This summer, as I was hiking with my three grand children along a lovely trail in the yungas near my hometown in Salta, Northwest Argentina, I suddenly realized that some time ago, this is where Kallpa started, immersed in the essence of the Northwest.
I was trying enthusiastically to show Martin, Simon and Juanita the wonders of nature, the love for outdoor sports, the thrill of adventure as we climbed and climbed the steep mountain. Looking at their eager, happy faces I thought that this is in fact, what we try to convey to our visitors, a genuine experience that makes a difference in their lives.
Argentina wonderful landscapes with its diverse cultures can surely give you incredible experiences and whether you are travelling infinite Patagonia, the awesome waterfalls in Iguazu, Southernmost Ushuaia or enjoying the wineries in Mendoza, you will for sure be having a great time.
But if you ask me, there is no better place than the North West to have fulfilling, unique, lively experiences.
This extensive territory, includes three provinces, and in a couple of hours you can go from the lush and green yungas, to valleys of rich agricultural lands, to the absolute aridness of the high planes of the silent barren Puna.
It is the ancestral culture that lies deep in the root of its people that gives North West Argentina its very special flavour. Whether you are driving, trekking or bicycling through remarkable landscapes, it is the encounter with the music, the food, the art, of the local people that makes the great difference.
If you decide to give the North West a try, Salta and Jujuy would be the first to come to. One can say that this is the tip of Argentina that merges with Latin America as we share similar culture. May be this is because in the old days the southern most part of the Inca Empire stretched to this area and in their time it was called de Collasuyo.
Salta will not disappoint you. The Calchaqui valleys are impressive. Here the Spanish colonization 500 hundred years ago is strongly felt. The small mud villages are white washed and bear musical names of old aborigine origin never forgotten: Talapampa, Payogasta, Angastaco. The people are very friendly and always willing to help you in your need. The wine area, Cafayate, has developed hospitality of incredible high level and the wineries provide excellent wine experiences.
Some of the best wines of the country come from this area, and please, give yourself a treat, and try the awesome Torrontes wine by Colome winery. Unforgettable!
Jujuy will give you a different scenario. Here the ancestral Andean culture coexists in perfect syncretism with Catholic rites providing a wide variety of original festivities around the year. The Humahuaca Gorge, declared World Heritage, will surprise you.
Small mud villages along the way, each one hiding something special: Purmamarca, Tumbaya, Tilcara, Humahuaca. The local food is amazing. Typical names like waschalocro, charquisillo, humitas , anchi, will take you into an unforgettable gourmet tour to enjoy to the last bite.
So, if you are planning for your clients a next trip to Argentina and if you have not still tried the North West, give us a call. We can help you organize something memorable, be it self-drive, trekking, hiking, wine and gourmet tours, river drafting or cycling and I am certain your advice will be much appreciated.
A big fan of North Argentina assures you!
Until next month