Category Archives: Experiences

Walking with Llamas in the Northwest

Take a hike joined by llamas among ancient ruins, salt lakes, valleys and gorges. An ancestral activity to connect with the Pachamama and the most amazing landscapes in the northwest.


Ever since the beginning of time, the andean men and the llamas traversed the harsh terrain in the mountains and the high plateau. These particular animals were used not only to transport commercial goods but for their wool, their meat and their guano.

Nowadays in Tilcara, Santos Manfredi has settled a rural and ecological establishment specialized in taming llamas as a freight animal, to recreate this ancestral practice. Caravana de Llamas, as it is called, is also dedicated to promote the conjoint work with local communities, for which they rely on different routes where local families provide their homes and tour guiding.

Santos has developed different trails to hike with the llamas around the Humahuaca Gorge and the Puna Jujeña. With a variety of difficulties and durations (from half day to several days), there are multiple options for everyone, including families. Each hike is developed to satisfy the expectations of the many visitors.

A recommended half day hike is the one towards Salinas Grandes, the salt lakes. Along the way you have panoramic views of the Humahuaca Gorge. Once at the Salinas, a tent is lifted to provide shadow and to have a well-deserved picnic in the middle of the 45.000 hectares of salt.

For a short and family alternative, a one hour and a half walk around the colorful town of Tilcara will do. You might feel funny walking around the town’s main square right beside a llama, but believe us, is a once in a lifetime experience!

Different paths around the region takes you towards ancient ruins, valleys, volcanoes, gorges and salt lakes. While hiking, you learn about the local culture and history. The lamas are always used to carry all the camping equipment, food and personal belongings for the journey, you can’t ride them.

For those travellers in the search of original experiences, walking with llamas is an unforgettable experience in the northwest.


 

Andean Flavours & Refined Wines in Cafayate

Salta´s wines are a true reflection of the colorful andean scenery, history and ancestral traditions. Such are the ones produced by Finca Quara in Cafayate. This is their story.


It is well known that Cafayate is one of the most important wine production areas in Argentina, where the special weather conditions and terroir originate high quality and refined wines. Warm sunny days, cool nights, dry climate and low rainfall make of this town the home to 70% of the vineyards in the Calchaqui Valleys.

José Fortunato Lavaque arrived from Lebanon towards the end of the 19th century and decided to settle in Cafayate, the most prosperous town in Salta at that time. Attracted by the Valley’s´ unique landscape, he begun his new life here and started his own winery, which was kept on going during the next century.

In the 80s, Rodolfo Lavaque (4th family generation) took over the family business and a few years later acquired a piece of land from another winery, where he established Finca Quara. Rodolfo is known for being one of the main characters in the reactivation of the wine industry in the North of Argentina in the 90s and the years to come.

Nowadays, inspired by their father’s example and vision, the 5th family generation makes world famous high quality wines: Alpaca, Quara Single Vineyard and Quara Reserva.

Finca Quara is open to visitors to enjoy different activities to learn about wine production, the winery and vineyards and the Finca’s history. In their own words, Quara designs experiences to combine rural tourism, culture, regional cuisine and wine.

The winery itself is a genuine architectural monument worth of visiting; one of the oldest and best preserved building in the region and inspired by the Renaissance style developed by Andrea Palladio in the Cinquecento.

The wine cellar, surrounded by French oak barrels, creates a unique and mysterious environment with toasted aromas, which makes the perfect place to know and taste Quara’s refined wines.

Under the Glorieta (arbor), it is possible to explore regional flavours paired with the perfect selection of wines, whilst enjoying the delightful mountain scenery.

Wine tasting is always present at any of Quara’s proposals. Even if it is just the guided tour around the finca or including the “Picoteo Salteño” with empanadas or the special Finca Quara Lunch. There are options for every palate!

To find out more about Finca Quara and its visiting and wine tasting alternatives, please contact us. Cheers!


 

Street Food Tour in Buenos Aires

A walking gastronomic tour in Buenos Aires to try some of the national street food icons.


The influence of immigration and the creole imprint made of Buenos Aires an important gastronomic reference worldwide. The culinary diversity and creativity, each time larger and more innovative, have positioned the city as a gastronomic and cultural destination chosen by millions of tourists. This is why Buenos Aires is the 2017’s Iberoamerican Capital of Gastronomic Culture, a recognition given by the Iberoamerican Gastronomy Academy (AIG).

Chefs from all over the world choose the city to educate themselves and travellers arrive looking for the typical asado, Andean dishes, traditional inherited recipes and many other local flavours, textures and aromas.

Pizza al molde
Pizza al molde

We want to celebrate gastronomy in Buenos Aires introducing a special tour that takes you on the search for classic street food that we all Argentineans love. Exploring the city by foot, in the company of one of our expert guides and foodies, this four stops / four fast meals gastronomic experience will give you a taste of what this amazing and diverse city has to offer.

Our guide will pick you up and take you towards the first stop. Then, you will walk around for about 3 hours making a few stops more on the way while he/she tells you all about Argentineans and food, out traditions and tastes, our legacy and influences, and also the full story behind what you’re about to try.

1024px-Choripan_mariposa_By David (Choripan) [CC BY 2.0 (httpcreativecommons.orglicensesby2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The famous choripan!
The first tasting stop will be at a food truck in the Costanera Sur for an exquisite and unique choripan. Its name is an acronym from the words chorizo (spicy sausage) and pan (bread), which are the two basic ingredients. It is said that the choripan goes back halfway through the XIX century, when in the countryside the gauchos organized asados to celebrate any occasion, and then started the habit of eating chorizo inside a bread. The choripan has three fast food main characteristics: it’s easy to cook, fast to eat and relatively cheap. Today it’s a main character in any Argentinean barbecue and it’s usually the first treat to serve while waiting for the rest of the meat to be done. Without a doubt, it’s a national classic street food and one of the Argentineans’ preferred dishes.

1024px-Empanadas_salteñas_By travelwayoflife [CC BY-SA 2.0 (httpcreativecommons.orglicensesby-sa2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Baked empanadas salteñas
Then you will try an empanada, which is actually a traditional dish from most of the Spanish speaking kitchens. An empanada is, basically, a piece of fine dough stuffed with a salty or sweet filling and cooked in the oven or fried. In Argentina, the empanadas usually have a semicircular shape, a distinctive repulgue (the technique used to close the piece of dough and give it shape) and the filling varies: meat, ham & cheese, corn, tuna, spinach & cheese…these are the classics but there are many more. There are also many varieties of empanadas in most of the country’s provinces, such as the famous empanadas salteñas or the tucumanas, with different kind of doughs, fillings and condiments. We strongly recommend to taste empanadas wherever you go in Argentina.

The last two stops of the tour will pair you up with two Italian inherited and adapted delicacies.

As the final salted course, a slice of pizza. Of course, this is an international specialty nowadays, but what makes it different in Buenos Aires is the dough’s thickness. From the Italian recipe disembarked presumably in La Boca, we created the pizza al molde, which literally means “mould pizza”. This version has a thick dough, maybe 2 o 3 cm thick, and very oily mozzarella cheese drips on the sides. It’s typical from the pizzerias in the neighborhoods, where hungry people in a hurry pass by and have a slice standing up. The main flavours for the porteños are the fugazzeta (cheese, onions and oregano), ham and peppers and the plain but eternal mozzarella. Probably you didn’t know this, but Argentina is one of the biggest pizza consumers.

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Mozzarella pizza
choc_frutilla_httpwww.afadhya.com.ar
Strawberry & chocolate artisanal ice-cream

Up to this point you should be not only thirsty but also craving for something sweet, which takes us to the final refreshing tasting of the tour: ice-cream, or as we call it, helado. Also brought to the city by Italian immigrants halfway through the XIX century, more and more artisanal ice-cream shops appeared all around. The national ice-cream flavour king (and it is said for foreigners visiting too) is the dulce de leche (caramel). Probably there is no other classic flavour as famous as this one. And although you may find original and new flavours, even seasonal ones, the classics are ever present: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, lemon and crema americana (plain cream). You can’t miss the tramontana (cream with dulce de leche and crunchy pieces of biscuit).  

Empanadas, choripan, pizza and ice-cream. As we like to say, panza llena, corazón contento: a full belly makes a happy heart!

Now that you had just a taste of what Argentine cuisine can provide, you surely want to try some more. There are many options in the city and throughout the country where you can enjoy delicious meals. Make sure to contact us for suggestions!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Private service up to 8 people.
  • Includes described street food meals with drinks, roundtrip transfers and bilingual guide.
  • Operation: Daily tours year round.
  • Pick up at 11.00 am (by taxi or van, depending on the number of pax).
  • Duration: 3 hs
  • The places to visit and/or order of the meals may vary depending on the guide’s criteria and pax preferences.
  • The last stop can be replaced for a coffee instead of ice-cream.
  • We recommend to dress informal and to wear comfortable shoes for walking.
  • Published rate valid from 30/06/2017 to 31/12/2017.

 

Trekking into the woods in El Chalten

A full day experience that combines driving, navigating and trekking at one of the wildest and outermost corners in the Patagonia.


There is no doubt that anyone who visits El Chaltén looks for nature, adventure and hiking. Many trails within this trekking national capital take you through and towards breathtaking landscapes and views, such as the mighty Mt. Fitz Roy.

This time, we want to tell you about a full day adventure from El Chaltén to the northern area of Los Glaciares National Park and the Lago del Desierto reserve.

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A different tour option that allows not only many pictures and memories but also flora and fauna observation and interpretation, sailing across the Lago del Desierto, hiking through one of the prettiest forests of the region and reaching lookouts with unique views of the Vespignani glacier.

Departing from El Chaltén, we travel 36 km by bus across a panoramic road through the woods and along the Río de las Vueltas. On the way, you can’t miss the view of giant glaciers.

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After arriving in Punta Sur, we go aboard a boat and sail on the Lago del Desierto for about 50 minutes, spotting the Crestón and Huemul glaciers.

We disembark for 15 minutes in Punta Norte to enjoy a unique distant view of Mt. Fitz Roy’s northern face and breath in the Patagonian fresh forest air.

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We continue to navigate towards the Vespignani glacier, right in the middle of the lake. Once at the reserve, we disembark and get into the forest walking towards a dome where you can leave any personal belongings that you don’t want to take with you.

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Then, a person responsible for the trekking activity takes you to the starting point of the hikes and gives information about the three different trails. All of them are self-guided and imply different levels of difficulty and effort. There’re about 2 hours for the trekking activity before the boat returns.

The more demanding hike trail begins right after crossing the bridge over the river. It takes about 40-50 minutes at a slow pace and it goes through the forest on a slight and constant slope. This path takes you first to the nearest viewpoint of the Vespignani glacier and then to an outlook of the north face of Mt. Fitz Roy.

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The moderate trail is softer and takes about 20 minutes. Hiking through the native woods of lenga and coihue trees and by the stream line on the right, we reach a different viewpoint from where Mt. Vespignani with its hanging glacier and a part of the Lago del Desierto can be seen, frames by the forest. Picture perfect!

Vespignani´s hanging glacier

Last but not least, the easiest and more relaxed path reaches a river’s mouth where you may also spot the glacier. Walking by the lake’s coastline, you get back to the dome. There’s almost no slopes on this trail and it takes about 30 minutes.

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After the hiking experience of your choice, we have a snack at this magical place. Then we go on board again to sail back on the Lago del Desierto towards Punta Sur, where the bus awaits to take us back again to El Chaltén, where the adventure comes to an end.

Contact you Kallpa Executive for more information about this experience.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Operates from October 1st 2017 to April 30th 2018.
  • Full day regular excursion.
  • Daily departure in the morning and in the afternoon.
  • Morning departure by bus from El Chalten at 8 am, leaving from Punta Sur at 10 am. Return to Punta Sur at 1.30 pm and ending in El Chaltén at 4 pm.
  • Afternoon departure by bus from El Chalten at 12.30 pm, leaving from Punta Sur at 2.30 pm. Return to Punta Sur at 6 pm and ending in El Chaltén at 8 pm.
  • Includes bilingual Spanish/English guide, roundtrip transfers from El Chaltén (can be excluded), navigation and a snack (hot chocolate, tea or coffee and sweet and salty biscuits).
  • A Box Lunch can be included with extra charge and upon request. It includes two empanadas, an individual chard pie or similar, one cereal bar, one alfajor, an apple, candies, a small bottle of mineral water and a box of fruit juice.