Our Story

The Quechua name “Willka T’ika” means sacred flower.

Carol Cumes founded Willka T’ika in 1994. Carol writes, “I first visited the Sacred Valley in the ’80s and was so captivated by the powerful healing energy that I continued to return year after year. In 1994, I decided to purchase a barren strip of land where Willka T’ika now stands. As a longtime yoga practitioner, I wanted to create a retreat center synergizing Andean culture and cosmology with yoga philosophy and lifestyle. Over the next two decades, I cultivated long term relationships with authentic native healers and knowledgeable local guides. Integrating their authentic expertise, I pioneered and developed our signature ‘Journey to Machu Picchu’ retreats and uniquely comprehensive program itineraries.”

Carol and her team of local Quechua farming neighbors designed and constructed the grounds, guest rooms, gardens, ceremonial spaces, and gathering spots that have become Willka T’ika.

Once the first buildings were completed, Carol began developing the organic gardens. The land was cleared and rocks unearthed by hand. Giant natural boulders were left to decorate the gardens, while smaller stones were used in building construction. Compost heaps turned kitchen waste and garden cuttings into rich soil. Manure was brought on donkey trains from far-off mountain communities.

Adobe mud bricks, which keep rooms warm on cool Andean nights and pleasant during the hot sunny days, were made on-site and baked in the sun alongside wood that was carved into doors, floors, windows, and the original furniture that fills guest cottages today. Giant septic tanks were built, as well as large storage tanks to collect Willka T’ika’s weekly allotment of mountain water from the local water cooperative.

Gradually the buildings and gardens took shape and the rock-filled land regained its health. Plants flourished, birds and insects arrived, and nature, with its timeless wisdom, took over. Today butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees can be seen hovering over brilliant flowers throughout the gardens. Dozens of species of birds make the grounds their home.

Willka T’ika is an example of land revitalization made possible through cooperation with and giving back to Nature.

Chakra Gardens
Opening the Sense of the Soul

Carol’s award-winning book illustrates the story of the Willka T’ika gardens, with vibrant photographs and Carol’s own heartfelt words. Each book purchase supports The Willka T'ika Children's Fund, which provides school materials and more to Andean children and their dedicated teachers in remote areas of the Peruvian Andes.

Winner of 3 awards, including Winner of Independent Publisher's
IPPY Gold Award for Best New Age/Mind Body Spirit Book 2009

What Our Clients Are Saying

Our trip to Willka Tika was one of the most incredible trips of our life! It was the perfect blend of wellness and serenity, with the added rush of adventure to whatever degree one chooses. The access to sacred and historical Inca and other cultural si …read more
John & Lorena
May, 2020
After visiting and scouting many retreats around the world over the past 23yrs of teaching, Willka T’ika is now among the top of our list. The attention to detail, incredible staff and amazing food is just the beginning. The facilities are spectacular, …read more
Tiffany Cruikshank, founder of Yoga Medicine, November 2018
For the past 4 years we’ve led life-changing yoga retreats to Willka T’ika in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Willka T’ika is the quintessential set and setting to experience authentic Andean culture while diving deeper into yoga practice. It is a Yogi’s dr …read more
Anton Mackey & Amy Solara, AZ
December 2018
“This was our first Mystery School retreat under the McKenna Academy, and as ever, I am happy to be working with Willka T’ika on such transformative programs. There is no better place in the Sacred Valley, perhaps in the world, for such events to take …read more
An Experience Unlike Any Other
Dr. Dennis McKenna, December 2019
We appreciated all the gorgeous gardens of the resort, the tenderness of all who worked there, the delicious food & travel guide recommendations! I’m honestly not sure we would have seen or done all the things we did without your referrals. We defi …read more
Gorgeous Gardens, Lovely Resort!
Jackie & Jennifer, December 2019
WOW!!! There are no words to describe the energy & beauty of this place is amazing–to the eye, feel & smell.  All of the property is a 10!  The staff go above & beyond their duty, they are always there for you, no matter what you need. Car …read more
Wow Magical Journey!
Claire Massicote, Canada, December 2019
Willka T’ika is a true gift. After 22 years of teaching yoga and guiding adventure travel in Peru, we are so happy to have found this special place to stay. Fresh organic food made and served by loving Quechua staff, inspirational gardens, the great yo …read more
Deborah Koehn Yoga Teacher & Adventure Travel Guide and David Blehert Photographer & Adventure Travel Guide
Willka T’ika is a paradise that allows you to slip into the Peruvian culture with a deep ahhh! The gardens, the staff and the owner Carol Cumes are exquisite like the unexplainable walls of Machu Picchu. It feels so right to stay in a guesthouse retrea …read more
Rodney Yee, Yoga Teacher, Oakland California

 

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