Royal quinoa only grows in southern flat plains of Bolivia in proximity to the largest salt lake in the world. The salt lake of Uyuni has a total area of 10,582 km2 (4,086 sq mi) and Coipasa, has 806 km² (311 sq mi). The solar radiation in the surrounding area is 1.800 mcm/m2, that’s almost twice what is considered normal. All this at over 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above sea level.
Thousands of years ago, the area where royal quinoa grows was a lake and that has changed the quality of the soil to a greater salinity and acidity equilibrium that are thought to be one of the contributing factors to the quality of the royal quinoa grain.
Royal Quinoa adapted to these conditions more than 6000 years ago. This feature is very important because, contamination with any other grains (eg. Grains with gluten) is virtually impossible, and there is also no possibility of having cross-contamination with other crops that require high levels of agricultural intensity (eg. use of agrochemicals). Other crops simply could not survive the conditions of the territory.
Scientists suggest that billions of years ago there were seas on the land of the Andean Altiplano. That Titicaca Lake was part of an ocean. That when mountains emerged, the sea dried and left behind the historic salt lakes.
That is how the Andean Mountain Chain came to existence, the most wonderful mountain chain in the Americas that stretches from the cold of Patagonia to the Caribbean.
The region is inhabited by hard working men and women that like the royal quinoa are used to the harsh conditions and have learnt to thrive in and grow there.