The potato is one of the most highly consumed crops on the planet. Parque de la Papa is here to celebrate and uphold the nourishing spud.
The community-run eco-park in the highlands of Cusco’s Sacred Valley is comprised of a handful of indigenous Quechua farming communities. In the name of preserving agricultural biodiversity and retaining indigenous culture, the collective began offering day treks, cooking workshops, and tours of the communities’ 6,000 hectares of sustainable farms, on which 1,300 different varieties of potato thrive. Visitors learn about the daily lives of these Andean groups, exploring the production of medicinal teas and cosmetics from local vegetation, perusing traditionally woven textiles, and sampling Quechuan cuisine.
While there is an emphasis on tradition, the collective is not stuck in the past. Climate change is forcing farmers to adopt new techniques such as calcium treatments and planting at higher altitudes each year. With an eye on the future, the group began collaborating with Norway’s Svalbard Global Seed Vault in 2015 to ensure the Andean varieties are preserved for generations to come.
Know Before You Go
You'll need to book your visit in advance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with potential dates. Also, at more than 12,000 feet above sea level, the park might be tough to visit for those sensitive to altitude.