While one traveler will like nothing better than an intense weekend break in the city to soak in the local arts, others will prefer to tour a wider region at a more leisurely pace to explore a country's varied culture or cuisine. Culinary tours are big business and there are always plenty to choose from as different operators compete to offer the best experiences and local produce in a complete package. You could choose to be among the thousands travelling the vineyards of Argentina or decide to learn how to make an authentic feijoada in Rio but here are four unique culinary tours of South America with a slightly different taste.
“Taste of Peru”: a six-day tour from The International Kitchen
The ability for guests to immerse themselves in the cuisine of another nation is important for any culinary tour but this adventure into Peruvian food culture really throws guests into the heart of the action and gives them a variety of experiences. At the start of the week, visitors are given a challenge to negotiate local markets to find the perfect ingredients for a Pervian classic; by the end of the week they will have learnt many other skills at the cookery classes and cocktail-making course, where a leading sommelier teaches the tricks to making infamous concoctions like the Pisco Sour. Add to this the sightseeing trip to Machu Picchu, and a high-class, 7-course Novoandina dinner with a modern twist at the MAP cafe, and this is clearly a great chance to experience the breadth of Peruvian cuisine in one action-packed week.
“Taste of Uruguay”: a four-night tour from Adventure Life
While the Peruvian masterclass shows the diversity of the country's culinary culture from the markets to 5 star restaurants, this Uruguayan tour highlights some of this particular nation's best offerings via their European connections. Uruguay is an unusual choice in itself when more popular destinations are on offer but this historical look at local delicacies could be worth the gamble. Included in the tour are a trip to the fifty-year-old Zubizarreta Winery, the origin of one of Uruguay's most celebrated labels and a chance for guests to learn about the top-quality grapes imported by French immigrants, and a chance to sample the exquisite blue cheeses of the Martilu or La Brida Farms that were forged by Swiss immigrants who settled there after the Second World War. Also included with this tour is the chance to go sightseeing in Montevideo and have dinner in one of its many restaurants.
“The 8 day Culinary Tour in Floripa”: an eight-day tour from eFoodys Culinary Vacations
As is so often the case, this Brazilian package lets holidaymakers experience local food through the areas heritage; however this Floripa-based culinary tour visits communities that are not automatically associated with Brazil to celebrate specific local customs and cuisines. There are many day trips, like the chance to sample apple products with a leading producer, lunches at top restaurants and other experiences to enjoy over this carefully-crafted eight day vacation but stand-out stopping points to look forward to are the “Oyster Experience”, where guests are treated to a presentation on local cultivation as well as a tasting session, and a trip to German-speaking Pomerode. Here, visitors get to experience the unique culture through architecture, locally-made German food this is passed down through immigrant families and a trip to an authentic kaffehaus.
“Santiago to Buenos Aires”: a twenty-one-day tour from Keystone Journeys
Last but not least we come to an example of a culinary tour for people that want a really long adventure in South America and like the idea of experiencing the cultural differences and varying cuisines between two nations, rather than an immersive holiday in a single region. With 21 days of travelling, sightseeing, tasting and learning there really is a lot to enjoy on this trip between capitals – from lessons on matching food and wine to a trip to the Mendoza Harvest Festival – but the unique selling point has to be the stark contrast between the day in the Chilean Casablanca and Colchagua Valleys and the finale in Buenos Aires. The former is a chance to taste local wine in a tranquil setting aboard a steam train, the latter is the exciting and fiery combination of an Argentine cooking class and tango demonstration.