Quinoa: The King of Cereals in the Andes


Vegans and Vegetarians who travel to Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia have great alternatives of vegetarian meals with high nutritional value, including fantastic fruit, nuts many varieties of potatoes, and wonderful cereals.

Among the Andean cereals we find kiwicha (amaranth), kañiwa and quinoa which was the staple food of the Inca, (the king of the Inca culture) and considered a sacred and principal crop in the Andes.

Quinoa in three different colors

Quinoa in three different colors


Quinoa is produced mainly in the altitude of the Andes starting at 8,000 feet. The main producers are Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.

The nutritional value of quinoa is comparable to breast milk. It is a complete food, balanced and far superior to animal foods like meat, milk, eggs, fish. Quinoa is easily digested, a natural source of vegetable protein, and of high nutritional value. Quinoa with a protein content of 16 to 20% contains 20 amino acids, including the 10 essential that the body can not synthesize and must be obtained in the diet with an exceptional balance of protein, fat, oil and starch, and a high degree of amino acids.

Willka Tika, a Vegetarian Eden in the Andes of Peru


Embedded in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, between Cusco and Machu Picchu and along the Sacred Urubamba River, lies a real Vegetarian Eden, ready to welcome vegetarian and vegan travelers from all over the world.

Willka Tika means Sacred Flower in Quechua, the original language of the Incas. This name represents everything that Carol, the founder of this inspiring place wished to impress upon, a retreat of love, beauty and spiritual development, an authentic living dedication to the heritage and spirit of the people of the Andes.



The gardens are laid out as Seven Sacred Gardens. Each is dedicated to a different energy center, to provide a perfect setting for personal meditation, healing and rejuvenation. The accommodation, merged into the gardens was built in a beautiful colonial style using all local materials.

Most Vegetarian or Vegan travelers visiting Willka Tika feel immediately at home, when the staff, entirely Quechua neighbors welcome them with a local herb tea. Meals at Willka T’ika are something out of this world. The vegetarian ingredients are filled with the living energy of freshly harvested vegetables and salads grown in their own organic gardens; however, the common and main ingredient in every plate is love. Vegetarian guests always speak of the affection with which every recipe is prepared and offered to them; no wonder why one of the most often used words in the vegetarian visitor’s testimonials is “home”.

For additional information about vegetarian and vegan travel in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, please contact us:



Vegetarian Tour: The Inca Trail between Cusco and Machu Picchu in Peru.


Aventura(22)During Inca times, all roads led to the capital of the Empire, Cusco (which in Quechua means “navel of the world ‘).

Most roads were inherited from pre-Inca cultures of Peru, Ecuador, Chile and parts of Bolivia. Inca roads were used most frequently by messengers, “chasquis”. Some are still in use and others have been replaced or abandoned.

Cusco is one of the greatest archaeological cities in the world, and even their simple ways are majestic. It has been appointed as the Archaeological Capital of South America. In Cusco, Inca walls have been top by Spanish architecture (from the colony), and put together it adds up to centuries of civilization. The City of Cusco in Peru has excellent vegetarian restaurants offering typical vegetarian and vegan meals, delicious fruits and vegetables.

Planning your Veggie Tour to Peru


While planning your Veggie Tour to Peru, keep in mind that Peru’s three geographical regions – coast, highlands, and jungle – each has distinct attractions and climate. Also remember that most visitors will arrive to the capital city of Lima, located in the center of Peru’s long, narrow Pacific coastal region. From there, travel itineraries are generally directed to the south, the north, or the eastern jungle region. Here are some useful tips —

La Plaza de Armas(2)

Llama grassing in Machu Picchu, Cusco-Peru.
Climate The ideal time of year to visit the coast is from December through April, when there is plenty of sunshine and the ocean warms up for bathing. The highlands and the jungle are best visited during the dry season from April through October. While temperatures remain warm at night in the jungle, they drop sharply late in the afternoon in the highlands, and may go below freezing. Be sure to bring a good sun block, mosquito repellent and warm clothes for the highlands.

Popular Itineraries:

The Southern Circuit When time is short, one week is enough to see the highlights of Peru’s attractions: Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. With another week, you can add Arequipa, the Colca Canyon, Puno and the magnificent Lake Titicaca and also spend a couple of days to see the Nazca Lines and the Paracas Peninsula with its magnificent marine bird life. Adding a few extra days allows you to see more in the Cusco area or visiting some fascinating museums in Lima.

Northern Peru Destinations Interested in archaeology? A Veggie Tour to the northern cities of Chiclayo and Trujillo is a must. The Moche mausoleum of Lord of Sipan in the Tumbas Reales museum, along with many other archaeological treasures of the area, like Chan Chan and El Brujo are a marvel to behold. The Chachapoyas area with its impressive fortress of Kuelap has also become a new destination of interest in the north. The Huascaran National Park and the beautiful Callejon de Huaylas, known as the “Switzerland of South America,” also attract many visitors every year in search of adventure and the height of Andean natural beauty.

The Peruvian Jungle Some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world are found in the Manu National Park, the Tambopata Candamo Nature Reserve, Pacaya Samiria and the numerous other protected areas of the Peruvian jungle. The Amazon jungle near Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos offers a great variety of programs with experienced guides and comfortable lodges. In order to get the most of your tour to the Peruvian Jungle and its amazing biodiversity, you should plan properly and allow enough time. So whether your interest is adventure or ecotourism, archaeology, history, culture, mysticism, or experiential tourism, and of course you wish to travel with vegan or vegetarian meals, your beat alternative is to choose one of our Veggie Tours.