Machu Picchu Peruvian Cuisine

The glory of Machu Picchu is mainly attributed to its Incan history and natural splendor, but it is also known for its rich tradition of clothing, music and the exquisite Peruvian cuisine. Read our guide for more facts and information…

Peruvian cuisine is known for its relish and diversity. The traditional foods mainly consist of chicken, lamb, pork, fish, potatoes and rice. Potato is known to have originated in the country of Peru, and hence, the traditional cuisine of the region offers plenty of potato dishes. Better known as Criollo dishes, Peruvian traditional dishes are varied and form an integral part of the menu in restaurants around Machu Picchu. Aji peppers, such as red aji and yellow aji are commonly used in Peruvian dishes.

Traditional Machu Picchu Food

Though much of the traditional cuisine of Machu Picchu still retains its fame, a few are known for their popularity during the Inca period. For instance, the Cuy, also known as Cobayo or conejillo de indias, was the food of the Incan royals. It is still served in Peruvian restaurants, and you may be surprised to learn that it is a fully roasted guinea pig. It is served whole, with the head, paws etc. intact, along with potatoes and other vegetables. Anticuchos is another dish that was famous during the Inca period. It consists of meat pieces marinated in vinegar and spices, and skewered to sticks. It is still common in South America and you can find it in street stalls in Peru.

Some famous Peruvian foods


This dish consists of freshly sliced fish marinated in lime juice or lime-based sauces that cook the fish through a chemical process. Hence, the fish is not cooked with heat. It is served with onions, sweet potato, corn kernels and hot pepper. It has greatly influenced the Latin American cuisine and is prepared in several variations though the original flavor has retained its fame.


Chica is a popular beverage that has several variations, but chicamorada is more common. It is prepared by boiling pineapple rinds and flavoring with cinnamon and cloves. It has a characteristic purple color imparted by adding purple corn, and can be served with any traditional Peruvian dish. It is common in most restaurants around Machu Picchu.


This is a common dish consisting of French fries that are topped with onions, tomatoes and beef strips. The specialty of the dish is the use of a wine to sauté the toppings, causing the tomatoes to absorb the distinctive flavor.


This dish is made of rice, scrambled eggs, onion and salchita and cooked using a soy-based sauce. It can be flavored with aji.


This dish consists of fried and breaded fish or a seafood item, usually made from three kinds of Jalea namely, Jalea de Pescado, Jalea de Mariscos and Jalea de Pota. The food is covered with corns while cooking and lemon is squeezed over it before serving. It may be made with snails, quid, shells fan, machas and choros, in place of fish.

Peruvian cuisine offers everything ranging from savory soups to filled pastries, and each region in the country has its own unique flavor and specialty.

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