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!


 

Kayaking into the Perito Moreno

We invite you to have a glimpse of a brand new glacial adventure in El Calafate. Paddling a kayak, get as close as you can get to the striking Perito Moreno Glacier.


It’s well known that UNESCO remarks the outstanding universal value of Los Glaciares National Park, including it on the World Heritage list to protect it. On its own words, “an area of exceptional natural beauty”. We couldn’t agree more. Milky grey glacial lakes, imposing mountains, glaciers and icebergs in many hues of blue frame this unique and breathtaking environment, where the cracking of ice is everything you’ll hear.   

The most astonishing sight is – of course – the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier, which calves into the icy waters of the Lake Argentino. Both of these natural attractions are the protagonists of this new kayaking experience, recently launched.

After picking you up from your hotel in El Calafate, we’ll arrive to the National Park around 10 am. You’ll meet the expert team at the base dome, where they’ll explain how the activity will develop.

At the dome you’ll also get dressed for the occasion: you’ll be provided of a Gore-Tex drysuit, thermal suit, boots and gloves, and a life vest. After getting ready, at the lake shore the guides will provide an instructional and safety talk. Don’t worry if you have never been on a kayak before, they’ll explain the basics to paddle on these glacial waters.

Then, you’ll board the kayak at Los Témpanos beach and paddle towards the northern face of the Perito Moreno, located just in front of us. On this quiet realm, at water level,  you will appreciate the magnificence of nature at first hand, a unique perspective of this fascinating and millenary ice wall. Also, the guide that joins you will tell you more about it and the surroundings. And don’t forget about the pictures!

After paddling between rests for an hour and a half, we will return to the dome for some hot beverages and snacks. But the day is not over yet! You will have time until 5 pm to enjoy a lunch box, rest and explore the National Park and contemplate once more the Perito Moreno from the walkway. Then, you will be taken back to your hotel in El Calafate.

This is a one in a lifetime, brand new experience. Never before was it possible to navigate on a kayak across these protected waters and so close to the glacier. You’ll certainly feel lucky to experience it for yourself.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Full day service. Pick up from hotel starting at 8 am. Drop off at 6 pm approx.
  • Operates everyday except on June and July.
  • Included: Round-trip transfers from hotels in El Calafate – Kayak equipment and clothing – 1.5 hs of kayaking activity – Lunch box, beverages and snacks – An USB flash drive with pictures of the day.
  • Not included: Entrance fee to the National Park.
  • Min. 2 pax required to book this experience. Max. 20 pax.
  • Min. age required: 14 years old. Children between 14 and 18 years old must be joined by their parents or guardians.
  • No previous kayaking experience required.
  • Medium degree of difficulty.
  • Activity subject to weather conditions.

This experience is also available as a kayaking excursion, without transfers and lunch box. Operates at 10 am and 2 pm. Please, contact your Kallpa Executive for more information and price of this option.

Enjoy the city like a real porteño

In Buenos Aires, we would like to tell you about an original tour that combines electric bikes, mate and tango. Sounds good, right?


As always, in Kallpa we look for and offer original and sustainable experiences that focus on culture and local traditions. That’s how we found Martin and Laura, with whom we share the same ideals and passion for traveling.

On a Sunday afternoon, we met at Recoleta Cultural Center. This spot itself is an attraction, given that we find the famous cemetery and that lots of people are strolling across the park and taking a look at the typical craft fair.

We mount the e-bikes and the tour starts. Without effort, we wander through Recoleta and Palermo neighborhoods and enjoy the city like a real porteño! As we ride, through intercoms we hear the guide telling us the city’s secrets and local traditions.

First, riding across Recoleta we can see French style palaces. Along Figueroa Alcorta Avenue we pass by the Buenos Aires University’s Law School; a monumental architecture building from the 1940’s. Right next, the famous Floralis Generica, a metal sculpture of a huge flower on the United Nations Park, made by the Argentinian architect Eduardo Catalano.

Following Recoleta, we move towards the Bosques de Palermo – Palermo Woods – and its great green parks. We pass by the Japanese Garden, the Palermo Horse Racetrack, the Argentinian Polo Field and the famous Rosedal. Then, we make a stop at the woods to taste and share some mate and pastries, like many locals do here on the weekends, as a traditional friendly and family ritual.

At last, back on the bikes we ride towards Palermo Soho, a trendy and bohemian area of this neighborhood, to visit one of the main milongas in the city. Milongas are the traditional places where locals attend to dance and listen to tango.

Here, a tango expert joins us. Thanks to his expertise, we learn about this intense and passionate dance history, codes and the milonga dynamics. Finally, a live orchestra entertains us with a dazzling tango performance following an instructor that teaches us some steps to introduce us to this dance.

This is the end of this original, fun and enriching experience, but if you want, you can stay and enjoy the milonga to keep on practising your steps until 4 am.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Operation: Sunday at 3:30 pm
  • Duration: 6 hs
  • Languages: Spanish & English
  • Meeting point: Across Recoleta Cultural Center, next to Nuestra Señora del Pilar Church.
  • Ending point: Armenian Center, Palermo
  • Min. 2 pax – Max. 6 pax
  • Min age is 16 and max is 60
  • Highlights: Recoleta – Palermo Horse Track and Argentinian Polo Field – Rosedal and Bosques de Palermo – Palermo Soho – Milonga.
  • Included: Electric bicycle with intercom – Bicycle tour guide – Insurance – Snack (pastries) & Mate – Water – Entrance ticket for the milonga – Tango guide – Live orchestra show – Tango lesson – One soft drink per person.
  • Not included: Roundtrip transfers – Food and extra drinks – Tips.

Lunch with The Enemy in Mendoza

We’ve been recommending this experience in Mendoza for some time now, but it’s so good that we want to give it a refreshed view. Enjoy a culinary proposal now included in the Michelin Voyage guide.


Alejandro Vigil is a wine expert at Aleanna Winery, one of the most prestigious wineries in Argentina. Together with Laura, the youngest daughter of the renowned Ernesto Catena, he indulged himself by introducing his own wine: “El Enemigo”. From its very first impression, the name speaks for itself and plays opposite to the other wineries that want to bind together wine and friendship. However, the name given to this wine, has conquered the market due to its antagonism: “The Enemy”.

Maybe that’s not the picture we have in mind about what happens behind closed doors at Aleanna Winery, but that’s how Alejandro Vigil is. He understands his work that way because he is as passionate for the grapevines, the bottles and the beautifully designed labels as for his own restaurant: Casa Vigil (formerly called El Enemigo), where his guests can savour exquisite local cuisine and its emblem wine.

Located in Chachingo, Maipú, only half an hour away from the city of Mendoza, Casa Vigil was recently included in the prestigious French guide Michelin Voyage, which stands out the best touristic and gastronomic places to visit outside France. The guide has remarked not only the well thought dishes that you will find on its menu to pair its wines, but also praised the place itself for its originality and exhibited local art. “An attractive and atypical place”, the Michelin Voyage calls.

This is not the only international mention to Casa Vigil. In 2017, the Great Wine Capitals network awarded it as the best cellar restaurant in Argentina, and Decanter magazine called it one of the best restaurants in Mendoza.

With so many good reviews, surely you´re curious and eager to see and taste for yourself what all this is about. This is definitely an experience that you can’t miss on your visit to Mendoza.

When in town, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to Casa Vigil, where you´ll meet Alejandro and his wife Maria. You´ll visit the cellar where El Enemigo and El Gran Enemigo are made, and also be welcomed into the Vigil´s family home, where they´ll share anecdotes, stories and tell you about their passion for wine.

The visit includes and exquisite asado (barbecue) with gourmet salads and grilled vegetables. Of course, you won´t leave without tasting some of the house´s internationally prized wines, joined by one of the best wine experts in the world: Alejandro himself will guide you through a “Great Enemy” wine tasting experience.  


 

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Lunch with “El Enemigo” menu: Barbecue with gourmet salads and grilled vegetables along with the seven labels of “El Enemigo”.
  • Min. 2 pax required
  • Tour to the cellar is subject to availability.
  • Included: Round-trip transportation to and from the winery – “Gran Enemigo” wine tasting experience – 4 step lunch with wines included.
  • Not included: Tips – Accommodation – Extra wine tastings – Guide.
  • 7 step dinner service is also available. Contact your Kallpa Executive for pricing.