Category Archives: Kallpa Culture

Rural tourism in the Calchaquí Valley

In Kallpa we would like to foster rural community tourism; a different, accessible and responsible way to travel, where the traveller finds himself within authentic cultural scenarios that leave a deep trace.


More and more travellers are looking for a different kind of trip, to go beyond only observing and to be able to take part of something, to learn by experimenting on their own. Knowing places, sharing activities, knowledge and lifestyles with rural and native communities is becoming the new way of travelling.

That is why responsible rural tourism has been growing so much in the last years in Argentina, triggered by the cultural exchange and mutual respect between local people and visitors, providing also a local growth and development opportunity.

Since 2011, Salta is the pioneer province in Argentina to embrace the rural community tourism. Twelve local communities from the Calchaquí Valley are involved in a cooperative organization self-managed by low resources families of farmers and artisans, opening their doors to share different activities and experiences with visitors from all around the world.

On their own words, not only they offer regional artisanal products but also community rural tourism services, a real country life experience. “We practice and promote fair trade, a tourism that respects everyone´s culture and that is responsible with our society and friendly with our Mother Earth and the land that we live in”.

The cooperatives proposal main goals are the cultural exchange and the enjoyment of the landscape. To join the communities on their everyday lives and activities, to share the farming and artisan professions, to sit and chat generating an enriching interchange. Their infrastructure is their own family and communal habitat. Homes, roads and places that belong to their communities, families and local scenery, which they gladly share with visitors.

Travellers willing to visit any of these communities and to experience rural tourism in the Calchaquí Valley may expect to take part of daily farming activities, visiting artisans, and cultural and outdoor strolls or rides. They may learn to cook regional dishes and using a mud oven, knowing about local traditions, taking care of a flock of goats, learning about grapevine and artisanal wine making, visiting archaeological sites, trekking among the hills, learning craftworks like pottery or using a loom, sharing a religious festivity, among others. Trekking and horseback riding activities are on short and easy circuits guided by local people. These last almost 3 hs.  

Regional gastronomy is an important character of this experience, specially for the half day activity with lunch. Visitors will be able to taste and also elaborate along the local families typical dishes such as empanadas, locro (meat and vegetable stew), tamales or humitas. Also desserts like anchi (a sugary corn and lemon cream), cayote pies and homemade cheese with sugar cane honey. Wine tasting is also available in certain communities.

Communities involved in the cooperative organization open their doors to visitors willing to experience unforgettable moments shared with ancient cultures in natural and beautiful scenarios. A one in a lifetime experience and a knowledge and lifestyles true interchange.

Contact your Kallpa executive for more information about the communities and to book a half day experience, including an activity and lunch with one of these hardworking communities.


NOTE

  • Available options: Half day experience, including an activity and lunch with local family. Full day experience including overnight at a local family home, full board and activities.
  • Communities are assigned to travellers depending on their availability and the activity that the visitors would like to take part in.
  • It is important to book the experience in advance, so that the community families can be prepared for the visit, and also for the visitor to read the Ethical Code of Conduct that will be provided.

 

Northern Carnival, an eccentric celebration

One of the most beautiful popular festivities in the Northwest welcomes visitors from everywhere into a cultural experience of rituals and tradition.


Every year between February and March, Roman Catholic countries around the world celebrate carnival before the liturgical season of Lent. But there’s no carnival celebration like the one in Humahuaca Gorge in Jujuy. A colorful, noisy and joyful mix between the Spanish conquistadors inherited traditions and the Pachamama (Mother Earth) rituals of our northern native people.

Courtesy Secretaría de Turismo de Jujuy

The celebration begins the weekend before Carnival. Troupes from the surrounding towns arrive in Tilcara for the “devil’s” disinterment: a small doll (pucllay) in the shape of the devil that symbolizes the sun, responsible of fertilizing the soil (Pachamama). Then, the troupes and its musicians and dancers in colorful and bright costumes begin the parade through the streets, marching and dancing to the rhythm of traditional music. People gather and join to celebrate, dancing and drinking until sunrise.

After a week of rejoice, on Carnival Sunday celebrations end with the devil’s burial at the same place where all began. Until next year, the devil will rest under ground along with alcohol, coca leaves and cigarettes as offerings for the Pachamama.

Courtesy Secretaría de Turismo de Jujuy

An event where religious faith and paganism merge. Popular rituals and myths, fireworks and costumes, dancing and drinking, music and tradition. Anything goes for a week of fun and eccentric celebration; an unforgettable cultural experience.

If you’re planning a trip to Argentina’s Northwest, we recommend visiting Humahuaca Gorge in Carnival. Contact a Kallpa Executive for next year’s date!


 

The Gaucho’s Trail: Areco town and Estancia

Discover the spirit and the roots of the Argentinian gaucho in the emblematic town of San Antonio de Areco, the national capital of traditions.


Located one hundred and thirteen kilometers away from Buenos Aires, San Antonio de Areco has kept its identity to the bone. Its picturesque streets are a living testimony of our national heritage, and with this full-day excursion, you can grasp its essence to the fullest.

We will start in Buenos Aires, where a car will pick us up and drive us to San Antonio de Areco´s center. During the drive, the guide will provide us with historical facts about the town and its origins. At arrival, we will walk the streets and visit the workshops of Areco’s most distinguished artisans and, of course,  the famous pulperías -old suppliance stores and meeting spots of the locals.

As we visit the different workshops, we will contemplate the finest of the gaucho’s traditional art. From creole leader and silverwork to vivid paintings that reflect the Pampa´s spirit in their vibrating colors. After this first encounter with Areco’s history and traditions, we will drive to Estancia El Ombú, an old ranch that remains active at the present and where we will spend the rest of the afternoon.  

At El Ombú, we will enjoy a reception of empanadas and drinks. Then, we can choose between a carriage or horseback ride around the estancia, the perfect opportunity to see the gauchos in their daily tasks. After our ride, the asado will be waiting for us. A delightful experience to taste the best of Argentinian meat, with vegetable options for vegetarians and vegans, joined by folklore music performed live by Areco’s paisans.

To end a splendid day, gauchos will give us a horseback demonstration, a traditional practice and an icon of the gaucho culture. It is also important to remark that, if you come from November to March, Estancia El Ombú has a swimming pool to refresh on the hot summer afternoons.

Finally, after the horseback demonstration, we will be driven back to Buenos Aires, arriving at approximately six pm. This experience is an excellent option for those who want to come to Argentina and get in contact with our roots and traditions. The uniqueness and simplicity of this town host within them the true essence of the gaucho spirit.

If you wish more information about this experience, please do not hesitate to contact us at Kallpa Tour.


GENERAL INFORMATION:

  • Departure: 8:30 am
  • Arrival: 6:00 pm

SERVICES INCLUDED

  •  shared transportation round trip with hotel pick-up in cars or executive vans (capacity up to 7 pax),
  • All the activities and transfers within the town,
  • Bilingual local tour guide in all the activities (Town and Estancia)
  • Reception: Empanadas with drinks,
  • Lunch: Asado with variety of salads, wine/beer/sodas, dessert, coffee/tea,
  • Horseback ride or carriage ride, visit to the facilities, swimming pool nov/march.

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED

  • Tips.

HISTORIC NORTHERN ESTATE IN TUCUMAN

At Las Trancas, Tucumán Province, we find a traditional northern Estancia where adventure, culture, and history unite to create a unique experience.


As we get deeper into Tucuman northern valley, passing the thickness of the yunga’s jungle and its overwhelming contrast with the surrounding mountain ranges, we reach this quiet place that waits to offer rest and relax to travelers.

Nevertheless, Estancia Zárate isn’t just a picturesque place to retire but also a passage throughout history. Its historical records date from the early 18th century. The main residence was a shelter for those brave men who traversed the valleys and needed refuge for the night; and hosted under its roof governors, caudillos, and messengers from the turbulent times that forged this country.

The historic residence still preserves its colonial style and some details from the original structure, such as doors, window frames, pieces of furniture that remained intact over the years, the classic galleries and its columns, and the old well, just to mention some. The rooms also preserve the colonial identity with high ceilings, wooden beds, and antique wardrobes with elegant walnut root details.

Nowadays, the estate is an active stockbreeder, specialized in Bradford livestock and polo horses, and it has recently opened its doors to travelers who wish to witness part of the northern history and learn how an agricultural and breeding system works in such peculiar area. The project was born with the intention of preserving the environment and providing the local community with sustainable work.

As part of this integration program, all the activities and services will be in the hands of the locals who will proudly share their stories, culture, and flavors. During our stay, we will be able to see men working the fields or grouping the cattle. We can also learn how they train the polo horses with an innovating method called joined-up, based on developing a relationship with the horse with no violence involved.

Among other activities that this place offers, there are of course horseback rides, trekking paths, and an exclusive program for the brave ones, which consists of an 8-hour ride towards Las Queñuas, nature reserve accessible only by horse or foot. Also, those who are interested in polo will be able to enjoy the beautiful ground to either play, learn or watch a friendly game.

Besides the mentioned options, Estancia Zárate also counts with an indoor playroom that invites guests to relax, watch TV, enjoy several board games, or even try talent with the old snooker table, one of the surviving pieces of furniture found in the house.

All in all, this estate is an excellent option for those who want to visit the Argentinean Northwest. Due to its privileged location, it is a perfect stop point for those who want to connect the valleys of Tucuman and Salta, both top northern destinations.

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


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Open all year
  • Special fees for Christmas and New Year
  • Activities are planned locally with visitors, according to their interest and subject to weather conditions.

SERVICES INCLUDED

  • Full board
  • Activities: Horseback riding, cattle grouping, trekking

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED

  • Drinks outside meals
  • Transfers in/out
  • Laundry service
  • Tips
  • Other guided excursions not included in the main program
  • Polo classes and clinics
  • Horseback ride to las Queñuas