With the Andes in the distance, the Patagonian desert is much more than what it seems. The land is swept by the strongest and dry winds in summer from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean where its shores, full of cliffs and wide gulfs, shaped for ages by ocean intrusions, by faulting or by tilting, offer the best shelter for a very rich sea fauna. Southern right whales can be fondled on their back, meanwhile groups of dolphins swim surrounding the boat. Colonies of 2 million magellanic penguins can be visited. Walking among these charming and funny birds which sometime run away from the long legs of guanacos that come from the open plains. Cormorants, terns, petrels and albatrosses cross the air seeing this deep blue and yellow paradise. If we go towards the Andes, into the middle of the Patagonian desert we find superb shapes of sedimentary clay mixed with huge outcrops of petrified forest that existed before the Andes formation when the wind was humid. Seeking the guanaco herds as the nomadic Indian hunters did 10,000 years ago we discover dramatic red sandstone canyons, little whitish lagoons and valleys patched with violet, ocher, red, yellow minerals that Indians used to produce beautiful rock paintings on the walls of deep caverns. Exploring this desert we find the men of today in the hills struggling against the wind with his house, poplars and ships. Travelling northwards on these lonely flat lands we arrive to the flat grassland of the traditional Pampas: the wild home of our Gauchos. Heading to the Pampas is Argentina’s largest city of Buenos Aires, an ambitious metropolis who finds its limits in the widest river in the world: the River Plate. Following it upstream several hundred kilometres, we’ll find a treasure of pure Nature in its full and dramatic creative stage: infinite swamps, plenty of floating ferns and water lilies and the most unexpected fauna. This will be a travel through the ages, from the Jurassic to the present, from the yellow desert to the deep green wilderness… these are the hidden sights that can be found in this marvellous region.
In the middle of nowhere, in a region discovered in 1522 there were nomadic Indians trying to understand -like us- the sense of life. Their answer to this eternal question was wise: life is full of feebleness. So, with their scarce means of subsistence and expression they could leave beautiful reproductions of themselves in hidden rock walls in the Patagonian desert. After having explored the mysterious flatlands with plateaus full of guanacos and rheas, and thousand colours from uncovered minerals, we suddenly discover an unbelievable and huge canyon of 100 metres high and 8 kilometres long. Its red walls hide a deep cave that was inhabited by several tribes along several periods. 9,000 years ago the first group arrived, leaving their answers: a thousand painted hands and guanacos in several dark colours. The next groups collaborated with their answers enriching the site by painting hands, men, rheas and other animals. Today it is an unavoidable place to visit & explore in this mysterious land of which its spirit Darwin could not describe.
The Ibera swamps is an area in the centre of Corrientes province of approximately 9,000 Km2 that was flooded almost 10,000 years ago by the present and famous Parana River. Ages away from the influx of man and his industries this huge area has offered the perfect habitat for birds, mammals and amphibians. There are very few comfortable Estancias in the surroundings of this vast flooded area which receives people keen on wildlife and exploring the swamps, detecting the threatening eyes of the black caimans or the smooth crawling of the huge boa constrictor. The fine shape of a heron in leafless trees, the peaceful flight of the American stork and the plumbeous ibis are also present in this area. Exploring the savannahs we see the redwinged tinamous, tropical screech-owls and the famous rheas. Among the tall grasses of the marshes, silently, the “Carpincho”, the biggest rodent of the world is feeding patiently. Unique species in the world wait for us in the North-east Argentina. And nearby there is the renowned Iguazu Falls – 70 m high and 275 falls along a 3 km stretch. More than 400 species of birds and 2000 species of plants and trees are in the area.
“I thought I’d drop you a quick note to let you know that my trip to Argentina was superb! Amazing and fantastic. They did a great job organizing everything. The tour guides in each city were especially friendly and helpful, each driver prompt and courteous…it all ran smoothly and I’m very appreciative of that considering that I was traveling on my own. I have no complaints.
“Highlight of the trip for me was Salta! The Movitrak tour up to the Andes Mountain was such a great experience. The tour guides were so enthusiastic, knowledgeable and fun. I was the only foriegner amongst friendly and fun group of Argentines and everyone made a special effort to include me. The Andes scenery so diverse and grand, stopping by in small towns along the way, interacting w/ the local people which was a really positive experience. A great dose of real Argentine culture.
“The estancias were a great idea, I enjoyed each one and again, a great chance to experience the people and culture. Looking back I should have allowed more time to rest and relax at each…homemade food, warm hospitality, riding horses and enjoying the scenery. Dos Lunas was especially my favorite, absolutely beautiful.
All in all a really memorable trip, in so many ways. Diverse and amazing scenery and great people. I look forward to going back again one day! Thanks again for your help. I will have to keep you in mind for future trips.”
Besides the typical tours we can also offer specialized tours such as:
Food and Wine Tours
Gastronomy is the Law of the Stomach. Our guide and philosopher Mr. Alejandro Frango has transformed it into Gastrosophy, “Wisdom of the Stomach” because he thinks, ” Pleasure is closer to wisdom” than the word law. Thus Gastrosophy means the Pleasure of being together eating and drinking.
In terms of tourism he organizes parties and venues in very special restaurants, private houses, exclusive ships and estancias where he lectures on food and wine. He loves to read history in relation to what has happened and luckily still happens around a table.
- Athens and the Epicureans
- Plato forbidding the cooks to be members of his “Ideal Republic”
- Leonardo Da Vinci and his Restaurants
- The Church, the Pilgrimages, Monasteries, beggars, wine and liquor
- Wine in America and Argentina
- Argentine meat and Northern food
- Argentine cuisine
Are some of the subject – to mention but a few- of what a “gastrosophic reunion” is about.
With his partner Diego Garcia Tedesco, he leads a team that gives the scope of understanding civilization from an original point of view, while enjoying wines from Mendoza, Rio Negro, San Juan and Salta together with the creative cooking by Diego, who is investigating the possibilities of developing an original cuisine based on old traditional recipes from the North of our country.
COOKING WORKSHOP IN BUENOS AIRES
You have probably heard of the excellent beef from Argentina, of the colorful vegetables and outstanding quality of our Malbec and Torrontes wines. You have thought in visiting this Southern country, the city of Buenos Aires, and the cradle of Tango, the Iguazu Falls, certain areas of Patagonia, the cultural centre of Cordoba.
Apart from all these spots we offer you the possibility of learning how to cook our products, in an easy and friendly way in a cozy loft in the outskirts of Buenos Aires with the help of a chef and the sympathy of a gastrosopher. Do not hesitate, why not? The idea is very simple, we provide you with the raw materials, an apron, an oven and we cook together, later we sit at a table eat the dish, drink and chat about the philosophy of cooking, the we call gastrosophy.
THE ARGENTINE WINE TRAIL
It is said that Argentina is not known abroad for the quality and variety of its wine and champagnes because locals drink it all and there is no surplus for exports!! Some French concerns such as Moet & Chandon, Henry Piper, etc. produce champagnes in Western Argentina, at the foot of the Andes, and market it with their French brand, which shows the degree up to which they are pleased with the quality of their local products. All along the foot of the Andes, from Salta to Rio Negro, and especially in Mendoza and San Juan provinces, the quality of local wines has received public recognition via recent prizes at international fairs, even though very few reach other markets in sizeable numbers.
The red wines are of higher standards than the whites, competing successfully with European ones. The whites are a bit too sweet for international standards, but there is a unique grape, The Torrontes-, which grows exquisitely in Salta and produces a fine wine of fruity aroma but low sugar content, which has gained international awards in recent European fairs due to its uniqueness.
These are some of the delights to which we will introduce visitors during the wine-and-champagne tasting sessions or visits together with:
- The site (Cordoba) where the first wine in the New World (Lagrimilla) was produced by the Jesuits and later offered to the Spanish King
- The southernmost winery in the world (century-old Canale in Patagonia)
- The largest winery in the world (Giol in Mendoza)
- The first aerial winery in the world (from Giol winery to the Mendoza railroad station, dating from 1911).
- Programs can be arranged from wine tasting sessions together with gourmet meals,
- two or three days visiting local wineries with the possibility to mingle with the owners and have a true first hand experience
- 10-15 days itineraries, which will summarize the history and tradition of the wines in Argentina.