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Conservamos por Naturaleza


Vegetarian cooking retreat

Tambo Ilusion Retreat Center is happy to offer this culinary program:

If you love cooking and want fresh ideas or if you want to learn to cook, or maybe you are a foodie, or a health enthusiast, or you want to explore vegetarian, vegan and/or raw food, maybe you’ve been traveling for a while and miss spending time in a kitchen preparing fresh, healthy and delicious meals, or you’ve made a resolution to eat well (less fried and processed food, more plant based food) and need some inspiration, then, you will love this private culinary getaway!

Tambo Ilusion invites couples, friends and fellow travelers to this vegetarian cooking retreat where you will prepare and eat delicious food, learn, explore, practice yoga and meditation, rest, improve your health and much more.

Vegetarian cuisine is both tasty and culturally diverse and this retreat aims to show you just that. Come discover new recipes, your talent as a cook, a new place, new people as well as information that can inspire you to live a healthier and richer life.

This culinary retreat was created to meet the increasing interest in vegetarian food preparation from our guests. Given the wonderful feedback Tambo Ilusion retreat center has received from its guests not only for its natural beauty but also for the delicious vegetarian meals served here and by their curiosity and willingness to learn to prepare such delightful foods for themselves once they return home, Johanne now offers a culinary vacation program to teach guests to take the step to move towards a healthier and more conscious way of living… and eating.

We are thrilled to introduce many of our guests to vegetarian (plant based) food. Guests experience time and again how this wholesome food prepared with love and good intention is delicious, eye pleasing and fulfulling.

Johanne teaches how to prepare and eat more plant-based foods and raw foods without the dogma and the fanaticism. Her goal isn’t to convert anyone to vegetarianism but to encourage and inspire people to eat a balanced diet. And if you already follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you might become savvier and come away with delightful recipes as the possibilities of vegetarian dishes are endless! There’s so much we can do with fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, lentils and peas), whole grains, nuts and seeds which are all part of a balanced vegetarian diet. Come learn to transform these into delightful dining experiences that are sure to excite your palate and engage your senses.

Johanne is passionate about cooking, health and nutrition. One important key to health is to include a wide variety of foods in our diet. Having studied of vegetarian nutrition, Johanne is happy to share her knowledge and passions with her guests in this amazing natural setting.

Come and experiment new foods. This experience will encourage you to get more creative and expand your cooking repertoire. This course will add spice to your life!

The content of the cooking workshops within this retreat is informative, easy to understand and digest (pun intended!). You will receive hands-on experience preparing food, practical tips and tricks and you will savor delicious food. You will hopefully discover new foods like “locro de zapallo”, our take on a popular Peruvian dish. You will learn to prepare healthy breakfasts, learn about super foods, sprouting, juicing, fermenting, dehydrating, making smoothies, nut and seed milk, raw desserts and more. You will get to ask questions as you prepare meals from start to finish. The workshops are fun, relaxed and practical. Come hang out with Johanne in her kitchen.

Eating nutritious foods and exercising are two of the most important ways in which the actions we take on a daily basis contribute to our overall health and well-being. Thus, this program would not be complete without yoga practice! The program includes 4 yoga classes.

Imagine… 6 glorious days spent in a beautiful natural reserve eating well, spending half the day in the kitchen, where you’re likely to hear the monkeys (and see them if you are lucky) as they play nearby in the forest, learning the how to's of vegetarian, vegan and raw food including raw desserts! The second part of the day spent rejuvenating by practicing yoga & meditation, taking a nature walk, swimming in our gorgeous fresh water lagoon and laying in your hammock! Nights are meant to digest, rest and observe the stars. You are sure to leave Tambo Ilusion relaxed, feeling great, empowered and inspired in many ways.

Optional activities offered: massage sessions, healing sessions with a local medicine woman, Reiki sessions, ayahuasca ceremonies, etc. More options are available on demand. Should you want to add on extra days to your stay at Tambo Ilusion, you could visit a chocolate factory or go on a 4 hour guided trek to a river for a picnic lunch. Highly recommended!

This program is designed for one or two people maximum for an intimate experience and personalized instruction.

This program includes:

- A 4 hour daily hands-on culinary workshop with recipes (a total of 5 cooking classes)

- Nutrition info

- Visit to a local market

- Yoga and meditation (4 classes)

- A guided nature walk in Tambo Ilusion's protected forest trail

- 3 vegetarian meals a day

- 5 nights cozy accommodation

- Free time for swimming in the amazing fresh water lagoon, relaxing in your hammock...

- Transfers to and from the airport or bus station

Course information

Being that we offer this retreat to only one or two participants at a time, we customize it to your situation. Before arrival, you will be asked what food you love, what food you dislike, if you have any food allergies, 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 — no eggs, milk, cheese, nor honey) or raw recipes. The recipes and menus are then further customized to honor such requests.

Special dietary requests are always met.

Note: 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. Add 50 USD per person to the total package price.

The instructor:

From the time Johanne was a little girl, she loved being in the kitchen. She especially loved to bake. She enjoyed helping her mom and aunt, both very good cooks, to prepare meals. Growing up, she often played in the kitchen with her best friend experimenting with food. In her late teens, she regularly organized dinner parties for her friends as she gets such enjoyment from sharing a meal around a table with lovely people. Johanne is a self-taught cook. In 2008, 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. An avid traveler for many years, she missed having a kitchen and cooking for others. This all changed when she walked upon this little paradise called Tambo Ilusion! She has been the chef here since 2011 and everyone raves about the meals she prepares, even guests who were skeptical about vegetarian food before trying it!

Johanne is passionate about health and sees nutrition as key to a healthy life and a help with healing. Food is medicine and it is the most abused form of medicine in our societies. Johanne loves to guide people to better health through better nutritional choices.

The science is clear: a diet with less meat and more plant-oriented is far better for our health and the planet. Eating less and better meat and dairy is one of the simplest ways to have the big positive impact on our health and the planet.

Come on this food journey. This experience is sure to inspire you to prepare and eat healthy, nutritious, satiating, varied, colorful and fresh meals!

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, perfect timing to book this vacation!

**See currency converter** for an accurate conversion to your currency.

  • This program is available:

  • - July 3rd - 8th

    - October 9th - 14th

    - December 11th - 16th

    Reservations required

  • Check-in: 3 pm, includes dinner. If you plan to have lunch with us (at around 2 pm), please let us know at least 24 hours in advance. The cost of an extra meal is 25 soles (around 8 USD) per person.

  • Check-out: 2 pm, includes breakfast and lunch.

Come to Tambo Ilusion Retreat Center to nourish your body, mind and soul.

Please clic here to reserve your culinary vacation in the Amazon rainforest.


First I must profess that I am not much of cook, but for some time have wanted 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.

Brianna O'Dea, New Zealand
September 2015

A MUST DO, for an individual who is interested in learning how to make vegetarian meals taste incredible! I’ve been inspired to learn Johanne’s cooking secrets to make my food taste like hers!

Alicia Yanez, USA
October 2015

6 day culinary immersion: "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."

Rebecca Tillem, USA
July 2016

"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."

Susan Lee, New Zealand
September 2016