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Owner description: El Albergue Farm
Ollantaytambo has been an agricultural area since pre-Inca times and farming continues to be the main source of income for a large majority of the areas population. Travellers in this area will notice the amazing terraced fields, water canals and granaries that were built over 500 years ago and continue to be used to date.
El Albergue is nestled within the terracing of Ollantaytambo, and as of 2011 we have started a small farming project of our own. We are currently producing many of our own vegetables, corn, quinua and potatoes on our adjacent farm, our guests are invited to visit the farm and even give farm work a dig if so inclined. Our farm is worked without the use of agrochemicals or synthetic fertilizers, and using many of the traditional techniques that have been around for centuries: plowing with oxen, rotating crops and using biological controllers to regulate pests and disease.
For a complete Ollantaytambo farm experience sign-up for a Pachamanca lunch on our farm. A Pachamanca is a traditional way of preparing food in the Andes. In the absence of a stove an oven is built out of stones, the stones are heated with a wood fire and once brought to a very high temperature, the stones are placed carefully with the vegetables meat and seasoning. The food is then covered with grass and banana leaves before being covered by a mound of earth. After 45 minutes the meal is ready and we have the pleasure of digging our delicious potatoes, yams, corn, fava beans, lamb, pork, alpaca, and chicken straight from the earth. We offer Quy (guinnea pig) upon request and for groups larger than 12 people.
Guests can enjoy their meal under a thatch roof in the middle of the farm with views of the Inca temple of Ollantaytambo, mount Pinkulluna and the Veronica glacier. Food is served family style accompanied by chicha, fresh salads and a variety of sauces, including our tasty uchucutas. Beer and wine are available upon request, and we offer our signature Matacuy as a complimentary digestif after the meal. The experience also includes a chance to work on the farm helping with whatever is at hand, be it digging potatoes, planting crops, husking corn, or any myriad of farm jobs. Groups are invited to play volleyball or just relax in the fields for the afternoon.
We host the Pachamanca on our organic farm daily at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm. You meet our Farm Manager in reception and start with a tour of the hotel and then make your way to the farm to see the preparation of the Pachamanca. While the food cooks, you take a tour of the farm and then enjoy the lunch which consists of the cooked meat (chicken, pork, and lamb with alpaca, rabbit and cuy upon request), Andean and sweet potatoes, and vegetables), as well as two different house-made salads and three sauces as well as chicha morada (purple corn juice). You end up sitting down to eat one hour after the meeting time, and the total time is between 2 and 3 hours, depending how much time you spend on the farm after eating lunch.
The price is US$40 per adult and US$30 for children 12 and under. Please let me know if anyone in your group has allergies or dietary restrictions. If you are not a guest of the hotel, we ask for a 50% Paypal deposit in advance of the arrival date. As much preparation goes into the Pachamanca, we do ask for cancellation or modification notice before 8pm the evening prior to the reservation, otherwise we charge the full amount of the deposit as a cancellation fee.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children