Tag Archives: Northwest

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!


 

A DAYDREAM NORTHERN GUESTHOUSE

For people looking for a nice place in the north to stop by for a couple of days and rest, Finca Santana offers a unique ambience of privacy, seclusion and tranquility in the heart of the Cachi Valley, in the Calchaqui Valley.


10 km away from Cachi town and 170 km from the city of Salta, 10 hectares of centenary trees along the Las Arcas river make home to this lovely guesthouse with only 2 bedroom cozy suites. Contemporary and indigenous art, neutral colors and furniture can be found as thoughtful details at every corner, from the library with a fireplace, the drawing room, dining room, outdoor patio and veranda. All framed by the amazing views of the Andes and many mixture of cacti all around.

Guests at Finca Santana will enjoy a gourmet breakfast, including homemade jams and marmalades, honey and eggs from a local organic farm and a variety of handpicked natural delights from the guesthouse´s own garden, filled with vegetables, aromatic herbs, walnuts, alfalfa and beans. All the products are 100% organic and environmentally friendly.

Lunch and dinner can also be arranged if you don’t feel like getting out of this quiet realm; and at 6 pm you may taste local wine and cheese.

What makes Finca Santana even more special and unique is the hospitality and warm welcome of Adriana, its owner. She is an ethno-photographer, handmade textile producer and designer who creates beautiful locally-inspired throws, tables mats, rugs and fabrics at your disposal to bring a piece of north back to your home. Adriana will also be delighted to prepare a picnic basket for you to go visiting around.

When visiting the north in Argentina, you can’t miss this little piece of heaven amidst the spectacular surroundings of the Calchaqui Valley.

 

Trekking to the clouds season 2018

At Kallpa, we are proud to announce this new shorter, but not less promising, version of the Trekking to the Clouds. An experience that will let you grasp the immensity of Quebrada del Toro and the spirit of an ancient culture.


This version of the Trekking to the Clouds is intended for those looking for a less demanding and shorter journey. The path is the same than our two other versions, but with the difference that we will return after we had reached Sillón del Inca.  The starting point is at the charming village of Ingeniero Maury, from where we will go across the ancient Inca road up to The Observatory, our first stop.

The Observatory is the name given to this peculiar panoramic lookout point where the ancient villagers installed a platform in order to anticipate the presence of visitors. Then the path will take us to the ruins of Sillón del Inca, an archeological site located at the intersection of several roads. The legend tells that it is here where the delegate of the Inca Empire used to control the state movement, the production and to collect taxes.

At this place, so full of history and mystery, we will set up our camp and enjoy dinner next to a warm fire. On the next day, after breakfast, we will start our return to Ingeniero Maury through Mount Golgota, passing by Abra del Caminante, milestone which today’s climbers use to frequent. Once we had reached Ingeniero Maury, the vehicle will be waiting to take us back to the city.

What’s interesting about this version is that it offers the possibility to combine this astonishing experience with another incredible journey, the Train to the Clouds, one of the most popular experiences in the north.  Nevertheless, if you are interested in a more active experience, you can join us for the complete 4 days trekking. More information can be found by clicking HERE or, our three-day trekking, more information can be found by clicking HERE. The fixed confirmed departure dates (minimum 2 travelers required for all versions) for our three itineraries are listed below:

If you wish more information about these experiences, please contact us at Kallpa Tour.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Sillón del Inca Trek
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Feasible from January to December
  • 2 pax minimum required for confirmed departures. With 1 pax the single departure can run with 50% surcharge.

SERVICES INCLUDED

  • Local Bus Ticket Salta – Ing. Maury and transfer back to Salta
  • downtown.
  • Camping equipment. (Tent, cooking utensils, heaters, etc.).
  • Bilingual specialized guide (Spanish/English).
  • All meals in the program according to specification (D: breakfast;
  • A: Lunch; B: Box lunch; M: tea; C: dinner).
  • Personal luggage carry: sleeping bag, clothing and insulating
  • carpet up to 7 KG.
  • Camp organization. First AID kit.

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airplane tickets / Personal expenses and tips.
  • Meals not mentioned in the program. Nights in Salta.
  • Sleeping bags.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Medical insurance.
  • Train to the clouds tickets.