Feast on the flavors of traditional and modern Peruvian cuisine at the finest restaurants and learn the tricks of Peruvian cuisine from the best chefs.
Explore the Maranon, Ucayali, Pacaya, Puinahua Rivers and rainforests. Go piranha fishing, trek into the dense jungle in search of Amazon wildlife and birds on night safaris and guided trips through Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, visit local villages and learn about wildlife preservation efforts in Peru’s Amazonia.
Join Pedro Miguel Schiaffino On Board the Aria in the Amazon
Pedro Schiaffino is chef/owner of Malabar and Ámaz, two of Lima’s most cutting edge and innovative restaurants, and founder of catering company, Schiaffino Gastronomika. He is also part of the Executive Committee of the CIA’s Latin Cuisines Advisory Council.
Day 01: Lima
Fly to Lima. Upon arrival take a private transfer to the luxurious Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel in the chic neighborhood of Miraflores.
Day 02: Lima
Market Visit & Fruit Festival
The day kicks off with a visit to the main Farmer’s Market to learn about exotic fruits that are only known in Peru. This informal market is a great way to experience Peruvian daily life. At the Main Market, one can find a variety of the best vegetables and fruits in the country, including exotic products extracted from the Andes and the tropical forest. At Peruvian markets, bargaining is a common negotiation in which the buyer and seller dispute the price to be paid and sometimes buyers even ask for a “Yapa”, a little something extra, like a lime or a potato.
Mission: Make your own Ceviche
This is not just an activity, but a secret mission. When visiting the market, you will be handed a recipe for Ceviche, an ingredient list and money which will be used to buy all of the supplies at the Farmer’s Market. No Spanish speaking abilities necessary, this is all about having fun!
Ceviche Festival (Demonstration/Hands-on Class)
After grocery shopping, learn how to make a traditional ceviche, a Tiradito and a specialty dish. There are two options. In the Demonstration option our Chefs will show you how to prepare these traditional Peruvian dishes. The hands-on class option, the Chefs will not only give a demonstration, but guests will also have the opportunity to prepare the dishes, of course with the help of our chefs. At lunchtime, all participants will taste the many dishes prepared during the Ceviche Festival.
Half day Lima City Tour
After lunch, discover Lima! Begin at the colonial center of the city, the old capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. Admire the Spanish colonial architecture, including El Paseo de los Héroes, the Palace of Justice, the historical San Martín square, the central Plaza Mayor which is surrounded by the Government Palace and the Municipal Palace, the Cathedral with the grave of the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Other interesting sites include the Main Post office, the Santo Domingo church and La Muralla park, including the old city wall. Next, after a short bus ride, visit the Torre Tagle Palace, the Parque Universitario, and the mansion where the first University of the Americas is located, the Universidad de San Marcos, followed by a visit to the Huaca Huallamarca in San Isidro, a restored adobe pyramid from the pre-Inca period, and the Huaca Pucllana adobe and clay pyramid in the Miraflores district with an exclusive restaurant overlooking the ruins. Stop at the Kiss Park (Parque del Beso). This Gaudi-esque park offers splendid views of Lima’s bay. The last stop is the bohemian district of Barranco, for a visit of the Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros).
Peruvian Fusion Dinner at Astrid & Gaston Restaurant
Sip an exotic fruit Pisco Sour cocktail as one of the chefs prepares a seven-course tasting menu at one of the best restaurants in Lima. Gaston’s dishes are prepared to perfection, serving a dizzying array of traditional dishes in a creative way. **We recommend to book Astrid & Gaston quite in advance (3-4 months in advance) and take note the menu changes every 3-4 months. Spend the night at Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel.
Day 03: Lima
Introduction to Peruvian Cuisine (Demonstration/Hands-on Class)
Spend a morning immersed in the finest flavors of the Peruvian Cuisine with the best teaching chefs in Peru who will present the basics of Peruvian Cuisine. In the Demonstration option, the Chefs will show how to prepare Peru’s main dishes with a full tasting afterward. In the hands-on option, the Chefs will not only show how to prepare the dishes, but the participants will be cooking under the guidance of the chefs. All of the prepared dishes will be enjoyed during lunch.
Larco Museum Tour
Admire a splendid private collection of pre-Columbian art and Mochica pottery. The Treasure Room contains gold workpieces like the unique pure gold chest decoration of a Chimu chief. The museum exhibits pieces from the Preceramic period (before 9500-1800 BC) up to the imperial and conquest age (1532 AD). Private transfer to the hotel at end of the tour.
Pisco Tasting and Amazon Fusion Dinner at Malabar Restaurant (Demonstration + tasting):
Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino’s staff will present his new cuisine using ingredients from the tropical forest and offer a tasting of the most important varieties of Pisco. Also, learn how to make a Traditional Pisco Sour and Pisco Sour with Exotic fruits. A Pisco Expert-Sommelier will explain what the different types of Pisco are. Starts at 17:30 hrs / Duration of Pisco Tasting: 2 hrs approximately. Then enjoy dinner. Spend the night at Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel.
Day 04: Lima – Iquitos - Nauta – Embarkation - Marañon River
Transfer to the airport this morning for your flight to Iquitos. Your guides await you, as your flight from Lima glides in for landing at Iquitos International Airport. After you’ve claimed your luggage, you will board an air-conditioned bus for your journey to the river.
Transfer to Nauta’s main wharf. Enjoy a scenic one-and-a-half-hour drive through the Peruvian countryside to the small village of Nauta. You will be traveling along the only road out of town . . . and it only goes as far as Nauta.
Day 05: Ucayali River – Yanallpa River – El Dorado – Pacaya Samiria Reserve
Our sumptuous daily breakfast buffet features a wide variety of dishes, plus Peruvian specialties and fresh fruit juices.
Ucayali River Exploration and Walk Along the Yanallpa Riparian Forest
This morning, board the skiffs to explore a fascinating black water stream, part of the vast Amazon flooded forest within the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guides will tell you about the jungle as we explore what scientists call a "gallery forest," because of its dense vegetation that creates a tunnel of leaves. As we explore this type of riparian vegetation, watch above for parrots, macaws, and fluffy monk saki monkeys.
We will also have the opportunity to hike the Yanallpa Gorge, watching the forest and the animals that can be found along the way.
Ucayali Exploration and Dorado Night Exploration
This afternoon, cruise the majestic Ucayali River and Dorado River, giving you the chance to meet the local fishermen who will demonstrate their skills and let you see their catch - including catfish armored with a shell-like skin – en route to the market in the small town of Requena. You can’t help but notice their photogenic "rafter banana” boats, loaded with hundreds of bananas, drifting down the river.
We move on to the Dorado River where you may observe enchanting parrots, macaws and a variety of primates, unperturbed by our presence. As we make our way back to the AQUA AMAZON, you may see alligators, frogs and fishing bats.
Day 06: Puinahua River – Pacaya River – Pacaya Samiria Reserve
Full Day Expedition Along the Pacaya River
This morning we will undertake a full-day excursion along the Pacaya River, observing and exploring the flooded forest of this vast region of the Peruvian Amazon. You will sail among a wide variety of wildlife, birds including large parrots, macaws, herons and storks and many species of primates like the capuchin, howler and squirrel monkeys, who can be very funny. We will have the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful lakes in the protected reserve and to meet some of the friendly local people who take care of the reserve’s natural resources. Our nature guides will discuss Aqua Expeditions involvement in the natural resource management of Amazonia. We will eat a picnic lunch en route and on our return, we can see the famous Ceiba tree, the highest in the Amazon.
Pacaya River Exploration and Piranha Fishing
This morning you will board our comfortable boat to sail and explore the Pacaya black water river. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and fresh water are always available in our boats. As we sail, the occasional fisherman will paddle past in their homemade canoes. Keep your binoculars ready to spot terns, tropical songbirds, black hawks, monkeys and sloths necks that share this enchanted place with us. After our arrival at a particular point, you may use your hooks to try to catch some of the ferocious piranhas of the Amazon. As you fish, trained naturalist guides will tell the story of the lake and its inhabitants.
Dolphins Along the Puhinahua River
During this expedition, we’ll be keeping our eyes out for two different kinds of freshwater dolphins but especially the unusual pink dolphins found in the Amazon River. We’ll also spot arboreal lizards, iguanas and look up to catch a glimpse of some of the area’s 200 bird species.
Day 07: Ucayali River – Village Visit – Clavero Lake
Exploring the Ucayali River and Village Visit
This morning we sail on the great Ucayali River, observing the flora and fauna along the way. We visit a riverside community known for actively protecting their forest’s natural resources and practicing their ancestral customs. We head back to the ARIA AMAZON, watching for iguanas and examples of the area’s 200 species of birds.
Canoeing and swimming in Clavero Lake
We sail on to Lake Clavero where villagers paddle in their traditional dugout canoes. You may wish to swim in the lake’s calm waters and visit the community to interact with our Amazonia neighbors who will be pleased to welcome you.
DAY 8: Disembark – Iquitos Tour – Transfer to the airport
We will have the opportunity to visit an animal rescue center called "Fundo Neycer" on the Amazon River. Here, monkeys and birds receive much needed care from experts in the management and recovery of wildlife species.
This afternoon, we will take you on a tour of Iquitos, glorious city in the days of the rubber boom. Visit the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back into the wild. Later, we stop at the Amazonian Indian Market San Juan, where, you may wish to shop for local crafts before leaving.
Guides will help with check in at the airport and stay with you until you have boarded your flight back to Lima to connect with your flight home.