Tag Archives: Northwest

TREKKING TO THE CLOUDS 2020 DATES

A Kallpa classic, the Trekking to the Clouds returns as every year. Find out the dates, available routes of choice and highlights.


Going across the mountains and through the ancient roads of the Inca Empire, this journey will make you discover ruins, views and magnificent landscapes. To do so, the Trekking to the Clouds offers three different versions with different lengths: 

Sillón del Inca – 2 days / 1 night:

Ideal for those looking for two days of activity to train the body and the senses. This version of the Trekking to the Clouds is intended for those seeking for a mountain experience within the immensity of Quebrada del Toro. The trail- that once was part of the ancient roads of the Inca Empire- will lead us in a moderate ascent up to a peculiar panoramic lookout point where the old villagers installed an observatory (El Observatorio) in order to anticipate the presence of visitors. Then the path will take us to the ruins of Sillón del Inca, where we will spend the night. The way back is through Mount Golgota, passing by Abra del Caminante, a milestone which today’s climbers use to frequent. The day ends descending through Golgota’s slope down to the picturesque town of Ingeniero Maury. 

Confluencia – 3 days / 2 nights:

Intended for those looking for a more active experience and in contact with the actual inhabitants of the hills. This version of the Trekking to the Clouds will guide us through the landscapes of Quebrada del Toro passing by El Observatorio (panoramic lookout point of the ancient villagers). The first night we will camp next to the ruins of Sillón del Inca. During day two, we will continue our ascent up to Abra de la Cruz, the highest point of the trail. From this point, if the sky is clear, we can appreciate all the immensity of Valle de Lerma, where Salta city is located. By the afternoon, we will be welcomed in by the Reinaga family, with whom we will share a dinner full of experiences and histories and with a privileged view of the hills. During day three, we will go from the dry areas to the beginning of the Yunga. We will descend alongside Río Astilleros, where the vehicle to return to Salta will be waiting.

San Lorenzo – 4 days / 3 nights:

Descending through San Lorenzo’s Gorge after four days walking among practically uninhabited mountains and valleys is an unrivalled sensation. A memorable contrast between the immensity of the hills, the loneliness of the villagers and the sudden presence of Salta city ahead of us. This version of the Trekking to the Clouds will also guide us through the landscapes of Quebrada del Toro passing by El Observatorio (panoramic lookout point of the ancient villagers). The first night we will camp next to the ruins of Sillón del Inca. During day number two, we will continue our ascent up to Abra de la Cruz, the highest lookout point of the trail. From there, if the sky is clear, we can appreciate all the immensity of Valle de Lerma, where Salta city is located. By the afternoon, we will be welcomed in by the Reinaga family, with whom we will share a dinner full of experiences and stories and with a privileged view of the hills. During day three we will leave the dry area to enter the density of the Yunga. We will share the night with Miss Feliciana Sarapura. During day four, our walk through the edge of the hills begins until we conquer, in the afternoon, our arrival to San Lorenzo, next to the city of Salta.

If you´re willing to adventure yourself into the clouds, we offer a monthly Sillón del Inca tour from January to December, and a monthly Confluencia and San Lorenzo tour from April to November. These are the departure dates for 2020:

Please, contact us to make your reservation.


 

LLULLAILLACO VOLCANO BASE CAMP IN SALTA

Ideal for adventurous travelers who want to live a unique experience in a special off the beaten track place, directly benefiting the local community. 


The Llullaillaco Volcano -with 6,739 masl- is the highest in the province of Salta and the second highest active volcano in the world after the Ojos del Salado, on the border between Argentina and Chile. 

Considered the Incas’ sacred volcano and the highest sanctuary of its empire, its fame grew even more after the Children of Llullaillaco were discovered: three mummified children were found in March 1999 close to the summit. They were perfectly preserved by cold and next to more than 150 objects that made up their funeral trousseau, consisting of miniature human and animal figures, utensils and food. Today they are exhibited at the Museum of High Mountain Archaeology (MAAM) in Salta and the ceremonial complex of Llullaillaco was declared a World Heritage Site. 

There are many reasons why mountaineers from all over the world venture to ascend to the summit of this Sacred Volcano. Being so, now we can find at its base the first Tourist Camp in the Argentine puna.

The Llullaillaco Base Camp project was created with the purpose of promoting the sustainable development of the local communities connected with active tourism in the region. Together with Tolar Grande community leaders, the “Puna Vision Foundation” was born with the aim of training local young people to continue the development of this activity in the area, being the ones who will welcome and assist guests at the camp.

Regarding the campsite amenities, it is prepared to provide quality personalized service and comfort for 24 people at the same time. For safety, there’s permanent connection to a base in Salta via satellite phone, allowing 24/7 communication regarding information about expeditions, weather conditions and efficiently coordinate potential evacuations. The service is also available for visitors to contact their families. 

Meals are carefully prepared in the kitchen tent, fully equipped to provide fresh food, complying with hygiene and safety standards. The in-camp chef offers a wide menu including red and white meat, pizza and pasta, cakes, fresh fruits and cereals among other options. All meals are served at the dining dome. 

There are 1200 liter drinking water supply for guests and solar energy provides power with low environmental impact, available to charge small electronic devices. There is also a toilet (with no showers) to avoid travelers’ impact in the area. 

The camp is located at 4500 masl, which is ideal for mountaineers’ good acclimatization willing to climb the volcano, as well as for those adventure travelers in 4×4 vehicles, motorbikes or MTB travelers passing by the area. 

Using it as a base also enables new trekking possibilities. Just to mention a couple of them, a 6 hour hike to Tambo -an Inca ruin at the foot of the volcano- which starts at 5000 meters and ascends to 5300 meters. And a one hour night walk ascending to the viewpoint in front of the camp to contemplate the starry sky (which may also be done during the day to get a completely different view).

Please, ask your executive about the Kallpa programs already available to get to know the Puna through different activities, visiting and staying at the camp from November to March. An unmissable experience for every adventurer!


 

 

TASTING NORTHERN WINE IN SALTA

A special location and terroir makes of this winery the first to harvest in the Calchaquí Valleys.


The winery Estancia Los Cardones is located in Tolombón, province of Salta. This is the northernmost wine-growing area in Argentina, located south of the city of Cafayate at 1,700 masl, located at the top of the eastern slope of the Calchaquí Valleys.

The facility, inaugurated in early 2017, was built entirely of stone extracted from the quarries of the same estate. In fact, if you look at the drawing of the walls in the cellar you can easily have a notion of the soil that makes up the vineyard.

We propose you to visit this particular winery taking a guided tour following the path that makes the grape until it becomes a wine that reflects the unique characteristics of this terroir of Tolombón.

Starting with the vineyards, we will learn everything about this peculiar soil. The terroir of Estancia Los Cardones is unique in the valleys as it is rocky, very shallow, with abundant chipped slate stone on the surface and full of disintegrated mica.

The mostly planted strain is the Malbec, however you can also find lots with Petit Verdot, Grenache, Cabernet and Marsanne.

Another curious fact that makes this winery special is that the orientation of the vineyards, the intense sun and the stony soil favour the earliest maturity of the grape, being the first farm to harvest in all the Calchaquí Valleys.

We will continue into the winery to learn about the production process and end up in the cellar, where we will take in how the wine is aged to become the exquisite final product.

To finish the visit, we will go to the tasting room to taste three wines from the winery and check on our own the characteristic flavor of this special terroir from the north.

The golden clasp, it is possible to enjoy a lunch with empanadas, barbecue and a regional dessert!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Duration: 2-2.30 hours
  • Operates: Wednesday to Saturday from 10 to 18 hs (last tour at 17 hs). Sunday from 9 to 13 hs (last tour at 12 hs). Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Includes: guided tour of the vineyard and winery facilities, wine tasting and lunch as described.
  • Not included: transfers.

 

DISCOVER THE UNEXPLORED IN SALTA

A landscape that refers to the farthest past on a trip to the center of the earth in Seclantás, the only town in the Salta Valley that is on the other side of the Calchaquí River.


The Acsibi caves are about 20 kilometers from Seclantás, a town in the Calchaquí Valleys, in Salta. You get there by national route 40, entering the Finca Montenieva.

Fido Abán, owner of the estate, and his son René are in charge of taking visitors to the red canyons of Acsibi, located within this private territory about 10 km wide and about 30 long.

It is a place still little known, which almost nobody visits on their first trip to the Valleys. A magical and very different landscape, to which you must dedicate a whole day.

Fido says he was the first of his family to discover the caves when he was eight years old. While the others hunted guanacos in the canyon, he explored the terrain bordering mountains, until he hit upon passages between the rock and reached a small valley of caves.

Very early in the morning, we depart up the mountain in a 4×4 truck. We drive 12 kilometers along the rocky bed of a dry river. When the track disappears, we get off and begin a 5-kilometer hike.

We walk for about two hours through a magnificent red ravine of sandy soil with the most unlikely forms, to finally enter the caves that were once part of the Hacienda de Urbina, when the Malcachiscos Indians washed gold for the Spaniards.

Getting to Acsibi is to time travel. You can see the old and worn tracks where the colony’s carts passed. This area – practically unexplored from the archaeological point of view – is part of the Inca and pre-Inca road system that was used by the Spaniards during the conquest in the connection of the Río de la Plata with Peru.

This fantasy valley of fluctuating forms, shadow and light invites your imagination to play and find the resemblance to the silhouettes. A natural labyrinth with passages between giant rocks and the magical caves that Fido believes were used as ritual sites by the native people of the area. As it is also a place that usually concentrates lightning during thunderstorms, he named them Acsibi; which means something like “the place where the light or either the fire is”, in the Cacán language.

After going through and exploring this ancient and mysterious environment, we take a picnic break before hiking back the same path to the vehicle. 

When in the North, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit a place in the Calchaquí Valleys where history is mixed with the geographical beauties of the area, all in a family’s “backyard”.

 


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Min. 2 – Max. 20 pax.
  • Departs at 9 am from Finca Montenieva, returns at 5 pm.
  • Altitude at the trekking starting point: 2700 masl. Altitude at Trekking ending point 2900 masl.
  • Difficulty: Medium.
  • Type of terrain: walk along the river bank, sand and small loose stones terrain, continuous mild ascent for 5.5km. As the river is crossed back and forward in rainy season wet shoes guaranteed.
  • Includes: Transportation from/To Finca Montenieva, guide and pic-nic. 
  • We recommend wearing long sleeves t-shirt or shirt, sun cap or hat and sunscreen.