Category Archives: Culture + Nature + Discovery

SNORKELING WITH SEA LIONS IN PUERTO MADRYN

Snorkel surrounded by curious and playful sea lions, who willingly take photos, hug and even smother you with kisses.


Puerto Madryn is the mecca of Argentinian diving activities and only 15 km from Punta Loma, a rookery of Southern Sea Lions. There are not many places in the world where it is possible to snorkel with these marine mammals, but this is one of them. That is why this experience is one of the highlights in the city.

From the service provider office on the coast in Puerto Madryn, we board speedboats and navigate for 25 minutes towards Punta Loma Provincial Reserve, a protected natural area that restricts the permanence time and allows 18 people at the same time. 

On the way, we enjoy a maritime scenario of beaches, cliffs, shipwrecks, whales, dolphins, cormorants and seagulls. Also we receive a briefing including an explanation about the animal’s behaviour, how we must conduct ourselves within the protected area and an introduction to the snorkeling activity and equipment. The neoprene suit we wear maintains body heat and also provides positive buoyancy, therefore, it is not a requirement to know how to swim (although advisable).

As we get closer to the spot, the sea lion noises get louder and louder. Soon, hundreds of them are all around! Adults and cubs. It’s time to get ready and dive in.

If you never snorkeled before, it might be a little uncomfortable at first to get used to the sensation and trying to breathe through the tube, but just try to relax and remember the instructions. Enjoy the experience, look around, paddle softly and when you feel more at ease, you’re good to go.

It’s a surreal feeling to be up close with these creatures, touching and playing with them, going underwater and see them swim so gracefully. Everywhere we turn, there are more sea lion cubs playfully swimming around us. It’s clear that they are used to divers and comfy enough to even kiss us and take selfies.

We remain in the water with the sea lions for 40 minutes, always joined by the instructor. We guarantee that in the end you will wish that the experience lasted longer, even if at first you thought that snorkeling isn’t your thing. To be able to have such an intense and close-up encounter, to observe and play with these curious marine mammals is a fantastic and cherished experience.

After the diving ends, we go back onboard and return to the office, where we return the equipment and change our clothes.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Duration: 3½ hs
  • This activity operates daily in the morning. Depending on the time of the year, departure time is adjusted according to high tide.
  • Difficulty: Moderate The passenger must be able to move with the diving fins for 40 minutes, taking into account that it is within a medium in constant motion.
  • Age restrictions: Minimum 7 years old – Maximum suggested 60 to 65 years old.
  • Min. 2 pax required.
  • The current regulations allow visits of no more than one hour and fifteen minutes in the area. The contact activity with the sea lions takes maximum 40-45 minutes.
  • Included: Neoprene suit, two pieces, helmet, boots and gloves. Coat jacket for round trip transportation on the boat. Snack service on board: water, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, alfajores and pastries. Instructor and necessary briefing according to the activity.
  • Not included: Transfers to the service supplier office in Puerto Madryn. Dry suit. DVD with HD photos and videos.
  • The program may be modified or suspended depending on weather conditions, in which case the amount paid will be refunded if it’s not possible to reschedule. Sighting and interaction with the fauna depends on uncontrollable factors, such as climatic changes or reproductive time.


 

Rafting in Salta

Just two hours away from the city, enjoy an unforgettable full-day adventure that combines an outdoor activity in full contact with nature and the adrenaline rush of sailing the rapids of the famous Juramento River. An aquatic adventure crossing a prehistoric canyon where fossil and geological tracks are in plain sight.


Only 100 km from Salta ́s capital city, the Juramento River canyon shows a rugged landscape, surrounded by geological formations, fossils and dinosaur tracks. A fun way to get to know it is to descend its twelve class II and III rapids by raft. 

The aquatic adventure begins at 10:30 in the morning at the operational base, with an instructional rafting and safety course. The equipment is delivered and the descent through the rapids of the Juramento River begins.

There are ten class III rapids, plus five class II ones, framed by the imposing landscape of the Canyon: a giant open pit between the mountains. 65 million years ago its walls were huge beaches inhabited by prehistoric animals. 

The descent ends 12 km later at the Los Lapachos area. The return to the base its a 20 minute ride. Afterwards, it is possible to stay for a barbecue.

The experience has an intermediate difficulty rating, with an approximate duration of 2 hours. Includes suitable raft guide.

 


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Rafting starts every day at 10:30 am (with prior reservation).
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Duration: 2 hs
  • Includes: Raft guide. Safety kayak and necessary equipment (helmets, paddles, lifeguards, wetsuits, neoprene boots, jacket and waterproof pants).
  • Optional: Barbecue at the end of the rafting descent. Transportation from the Salta Rafting office to the Juramento River, departure 08:30 hs.
  • Bring a bathing suit, towel, repellent and sunscreen.
  • During rafting, high quality photographs are taken. Optional purchase.

 

DISCONNECTED HOLIDAYS IN PATAGONIA

A ranch in the middle of nowhere in Patagonia will make you reflect on your lifestyle and disconnect from the routine.


La Maipú is an iconic 45.000 hectare ranch in the Lake San Martin area, completely off-the-grid. The nearest airport is El Calafate, and then you need to drive for 4 hs through the mythic route 40 to get there.

Besides the breathtaking views, this ranch is famous for its history. The Lively brothers were the first owners and also the first settlers of the area. Mr. Joseph Lively arrived in 1902, thanks to Francisco ”Perito” Moreno who conceded them the land right before the territorial dispute between Argentina and Chile. The current owners of La Maipú kept Joseph’s cabin as a museum that takes you back in time to the old -and even wilder- Patagonia, where just natives and a few adventurous foreigners lived.

Long time friends Facu Yacuzzi and Facu Maroñas are behind the creation of La Maipú project. It was born due to the passion for nature, outdoors life and the love for food and wine. Then, along came Santi Donati and the three of them are involved in this partnership since. They focus on offering a young and relaxed service with world class quality standards and wish to make the most of the travel industry providing authentic experiences that leave a lesson. With conservation on their minds, they want to show their guests a more simple way of life towards a balanced future, believing that the energy of these special natural and wild spots can help us drive change.

That is why La Maipú doesn’t provide typical holidays (by the way, there’s only 3 hours a day of electricity and only 20 minutes of satellite wi-fi per day per person), but a whole experience including activities to learn while you relax and stay active.

The main house can accommodate up to 16 people on its three triple and three double cozy rooms, all with private bathroom and heating. The stay includes full board and a glass of wine.

Facu Maroñas takes care of the kitchen and its supplies, such as cattle and the organic garden. The in house chef creates his own signature dishes, always using the freshest local ingredients available to represent a mix of traditional Argentine and international food.

For those born trekking wanderers who love to get lost and explore untouched wilderness, there are more than eight trails of all sorts that will fit everyone. The ranch’s favorite is La Condorera, which takes approximately 8 hours both ways to reach the peak of this beautiful mountain where Andean Condors nest.

Besides hiking, at La Maipú there are more than 40 bird species to discover, watch and listen. You may also grab a mountain bike to explore the ranch’s grounds on your own and spend the day outdoors enjoying the amazing landscape.

Even lying down on earth at night to watch the countless stars, listening to the sound of the Patagonian silence will make you feel so small on this huge universe. We bring you this new experience to make you eager to learn how to contribute and change your life for the better good. Are you in?    


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • We suggest a minimum of 3 nights.
  • Rates are per pax per day.
  • Basic program includes:
    – Accommodation
    – Full board (breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon snacks, dinner with up to 2 house wine glasses.
    – Satellite WiFi.
    – Activities: a guide will design the excursions that best suit your preferences and interests (horseback riding not included).

 

Total Solar Eclipse in the Andes

Viewing an eclipse is a unique mystical experience. And even more special it is while being surrounded by the northern Andes mountain range.


Once a fearful and unpredictable event, nowadays observing an eclipse is an emotional and powerful experience. The day becomes night, nature stands still, oddly quiet and the temperature drops abruptly. A gradual twilight dance between the moon and the sun that wraps you slowly in an incredible surrounding.

Eclipse in Rapa Nui, Easter Island, 2010

The next total solar eclipse will take place on July 2, 2019. Lucky for us, it will be fully seen west to east in our country, right over a few locations in the provinces of San Juan, La Rioja, San Luis, Córdoba, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires. This is a great excuse to plan a trip to Argentina! Take advantage of the opportunity and enjoy touring around.

Eclipse in Rapa Nui, Easter Island, 2010

We invite you to the northwest to witness this rare natural phenomena when the moon gets between the sun and the earth. It provides many beautiful landscapes to set a special context to experience this unique event. A trip across Mendoza, San Juan and La Rioja, passing by Ischigualasto, Talampaya and El Leoncito National Parks…enjoying local culture, traditional food and wine tasting…the perfect northwest destination combination.

You may be asking yourself where to watch the eclipse. For us, one of the best places is Valle Fértil in San Juan. A quien city that dazzles visitors from all over with its abundant vegetation and mountain landscape filled with cacti.

Eclipse in Rapa Nui, Easter Island, 2010

If you would like to have an experience of a lifetime and have the chance to watch one of nature’s most incredible spectacles, contact us to organize your trip for 2019.

Eclipse in Rapa Nui, Easter Island, 2010