Over the course of thousands of years, prior to the arrival of the spanish conquerors, Peru’s ancient civilizations mastered agriculture in the harsh Andean Mountains. Amongst hundreds of varieties of plants, they domesticated for their consumption corn, potatoes, quinoa and kiwicha; They developed complex irrigation systems and landscaped the steep mountain sides using elaborate terracing techniques.
At Las Qolqas, we pay homage to this tradition of agriculture by offering our guests a stay immersed in a botanical garden that hosts a variety of the Sacred Valley’s indigenous plants, trees and herbs. Each tent is surrounded by, and named after, an indigenous type of flower such as the Cantuta, Native Fuchsia, or Duranta Erecta. The tents are separated by fruit trees such as Avocados, Lucumas and Chirimoyas, or by ceremonial trees such as the Queuña, Chachacomo or Sauco. The pathways are lined by herbs such as Muña (Andean mint), Lemon Grass, or Huacatay, which are used to make infusions, or as seasoning in our kitchen.
Our garden is meant to be functional and beautiful. While our guests sit in the privacy of their individual decks, they will often be visited by Giant Humming birds and their smaller cousins, which can be frequently seen feeding on the nectar produced by the nearby flowers. Kestrels, Falcons and Condors flying high above. All of this framed by soaring Apus (Mountains), which form an integral part of the Andean mysticism, and by the Patacancha River with glacial waters from the nearby snow-capped mountains.
A zero-mile policy inspired us to grow seeds as close to our dining tables as possible, so we decided to make our restaurant a greenhouse. Upon germination, seedlings are transplanted to agricultural terraces that date back to Inka times. Here, our guests are invited to help pick the organically-grown produce that will make its way directly from the soil to their plates.