Lupinus mutabilis, also known as tarwi or chocho, is an important agricultural species that has been cultivated in South America since ancient times. Tarwi is native to the Andean regions of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador and has very high protein content. Despite its high nutritional value and promotion efforts by regional researchers and breeders, tarwi is not a widely cultivated crop in its center of origin. In this review, we present the work carried out by public breeding programs of L. mutabilis at national agricultural research institutes, universities, and other institutions in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. The main breeding method used in the Andes to improve local landraces has been mass selection to adapt lines to specific environments. At least 25 cultivars or ecotypes have been selected and released over the last 40 years using this breeding system. Nevertheless, breeders are currently struggling to develop new varieties that are high yielding, suitable for mechanized harvesting, have a low content of alkaloids or other anti-nutritional properties, and resistant to anthracnose (Colletotrichum acutatum). Therefore, it is necessary to reassess the potential of this crop and invest in its research to incorporate new techniques and breeding strategies to optimize the development of new varieties in the Andes which address the current cultivation challenges of the species.