Willka T'ika Garden Guest Retreat
The Edible Garden
My husband and I recently went to the Sacred Valley region in Peru and stayed in this paradise called "Willka T'ika", which means the sacred flower. Every single meal we had at Willka T'ika came freshly from their garden: salads made of freshly picked leaves and petals, delicious soups made of grated vegetables, herbs steeped in hot water, dishes made of quinoa, kiwicha, and other authentic plants, fruits such as oranges and papayas, all available in abundance ....hence "the edible garden". All of these plants are grown naturally using compost & without pesticides or fertilizers. Living in New York City, we felt truly blessed & privileged to have this remarkable culinary experience ... an experience that gave a true meaning to the words "organic", "fresh", and "sustainable".
By Liza Kasmara
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A Hidden Paradise in the Sacred Valley
From the front, Willka T'ika looks like an abandon residence. Its rusty gate with graffiti on it doesn’t give away that there is a paradise behind it. We arrived at night so there was not much we could see. As we walked from the lobby to our room, our senses came alive...we smelled the fragrant scents of flowers, felt the crisp evening air of early summer, and noticed the stars on the dark night sky. The rooms in Willka T'ika have no TV, no phone, no wifi, and minimal heating. By 10pm we fell asleep with warm water packs on our bed. When we woke up the next morning, all we could see was beauty... the seven chakra gardens where each of the plant has its own medicinal purposes, the mountains in the backdrop, and the bees eating their sweet breakfasts. The amount of care that is put into this place and the way the ancient Andean way is honored and preserved is unbelievable... it’s all reflected in how well the staff are treated, the organic way the plants are grown, the traditions that are kept alive such as the healing ceremonies, and the way it gives back to the community through Willka T’ika Children Fund supporting the education of Quechua children in remote Andean villages. All of these made this place so magical and helped us reconnect with mother earth. If you want to further enhance your experience, try the solar bath: an outdoor bath where you soak yourself under the night sky in water heated by the sun and infused with flowers and herbs.
By Liza Kasmara
Sanctuary in Urubamba
After a night in Lima, we flew to Cusco and headed directly to Willka T’ika outside Urubamba in the Sacred Valley. It’s a couple thousand feet lower than Cusco — and a terrific base for exploring the region. Tile-roofed cottages are set amidst carefully tended gardens, with much of the food grown at the lodge.