After spending the morning exploring the ruins of Pisaq with our tour guide Alex, our driver Antonio picked us up and he drove us to our private Pachamanca Lunch in Ollantaytambo. While I wasn’t 100% sure where in Ollantaytambo our Pachamanca Lunch would be at but I had an inkling that it would be at El Albergue Organic Farm after doing some research online. I could have asked Jon Green when I booked our private tour with him about the details such as where in Ollantaytambo our Pachamanca would be at, but I decided to be surprised when we got there.
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Farm
We arrived in Ollantaytambo and Antonio dropped us off in front of the entrance to the old Inca ruins from where Alex lead us to Ollantaytambo Station where the entrance to El Albergue Organic Farm is located on the train boarding platform. Once we were inside the entrance / reception area, Alex told the woman working at the front desk that we had a reservation. After a short wait in the waiting area, Oscar came into the waiting area and he took the four of us through the back door into the farm.
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Farm Trail
After walking through passageways with stone retaining walls, we arrived at the place where our Pachamanca lunch was already in the process of being prepared. Before we arrived, the staff here at the farm already had the stones heating up in a fire. While we were waiting for the stones to finish heating up, Oscar proceeded to explain to us the history of the Pachamanca and he also showed us the items which were going to be cooked for our Pachamanca Lunch. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, lima beans, mixed vegetables and fresh organic eggs, chicken, lamb, and pork were all part of our private Pachamanca Lunch.
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Farm Preparing The Hot Stones For Pachamanca Lunch
Once the stones were ready, two guys working the fire scooped up the hot coals with shovels to remove the fire from the stones. The two men carefully moved the metal rack holding the hot stones to the side and then proceeded to brush off the ashes from the stones on the bottom where wood was burned to heat up the stones for cooking. Next, the chicken, lamb and pork were placed on the bottom layer of hot stones. More hot stones were placed on top of the meat and then the potatoes and sweet potatoes were added on top of the new layer of hot stones. The earthen pot containing the mixed vegetables and raw eggs were placed on the stones at this time as well.
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Farm Beans On Hot Stone For Pachamanca Lunch
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Farm Our Lunch Cooking
After a final layer of hot stones were placed on the pile, a layer of Peruvian Huacatay (aka black Peruvian mint) was placed on top of the stones and the lima beans were placed on top of the Huacatay. On top of the pile of hot stones and food, the two men placed couple layers of wet canvas tarp which was then covered with dirt to keep all the heat into the pile for the food to cook.
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Organic Farm Snow Capped Mountains
While our Pachamanca Lunch was cooking, Alex went back out to have his own lunch and Oscar took us on a tour of the farm. Oscar walked us through the rows of crops and explained what was being and where. Oscar also took the time to explain the process the farm uses to grow all of their products organically. One organic method they use that Oscar explained was that the chicken coop gets moved around to different parts of the field so that the chicken poop can fertilize the soil before planting.
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Organic Farm Pachamanca Lunch Meats Being Removed From Hot Rocks
Twenty minutes later, Oscar took us back to where our Pachamanca lunch was buried and cooking. When we arrived, the two men began to remove the dirt and the wet canvas protecting the food from the earth. Layer by layer, Oscar and the two men removed the food that was buried with the hot stones earlier into serving bowls.
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Organic Farm Pachamanca Lunch Table Setup
With all of the food out of the ground and perfectly cooked, my parents and I headed over to the outside dining area where one of the the picnic tables was setup for our private lunch. Along with tablecloths and and place settings, the table had a pitcher of Chicha Morada Peruvian purple corn punch, salad with dressing, two kinds of sauce and sliced red onions. Oscar brought all of the food over to the table and served the three of us before leaving us to to enjoy our lunch.
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Organic Farm Pachamanca Lunch Veggies And Eggs
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Organic Farm Pachamanca Lunch Chicken, Salad, Pork And Lamb
The food was delicious! My mom especially loved the veggie and egg dish. She loved it so much that she completely cleaned out the whole earthen pot of the stuff. All of the dishes were well seasoned and cooked perfectly. There was WAY too much food for three people to finish. Oscar came by and offered us more meat but I just could not eat anymore because I was so full. The amount of food that was prepared could have easily fed two more people. For this Pachamanca Lunch, we paid $35.00/person which after experiencing the whole event, we thought the food and the experience was well worth it!
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Organic Farm Pachamanca Lunch Dessert
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Organic Farm Pachamanca Lunch Mata Cuy Liquor
Towards the end of our meal, Oscar brought us dessert which we were not expecting and a bottle of Matacuy liquor which they distill on the farm. The Matacuy was STRONG! The one shot that I had burned all the way down and shortly afterwards I could feel it hitting me. I was a little bit worried about all the leftover food which we did not touch since it came out of the ground. So, I asked Oscar if they were going to just throw everything away. Oscar reassured me that the untouched food would not go to waste.
Ollantaytambo El Albergue Organic Farm Distillery
Before taking us back to the waiting room to meet up with Alex our tour guide, Oscar took us to the on site distillery where the Matacuy liquor is produced. There were shelves full of experimentations with different combinations of infusions with herbs such as the Peruvian Huacatay which the distiller was working on to come up with new flavors and variations.