Self Taught (Vegetarian)
Yoga Alliance E-RYT 200 (Hatha Yoga)
Johanne is a self-taught cook. In 1998, she started working in the kitchen and soon became the main cook at a beautiful hostel in Costa Rica and made a name for herself. That is where she was first introduced to the concept of vegetarian food by its vegetarian guests. Johanne became a vegetarian herself 8 years later. In 2011, Johanne became the cook at Tambo Ilusion Retreat Center where she inspired many to eat more plant-based meals. Johanne holds a vegetarian nutrition certificate and is a mind-body nutrition coach.
Susan Lee New Zealand
This has been an experience that completely answered my needs, my wants, and my desires. I searched through the USA before I found Tambo Ilusion and my heart soared with excitement. Johanne was offering a vegan retreat - and to push the envelope further, I asked for gluten free as well. There’s no stopping Johanne’s enthusiasm for great nutrition and sharing her knowledge. What a privilege to have met Johanne and Armando. People with loving hearts, strong focus and ethics. Tambo Ilusion is a beautiful conservation property. It is beautifully presented. The accommodation is incredibly comfortable. Best bed I have slept in in weeks. Coming from many thousands of miles away in the world is emotionally busy, travelling is physically challenging in its many forms. Tambo Ilusion has been the respite I needed after weeks of being on high alert in foreign lands. Here I have relaxed, unwound and rejuvenated over five days and I am ready to go on for many more weeks of travel. I have addressed physical aches and pains. Johanne organized a massage for me by a local woman. I have eaten the most delicious, nutritious meals in abundance. Never did hunger visit me here. Emotionally, I am feeling calm in a state of inner peace thanks to the yoga from Johanne. I would never hesitate to return here should I return to Peru and see my new friends for a follow-up retreat.
Alicia Yanez, from US
Once in a lifetime experience, Ill be going back! There's a few places that I have experienced in my life time that I can say have truly changed my life. In the 5 days that I spent at Tambo Illusion with Jo and Armando with my love, my life changed through the amazing, healthy vegetarian cooking and gentle yoga classes twice a day with learning deeply about my yoga practice.As an intermediate Ashatangi, practicing 5 times a day week, Jo's classes were deeply informative and taught me how to bring deeper alignment to my practice. I thoroughly loved her classes and her gentle guidance on how to continuously improve. I highly recommend the yoga retreat to anyone who is interested in learning more about themselves in a relaxing, beautiful environment.The reason why I chose Tambo Illusion is because it looks like a really authentic place in the jungle with still the comfort of a high quality hotel. Everything is perfectly clean, comfortable, with the chance to take your mind off all your troubles and truly relax. I've never felt so refreshed in my life!! My favorite part of the stay was Jo and Armando! Armando has such a deep passion for this land, as he has cultivated it for the last 30 years.During our long hike, we learned a lot about the jungle and explored. He took us to his secret spot which was so relaxing and fun to dip into the water. Jo is truly a magical, loving women with so many skill-sets. After eating her clean, vegetarian meals, that were better than anything I've ever cooked before, I'm inspired to learn more about healthy eating.If you have the chance to try out her cooking class, you will learn more than you ever imagined. The fact that she has so many creative, unique ingredients in the jungle is truly a surprise!!! We had long talks for hours and I learned so much about myself. I love Tambo Illusion and I will be back with family and close friends. What a magical oasis!
a traveler Peru
If you are passionate for both nature conservation and yoga, this is probably the best destination in the world for you. Joanne's and Armando's treat is warm and personalized. The food is all super healthy and tasty. You get to see wild monkeys, swim in a pond. And you are still close enough to Tarapoto to enjoy the perks of the city. It was a great experience and I'm willing to get back.
Rebecca T. United States
I had a great and relaxing time at Tambo Ilusion. Johanne and Armando are both giving people that helped me with everything I needed/wanted. Tambo Ilusion provided me with a much needed escape from society, the internet, and social media. I enjoyed doing the trip on my own for some solitude and time for self reflection, but can also imagine this being a great place to go with loved ones. I'm not sure if I would do the culinary immersion with others, as the kitchen is a bit small for several people. I spent the mornings learning healthy and delicious meals that I have already made in the 3 days I have been home! I even had the opportunity to explore the local markets to buy some of the ingredients. Between cooking, gentle yoga, and swimming and the lagoon I had a lot of fun and left feeling restored. Tambo Ilusion provides an amazing experience for a great value. There is also an opportunity to do ayahuasca for a night if you ask in advance.
a traveler Canada
In my title I said this was a life changing experience. I don't use these words lightly. We were three friends backpacking through Peru. After the excesses of our last stop in Cusco, we felt like we needed a break. Destiny (and TripAdvisor) led us to Tambo Illusion. Tambo Illusion was the perfect retreat. Armando and Johanne were super flexible in customizing a two-day package, which we later extended. Our program included some amazing yoga classes in a beautiful yoga studio, some spectacular hikes, several detox programs, an encounter with ayowasca, and, of course, a lot of free time to swim in the lagoon and self reflection time. Tambo Illusion is set in Tarapoto where the Andes meets the Amazon; that being said, we were privy to experience several different types of landscapes during our amazing hike with Aramando. Armando is extremely passionate about conservation and preservation; he is a wealth of information. Don't miss the hike! Their property is a nature lovers paradise. The accommodation; though basic, was extremely comfortable and very clean. There are electrical outlets available in the communal areas to charge your phones; bring a flashlight. Armando's son and his girlfriend were in charge of our nutrition. From probiotics to vegetarian feasts they took care of all our needs! Tambo Illusion provided us with an insight into Amazonian culture and beliefs; this combined with new age outlook was a perfect match!
Raul C. Canada
Stayed here to detox after copious amounts of alcohol. Great place, amazing food, friendly staff. Very knowledgeable about the area. In the town of Tarapoto not much English is spoken. Claro did work in the area but not well. The lagoon is a nice temperature and the mud is soft and can be used on the face.
Bruno Monteferri Peru
Tambo Ilusion was the perfect place to take friends that had never visited the Amazon. We left Lima at 4 p.m. and by sunset we were already swimming in their lake. When we woke up Armando and Johanne took the best care of us: a yoga session, followed up by tasty and healthy food and a short walk through the forest left us with our senses completely awakened. I deeply recommend this place because by visiting Tambo Ilusion we are also supporting a nature conservation project based on healing our minds, bodies and spirits.!
a traveler Peru
The experience I had in Tambo illusion was the climax of my vacation. I had read great comments about the place but arriving there, was at another level of greatness. For me, it had everything you need for a yoga retreat and even more. I arrived the first day from Lima really tired and overwhelmed. The first minutes on the site of Tambo illusion are just like arriving in paradise with the small lake with the purest water, with the small cabana and an amazing hammock just outside to chill out after lunch or whenever you feel like sleeping. And the profound peace and quiet are just amazing. Johanne and Armando are the two kindest person I ever meet, they make you feel like home, are interested in knowing you and they will show you their land and the nicest place to walk in the nature. Johanne is an excellent chef, making the most fabulous vegetarian food. She is also an amazing yoga teacher really devoted to the practice and to teach meditation and yoga in a really caring and loving way. Thanks so much for the unforgettable experience.
Brianna O'Dea from New Zealand
September 2015. Tambo Ilusion website
First, I must profess that I am not much of cook, but for some time I have wanted to help gaining knowledge on a vegetarian diet that meets the body's dietary requirements. Jo taught me all that and more. I enjoyed my time in her kitchen, as I felt relaxed in her presence, a feeling I don't often associate with the kitchen! As well as teaching me the basics, I learned a lot about maximising the benefits of all the foods we worked with, most of which I never knew. Jo is honestly an encyclopedia on vegetarian living, be it the benefits or the downfalls you need to watch for. I appreciate this honesty, as it means I now have a bunch of delicious recipes to start with, as well as knowing how to look after myself when I eventually switch back to life without meat! Thank you, Jo, it was a pleasure being in your kitchen and company.Thank you for a unique experience in Peru. It is always my wish to see places as they really are and you have granted me the opportunity to do so. A hundred times, thank you.
October 2015. Tripadvisor website
My girlfriend and I did a weeklong yoga retreat with Johanne in the jungle. It was honestly one of the most restorative weeks of my life and we cannot thank Armando and Johanne enough for their hospitality. If you're looking for a ritzy, pampered stay at a resort, this is not the place for you. But if you enjoy immersing yourself in nature and the company of good people, I would highly recommend coming to Tambo Ilusion. The staff made themselves only as available as was necessary so that when we wanted to be alone, we felt completeley alone, yet when we wanted connection and interaction, someone was always there to help.I could probably write this entire review about the food if I wanted, but let's just say it was absolutely incredible and extremely healthy. I'm not a vegetarian by any standard, I did not consume one ounce of meat but I was absolutely satisfied at every meal. Also, not only did I not lack energy. I actually felt more energetic during my time there. I would love to come back and do a cooking retreat with Johanne, just to learn how to make all of her delicious recipes. Looking forward to the next time we visit.
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