3 Foodie Travel Destinations for Nature Lovers
Updated: May 7
Combining delicious food and beautiful landscapes is a recipe or success so here is a look at some top foodie destinations around the world.
Once upon a time, most people’s world travel bucket lists were based largely on the iconic landmarks, museums, nature and wildlife they wanted to see. But nowadays, street food, markets, and cooking classes are also likely to be included in the decision-making process.
In truth, many countries have the potential of becoming foodie travel destinations. Countries like Italy, France, and China have long been known for their delicious cuisine. Other destinations are more recently becoming increasingly popular for their food traditions, fueled in part by travelers’ desire to get as far off the beaten mass tourism track as possible.
Of course, food and nature go hand in hand: Enjoying a feast made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients while surrounded by natural beauty has a whole different feeling than eating food shipped from thousands of miles away in a downtown restaurant. More and more travelers also enjoy learning about food, visiting local farm, meeting local producers, and taking cooking classes.
Peru is considered one of the new kids on the block when it comes to foodie travel destinations. A decade ago, most people visited for the Inca ruins, mountains and jungles. But nowadays Lima’s swankiest restaurants need to be booked months in advance, and many travelers look forward to sampling Chicha Morada as much as they look forward to their first glimpse of Machu Picchu.
There are three main geographical regions in Peru– the costa (coast), sierra (highlands), and selva (Amazon rainforest)– each with unique landscapes and cuisine. Exploring Northern Peru is the ideal way to get away from the crowds, visiting little-known nature destinations like the Chaparri Nature Reserve, a birding paradise, as well as the remains of Peru’s earliest cultures. It also provides a chance to enjoy coastal specialties like ceviche and refined Nikkei cuisine (a Japanese/South American fusion) in Lima.
Another great option that combines food and nature is an Amazon Cruise, which includes visits to village markets and the opportunity to enjoy Amazonian specialties like juane– balls of spiced rice, meat, egg, and olives wrapped in bijao leaves (similar to banana leaves) and boiled in clay pots.
Amazonian cuisine also makes ample use of freshwater fish like piranha, which is enjoyed fried, grilled, or included in soups or stews. International Expeditions’ Amazon Voyage includes a chance to meet the Ribereños (river-dwelling) people, where you’ll have an opportunity to learn about medicinal plants found in the rainforest and how they are used to treat ailments.
There are many reasons to love Argentina, and its stunning landscapes and excellent food and wines are definitely among the most noteworthy.
The secret of Argentinian cuisine lies in its wild, unspoiled nature. The Argentina wine routes of Mendoza and Cafayate are so fertile because of the pure soil and water running from the nearby Andes. That asado (barbecue) you’re having with your Malbec is so tasty because Argentinian cattle spend their days grazing in the endless fields in the central part of the country, not cooped up in a box!
When it comes to nature, the best place to visit in Argentina is definitely Patagonia. The jagged mountain peaks of El Chalten and Torres del Paine and the wild glaciers of Perito Moreno are some of the most spellbinding sights you’ll ever see.
When in Patagonia, make sure you enjoy a traditional barbecue. This usually includes a whole roasted cordero Patagonico (free-range lamb) as well as a savory blend of herbs and spices to be enjoyed with roasted meats.
Our resident foodie, Nancy Melton, just returned and can describe the food in such detail, you'll be salivating just from hearing about it.
Regardless of where in the country you’re heading, eating out is likely to be a highlight of any visit to Japan. From steaming bowls of ramen slurped in a Tokyo backstreet to a multi-course kaiseki feast in an upscale restaurant, Japan definitely doesn’t disappoint when it comes to food.
But if you ask Japanese people where to find the best food in the country, they will all give you the same response: Hokkaido.
Japan’s northernmost island is one of the best places in the world where nature and food come together, creating unforgettable experiences. Hokkaido is a place where bears roam free, where trees outnumber skyscrapers, and tradition and modernity still coexist like nowhere else in the country.
In terms of food, the island is well known for its fresh, delicious seafood, and there’s no better place to enjoy it than Hokkaido’s famous fish markets.