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Culinary Holidays in Amazon Jungle, Peru

Join Tambo Ilusion, a beautiful private nature conservation area in the Amazon jungle for an interesting cooking holiday. This program is designed for one or two people maximum for an intimate experience and personalized instruction. Get a real taste of vegetarian cooking with this perfectly blended five-day retreat.

Meet the instructors

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  • Nutrition guidance
  • Visit a local market
  • 4 hands-on culinary workshops
  • Johanne's cookbook which contains more than 100 recipes
  • A guided walk in Tambo Ilusion's protected forest trail
  • Prepare and eat plant-based foods
  • 4 nights cozy accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


5 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 2 participants
Airport transfer included: Cad. FAP Guillermo del Castillo Paredes Airport
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  • Dining area
  • Yoga shala
  • Laundry
  • Tour assistance

Tambo Ilusion is a tropical jungle property operated by Johanne and Armando, a Canadian / Peruvian couple.

Tambo Ilusion will transport you miles away from the city life. Tambo Ilusion is a place for nature lovers. If the luxury of a five-star establishment is what you are looking for, Tambo Ilusion might not be for you. Tambo Ilusion is not a resort, it is a country home.

At Tambo Ilusion, guests sleep in rustic bungalows that are equipped with two very comfortable double beds and mosquito nets, its private bathroom with heated showers and a screened veranda where two hammocks hang for your enjoyment. Each bungalow has electricity as well as a solar lamp.

Tambo Ilusion is dedicated to offering its guests a wonderful and enriching experience.

Tambo Ilusion is a proud winner of the prestigious Certificate of Excellence designation received from TripAdvisor: "Certificate of Excellence 2015” and “Certificate of Excellence 2016" 2017 and 2019. This award recognizes establishments that consistently earn glowing traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Also, in 2014, Tambo Ilusion was chosen as one of Peru's top five yoga retreat centers in a publication of El Comercio. You can be sure to enjoy your stay with them!

Not only will you leave this wellness retreat feeling recharged, refreshed, and inspired, you will also have the satisfaction of having made a difference contributing in helping Tambo Ilusion protect a small part of the Amazon rainforest.


Vegetarian cuisine is both tasty and culturally diverse and this retreat aims to show you just that. You will experience time and again how wholesome food prepared with love and good intention is exquisite, eye-pleasing, and fulfilling.

Johanne holds a vegetarian nutrition certificate and is a coach in mind-body nutrition and psychology of eating. She worked as the cook in a hostel in Costa Rica for over a year and at Tambo Ilusión Wellness Retreat Center for over three years and made a name for herself as a great cook.

Johanne is happy to share her knowledge and passions with her guests. Johanne will teach you how to prepare and eat more plant-based foods and raw foods without the dogma and the fanaticism often associated with them. Her goal isn't to convert anyone to vegetarianism but to encourage and inspire people to eat a balanced diet.

If you already follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you might become savvier and will come away with tasty recipes, as the possibilities of vegetarian dishes are endless. There's so much you can do with fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, lentils, and peas), whole grains, sea vegetables (seaweeds) nuts, and seeds, which are all part of a balanced vegetarian diet. Come learn to transform these ingredients in delightful dining experiences that are sure to excite your palate and engage your senses.

The content of the cooking workshops within this retreat is informative, easy to understand, and digest. You will learn to prepare and enjoy various dishes daily.

You will receive hands-on experience preparing food, practical tips and tricks, as well as savor delicious and nourishing food. You will hopefully discover new foods like locro de zapallo, Johanne's vegan take on a popular Peruvian dish.

You will learn to prepare healthy breakfasts, learn about superfoods, sprouting, juicing, fermenting, dehydrating, making smoothies, nut and seed milk, raw desserts, and much more. You will get to ask questions as you prepare meals from start to finish. The workshops are fun, relaxed, and practical.

Before your arrival, you will be asked what foods you love, what foods you dislike, if you have any food allergies, and if you want to focus on lacto-ovo vegetarian recipes (no meat, no fish, and no animal tissue products), vegan recipes (only plant-derived foods), or raw vegan recipes. The recipes and menus are then further customized to honor such requests.

Johanne has created a cookbook including her recipes that are most popular among her guests. You will receive this cookbook (in PDF format) by partaking in this fun cooking vacation. It will be a souvenir to cherish and relish that will keep you inspired to nourish yourself and your loved ones!

Typical day

Join Johanne at Tambo Ilusión for this fun and nourishing culinary adventure! Imagine five glorious days spent in a beautiful natural reserve, eating well, spending half the day in the kitchen learning the how-tos of vegetarian and vegan food preparation, including raw desserts!

You’ll meet Johanne in the kitchen at around 08:30 and will prepare breakfast together and take the time to actually sit down and enjoy our breakfast. Together, you will then get started by preparing the midday meal and will enjoy a sit-down lunch together.

The second part of the day will be spent taking a nature walk, swimming in a gorgeous freshwater lagoon, and lying in your hammock, and other activities as per your wish! The evening meals which are prepared by Karen, the new cook, will be served in the main house. and nights are meant to digest, rest, and observe the stars. You are sure to leave Tambo Ilusion feeling rested, empowered, and inspired in many ways.

Striving for excellence

Tambo Ilusion is proud to share the award received from TripAdvisor: "Certificate of Excellence 2019". Tambo Ilusion has received this same recognition in 2015, 2016 and 2017. This award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.

Included excursions

You have the option to accompany Johanne to a local market in the early morning once. The market experience is one that should not be missed while traveling.

You will visit a food market so you can be a part of the local scene and get a feel of the local culture. You shall get to explore regional cuisine and witness the variety of produce offered. You'll see the locals, including what they eat, how they dress, how they relate to each other, etc.

This little adventure will enrich your travel experience. You may be able to practice your language skills, take a few pictures, and you might buy a few souvenirs.


Johanne Delisle


Tambo Ilusion Wellness Retreat Center is very well located and is easily accessible. It is located less than 20 minutes away from the local airport and 15 minutes from the center of Tarapoto city, yet, when one enters the property, one feels totally immersed in nature.

Tambo Ilusion is a beautiful nature reserve of 14 hectares (34.6 acres) recognized by the Ministry of Environment of Peru as a private conservation area. Tambo Ilusion is located in the rural area of Tarapoto situated in the San Martin region of Peru (in the Amazon rainforest); northeast of Lima. Here the Andes meet the Amazon and offer a spectacular view!

Tarapoto is the main gateway to the northeastern jungle of Peru. Located in the San Martin province of the San Martin region, midway between the high jungle and the Amazon plains, Tarapoto is linked to the upper Amazon and the historic city of Yurimaguas by a relatively well-maintained newly paved "trans-Andean" highway.

The city is located in the valley between the rivers Mayo and Ahuashiyacu and is the center of the terrestrial networks and of the areas between the mountains, the coast, and eastern Peru.

Tarapoto is the main tourist hub of this part of Peru and is often used as a "jump off" point for excursions into the vast Amazon rainforest where diversity in species reaches its maximum expression such as in Tingana and Pacaya Samiria national reserve, and for tours of the northeast of Peru including the Chachapoyas culture in Amazonas with its fascinating but not well-known archaeology and history, the Gran Vilaya ruins and the Kuelap fortress, the Machu Picchu of the North.

Furthermore, beautiful landscapes, amazing waterfalls, lagoons, orchids, adventure tourism such as river rafting and hiking in the tropical Andes, and bird watching attract numerous visitors to this area. Tambo Ilusion is located in the Banda de Shilcayo district which is at the eastern limit of Tarapoto city. The retreat center is located near the waterfalls of Ahuashiyacu, a main attraction of the area.

Nearby places

  • Ahuashiyacu waterfalls
  • Amazon rainforest
  • Gran Vilaya ruins
  • Kuelap fortress
  • Mayo river
  • Pacaya Samiria national reserve
  • Tingana national reserve
  • Yurimaguas


Wholesome vegetarian meals are prepared three times daily. Meals are shared in the main house family style. Fruits and vegetables are fresh and seasonal. Some of the fruits come from Tambo Ilusion's own trees (citrus, papayas, mangoes, bananas, star fruit, among others). Special dietary requests are always met. Given that Tambo Ilusion offers this retreat to only one or two participants at a time, they customize it to your situation.

Before arrival, you will be asked what foods you love, what foods you dislike, if you have any food allergies or intolerances, and if you want to focus on lacto-ovo vegetarian recipes (no meat, no fish, no animal tissue products), vegan recipes (which consist of only plant-derived foods, no animal products at all, i.e. no eggs, milk, cheese, nor honey) or raw recipes. The recipes and menus are then further customized to honor such requests.

Please note that if you choose to emphasize on raw recipes, the cost of the program is higher as the ingredients used to prepare most recipes are more expensive. In that case, 50 USD per person will be added to the total package price.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Lacto-ovo Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Raw food
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Some of the optional activities offered are: yoga classes, massage sessions, healing sessions with a local medicine woman and Reiki sessions. More options are available on demand.

What's included

  • 4 nights cozy accommodation
  • 4 daily four-hour hands-on culinary workshops
  • Johanne's cookbook which contains more than 100 recipes (PDF)
  • Nutrition coaching
  • A guided nature walk on Tambo Ilusión's protected forest trail
  • A visit to a local market
  • 3 delicious and nutritious meals a day
  • Free time for swimming in the lagoon or to relax in your hammock
  • Transfer to and from the local airport by mototaxi (15 minute drive)
  • Complementary limited WiFi internet in the dining area

What's not included

  • Optional treatments and tours
  • Early check-in
  • Late check-out
  • Gratuities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Tarapoto

  • From Tarapoto, head towards El Distrito de la Banda de Shilcayo on the highway to Yurimaguas.
  • At kilometer 2.5 (just past La Laguna Venecia) there is a dirt road on the right. Take that dirt road.
  • You will soon come to a fork, keep right. Tambo Ilusion is about 500 meters from that fork.

Arrival by airplane

Peru is currently a very popular travel destination so Tambo Illusion suggests that you book early for international flights to Lima airport Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM), and domestic flights. Airport taxes and fees are now included in the price of the tickets for international as well as domestic flights.

Tarapoto is connected by air to Lima. The flight takes one hour and fifteen minutes. The distance separating both cities is 618 kilometers. There are four airline companies that fly daily to Tarapoto (Star Peru, Taca-avianca, Peruvian, and LAN). You are recommended to book the midday flight on Star Peru.

The flight from Iquitos, Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport (IQT) to Tarapoto takes one hour. Star Peru and LAN offer this route daily. The airport transfer from and to Tarapoto airport by moto-taxi is included. It is a 20-minute ride.

Arrival by bus

Getting to Tarapoto by bus from any town north of Lima along the Peruvian coast is relatively easy. Tarapoto is a 30-hour bus ride away (approximately 1500 kilometers or 930 miles) on a good highway. There are two bus companies: Movil Tour and CIVA. The latter is more expensive and much more comfortable.

To make the trip easier, look into the possibility of cutting the trip by stopping in Chiclayo, a coastal city, for a day or two as the route goes that way anyway. In Chiclayo, there are 2 important museums: Museo Nacional Tumbas Reales de Sipan and Museo Bruning.

The other option is a bus route from Lima going through Tingo Maria. This route is about 500 kilometers less mileage than going through Chiclayo, and it takes about 23 hours. The bus goes through the Andes to get to the jungle; it passes through a city called Ticlio, which is at an altitude of 4818 meters.

Arrival by ferry

There is a three-day boat ride Iquitos - Yurimaguas on the Huallaga, Maran and Amazonas rivers. Once in Yurimaguas, take a bus to Tarapoto (a 2.5-hour ride). You may ask the driver to drop you off at Laguna Venecia (at the km 2.5 mark) and take a mototaxi to ACP Ilusion or walk around 1 kilometer.

Arrival by taxi

The most common way of getting around the city is by moto-taxi. Before hopping into a moto-taxi, make sure that it is not too noisy. Moto-taxis are a problem in many cities in Peru. There are too many of them and many drivers have part of the muffler removed which is illegal. Please act like a responsible traveler by choosing a driver that respects that law, the environment, and the community.

If you hire a ride, pre-negotiate the price. Local people can give you an idea of the rate. There have been cases of drivers charging abusive rates to unsuspecting tourists.


  • Latitude - 0627 south
  • Longitude - 7623 west
Airport: Cad. FAP Guillermo del Castillo Paredes Airport Airport transfer included: Cad. FAP Guillermo del Castillo Paredes Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 3 days before arrival.

Value for money
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5 days / 4 nights
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Retreats are offered all year round. Ideally, retreats start on Mondays. The retreat is guaranteed to take place even if only one person signs up. Please select your arrival date below.

Pricing information

If you are paying the remaining amount in cash, you can pay upon arrival.

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