A Cultural and Culinary Exploration in Peru, including Lima and the Mistura food festival!
Like the Spanish word "mistura", which means mixture, this custom small group tour (maximum 12 participants) mixes cultures, cuisines, and geography.
Great for small private groups, Mistura is usually the second week in September - contact us to confirm dates.
Also available in conjunction with the Peru Mistura Tour are trip extensions to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, to the Amazon, and to Paracas including the Nazca Lines. See below for a special post-trip ANDEAN INCA EXPLORATION of 7 Days & 6 Nights. (Our Peru tours may be taken separately or in conjunction with our other trips in Peru.)
These unique tours were designed by anthropologist Charlie Strader, President of Explorations. His love and appreciation of Peru’s cultures and food diversity started with travels there in the 1980’s.
The group size is limited to 12 participants. Expert guides will inform of the past and present cultures of Peru, their environment, history, art, and foods. You will experience why National Geographic named Peru the "next Foodie Frontier" in their Best of the World for 2012. You will also receive a video of the acclaimed and moving documentary, Cooking Up Dreams.
Highlights and features of the tour include:
* Mistura annual gastronomy festival and second largest food festival in the world guided by professional food guide
* Lima, the City of Kings
* Touring local market with professional food guide and cooking class with a Lima chef
* A gastronomic focus - from farm to fork - with visits to local markets, cooking demonstrations, and special meals
* Professional, resident guides throughout
* Small group size (maximum 10 participants) for a more in-depth and relaxed travel experience
PERU MISTURA: 5 Days & 4 Nights, September
DAY 1, Saturday
DAY 2, Sunday
In the morning, we have a group meeting and enjoy breakfast at the hotel which has wonderful fresh breads from a nearby bakery.
After breakfast, we depart to learn of Peru’s rich colonial heritage. Taking advantage of the lesser traffic on a Sunday, we travel downtown to explore Central Lima. We first head to the impressive Main Square, called the Plaza Mayor or Plaza De Armas, which is more beautiful than ever with the recent renovations. The large plaza is surrounded by such important buildings as the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s house, the Cathedral, and City Hall.
For a pico sour demonstration and rest, we stop downtown at the popular and charming historic El Cordano Bar, founded by Italians and famous for its sandwiches, such as “Butifara”. We can then stroll the pedestrian boulevard of Paseo de los Escribanos, one of the most beautiful stretches of buildings in the area. Known as “The Writers’ Way”, because in the past, when much of the population was illiterate, locals came here to have their messages to loved ones and friends transcribed. With its signature yellow buildings, it’s a favorite among residents and visitors and has many eateries. We should also be able to snack on some of the commonly sold quail eggs from one of the street vendors.
After lunch, we will go for a stroll through the artsy and bohemian Barranco neighborhood, full of grand mansions and historic buildings. We will also see and learn the story of the famous Puente de los Suspiros, or Bridge of Sighs, on the walking tour.
After a rest at the hotel, for those who would like we can arrange reservations and transportation to the upscale Huaca Pucllana Restaurant, located in Miraflores overlooking the Pre-Inca archaeological Pucllana ruins. (Costs are not included.) Currently the Pucllana Archeological Zone spreads over 15 hectares and is divided into two well-defined sections. One is of pyramidal structure, 23 meters high. The charming restaurant is was a large old house. The high ceilings and low lights give it a special touch. They also have a dining area and bar on a lovely terrace. The view of the ruins is just breathtaking and their desserts are extraordinary.
DAY 3, Monday
The early morning is free to enjoy a nice breakfast at the hotel, relax, explore Miraflores, or shop in the nearby "Indian Market". A few blocks from the hotel and one block from the roundabout in Kennedy Park many artisan shops sell nearly everything that Peruvian craftsmanship has to offer. It is a 10 block walk or about $3 to taxi. You can buy souvenirs, artisan handicrafts, jewelry, silverware, alpaca clothing, T-Shirts, pottery, paintings, wooden pieces, and much more from all over Peru. It is a place you can shop 'til you drop and most shops stay open until about 9pm!
We then have a tour to the Mercado Surquillo in Miraflores or the Magdalena local market. The market provides a great place for an introduction to the great diversity of foods in Peru. The local market contains a wide variety of well-stocked breads, fruits, cheeses, fish, meats, potatoes, dried beans, nuts, seeds, herbs, flowers and many of the natural products from all over the country of Peru, including many of the pre-Columbian food items of Peru. Our foodie guide, Arturo will explain the unknowns - how they taste, and are prepared. Of course, you may want to sample for yourself. It is normal to see women from the countryside wearing the colorful dress of their regions selling local products. The market includes an incredible range of produce, meats, fish, and seafood. The restaurant stalls are a great place to view some of the many types of common dishes including many types of causa and fresh ceviche. This combination of marinated fresh seafood is one of Peru’s most famous dishes.
In the later afternoon, we visit one of Lima’s outstanding museums, the Larco Herrera Archeological Museum to learn of the ancient cultures of Peru and have lunch (independently, so you have control over your museum viewing time). The museum is housed in an 18th century vice-royal mansion built over a 7th century pre-Colombian pyramid. Its galleries provide a thorough overview of 4,000 years of Peruvian pre-Colombian history. The museum has the world’s largest private collection of pre-Columbian art, including Moche, Nazca, Chimú, Inca artifacts, the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru, and its famous erotic art ceramics.
DAY 4 Tuesday, (B/L)
Today along with a professional guide and foodie Arturo Rojas, we enjoy one of the world’s biggest gastronomical events and the largest food fair in the world - Mistura! In 2011, Mistura broke the Turin Italian Cuisine Expo then attendance world-record of 275,000 people with a paid attendance of 405,000. For 2015, the 10-day festival has returned to a former location at the Parque de la Exposición (Exposition Park) in historic downtown Lima. Complete with a Byzantine Pavilion, the sprawling park has a great location next to the palatial Museum of Art of Lima. Over 25,000 international tourists, mostly from the United States, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil, are expected to attend.
After touring with our guide, we will have free time and coordinate / assist with transfers back to the hotel or assist with departures at time of your choosing. To assist in logistics for independent explorations of the sprawling festival, we will provide cell phones for use and regularly meet at a specified location.
Food, and the people that make it, are respected at all levels of society in Peru. During the Mistura food festival, Peruvians from various social, age, and gender distinctions gather around pots and cookers to celebrate Peru’s traditional cuisine, marvel at the creativity, reaffirm their identity and celebrate cultural diversity. Click here for short video about Mistura and the power of food.
Food has long been associated with Fiesta. The Mistura food fair brings together the various actors in the chain cuisine of Peru: farmers, producers of pisco, cooks, bakers, food sellers, confectionery, huariques, restaurants, cooking schools, and commercial companies. In Mistura a special tribute is paid to mother earth, or Pachacama. The richness of Peruvian cuisine is based on history and at the confluence of particular styles culinary and inputs from different regions of Peru - hence the name mistura, which means mixture. To this regional diversity is added 5 centuries of contributions of European tastes, Arabs, Africans, Chinese, and Japanese.
The organizers, Apega, is again planning to for an incredible number of foodies. For example, at the 2011 Mistura: More than half a million loaves of bread were sold.
Scattered throughout the grounds are food stands from several hundred restaurants, hailing from all over Peru and serving specialty dishes. The restaurants are a combination of well-known and higher end places in Lima to simpler regional huariques. Special areas are dedicated to bread, pisco, chocolate, coffee, and Nikkei food. There is also a marketplace with specialty products, demonstration and lecture stages, live entertainment and parades. It’s like a Peruvian food Disney World! While there are plenty of free samples, food and drinks from the stands is bought with tickets, which can be purchased in separate stands throughout the park.
In the Great Market area, about 300 suppliers were present from such areas as Cusco, Puno, Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Apurimac, Huancayo, Oxapampa, Iquitos, Pucallpa, Piura, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Cajamarca, Ancash, Moquegua, Arequipa and Tacna. Many sold their entire production in the early days. Tarwi, cañihua, quinoa, salt maras, custard, coffee, Hot Chili, soft leaf stalk, cocona jams, native potatoes, etc., were just some of the products for sample and sell.
In addition to transportation and entrance fee for the Mistura Festival, we will supply $25 worth of food tickets to get you started on your food and drink discoveries.
DAY 5, Wednesday (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, you may choose among the options of:
1. Transferring to the airport for international flights out.
2. Extend your stay in Lima to experience another day at Mistura, or other explorations in Lima.
3. Continue traveling in Peru for a custom Andean Inca Exploration to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, or trip extensions for the Nazca Lines & Paracas, Like Titikaka, or other.
All airport / hotel transfers and group transportation as listed
All lodging, including hotel taxes, as listed or similar
Tours as described including entrance fees, and tickets for Mistura Festival
Meals as listed (B=Breakfast / L=Lunch / D=Dinner)
You may click here for photos from our previous Peru Mistura tours.
Here are some nice videos of the Mistura Food Festival (on the share link, you can go to URL and see full size)
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