All posts by kallpatour

BIRDWATCHING IN THE CLOUD FOREST IN SALTA

The perfect place for bird watching enthusiasts, in a unique natural environment.


The Huaico Natural Reserve protects a remnant of mountain jungle in a very good state of conservation, adjacent to Villa San Lorenzo, just 8 km from the city of Salta.

It is a private reserve, whose land was donated by its owners to the Yuchan Foundation, the NGO responsible for its management and administration. It comprises 51 hectares of cloud forest, destined for conservation, scientific research, environmental education and ecotourism.

It is a place to enjoy nature, where jungle vegetation unfolds and surrounds you. In each corner you will enjoy the sounds of the river, waterfalls and the fauna of the place.

One of the main attractions in the reserve is the great diversity of birds. Whoever wants to visit and conduct the bird watching circuit, must do so accompanied by an authorized guide. You will be able to observe and learn about the birds that inhabit the amazing environment of the mountain jungle.

The proposal to visit the reserve participating in this activity can be half or full day:

After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up to drive you to the Huaico Natural Reserve, only 15 minutes northwest from Salta downtown. We will spend about 3 hours birding along the trails that will permit us to walk from the lowest strata to the highest elevation of this cloud forest. Amongst the 220 species recorded here, there is a fine selection of colorful parrots, tanagers, hummingbirds, furnariidae and antshrikes.

We will be in search of forest birds such as yungas dove, dusky-legged guan, ocellated piculet, dot-fronted and cream-backed woodpeckers, mitred parakeet, scaly-headed parrot, slender-tailed woodstar and the rather confiding gray-necked wood-rail.  

We hope that our sightings on passerines -strongly influenced by the time of the year and weather conditions- will include many attractions such as white-winged and crested becards, stripe-crowned and azara’s spinetails.

Before midday, we plan to be at the “raptor’s watch deck”, from where we stand good chances to see Andean condor and/or the majestic black-and-chestnut eagle soaring around. As usual, these rare species are never assured but other birds of prey sightings can include swallow-tailed kite, roadside and short-tailed hawks and the shy barred forest-falcon. 

This is the final stop for the half day excursion, but if you are willing to go on into a full day birdwatch, after picnic-lunch in the reserve we will drive eastwards again into the Sianca Valley to yet another private protected wetland. 

An amazing abundance of waterfowl concentrates here including the rosy-billed pochard, white-cheeked and brown pintails, speckled and cinnamon reals, Brazilian and lake ducks, white-faced ibis, coots, herons and storks. 

The reeds and rushbeds give shelter to occasional southern screamer, snail kite and wren-like rushbird, while the surrounding thickets will provide chances for the attractive red-legged seriema, whistling heron, red-crested cardinal, lined seedeater, and many others.

Later in the afternoon, we will drive back to your hotel, perhaps doing the checklist of a very productive day! Without a doubt, an amazing experience with a wonderful staging of these winged creatures.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Includes: Round trip transfers from the hotel. Spanish/English bilingual guide. Entrance fee to the Huaico Natural Reserve. Birdwatching checklist.
  • Not included: Lunch, snacks or beverages. Tips or any other extra costs.
  • Operation: From January to September.
  • It is recommended to all visitors to bring: Hat or cap. Sunscreen. Insect repellent. Sufficient drinking water for the day. Comfortable and suitable clothes and shoes for hiking. 

E-BIKE TOURS, WINE AND FOOD IN MENDOZA

An original and fun effort-free tour option to get to know the land of sun and wine in Argentina.


Bike tours offer an alternative to traditional vacations because they allow you to explore places in a different way, with circuits that are much more enjoyable by bike rather than by car.

Electric bikes have had a good reception across the world, as they provide a pleasant ride helping you in the effort of pedaling, making the road a little less demanding.

In addition, it is an excellent option for those older travelers, or with knee problems or some other physical issues that prevents them from carrying out this wonderful activity. With e-bikes, they will surely be able to do it, since the body will be less compromised when making the effort.

Mendoza has incorporated this alternative of e-bikes tours, not only to tour the capital city but also other surrounding towns. In this article we will tell you about three guided tours available, which not only include the ride but also a complete experience with lunch and wine from the region.

Mendoza City Tour

Starting from the Plaza Independencia by e-bike, we will visit some of the main attractions of the city of Mendoza, enjoying a few photo stops at the General San Martin Park and on the Cerro de la Gloria.

The tour ends with a fun descent to enjoy a delicious lunch in a restaurant on the famous Aristides Villanueva street.

Potrerillos Tour

Potrerillos is a town located in the Andes mountain range, in Luján de Cuyo department.

This e-bike tour departs from Cacheuta, crossing the beautiful new road that takes us to the border crossing of the Caracoles towards the new Tunnel, leading to the Potrerillos Dam where we can appreciate the unique and beautiful view of the Perilago lake.

Going down, we will make a stop at Potrerillo Village, where we will have free time to walk around, and then we will return to Cacheuta where a barbecue will be waiting for us.

Luján Wine Tour

This option proposes a relaxing bike ride among vineyards and unique landscapes.

We will visit some of Mendoza’s most named wineries, starting with breakfast and guided tour of Terraza de los Andes. Then, the beautiful Chandon Winery and its gardens while we taste a glass of its sparkling wine, continuing with a full tasting in Piattelli while we know its facilities. We finish the tour in the beautiful gardens of Dominios del Plata, where a picnic lunch will be held with a bottle of wine, enjoying the view of the vineyards and a guided tour of the winery.

No matter which one you pick, fun is guaranteed e-biking around Mendoza! Contact your Kallpa Tour Executive for rates and more information about the tours.

 


GENERAL INFORMATION

City Tour

  • Duration: Half day
  • Schedule: 9:30 am to 1:30 pm / 4:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Includes: Snack cereal bar and beverage + Lunch with variety of dishes (cold cuts table – meat – pasta), draft beer, wine tasting or soft drinks, dessert.

Potrerillos Tour

  • Duration: Full day
  • Schedule: 8:00 am to 5:30 pm
  • Includes: Snack cereal bar and beverage + Stop at Potrerillos Village with cold cuts table, draft beer or soft drinks + Barbecue lunch at Cacheuta (full barbecue, salads, fries – Vegetarian menu available upon request), draft beer, wine tasting or soft drinks, dessert.

Luján Wine Tour

  • Duration: Full day
  • Schedule: 8:00 am to 6:30 pm
  • Includes: Snack cereal bar and beverage + Breakfast and guided tour at Terrazas de Los Andes + Guided visit and a glass of sparkling wine at Bodega Chandon + Wine tasting and guided tour at Piattelli + Guides visit and Picnic lunch with a bottle of wine at Bodega Dominios del Plata.

All tours include:

  • Bilingual guides.
  • Safety equipment (helmets, GPS, sunscreen and gear).
  • Fully equipped e-bikes with LED lights, rear-view mirror, V-brakes and bag to carry personal belongings.
  • Individual intercoms.
  • Accident insurance and medical assistance.
  • Go-Pro camera.
  • Ages: From 15 to 65-70 years old.

LA BANDADA RANCH IN THE PAMPAS, BUENOS AIRES

A working estancia close to the city, perfect for a relaxing stay or a countryside day, living the essence of the spirit of the Pampas.


La Bandada, formerly known as Candelaria del Monte, is a 250 acres fully working farm just one hour and a half from Buenos Aires. Its current name means The Flock, and as it implies, this is an exceptional place for birdwatching. Such is that the lodging rooms bear names of birds that are frequently seen on the ranch.

The house was built in the 70’s and until today keeps the typical colonial style of XIXth century, painted in reddish colors. A paved patio introduces the road to the main entrance of the house, and once inside, a long and wide windowed corridor takes you to the rooms and a very spacious living and dining room at the end, with fireplaces and furnished with detail and care. Big windows overview the park and the swimming pool. One of the most notorious architectural details is the roof made of bricks.

La Bandada offers a countryside day with barbecue, and also 1 to 4 night stays, with full or half board and activities. There are only seven guest rooms, all very comfy and colonial, with a variety of layouts. There are three private suites and two apartments with two bedrooms and a bathroom each. The total occupancy can be up to 14 people, making it a great place to book and enjoy privately.

The house is surrounded by a 24 acres park, full of a variety of very old trees, including centenarian platanus, oak trees, acacias, pines, Chilean myrtles, laurels and casuarinas. It is very pleasant to go for a walk around, visit the orchard, the henhouse, the corrals with goats, horses and other farm animals. 

There’s also a self-guided birdwatching circuit. You just have to take the binoculars and the Bird’s Guide, and follow a checklist of the most common birds in the area that will help you to look for and identify hummingbirds, cardinals, horneros, herons, storks, sparrows, tropical screech oils, southern screamers, coscoroba swans, black necked swans, woodpeckers, fork tailed flycatchers, and a variety of over 15 ducks, such as cinnamon teal, yellow billed pintail, white-faced whistling duck and southern wigeon.

Besides taking advantage of the swimming pool (in summer season) and riding a bike, among other activities, it is possible to book a two hour polo lesson to experience one of the most famous sports in Argentina. You will learn how to play and get a taste of what playing polo is like, in the unique scenery of the Pampas.

Horses are a very important part of life of the farms and here you can ride along a path full of centennials trees until reaching the endless grasslands of the pampas. There are very well trained and easygoing horses, so you can enjoy a ride whether you have any previous experience or not. 

If you are interested in local music, a «guitarreada» is the best way to experience how argentines enjoy a traditional barbecue evening by the fire. Folk music like chamame, zambas, gatos and escondidos are performed by a group of musicians that play the guitar, drums, accordion and violin. This is an experience that operates on demand only.

No countryside experience is complete without the specific gastronomic service. Mariana Dacruz is the inhouse chef, and with vast experience in Patagonia and abroad, this 30 year-old chef is the kitchen’s soul at the estancia. All the dishes she creates include seasonal vegetables from the orchard, which can actually be collected by yourself. Also, the best pieces of meat are chosen to be part of the typical asados.

If you would like to discover the behind the scenes of the kitchen, it’s possible to book a cooking class with Mariana, where she will teach you about traditional Argentine cooking methods, ingredients and seasonal tastes. You can choose from a variety of recipes, such as empanadas, fried pastries and fritters. What you cook, will be served in your next meal.

La Bandada offers a full countryside experience. Visiting or staying here will bring you a sense of tranquility, peace and serenity. You will feel that time runs slower and that the rest of the world seems further and further away. The sound of the pampas with its fauna, windmills, breeze…the smell of the grass and of humid soil of the rain to come…little by little, immerse yourself into the Argentina country spirit!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Full Board stay: Includes: Lodging with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Non-alcoholic beverages. Activities: use of facilities, 1 hour horseback riding, bikes at disposal, swimming pool. Not included: Alcoholic beverages. Transfers. Extra services (laundry, use of telephone, etc.). Additional experiences. Tips.
  • Half Board stay: Includes: Lodging with breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. Non-alcoholic beverages. Activities: use of facilities and swimming pool. Not included: Alcoholic beverages. Transfers. Extra services (laundry, use of telephone, etc.). Lunch. Horseback and bike rides. Additional experiences. Tips.
  • Countryside Day (from 11 am to 4 pm): Includes: Welcome reception with empanadas and wine. Lunch: barbecue with chorizo, two meat cuts, grilled vegetables and salads, traditional dessert and coffee. Non-alcoholic beverages. Afternoon tea with creole pastries. Guided horseback ride or hike, and other country activities. Not included: Alcoholic beverages. Transfers. Additional experiences. Lodging or other meals. Use of facilities, horseback and bike rides, swimming pool.
  • Additional experiences with extra cost (available for stays and countryside day): Polo lesson. Guided birdwatching circuit. Visit to San Miguel del Monte town. Massage service. Live folk music (guitarreada). Folk dance live show. 

PERITO MORENO KAYAK EXPERIENCE IN EL CALAFATE

We invite you to visit the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier on a kayak experience that grants you exclusive access to the natural site and offers a truly unique perspective. You will get to witness this stunning glacier from your kayak, at lake-level!

We begin with free exploration, to take in the sights and sounds of the breathtaking site as we walk through the footbridge and gawk at the incredible viewpoints along the way. Then we will head to the Meeting Point, located near the main parking area, where the team will greet and brief you.

Afterwards we will get dressed in state-of-the-art gear as the guides give us a rundown as well as an in-depth safety briefing. No previous kayaking experience is necessary; the kayak experts will explain how to paddle among the astounding glacial waters.

Once prepared and briefed we depart, with kayaks in hand, to Los Témpanos beach. We will paddle down towards the glacier so that it is facing us the whole time. We will stop for a postcard picture moment and learn more interesting facts about the fascinating Perito Moreno area in Patagonia.

There are two options for the activity:

A) Full Day – Including Transfer from El Calafate (Lunch Box included): You will be picked up from the hotel in El Calafate, then enjoy a 74 km drive to Los Glaciares National Park, arriving at about 9:30. Then you will have two hours to explore every corner of Perito Moreno Glacier by yourself.

  1. B) Excursion Only – Without Transfer (self-drive or alternative transfer required): You have to be at the Meeting Point at 10:50 am.

For both options, the experience starts at 11:00 at the Meeting Point, located close to the main parking area, where the team will greet and brief you about the experience. After selecting your gear and getting ready, we will walk to the waterside for a safety briefing and warm up. You will be provided with a Gore-Tex dry suit, thermal suit, boots, gloves and a life jacket.

Then, you will paddle for an hour and a half in Lago Argentino on the north face of Perito Moreno Glacier, returning at 2 pm to the dome for hot drinks and snacks. Afterwards, the experience is over and Full Day Paxes will take the transfer back to El Calafate at 3 pm.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Equipment: Double kayak. Waterproof dry suit, thermal suit, boots, life jackets.
  • Not included: Entrance fee to Los Glaciares National Park. Paid in ARS (cash only) at the entrance of the park.
  • Option A – Full Day: Round trip transfers from hotels in El Calafate + 1,5 hours kayaking + Lunch Box, snacks and hot drinks. Duration: Full Day. Pick up: from 07:30 / Return to El Calafate – hotel 17:00.
  • Option B – Excursion only (without transfer): Includes 1,5 hours kayaking + Snacks and hot drinks. Duration: 3 hours approx. From 11:00 to 14:00 approx.
  •  Departures: Everyday – except June & July
  •  Difficulty: Average. No previous kayaking experience needed.
  • Min-Max capacity: 2-20 pax
  • Minimum age required: 14 years old. People between 14 and 18 years old must be accompanied by their parents or legal tutor
  • Cancellation policy: Tour guides may cancel the activity if the weather conditions are considered inadequate.