Posts labeled with Country ' Argentina'

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On a beautiful Southern Hemisphere Spring Monday,October 16, TotalAdventure took part in a Day of Adventure , a prelude to the Adventure Travel World Summit 2017 in the high desert city of Salta in Northwest Argentina. Our host was Salta Rafting – they really create an amazing experience!

First our group of 45 adventure company leaders climbed a small mountain in order to reach the first platform – where we flew through the air at 30 mph. ( 55 km) at 150 meters ( 500 feet ) above the river. There were a total of 4 crossings, as seen in the video above.

Afterwards we changed into wetsuits and and rafted the mildly challenging river we had just ziplined across. The rapids were Class 2 and Class 3.

Special Thanks to David Figereau of Ideia Tours in Recife, Brazil for always telling me if the camera ( strapped to TotalAdventure’s head) was rolling. TotalAdventure will soon return to posts from the Bolivia Adventure as soon as we have proper high speed connectivity for video upload.

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After a great day of spring skiing on El Colorado in Chile, TotalAdventure boarded a flight from Santiago to Aeroparque – the smaller airport in Palermo.

After a quick stop at the hotel – TotalAdventure was off to a a Midnight feast at Las Nazarenas. The Bife de Chorizo was succulent , as always ! At 15 pesos to the dollar ( Blue Market ) dining is a bargain !

The next day was Columbus Day – Dia de Las Raza in Argentina – so the streets were relatively quiet, with families enjoying the cool early spring weather.


It was only a month before the quasi – Chavista government of Christina Kirchner would be defeated in a historic election.

For TotalAdventure experiences in Argentina- CLICK HERE !


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ArcticTropic flies by Cerro Aconcagua, 22841 ft , 6962m, the highest mountain in the Western HemisphereLast Friday,February 3, ArcticTropic was returning to Chile after business meetings in Argentina. The Mendoza to Santiago flight was on a midsummer’s day. One can see the Argentina – Chile border post on the highway below, then Portillo Ski area in Chile, beside the bright blue Lago de Las Incas.

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Aeroparque Buenos Aires is one of the world’s most beautiful airports, along with Santos Dumont in Rio. Here is a beautiful, though shaky landing on a fine spring morning. ArcticTropic is actually designed and built in BA.

We were not here long , but here’s a few shots around town, before heading to Uruguay the next day.

The Pampas – home of incredible beef.

House in Palermo.

Puerto Madero

Cristina !

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Explora Parques , led by Ramón Ossa Federico took ArcticTropic on an adventurous excursion to Parque Nacional El Leoncito. The first activity was dry land sailing on Barreal Blanco, a dry lake bed located at the foot of the  Andes.  The video above was taken as we drove at 100 mph ‘160 kph across the lake bed.

The lake bed is parched as it rains or snows only a couple of times a year.

No sound except for the wind.

The wind dies down, so the sailing is a bit slow.

The technique is not much different than water sailing.

Entrance to the giant park.

A valley oasis.

Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito (CASLEO), where we will vist at sunset.

A cooling waterfall. There may well be gold in the rocks.

Will almost no rain,these rocks take eons to form.

Springtime in the oasis.

Some rare clouds.

The park is near the Chilean border – the mountains offer huge mining potential as well.

As darkness fell around 8 PM we arrived at Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito (CASLEO). There are three times as many stars to view in the Southern Hemisphere than in the Northern Hemisphere. The high Andean deserts in Chile and Argentina offer the best viewing in the world  due to high altitude,clear air and a total lack of light pollution due to being one of the more remote areas of the world. Even with some volcanic dust in the air from Peyhuehe the viewing was incredible. Above is a photo taken with a radioteescope.

Comet Halley in 1986.

Planet Venus in the West.

The radio telescope is for the astronomers only. We were treated to views from a smaller but very powerful telescope outside. The roof above retracts.

We saw many galaxies billions of light years away. The highlight , however was seeing Jupiter and a few of its’moons.
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ArcticTropic was the guest of  Doña Pipa  Cabañas in Barreal, Calingasta in western San Juan Province for two nights and a day. The Inn is owned by two brothers , Ramón and Diego Ossa Federico. Ramón runs many eco and adventure tours through Explora Parques – which leads excurions to four National Parks spread out over thousands of square miles – some of the trips last several days. ArcticTropic made use of limited time by going to nearby Parque Nacional Leoncito.

The Posada is comfortable and casual – reminiscent of being in the Western United States, but with delicious Argentine food and wine.

THe rooms are simple and quiet – bu there is wifi !

ArcticTropic took a bike ride up one of the dirt roads in town on a beautiful spring morning.

Riding is also offered – with Western saddles.

A healthy and tasty dinner awaits in the restaurant – welcome protein after a long day trekking and riding. It is open till midnight.

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We arrived in Barreal late at night. The next day was for adventure – but first a tour of some  wineries and inns, so we could see where adventurers might spend comfortable evenings enjoying gourmet food and wine.

Piedras Bayas , in operation for about 5 years, creates excellent boutique Malbecs and Shiraz.

Only about 25,000 bottles a  year are produced and unfortunately not available outside Argentina at this time.

A rich Malbec reflected in the warm desert sunshine.

We went on to a delightful desert inn – Posada Don Ramon.

The adobe hallway.

Satellite internet is available at 256 k .

Posada Los Patos is an excellent getaway.

In winter  the entire inn is heated b y fire. In the day it is 15 C , about 59 F , but at night the temperature drops to -15 C or about 8 F.

Incredible views from bed !


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San Juan is a great little city located about 160 km north of Mendoza. ArcticTropic was in town for morning meetings before heading to Calingasta, in the western part of the province. Having a few hours left before departure to the deserts , I decided to explore the city. THe first stop was Casa Sarmiento – the birthplace of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento who was President of Argentina from 1868 to 1874 and is credited with Argentina’s many modern advancements of the era.

Afterwards, a somber stop to memorialize the young soldiers who died fighting the British in the brief but bitter war in the Malvinas during the winter of 1982. Perhaps the antiaircraft gun above shot down a few Harriers.

A memorial plaque.

The Syrian-Lebanese Club . The Lebanese have always been one of the more successful groups in Argentina – including President Menem.

A view from  the 35 meter bell tower of the local cathedral.

Aguma – one of Argentina’s best wines. San Juan Province is rapidly gaining recognition as a new,exciting wine producing region. Aguma is not yet available in the USA.

Bife de Chorizo lunch at Las Lenas restaurant. Half a kilo !

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An eight hour flight from Miami to Santiago,Chile bought ArcticTropic from a late rainy season tropical wave to a delightful Southern Hemisphere spring morning. As we approach Santiago, one can see the icy cold South Pacific Ocean in the distance.
Above, the final approach to SCL. What was supposed to be a one hour layover, turned out to be 3 hours as the flight was delayed due to the Puyehue Volcano erupting once again. Though 670 km south of Santiago, the ash cloud spreads far and wide. We are informed the Mendoza airport is closed and the flight may be cancelled. ArcticTropic began investigating  connections by bus, but at 1 PM ,it was announced that a window had opened and we ad to board quickly.
Up over the Andes, a crossing we have made many times.
Warm spring sunshine is softening the snowpack, providing ample water for the vineyards below.
On the Argentine side, the volcanic dust cloud was apparent. I was surprised we were allowed to fly. Volcanic ash can freeze jet engines  and make a plane drop out of the sky !
Disembarking our flight at MDZ.
Early evening, about 8 PM riding north through the desert  from Mendoza to San Juan.
Volcanic sunset. Tomorrow’s north  winds will blast away the dust and send temperatures soaring.
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On Friday, September 10th, ArcticTropic travelled back across the Andes, from Mendoza to Santiago, this time in just 45 minutes ! The highlight of the flight is a view of Cerro Aconcagua 6,962 m (22,841 ft), the world’s highest mountain outside of the Himalayas.

LAN has 3 daily flights to and from SCL to MDZ. Santiago – gateway to skiing at Portillo, and Mendoza, gateway to the Mendoza and San Juan wine regions.