Machu Picchu in Cusco is famous for its delicious gastronomy. However, when visiting the Inca citadel you can also taste delicious traditional drinks, cocktails, mates, juices and more. Drinks such as coca mate, pisco sour, inka cola soda, Cusco beer, chicha de jora, frutillada and more stand out. Find out what the typical drinks are on the trip to Machu Picchu!
- Recommended restaurants in Machu Picchu
- Typical drinks on the trip to Machu Picchu
- More information about typical drinks on the trip to Machu Picchu
- Questions and answers about the typical drinks of Machu Picchu
Coca leaf infusion
The delicious gastronomy of Cusco
Peru is famous for its delicious cuisine, one of the most delicious on the planet. Cusco, in the Peruvian Andean region, also offers delicious dishes with nutritious ingredients typical of the region. The most recommended dishes are: chiri uchu, fried trout, chairo soup, quinoa soup, baked guinea pig, baked suckling pig, choco with cheese and zarza de patitas.
Recommended restaurants in Machu Picchu
- Machu Picchu town has a good number of cases of tourists with mild cases of food poisoning, in most cases it is caused by eating in unreliable places that usually make food of not very good quality.
- It is recommended that you eat your food only in recommended restaurants. It is also possible that the mixture of altitude, climate, and local food can play tricks on your stomach health.
- It is recommended to avoid heavy meals, even more so if you come from low-altitude cities or if you arrive at Machu Picchu directly, without prior acclimatization time.
- Although it is not widely consumed in Cusco, the Machu Picchu cocktail is one of the most famous in Peru. It is made with pisco, mint, grenadine, orange juice and ice cubes. It stands out for its varied colors and sweet flavor.
Typical drinks on the trip to Machu Picchu
- Coca mate – Coca tea (infusion made from coca leaves) and chewing coca leaves will help your body acclimatize, in addition to preventing altitude sickness, for the vast majority of people who chew coca for the first time, it is be like drinking a can of energy drink or a couple of cups of coffee. But each person reacts differently, however, it does not have any contraindications.
- Chicha de jora – It is a typical drink of this area, a drink closely associated with the lower social classes of the Andean countries and dates back to pre-Inca times, it is a drink, usually made from fermented corn, pale yellow in color, it is foamy and bubbly, it has a strong flavor, and too much can cause drunkenness, but there is also a much softer and refreshing version, without alcoholic content, made from quinoa.
- Pisco sour – The pisco sour is the most famous cocktail in Peru. In Cusco, of course, it is present in the main restaurants and bars during the trip to Machu Picchu. It is made with pisco (the most famous liquor in Peru) as well as lemon juice, egg white, sugar syrup, angostura and ice cubes. There are variants such as grape pisco sour, passion fruit, mango and more.
- Inka cola – Inka Cola is the most famous soft drink in Peru. It was created in 1935 by Joseph Robinson Lindley (by the then Lindley company). It has an unmistakable yellow color. Its design presents figures that allude to the Inca culture. Today its brand is owned by the Coca Cola Company.
- Cusqueña beer – Cusco beer is the most famous in Peru in the national and foreign territory. It was created in 1908 by the German Ernesto Gunther. The beer was very popular in the south of the country. In 2000, the company Cervesur (owner of Cusqueña) sold its majority shares to Backus, a much larger company. Today it is widely consumed on the trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu.
- Frutillada – Frutillada is one of the most popular drinks in Cusco. It is a variety of chicha de jora (fermented corn) but adding other ingredients such as strawberry (ayrampo, strawberry, and beetroot). It is consumed in tourist restaurants, but, above all, in the so-called chicherias.
- Pitched tea – Pitted tea is a hot infusion that includes pisco in its preparation (although Cañazo is also usually used). In Cusco it is consumed at night to combat the cold of the city. On the trip to Machu Picchu it can also be consumed in tourist restaurants and bars. Ingredients also include: orange peel, cloves, cinnamon and corn.
Chicha typical drink Machu Picchu
More information about typical drinks on the trip to Machu Picchu
- In the city of Cusco, wineries normally sell beers without ice and without freezing. This is due to the cold of the region (with temperatures that can drop to minus 0ºC.). In tourist bars and restaurants (as well as when visiting Machu Picchu), the beer is ice-cold or served with ice.
- Chicha de jora and frutillada are very popular and consumed by Andean residents in the ‘chicherías’. In the towns of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the sale of these drinks is represented with a red bag hanging from a stick at the doors of homes. When you see this symbol, that is where you can buy chicha or frutillada.
Questions and answers about the typical drinks of Machu Picchu
1. What is the most famous beer in Cusco and Machu Picchu?
La cerveza cusqueña es la más consumida por turistas en la visita a Cusco y Machu Picchu.
2. What is the most famous soft drink in Cusco and Machu Picchu?
Inca Kola is the most famous soft drink in Peru. It is also the most consumed by tourists who visit Cusco and Machu Picchu.
3. Is chicha de jora an alcoholic drink?
Yes, chicha de jora is made from fermented corn, so it has approximately 9% alcohol volume.
4. Is frutillada an alcoholic drink?
Yes, chicha de jora is made from fermented corn along with fruit such as strawberry and ayrampo. Therefore, it has approximately 9% alcohol volume.
5. When is the best time to drink pitted tea?
Pitted tea is a hot drink so the best time to taste it is on the cold Cusco nights.
6. How much does a beer cost in Cusco?
Una cerveza personal en un bar o restaurante turístico del Cusco cuesta entre 10 a 20 soles (de 3 a 5 dólares), según el recinto turístico.
7. Does coca tea help reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness?
Yes, it is proven that coca tea helps reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness. It is recommended to drink it on the first and second night of visiting Cusco.
8. Where to consume a pisco sour in Cusco?
In Cusco and Machu Picchu there are many options to taste pisco sour. Places such as the Pisco Museum or Machupisco stand out.
Advice from people who have been there
“It was worth it!“
“The trip is an endless number of beautiful things, which add up with the days. All the places visited have their own charm and the icing on the cake is the ruins of Machu Picchu. There are no words to describe the beauty and energy that exists in this place. The warmth and kindness of the people make you feel like you are at home.“
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, February 5, 2024