Six Sumptuous Experiences to Spice Up Your Travels
By Kelly Villasuso
It takes more than just an inspiring destination to get 51 million American leisure travelers to pack a suitcase, according to the World Food Travel Association — the leading authority on food and drink tourism. It takes the prospect of sensory-enriching, knowledge-enhancing food and drink experiences at — or in the vicinity of — said inspiring destination. In the world of food and drink travel, it is no longer simply about “location, location, location”; it just begins there.
A glut of delicious gastronomic experiences are at-the-ready for the adventurous and discerning food trekker — from conventional to gourmet or exotic; from pre-planned to fully customizable — regardless of longitude.
The world is (somewhat overwhelmingly) your proverbial oyster, so Opulence handpicked six sumptuous experiences to spice up your travels.
Eight-Day Peruvian National-Treasure Trek
Peruvian cuisine has been gaining international popularity since the early 2000s, fueling culinary tourism to Perú among both food trekkers and renowned chefs. Indulge in the bountiful, indigenous ingredients of some of the country’s national treasures: ceviche, pisco, and pachamanca. Traverse Perú on an eight-day, tried-and-true luxury trek through Lima, Pisco, Paracas, Cachiccata, and Cusco with Taste Vacations. Savor the artistry of global culinary masters and local artisans while immersing yourself in the culture and landmarks of the “land of abundance.”
Learn more: www.tastevacations.com/peru-food
See “April in Paris Perú” on page 74 to experience a more customized approach to touring the coastal region of Perú, including Lima and Paracas.
Costa Rican Rainforest–Sensuous Sojourn
Your senses — and your intellect — will be heightened with a half-day sojourn at Villa Vanilla Plantation in the Central Pacific rainforest east of Quepos, Costa Rica. Engage in sensory therapy as you smell, taste, and touch some of the world’s most intoxicating and expensive flavors: vanilla, true Ceylon cinnamon, cocoa, allspice, turmeric, and black pepper. A meandering tour of the organically farmed plantation, led by manager Henry Karczynski, is as stimulating to the mind as it is to the senses, bested only by the in-house pastry chef’s epicurean delights in the “Flavors of the World” tasting.
Learn more: www.rainforestspices.com
A Gourmet Foray into Canada’s “Garden City,” Victoria
If Canada does not come to mind when seeking out gastronomic adventures, you should think again — particularly about Victoria, capital of British Columbia. At the southern end of Vancouver Island, Victoria is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, making it a rich cultural experience and a melting pot of flavors for culinary explorers. Unravel the intricacies of local traditions and dishes, taste the accomplishments of top artisans-of-fare, and reveal the viticulturist in you at some of Vancouver Island’s wineries with Edible Destinations by Epitourean. Under their tutelage, the culinary treats and cultural riches of the Garden City will have you singing “Oh Canada”!
Learn more: www.epitourean.com/master/607/Grand-VictoriaCulinary-Retreat
Canyons, Cowboys, and Kickin’ Cuisine in the Wild West
Neither pup tents nor pop-up trailers are necessary for this adventure into America’s “wild west.” All you need is Black Tomato’s itinerary in hand and your wanderlust to experience the jaw-dropping grandeur of the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Sedona, and Tucson. From a private picnic inside the canyon and a romantic dinner overlooking it at historic El Tovar, and a fish-for-your-lunch expedition on the lake followed by a peaceful stay at a desert retreat; to a private barbecue under the stars at a real dude ranch, your inner gastro-cowboy (or girl) will surely be delighted. Yeehaw!
Learn more: www.blacktomato.com/destinations/usa/canyons-and-cowboys-in-the-wild-wild-west
A Life-Changing Journey through India, One Exotic Taste at a Time
Craving something more exotic … more immersive? Epicurious Travels will lead you on a 14-day, well-appointed journey through India, fulfilling your every desire. The journey will balance the heady, bustling thrill of Delhi and Mumbai, with the slightly less intense yet equally enticing cities of Lucknow, Agra, Rajasthan, Jaipur, Ranthambore, and Shahpura Bagh. Your thirst for distinct flavors, smells, and sights will be sated as you indulge on korma and kababs in Lucknow, scrumptious home cooking during your luxury homestay in Shahpura Bagh, a delicious lassi in Jaipur, and a picnic en route to Ranthambore, to name a few delights. A true highlight: lodging at Aman-i-Khas safari camp on the edge of Ranthambore National.
Learn more: www.epicurioustravels.com.au/journeys/tasting-india-with-christine-manfield
Learn more: www.zicasso.com/luxury-vacation-thailand-tours/taste-thailand-culinary-tour