Located in the southern region of this fertile valley, Los Caminos de Altamira is a tourist circuit run by a community of locals dedicated to sharing their way of life with visitors from all over the globe.
One day can consist of learning the history of the irrigation system in the valley, crafting up some traditional Huarpe ceramics, harvesting a fruit or vegetable in season, and making (homemade) wine or honey, baking bread and preserving fruits.
By horse-drawn cart, on horseback, or bicycle (only sustainable methods of transportation), tourists are escorted along the base of the tremendous Andes mountains, from one activity to the next, all of which are located in different casas de campo. Literally translated as country house, these are not luxurious second homes, but rather rural and rustic family abodes whose owners have inhabited the valley and worked in its fields for generations.
If you stay the night, a gaucho hoedown awaits you in a local tavern with traditional song and dance. They offer lodging in the affiliated casas de campo. Try Camilo Casa de Campo where a delightful family will receive you into their home as if you were a long lost relative. Camilo’s rents out rooms with shared bathrooms within the main house, and then a series of prim adobe cabins for a little more privacy. If you choose, you can dine any day in the gardens or on the weekends with their whole extended family. Look forward to a pants-stretching three-course meal, featuring all local fruits and veggies, homemade preserves and cured meets, and a mouth watering local specialty as a main course. While you should not expect five star accommodation, there will be about 50 million actual stars in the epic night sky to make up for it.
The rest of your time is filled with more traditional activities or, if you really want to, they will help you with some modern ones like winery visits, bike rentals, trekking or rafting.
For more info: or www.latinarealtours.com and to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org… The average day costs $280 pesos including meals and prices will differ If you need transportation to San Carlos, a translator, or lodging.
By Gwynne Hogan
Published in the June/July 2012 edition of Wine Republic