Category Archives: Culture + Nature + Discovery

A Mountain Refuge in El Chlatén

Imagine yourself in the middle of the Patagonian nature with amazing mountain views, the sound of silence and time at your expense to connect with this surreal environment.


Laguna Cóndor Mountain Refuge provides this experience to anyone willing to unplug from everyday life and technology.

This exclusive refuge is located on the west bank of the Río de las Vueltas, 17 km north of El Chaltén. Surrounded by an imposing scenery, this new lodging alternative combines the wild beauty of a nearly explored place with the facilities of a luxury camp.

The proposal is to enjoy the peace and quiet of the surroundings without the interference of technology, Hence, there is no mobile phone signal, Wi-Fi or TV available. Although there is permanent electricity provided by a hydroelectric turbine that uses the natural river torrent, reducing any impact or pollution that may be produced by a power generator.

Wood is the main element of the refuge. There is a main cabin that works as a common living room with a fireplace where you can sit and read a book, a breakfast room and a restaurant; all with beautiful views of the northern face of the mythical Mt. Fitz Roy.

Laguna Cóndor has eight small cabins located in the best spots of the property. Each one has two beds, a salamander and a deck; offering a complete privacy and comfort experience, an intermediate between a campsite and a hotel. There are also spacious locker rooms with toilets and hot showers; a multipurpose room with a fireplace and view to the mythical Fitz Roy.

The refuge offers different activities and excursions with the objective of providing and intimate contact with nature and the possibility to enjoy the peace of the place. There are many hiking trails and places to go over, from classic full day treks (such as Laguna Torre) to longer and more difficult options.

One of the preferred treks is the ascent to Loma del Diablo; a demanding but rewarding one, given the spectacular view from above of Mt. Fitz Roy. Its top is at 1800 meters, providing a great panoramic view of the whole area.

It is also possible to kayak across the waters of the Laguna Cóndor itself or to ride a mountain bike along the paths crossing the andean patagonian forest and lakes on a self-guided circuit that borders the Río de las Vueltas, including a few stops to contemplate cascades and the local flora and fauna that may come across.

Overall, Laguna Cóndor grants an unusual and reserved experience deep in the patagonian forest, where nature and relax are the protagonists.

Please, do not hesitate to contact our Kallpa Executives to learn more about this lodging option in El Chaltén.


 

Kayak & Trekking Experience Río La Leona

A 14 km full day adventure to discover the delightful La Leona River and take a hike through Los Hornos Mount. Explore a glacial river surrounded by the Patagonian steppe and learn about geology!


In the Santa Cruz province it is said that Río La Leona is one of the most beautiful rivers in the Patagonian steppe. With a 70 km flow of turquoise waters, this glacial river is born at the Viedma Lake and discharges at the Argentino Lake.

An interesting fact: its name was given due to a female puma attack (colloquially called “leona”, which means lioness) that suffered Francisco Pascasio Moreno, the famous Perito Moreno, on an expedition towards the Santa Cruz River in the summer of 1877.

Surrounded by the most arid steppe, with no trees and framed by a wide tiered valley, La Leona provides the scenery for today’s adventure.

After an early pick up from the hotel in El Calafate, we are driven towards Luz Divina, a rural inn. On the way the guide tells us about this faraway place and the river we are about to navigate. Glaciers, flora and fauna complete a very interesting informative talk.

Once at Luz Divina, we get familiar with the kayak equipment and pay attention to the technical brief to know the paddling basics. Even if you don’t have any previous experience kayaking, this activity can be easily done by anyone!

All equipped and instructed, we finally go down to La Leona River. The first paddling stretch takes about an hour and a half. Until we get used to this activity, which for some is the first time ever to get into a kayak, it’s impossible not to be captivated by this outstanding landscape of natural beauty and geological history; to take in this vast environment where the sound of silence is so overwhelming. An untouched scenery that many years ago astonished explorers such as Darwin or Moreno with the contrast of the ocher steppe and the turquoise glacial waters.

The next stop is at Los Hornos Mount, one of the oldest formations in the world. At this mount we take a 2 hs hike discovering the beginnings of Patagonian geography. Petrified trees and dinosaur fossils are witnesses of ancient times where the Earth’s conditions and weather were very different than nowadays.

At this place we will also have a brief lunch (not included) and a hot tea to regain energies for the next paddling stretch.

Back again on our kayaks, after 45 minutes more navigating through La Leona, we reach the final stop of the adventure at Arroyo Turbio. We are welcomed at Estancia La Irene and after settling in and putting away the kayak gear, the team bids farewell with a delicious cold beer before returning to El Calafate.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Daily departures. Full day excursion.
  • Operates from October to April.
  • Requires Min. 1 pax – Max. 8 pax.
  • Min. age required is 12 years old.
  • Very active excursion. Implies moderate physical effort. No previous trekking or kayaking experience needed.
  • Pax should wear trekking shoes, comfortable clothes for paddling (thermal t-shirt, polar jacket or sweater, etc.), thermal or lycra leggins, additional underwear (in case it gets wet while kayaking), sunglasses and sunscreen, backpack or bag to keep personal items in the vehicle.

SERVICES INCLUDED

  • Calafate Hotels pick up (starts at 7:30 am) & drop off (4:30 pm). Can be arranged to and from airport depending on flight schedule.
  • Double Kayak and paddles.
  • Safety briefing & Technical equipment: neoprene suit and boots, semi-dry jacket, cockpit cover, helmet, mittens, life jacket, waterproof bag.
  • Bilingual guides (Spanish-English)
  • Snack (hot drinks, cookies or brownies, nuts).
  • Insurance pack for tourism activities.

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED

  • Box lunch.
  • Transfers from/to El Chaltén.

 

Living in the Jungle in Misiones

Living in the jungle provides unexpected and unique experiences. Animals wandering free in the wild, picking up groceries and medicines from diverse plants and trees, coexisting with a humid climate all year round. Life in the rainforest is lively, colorful and tough.

Yerba Mate plantation trip_Yacutinga Origins

Yacutinga was the first jungle lodge in Argentina, created almost 20 years ago as a project for biodiversity conservation and protection in the northeast of Misiones province, one of the richest natural regions in the country.

Today it has become an ecotourism attraction itself for anyone who enjoys raw nature and who is willing to take part on this environmental and sustainable project. At Yacutinga, guests discover not only the unique curiosities of these magical and vast surroundings but also the deep bond between man and nature. Whilst visiting Yacutinga, guests contribute to a new conservation and sustainability concept in Argentina.

Medicinal plants
Medicinal plants

The Origins program, besides providing a complete jungle interpretation and understanding, promises an unexpected journey to find out about the lifestyle and social reality of the Kagui Pora Guarani community. The idea is to complement this experience reaching native flora and fauna and also getting to know day by day life in the jungle.

This is a 4 days / 3 nights program, starting at the Raices Argentinas inn (only minutes away from the Puerto Iguazú airport) where a special truck picks you up and gets into the subtropical rainforest to take you to the Yacutinga protected area.

Guarani Children Choir
Guarani Children Choir

On the way, the red dirt soil combines with many shades of green, diverse and lush vegetation and jungle noises and aromas that awaken your senses. Signs by the road warn about the presence of many wildlife species that may come your way.

After a few hours, you will finally reach Yacutinga Lodge and probably be greeted with homemade warm chipa (baked rolls made from manioc flour and cheese) and fresh drinks.

Guarani Handycraft
Guarani Handycraft

During the stay, a set of planned activities provide the opportunity to understand life at the rainforest from an environmental and social point of view.

Kayaking at Yacutinga Nature Reserve
Kayaking at Yacutinga Nature Reserve

Kayaking through the jungle waters and hiking into the forest joined by expert ecologist guides. A tour to the yerba mate plantation including an explanation about the mate ritual. Learning about how locals use medicinal native plants for homeopathic medicine; an ancient tradition that allowed the settling of the pioneer families in this rural environment. And, of course, the visit to the Kagui Pora Guarani community and meet its people and learn about their lifestyle in the jungle; comprehending their nature, traditions, habits, myths and legends.

Guarani people & Handycraft
Guarani people & Handycraft

Yacutinga Origins proffers a unique experience for the adventurous traveller. A close encounter with nature and local people at a place where past and future meet to create a curious present. An eye-opening experience for any visitor.

Please contact us for more information about this special program.

Guarani child smile
Guarani child smile

 


 

Stay Overnight With the Spirit of the Glaciers

A new exclusive and shorter adventure that takes the most out of the Los Glaciares National Park in El Calafate. Navigate on a luxurious vessel, taste gourmet meals and spend the night on board at this magical natural environment.


Much has been said and written about the imposing glaciers in the south of Argentina, specially about the world famous Perito Moreno. But there are no words that can describe the unique feeling you get if you ever have the chance to visit this absolutely gorgeous natural place.

Santa Cruz_Marpatag

The vastness of these deep blue ice giants, cold turquoise waters, a lush green forest, the occasional chilled wind, starry nights and the sound of silence…a spectacle of nature that leaves you breathless and a memory that will be a part of you forever. Los Glaciares National Park can be considered as a wild sanctuary where visitors are lucky to pass by, if only for a day.      

For those who wish to experiment this icy encounter in a more intimate and exclusive way, The Spirit of the Glaciers is the perfect expedition. An that used to offer a 2 night program but that now has incorporated a 1 night option, if the passing through El Calafate is a bit shorter.

Sail and rest on board the elegant Santa Cruz, a three deck vessel specially designed for this activity including high end and comfortable commodities and a gourmet cuisine restaurant.

Lounge_Santa Cruz_Marpatag

The new 1 night program begins at 9 am embarking at La Soledad, a private deck in Bahía Tranquila. After checking in, the navigation towards the Perito Moreno Glacier begins sailing pleasantly through the Canal de los Témpanos until the northern front. At around 10.30 am we will disembark to walk on the balconies and contemplate this impressive ice wall. Lunch is back on board in the restaurant and still enjoying the view of the glacier from the wide windows.

Lounge view_Santa Cruz_Marpatag

In the afternoon the navigation continues first to the Upsala Glacier, through the Brazo Norte and then towards the historical Puesto de Las Vacas in Bahía Alemana, where we will disembark again for an easy hike to an old port. At this spot we will also taste our first dinner and spend the night on board. Be ready to be dazzled by a sunset that provides a show of contrasting colours against the blue waters and ice floes; and then by a deep dark night sky that reflects the milky way on the Argentino Lake.

The next morning, after an ensured rest and a tasty gourmet breakfast, another relaxed hike in Puesto de Las Vacas awaits. We will be back on board at around 11.30 am to keep on sailing towards Canal Spegazzini, where lunch will be served facing the Upsala Glacier and where we will also watch icebergs.

Bed_Santa Cruz_Marpatag

The expedition will come to an end sailing back gently to Bahía Tranquila in the afternoon, contemplating this unique natural scenario and wonder of nature until the very last minute.

To take part on The Spirit of the Glaciers between September and December 2017 (except during holidays), ask your Kallpa Account Executive for a special promotion for early bookings before July 31st, available for 1 or 2 nights program.

Santa Cruz03_Marpatag


GENERAL INFORMATION
    • Feasible from September 2017 to April 2018.
    • Departures are always from La Soledad private deck in bahía Tranquila (Paraje Punta Bandera).
    • 1 Night Program will depart on Wednesdays and return on Thursdays at 4 pm.
    SERVICES INCLUDED FOR 1 NIGHT PROGRAM:
    • One night on board in a cabin with private room and external view.
    • Full board service with alcoholic beverages at meals.
    • Service of soft beverages and infusions during navigation.
    • On board activities conducted by a bilingual guide (English/Spanish).
    • Transfers from and to Hotel in El Calafate.
    • Entrance fee to Los Glaciares National Park,
    M/V SANTA CRUZ COMFORT & TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    • 20 en-suite cabins with outside view distributed in two levels.
    • Ample deck space above the main lounge as well as the stern and bow deck Restaurant, library, lounge and bar
    • Full board service including alcoholic drinks with meals
    • Hot beverages and soft drinks while sailing
    • All activities with bilingual guide (Spanish-English)
    • Fully equipped kitchen
    • Length: 40.5 metres Beam: 10 metres
    • Pontoon Beam: 2.1 metres Draught: 1.2 metres
    • Hull and Superstructure built in Aluminium Engines: 2 x 1000 HP Caterpillar
    • Cruise speed: 19 knots
    • Maximum capacity: 40 passengers