending an unforgettable evening at “The World’s Best Restaurant” where we will taste our way through top Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez’ inspired culinary creations. We will then take a short flight to Cusco to explore the ancient capital of the Inca empire. We will visit Machu Picchu and other breathtaking Incan ruins and tour the Sacred Valley, spending a night in a village to sample more traditional rural foods as part of a homestay. You will return to Lima to fly home nourished both physically and intellectually with the amazing foods and cultures of Peru, and having gained a greater understanding of the important role food has played in Peruvian culture historically, and continues to play currently.

For those foodies that want to take it to the next level, take advantage of the optional 3-day extension. We will stay in Cusco in order to do an immersive day at chef Virgilio Martinez’s experimental food lab, Mil, outside of Cusco before returning to Lima for a deep dive into Lima’s street food scene.



$3,940 per person double occupancy, $4,240 single occupancy. Fees include breakfast and another meal each day (sometimes both), accommodations, roundtrip flight between Lima and Cusco, Peru, other in country transportation, some tour guides, entry and activity fees (including Machu Picchu and a one night community homestay). Participants are responsible for their own travel accomodations to and from Peru.

Optional 3-day add-on excursion (July 7-9). Add $850 for double occupancy, $988 for single. 

Begin your registration now.

March 4, 2024: $1,000 non-refundable deposit for all trips due. In the event that the trip does not meet its minimum number of travelers, deposits will be refunded.

April 29, 2024: Final payment due


Information Sessions

Learn more about the trip by joining a virtual information sessions. All times PT

  • Dec. 18, 5:30–6:30 PM
  • Jan. 23, 5:00–6:0 PM
  • Feb. 21, 7:00–8:00 PM
  • March 7, 5:30–6:30 PM

Join the meeting by Zoom
Meeting ID: 532 728 0417
Passcode: 364042

(Details subject to change and availability)

Friday 6/28/24 Welcome dinner (7pm) for those that arrive in time (otherwise folks should arrive at the Lima airport by 8am on 8/3/24)

Saturday 6/29/24 breakfast at hotel, security briefing, tour of Lima (visit cathedral, learn about
the colonial history), lunch and visit to La Huaca Pucllana archeological site, shopping and
dinner on own in Miraflores

Sunday 6/30/24 breakfast at hotel, visit Pachacamac historical archeological site and discuss ritual function of food in Pre-Columbian Peru, “pachamanca” lunch at nearby ecological valley of Lurín, return to hotel, Peruvian happy hour and pisco workshop, dinner on own near hotel Monday 7/1/24 breakfast at hotel, visit Casa de la Gastronomia, visit Mercado Central, lunch in China town and discussion of cultural fusion in Peruvian food, visit archaeological museum or International Potato Center, evening flight to Cusco, late dinner at Nuna Raymi

Tuesday 7/2/24 Breakfast in hotel, tour of central Cusco, group lunch, talk with staff from Centro Bartolomé de las Casas on agro-tourism, food, and sustainable development, walk to central plaza for churches and Museum of Precolombian Art (MAP), dinner on own (optional 5-course tasting menu dinner at MAP +$70 not including drinks)

W/Th 7/3-4/24 breakfast at hotel, two day excursion to the sacred valley and Machu Picchu (all meals and accommodations in Aguas Calientes included), dinner in Cusco on the 4th

F/Sa 7/5-6/24 breakfast in hotel, homestays in community in Chinchero (all meals and campfire included in community) to learn about traditional agriculture and sustainable development, dinner in Cusco on the 6th

Sun 7/7/24 breakfast at hotel, morning flight to Lima for connection to international flights.

Optional 3 day extension
(stay in Cusco an extra night before returning to Lima for two days)

Sun 7/7/24 all day immersion at Mil (Moray and the Mil culinary laboratory), sleep in Cusco at hotel

Mon 7/8/24 breakfast at hotel, morning flight to Lima, lunch and afternoon tour of Museo Larco, dinner on own

Tu 7/9/24 light breakfast at hotel, walking street food tour, evening free, farewell dinner at AmaZ to discuss food from Peru’s Amazonian region. Optional alternative (Nasca Lines) E 7/10/24 breakfast at hotel, transfers to airport

Aaron Sachowitz

Meet your Professor: Aaron Sachowitz

I am Professor of Media Technologies and Culture in the Communication Department at Saint Mary’s and co-founder of the Master’s program in Intercultural (now just general) Communication. I was Director of the January Term program for four years, supervising travel courses, and prior to that led five courses to Nicaragua (multiple times), Costa Rica, Japan, and India.

I've traveled to Peru twice, once when I participated in a program for US faculty on Peruvian Gastronomy in Lima. Then in 2022 I brought 3 Intercultural Communication MA students to Cusco to consult for two weeks with an NGO that works on sustainable economic development. I co-authored research on quinoa in Peru with a member of the NGO staff and maintain a productive relationship with her and the NGO. I’ve further taught courses on food and food justice in January Term and in the Communication department, and have an ongoing research project related to food stories.

I’m an avid cook and “foodie,” someone who likes to experience good food in addition to studying it. What’s more, I know how to balance the connoisseur’s interest good food with the Saint Mary’s Lasallian commitment to keeping cultural context and social justice in mind. I plan to bring my wife, a high school Spanish teacher, and our 5-year-old twins (Spanish speakers) on the trip, and welcome other families with children.

Information about Peru

Peru currently has a level 2 advisory for most of the country, with level 4 in some areas where we would not travel. There was some recent civil unrest related to a presidential removal and widespread protests that were violently suppressed, but Lima and Cusco, the two places we would travel, are considered safe for tourists, with some added caution warranted (where tourism attracts some level of personal/property crime). Peru has a level 1 advisory from the CDC. US citizens do not need a visa but citizens of some other countries may.