Rural Lifestyle in the Northwest

Visit the Northwest and stay at one of the oldest and historical estancias in Argentina to experience the real northern countryside lifestyle.


The story tells that the mother of Martín de Güemes -a distinguished general during the independence wars- had this estancia built. In fact, this was where the general trained his gauchos to defend the north while San Martín liberated Peru; hence the historical importance of this ancient estate.

Located only a 45-minute drive away from Salta, in the town that pays tribute to Güemes, El Bordo de las Lanzas has been welcoming travelers from all over the world for more than 20 years. This is the ideal place for those who wish to have an authentic and warm northern experience, getting to know Salta’s countryside at first hand in a region rich in history and traditions.

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The name El Bordo references to the old way of calling the riverbank, to the fertile lands that border the river, ideal for cultivation.

The Arias family is the estate’s owner since 1958 and they were pioneers in the rural tourism to receive travelers willing to spend their time in the middle of the subtropical vegetation of the surroundings and under the colonial architecture of the main house that dates from 1609.

Today, the adobe walls, heavy doors and lintels with their own iron locks and ornamental bars are still preserved along with several archaeological remains found in the grounds, historic books and ancient documents, original furniture and paintings. The religious images and details in every room are noteworthy and according to the family’s respect for traditions and beliefs.

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As a working ranch, the 3000 hectares are used in part for the cultivation of tobacco, sugar cane, corn, wheat, dry beans, soybeans and other grains and vegetables. The family also breed horses for polo, country work and riding.

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Guests at El Bordo may take part on some of these rural activities. Visiting the crops and learning about the process, unlimited horseback riding, bicycle riding, hiking, or have a swim at the pool. Relax at the evergreen and colorful park that surrounds the house and at the many corners available for resting, immerse in the countryside serenity and in the sounds of nature, enjoying the natural pleasures that El Bordo provides. Within the grounds there’s a special area to visit: El Totoral, a natural reserve that preserves yacarés (caimans) in the wild.

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This region is also famous for its culinary specialties, so a stop by the kitchen is a must. You may learn to prepare and taste traditional dishes such as the humita en chala, tamales, sugar cane honey, carbonada, cayote jam and -of course- the typical empanadas salteñas. All the northern classics in one place!

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Every meal at El Bordo is homemade and delicious. As a matter of fact, they are specially elaborated for each occasion using seasonal ingredients and are the same as served for the family itself.

The hospitality of the Arias family and the staff can be appreciated in every detail; from the fresh flowers in every room to the good company of the gauchos and the tasting of ancestral culinary recipes. The human warmth that only northern people can provide.

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At El Bordo de las Lanzas, you will certainly find comfort, tradition, history, nature, outdoor activities, a variety of authentic homemade meals and excellent attention.

For more information about Estancia El Bordo de las Lanzas and organized programs including a full board stay and activities, please contact your Kallpa Executive. It is possible to rent a car or to book a private transfer to go from Salta to General Güemes, don’t hesitate to ask for both options.

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Nature & Relax at the Iberá Wetlands

Right by the mysterious Iberá Wetlands, find a colonial and cozy natural environment, home-made meals and daily activities in the first touristic estancia in Corrientes, with the personalized attention of its owners.


Located northeast of Corrientes province, on the banks of the Iberá Wetlands and close to the San Ignacio Jesuit ruins, the Estancia San Juan Poriahú is a traditional ranch, nowadays dedicated to breeding cattle.

Estancia San Juan de Poriahu, a farm in the Ibera Wetlands, Corrientes Province, Argentina
Estancia San Juan de Poriahu, Iberá Wetlands, Corrientes Province.

Once upon a time a Jesuit residence itself, its origins date back to the 17th century when the Society of Jesus founded its famous townships in Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. Today, Ana María is the current owner of the estancia and Marcos -her son- is the one who takes care of it. The story goes that Marcos’ grandfather, Don Ernesto, surprisingly inherited the colonial farmhouse and 5.000 hectares from a friend that passed away. In time, more land was acquired to reach the final 13.000 hectares that the estancia occupies now.

Marcos used to spend his summer vacations here when he was a child and today he has become a renowned naturalist and expert of the area. Also he may be one of the guides that take you on a boat ride, drive or hike through this ecosystem and tell you everything he knows about it.

Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) at Estancia San Juan de Poriahu, Ibera Wetlands (Esteros del Ibera), Corrientes Province, Argentina
Capibara at the Wetlands

Visiting and staying at Poriahú is to travel back to colonial times. The aged Jesuit farmhouse has thick adobe walls, a palm roof (typical of this region), a gallery and an outdoor pool to relax and contemplate nature. There are also nine wide and simple twin rooms with private or shared bathroom. The family keeps an eye on the details and makes an effort to create a homey atmosphere in the rooms and common areas, such as the shared dining room and the living room. Meals are always homemade and include regional dishes. You may even taste our traditional asado!

Cattle at Estancia San Juan de Poriahu, a cattle farm in the Ibera Wetlands, Corrientes Province, Argentina
Cattle at Estancia San Juan de Poriahu

Surrounded by an ancient and exuberant grove and the characteristic humidity of the marshlands, Poriahú is the best alternative to not only visit the historic ruins nearby but to take part on any ecotourism activity available at the region.

Among the activities that the estancia has to chose from, you can´t miss the boat ride through the wetlands. Jump onto a canoe conducted by a guide and navigate this magic aquatic environment girdled by colorful vegetation and rich native wildlife that you will be able to see and listen everywhere. You may spot roseate spoonbills, maguari storks, whistling herons, yacarés (caymans), marsh deers, aguará guazú (maned wolves), river otters and the cute capibaras or carpinchos.

Boat at Estancia San Juan de Poriahu, Ibera Wetlands, a marshland in Corrientes Province, Argentina
Boat at Estancia San Juan de Poriahu

Other daily options include horseback riding joined by the resident gauchos, photographic safari, guided hikes for bird and fauna watching, night tour for yacaré watching, off-road 4×4 ride within the ranch and rural activities such as cattle branding and bath, among others. Keep in mind that the activities are subject to weather conditions.

Gauchos on a traditional Argentinian cattle farm, Estancia San Juan de Poriahu, Ibera Wetlands, Corrientes Province, Argentina
Gauchos riding through the Wetlands

After an active day you will certainly enjoy to relax by the pool and share a mate while the sun sets in this enchanting place, where nature and wildlife have open access at anytime.

Swimming Pool at Estancia San Juan de Poriahu, Ibera Wetlands, Corrientes Province, Argentina
Swimming Pool at Estancia San Juan de Poriahu

Please, contact your Kallpa Tour executive for more information about the 4 days / 3 nights program with accommodation and activities at Estancia San Juan Poriahú in Esteros del Iberá.

 

When Wildlife is in Danger

When wildlife is in danger and luckily someone is around to do something about it, the incident becomes an anecdote that certainly deserves to be told.


Last month, one of our groups from Germany traveling through the National Road 40 saw a guanaco trapped on a wire fence. We invited Claudio Allende, Kallpa’s Tour Leader assigned to this group (and one of the heroes of the day!) to write about the episode and share it with all of you:

Claudio Allende
Claudio Allende

Guanaco Ricky’s second birthday                          by Claudio M. Allende 

Lands in Patagonia are surrounded by thousands of kilometers of wire fence. This is how man decided to civilize and settle on these beautiful grounds, still wild and adventurous.

Crossing through the Route 40 towards El Chaltén, one of the largest and fairest roads by the side of the Andes, we saw a guanaco trapped on a wire fence. Many guanaco carcasses hung from the wire showed us his probable fate. But today, his destiny was about to change.

The guanaco tangled on a wire fence

While Sergio -the driver- drove through a constant fight against the wind, 14 German travelers enjoyed the Patagonian natural beauties: mountains and hills, guanacos, rheas, foxes, sheeps and gauchos, all holding hands under the Patagonian skies.

That is how we found the poor guanaco with his legs tangled on a fence. When I asked if we should stop and try to help him, Sergio slammed on the breaks, we looked at each other and it was clear that we would do everything possible to liberate the animal.  

Sergio and Claudio helping the guanaco
Sergio and Claudio helping the guanaco

“Please don’t anyone get off, stay on the bus so we don’t scare him more than he already is” were my words to our travelers and we walked towards the poor guanaco, that nervously watched us getting closer and closer. An adult specimen-such like this one- might weigh up to 90 kilos. The mix of fright when he saw us, believing us to be a menace and the desperation for not being able to escape gave the animal an incredible strength. Every movement of his head and every kick could hurt Sergio or me, and also endanger the travelers.

Almost done!
Almost done!

But at the moment you don’t think about any of that: we saw a few wounds that he had on his groin and how the wire was hurting his long legs. Without any doubt, we begun to separate the wires and try to release one of the legs. Once he had one free, the scared animal started kicking. I hung from his neck trying to cover his eyes, to disorient him so he could soothe a bit while Sergio fought with the last leg. We had just two wires left. With all our strength combined, finally we set him free. “Our” guanaco ran away immediately. The wounds weren’t that deep and surely he would survive. As a token of his appreciation, we got a few kicks and bruises…but also the satisfaction of giving this animal a new life.  

Ricky trying to escape
Ricky trying to escape

The travelers rejoiced: we heard the cries of joy in the bus and when we returned, a big and loud applause. We celebrated toasting with water and baptized “our” guanaco on his second birthday. Somewhere in Patagonia, now we have a guanaco son named Ricky and I hope to see him again sometime.

Ricky finally free!

Ricky finally free!

The pictures are courtesy of one of the travelers.

El Calafate Pioneers Domes Adventure

If the eco-friendly idea of falling asleep under the stars with views to the imposing Perito Moreno Glacier and sitting around a campfire appeals to you, but the reality of pitching a tent and sleeping on a bumpy ground does not, this is your ideal green vacation.


This time we bring you a different way of adventure travelling in Patagonia, in a comfortable accommodation with minimal environment impact and surrounded by unspoiled nature.

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The Adventure Domes eco camp in El Calafate is located in the middle of the forest on Las Colonias Peninsula, between Roca and Rico lakes, facing the Perito Moreno Glacier in the distance. The peninsula is named in honor of the first inhabitants of the area and it is inhabited only by the owners of the Estancia; who remain the sole inhabitants for 5 km around. 

Staying at the domes is a memorable adventure itself. Compromised with the preservation of the environment and sustainability, the idea of the eco camp is to allow its guests a full immersion in the unspoilt Patagonian landscape leaving the smallest footprint: sleeping in a comfy bed in one of the cosy domes as close to nature as possible, tasting homemade meals by candlelight in a shared dining tent and enjoying guided excursions and activities.

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We know that the main attraction that brings anyone to this remote region is hard not only to forget but to overcome, and usually nobody can’t get enough of this ice giant. If you wish to get closer to the fascinating ice walls of different shades of blue, then the Pioneers adventure is the right way to go from the steppe to the glacier. This is an exclusive and unique experience; only few people can make it!

The adventure begins just as you leave El Calafate town; you will be driven along the old route of estancias towards ranch Nibepo Aike for a rural day. Here, the local estancieros will provide lectures and demonstrations of shearing and equestrian so you get an idea about life and work at a typical estancia. Here you will also have lunch: taste a Patagonian barbecued lamb like you never did before.

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In the afternoon, the next step of this pioneers adventure takes you navigating for about an hour on the South and Rico arms of the Argentino Lake, enjoying the views of the Adriana and Moreno Mountain ranges. Arriving at Playa de las Monedas, you will disembark and take a peaceful 20 minute walk into the lenga tree forest, where you will notice a change in the landscape. The hike will take you to a lookout spot to appreciate the view of the southern side of the Perito Moreno Glacier.

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After a while, you will go back to the boat in order to continue sailing as close as possible to Perito Moreno Glacier, right along this side of it. The final encounter with this natural wonder will be after disembarking at the Bajo de las Sombras port, where you will have the chance to move around the glaciers´s walkways at a time where most of visitors are already gone. There will be plenty of time to take lots of pictures, relax and be moved by this imposing and silent scenery. After a great day, the crew will leave you at last at the peninsula near by the eco camp, where Adventure Domes hosts will be waiting for you.

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Among other activities that the Domes have to offer for the rest of the stay, trekking is the star. It is possible to explore the northern and southern region of the Colonias Peninsula and still revel in the views of the glacier.

The Lakes Trekking takes you north through a long and picturesque trail including -of course- lakes, lagoons and lowlands, promising sightings of intriguing birdlife and endemic plant species. On the way back, the path provides views of three of the peninsula’s most distinctive natural icons: Mts. Buenos Aires and Cristal, and the Perito Moreno Glacier itself.

The Peninsula Trekking also offers native birdlife watching along the way. Through a trail in the middle of a lush Nathofagus forest with lakes, the hike reaches the Perito Moreno Glacier in the southern Colonias Peninsula.

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No matter what you choose to do, you will be always followed by the views you were expecting to have on this kind of trip, a breathtaking backdrop for your stay in Patagonia.

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Please, contact your Kallpa Tour executive for more information about accommodation and activities at Adventure Domes and the detailed itinerary for the 4 day program in El Calafate.


SERVICES INCLUDED

  • 1 night of accommodation in El Calafate downtown, breakfast included.
  • 2 nights of accommodation at Adventure Domes, with full board & drinks.
  • Transfers & excursions as detailed in the program.
  • Entrance fee to Los Glaciares National Park.

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights & airport taxes.
  • Transfers and excursions not detailed in the program.
  • Alcoholic drinks out of meals.
  • Tips & Personal expenses.
  • Medical Insurance.