Category Archives: Experiences

4×4 EXPLORERS IN PENÍNSULA VALDÉS

Explore the coasts of Península Valdés in 4×4 vehicles, mountain bikes, and kayak canoes. Scout the recondite corners of this wildlife sanctuary with a new full day tour.


Península Valdés is one of Argentina’s top destinations for wildlife lovers. This important nature reserve that was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 hosts an immense variety of marine life, including the biggest population of baleen whales in the planet, that come to the shores every year for mating and giving birth. Among other marine species that choose this coasts, there are sea lions, elephant seals, fur seals, and a wide variety of bird species.

And what a better way to grasp all this wilderness than with this new experience? The excursion starts on 4×4 Overland vehicles that will drive up to Riacho San Jose to start the first mountain bike stage of the circuit, which traverses the marine inlet in Gulf San José. At this point, we will scout the Gulf and appreciate the richness of its biodiversity. It is important to remark that, during the mountain bike stages, half the passengers will use the bikes while the rest crosses the area on the overland vehicles, and later in the day they switch activities.

For the second mountain bike stage, we will visit the bird island, inhabited by ten different species, such as herons, ducks, seagulls and Magellanic penguins, just to mention a few.  Then, the tour continues at the Carlos Ameghino interpretation center, the perfect place to learn about the animals that we will find along our way. Leaving Ameghino, we reach our next destination: beaches Larralde and Villarino, where we will go kayaking along the coasts joined by the local marine life.

Kayaking along this surreal environment is the most intense moment in the whole itinerary, the connection that you will experience with the surrounding nature is something beyond words. After this mind-blowing experience, we will have time to enjoy a nice picnic on the beach while contemplating the beautiful scenery that spreads around us.

Last but not least, the final stage of this tour leads us to the sea lion rookery, where we will get the chance to observe and interpret the behavior of this amusing animals. From the rookery, we set back to Puerto Madryn, passing by the beach areas El Doradillo and Las Canteras. The views along the way are something spectacular.

This is definitely a complete experience that will allow you to know all there is to know of this virgin territory where wildlife has found its refuge. The scenery will leave you speechless, the quietness will ease your mind and soul. Let yourself be surprised by nature and connect with your wildest side in this Patagonian adventure.

If you wish to have more information on this or other programs, please contact us at Kallpa Tour!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Feasible from September to march
  • Duration: 8/9 hours
  • Distance: 220 km
  • Not indicated for: overweight people, people with heart conditions, pregnant women, people with mental or physical disabilities affecting their coordination, and people with respiratory conditions.
  • Minimum and maximum ages: 15 to 60
  • Note: In case of bad weather at San José Gulf, the activities might be changed to Nuevo Gulf.

SERVICES INCLUDED:

  • Transfer on a 2015 Mercedes Benz Atego 1725 4WD vehicle
  • Bilingual nature tour guide
  • Mountain bike expert guide
  • Sea-kayak expert guide
  • All guides have a WFR certificate (Wilderness First Responder)
  • Visit to fishing settlements
  • All activities described above
  • Country lunch, including Cold cuts and seafood starter, Pan-fried steak in bread, Layer cake dessert (Alfajor), Cereal bars, Mineral water + sugarless flavored water, Afternoon Tea/Coffee

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED

  • Entrance to wildlife reserve Peninsula Valdes
  • Sunset whale watching tour not included

Wine & Art at Bodega Colomé

Visit the oldest winery in Argentina, home to renowned high-altitude vineyards and wines in the Calchaquí Valleys.


It is said that Bodega Colomé was founded in 1831 by the Spanish Governor of Salta at that time, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. His daughter Ascensión, who married José Benjamín Dávalos, was the one to bring the first Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines from France to Colomé. Today, grapes from three of those original vines are still used for the production of Colomé Reserva wines.

For 170 years the winery belonged to the Isasmendi and Dávalos families, but after a trip searching for the perfect terroir and weather to produce unique Argentinean wines, Donald Hess acquired Bodega Colomé in 2001. Together with his wife Ursula they created the recent history of this ancient winery, rich in achievements and developments. Their vision includes social responsibility towards the people of Colomé town, being the winery today the main source of employment and income for its people.

Colomé has four vineyards at different heights located in the upper part of the Calchaquí Valleys: Colomé (2.300 masl), which vines are all around the winery, El Arenal (2.700 masl) and Altura Máxima (3.111 masl) in the area of Payogasta-Salta and La Brava (1.750 masl) in the north of the Valley.

The altitude is one of the most important factors for the development of the vine. The higher the altitude, the greater the exposure to the sun and the wider the thermal amplitude. Those factors contribute to a uniform and balanced development of the grapes; originating high-altitude wines of great concentration and poise.

Bodega Colomé has three brands so far: Colomé, Lote Especial (special batches) and Altura Máxima. Each one is especially focused on the emblem varieties of Argentina to enhance their unique and differential characteristics. They reflect the soul of the special terroir and high altitude of the Calchaquí Valleys.

At the winery’s visitor center you will start the guided tour and in the end also have a wine tasting experience of the house wines paired with snacks or special dishes, always enjoying the view to the vineyards.

While visiting Colomé, you will not only learn all about its history and wine production but also enjoy the warmth of the Founder’s House; a unique and exclusive building and refuge for friends and guests. From the terrace it is possible to contemplate the surroundings and the starry sky in the evening. It is believed that the Colomé experience and the contact with nature energize and renew the spirit of the visitors.

A plus for this visit is the exclusive James Turrell Museum, the only one particularly dedicated to this renowned American artist who has created striking works that play with perception and the effect of light within a given space.

On his own words: “My work is about space and the light that inhabits it. It is about how you confront that space and plumb it with vision. It is about your seeing, like the wordless thought that comes from looking into fire.”

Turrell’s works of art represent five decades of the artist’s track record, displayed in a time tunnel. They are exhibited in nine light room especially designed for an area at 1.700 masl. Thanks to the powerful art work and the breathtaking nature around the museum, visitors live a thrilling sensory experience.

We invite you to discover Bodega Colomé; where wine, art and history are intimately related.  


 

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 freighting animal, to recreate this ancestral practice. Caravana de Llamas, as it is called, is also dedicated to promoting 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 take 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 travelers 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!