Category Archives: Experiences

RIDING INTO THE DUNES

Only 10 km away from Cafayate, Estancia Chimpa rests in the middle of the Calchaqui Valley, waiting for you to enjoy a day in the northern countryside.


This fascinating estate is at your disposal for spending the night but today we will tell you about one of the many activities it has to offer.

The Nanni family, passionate for the valley, its mountains, grapevines and horses, made of this 7600 hectares plot a beautiful relaxing place to rest and spend the day.

The estate´s main house stands out for its architecture and style; with two wings that define its structure: the South Wing, antique and original from the XXth century; and the West Wing refurbished between 2004 and 2006. In the summertime, a big exterior pool at the back to enjoy the landscape provided by the immensity of the surrounding mountains.  

The adventure of the day at Estancia Chimpa involves a one hour and a half horseback riding in the surroundings of this dreamy estate. Authentic creole gauchos who know the area as the palm of their hands, will lead the ride. Starting at the horse’s corral, you’ll be riding through the green vineyards where the Nanni family grow cabernet, torrontés and malbec grapes, among others.

Soon after, the scenery changes dramatically into a dazzling mass of white sand: behold the Cafayate dunes, a sandy area that enlightens the panorama drawing the visitors attention because of the curious figures formed on the surface by the wind.

This wonderful ride is available year round. During the winter, the ride takes place between 10:30 and 14 hs, trying to make up the most of the sun and avoid the coldest hours. In the summer, the best is to go out at dusk or dawn. Also, night rides are a classic at Chimpa; a wonderful experience with a different perspective of this natural environment, amazing starry sky view, a cozy bonfire and the nocturnal noises of this unique place.

For those who like the countryside and riding horses, while visiting Cafayate this is the estate to stop by. For more information, contact your Kallpa Tour executive.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • 1.30 hs excursion. Minimum 2 pax per riding.
  • 24 hs advanced booking required.
  • It is advisable to bring sunblock, comfortable clothes, sunglasses and a cap.
  • Conditions: Min age 3 years old / Max age: 60­-65, depending on physical conditions. Traveller max weight/height permitted 100kg / 2 mts.

 

MOUNTAIN BIKING IN THE ANDES

The Andes provide multiple options for mountain bike lovers. Paved roads, tracks and dirt paths into the woods lure bikers visiting the region.


San Martin de los Andes, located southwest at the Neuquén province and set deep into the Andes on the coast of lake Lacar, offers exceptional biking circuits, both traditional and adventurous.

From the center of Lanín National Park, many roads or tracks spread with different difficulty levels, lengths and slopes. Riding on them you can enjoy the diverse regional flora, lush woods or Patagonian steppe areas, crystal clear rivers, streams and lakes, bird watching…a full contact with nature only a pedal away.

On a half day excursion we immerse ourselves into this beautiful scenery in San Martin. We start after getting our bikes in the town, jumping on a vehicle that takes us and the bikes through the first ascending kilometres.

Once at the top, depending on the riders preferences and characteristics, the guide will recommend the path to follow with our bikes. After the choice is made, we begin to ride following the guide into the Andean Patagonian forest, observing huge trees along the way and feeling the typical freshness of such environment.

Descending carefully through the selected path, we will stop by a few lookouts with views to the valley, rivers, lake beaches and lagoons. All picture perfect spots!

After 3 hours riding, we go back to town.

Pedaling through the winding tracks into the patagonian nature is definitely rewarding: breathing fresh air, riding at your own pace, hearing the sounds of this magical place and stopping by to appreciate the overwhelming vastness of the Andes scenery. Tired? Yes, but yet so happy and relaxed.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Service available year round except on July and August, due to snow.
  • Feasible any day of the week upon reservation. Time may vary depending on weather conditions. In summer it is recommended at 9 am or from 5 to 8 pm. On colder months, we recommend at 10 or 11 am.  
  • Included: mountain bike guide (authorized by the National Park), transfer in vehicle from the starting point to the beginning of the track, bikes with frontal suspension and helmet, first aid kit, intercom and bike repair kit.
  • Previous experience in mountain biking is not mandatory but it is required to know how to ride a bike and have a good balance.
  • Circuits may be modified to make them more accessible to people with less abilities, such as the case with 14-15 year old children.

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.