Category Archives: Culture + Nature + Discovery

yacutinga, nature and self-discovery

Explore the depths of the Argentinian jungle and also, the depths of your inner self at this exotic eco-lodge.


The Yacutinga project saw the light of day during a casual dinner when two friends talked about the idea of creating the first ecological lodge in the area of Iguazú Falls. From then on, it has grown to become the wild life sanctuary that it is today.

At this lodge, you will find a variety of programs to connect with nature and learn about the local flora and fauna. There are different trekking paths, navigations and fauna watching. There is also a special program to release all stress through yoga and meditation and return to your daily routine filled with energy. The general idea is that guests can interact with the surrounding environment and live a unique experience. This original program is probably one of the bests that you can find at Yacutinga.

The meditation program was specially intended to encourage the relationship between man and nature, so it mixes the techniques of pranayama and meditation with interpretative nature activities. Guests will be able to enjoy a quiet sunrise meditation at the Palmetto tower, which offers a mind blowing view of the jungle treetops, followed by a vital breakfast that involves strictly vegan or vegetarian food. Later, guests are invited to participate in a project that has been going on for several years, the native orchid rescue. Other activities in this program include yoga at the Hummingbirds Garden, meditation and Pranayama under the stars and herbal recollection, where we can learn about the healing properties of local plants.

Regarding the facilities, the lodge features all the conveniences to satisfy the guest’s needs.  Rooms are located in isolated houses- there are four rooms per house- and all of them have private bathrooms and a magnificent view of the jungle.

In terms of gastronomy, the menu proposes a tour through the local flavors, prepared and presented in a way that you will find at any international level restaurant. All ingredients come from local vegetable gardens and are organic. There are options available for vegetarians and gluten intolerant if needed. It is important to remark that, if you sign up for this incredible meditation program, all meals will be strictly vegan or vegetarian since the purpose of this is to help people to be conscious about good nutrition and self-care.

A lot more can be said about this place, but the truth is that you just have to experience it. At Yacutinga, you will find that special connection with nature but, more importantly, with yourself.  Regain that peace of mind that is so easy to lose in our busy city life and appreciate the simplicity and the greatness of nature.

If you wish more information on this lodge and its programs, please contact us at Kallpa Tour Operator.


 

AUSTRALIS launches the ventus at the end of the world

When it comes to exploring the most remote corners of the earth, Australis gets the job done better than anyone else. With over twenty-five years in the market, the cruise company has built a reputation as the ultimate Patagonian experience. 


The Australis cruises literary sail to the end of the world, formally known as Cape Horn. Through this southernmost itinerary, which allows disembarkments with Zodiac boats, the passengers will be able to scout all the important sites of these virgin lands. From the Magellan Narrow to the Beagle Channel, Australis offers different excursions that cover all the wonders of Patagonia.

But, leaving generalities aside, the big news is that the Australis fleet has a new member:  the Ventus Australis, which will be setting sails for the first time this January. The Ventus was built at Asenav, internationally known Chilean shipyard. It has one hundred cabins, each one with a private bathroom and a panoramic view of the ocean. Passengers will be able to choose between three different cabin categories, nonetheless, the only difference lays in the space and not in comfort.

But, even though the rooms are really comfortable and have a magnificent view, most people prefer to relax outside. Among the many conveniences that the Ventus offers, there is a bar, a restaurant, and several lounges and relaxation areas where passengers can get to know each other, yet enjoying comfort and space. Australis also provides several on board entertainment options, such as a library filled with material on the flora and fauna of the region, as well as different board games. The crew is also in charge of organizing lectures for those interested in learning more about the characteristics of the area.

The service also includes international level gastronomy with thematic buffet lunches. You can take a tour through the flavors of Italy one day, and visit Japan on the next, just to give an example. For dinner, there is a la carte menu that will provide delicious options each day.

To guarantee that passengers enjoy this trip to the fullest, the Ventus, as well as the other Australis cruises, has a permanent crew of sixty-six members, including a special team of Patagonia experts that will lead passengers through the different expeditions providing details of the flora, fauna, and geological conditions of the area.

A lot more can be said about the conveniences of this cruise, but there is no doubt that the star here is the journey itself. This experience will allow you to grasp this mysterious sanctuary in the most profound way. Let yourself be surprised by the wilderness and get on board for an adventure that will stay with you for life.

If you wish to know more about Australis Cruises, please do not hesitate to contact your Account Executive at  Kallpa tour operator.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Feasible from September to April
  • Restrictions: None
  • Diverse itineraries may be chosen

INCLUDES

  • Full board
  • Excursions in Zodiac boats
  • Bilingual specialized guides

 

PUNA: THE TREASURE IN THE NORTH

Adventure yourself into the heart of this northern jewel. From the harshness of its arid valleys to the colors and shapes of its mountains, volcanoes, and springs of water, this mind blowing environment captivates the eyes of visitors every year.


It is difficult to put the beauty of Puna into words. Certainly, this is one of Argentina’s favorites for travelers all over the world. And once you find yourself surrounded by the most colorful mountains, or standing in the middle of a white ocean that runs as far as the eye can see, you understand why it is so impressive.

The territory called Puna covers the north of Argentina, part of Bolivia, Chile, and Perú. In Argentina, it is crossed by mountain ranges and volcanoes up to 6.000 meters tall, as well as endorheic drainages that gave origin to a variety of lagoons and thousands of hectares of salines.

The vastness of this land allows as many landscapes, so the options for visitors are a lot. Just to mention a few, we recommend visiting the Arizaro Saline (Salar de Arizaro), The Labyrinth Desert (Desierto del laberinto), or the fascinating Laguna Grande Reserve, which hosts one of the biggest populations of pink flamingos.

Nevertheless, Puna is not only amazing views. The local communities offer a wide range of activities for all tastes and ages. For those looking for a challenge, there is an enormous amount of trekking routes, climbing volcanoes or mountains while traversing the most diverse scenery. If you prefer a more relaxed journey, you can take one-day visits along the circuit  that will take you to the main spots of the region and, by the end of the day, you can delight yourself walking through the narrow streets of the Andean villages and enjoy the richness of its culture; or you can also taste a typical dish in a family house and share their stories.

There is no doubt that Puna is not only an excellent place if you enjoy adventures but it is also a way to connect with an ancestral culture that has endured since before the conquest of America. The uniqueness of this land is something beyond imagination. It is a magical place that will refresh your mind and your spirit. You will end this journey with renewed energy and a feeling you will never forget.

For more information or detailed suggested program, do not hesitate to contact your Kallpa Tour operator at incoming@kallpatour.com


 

Bike Tour & Kayak in Tigre

An adventure day: riding a train, biking and kayaking in Tigre and the Delta.


32 kilometers to the northwest of Buenos Aires we find Tigre town and the Delta of the Paraná river, a special place where nature invites to a unique experience. A cycling tour of Tigre and kayak rowing into the Delta offer a wide range of possibilities to combine both sport and culture in a beautiful setting.

You can pick the kind of bike and maybe choose a bamboo one!

This tour starts at the meeting point at the Botanic Garden in Palermo, where after picking up our bikes and helmets from the shop we have a technical and safety briefing. Then we start pedaling towards the green parks of Palermo until Lisandro de la Torre train station. Here we take the public train and soon we are out of the city of Buenos Aires and into the northern suburbs. The change of scenery is very noticeable along the way!

We get off in La Lucila and ride our bikes to Tigre. On the way we make a few stops to learn about the surroundings such as San Isidro, San Fernando and the Río de la Plata itself.

According to tradition, a jaguar (yaguareté, popularly called tigre) used to live nearby a stream, which later was named Tigre after the local people killed the animal to preserve their homes and lives. This zone used to be inhabited by jaguars but with the forward move of human population they became extinct. Nowadays just a few remain only in the Misiones’ jungle.

The Tigre Delta is one of the largest in the world and also one that doesn’t flows into the ocean but into the Río de la Plata, which separates Argentina and Uruguay. With its islands and canals, Tigre is usually called the “Venice of South America”. Also, during colonial times, this area was used as a smuggling port, where the portuguese passed through their merchandise.

Going over Tigre town, we pass by two classic spots. First, the Puerto de Frutos, which used to be a fruit market in the old days but nowadays is a place where the traditional values and new design concept coexist. This is one of the main attractions in Tigre and can be visited every day. An open air colorful market and shopping mall with diverse and eclectic shops such as antiques, furniture and decoration, artisanal products in leather and wicker, candles, garden centers, fruit shops, pickles and cold cuts.

Then we ride along the Paseo Victorica, a picturesque short street along the edge of the Luján river that provides different gastronomic options, museums and rowing clubs. At one of these clubs we leave our bikes and get into the kayaks for the paddling adventure. After a short briefing and instructions, we get into the Delta waters and row slowly, enjoying the drift, towards an island.

At the island, a tasty asado is waiting for us. We share this Argentine ritual by excellence within a natural environment, at a table by the river. We try different meat cuts, have a drink, relax and enjoy the quietness of the Delta while we rest for a while.

Before getting too comfy, we grab our oars again and return to the kayaks to row back to the club where we left our bikes. With the sun going down, we ride again towards the Tigre train station, where we take the train again towards Lisandro de la Torre station. The bike tour is not over yet! We have a last stretch back to the meeting point in Palermo.

Biking and kayaking are two sporting activities that complement each other perfectly for an active tourism trip. The town of Tigre and the islands of the Paraná river are an oasis of natural landscapes and beautiful scenery unparalleled by other Buenos Aires sightseeing tours.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Full day regular excursion (9 hs).
  • Departs Monday to Friday at 9 am from meeting point in Palermo.
  • Roundtrip Transfers to/from the meeting point not included.
  • Difficulty: Low / Medium, but the activities are done at a peaceful and relaxing pace.
  • Total biking time: 2-3 hs
  • Total paddling time: 1.5 hs
  • Private service available upon request.
  • Weather: Only in the event of pouring rain will biking trips be cancelled or delayed
  • Minimum Age Requirement: 12 years and older. Ages 18 and under accompanied by an adult.

INCLUDES

  • Bike, helmet & Kayak.
  • Mate and snacks.
  • Lunch in Tigre (asado).
  • Bottle of water.
  • Roundtrip train tickets.
  • Insurance.
  • English speaking guide (ask for other languages).