Mariel Pagella and Ariana Pugliese from our Leisure team share with us a little bit about their experience in the Central Patagonia.
One of the main attractions in the area is Los Alerces National Park, considered one of the most beautiful spots in Argentina and declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 2017. Located in west Chubut province, the main highlights of this park are its incomparable beauty and hundred-year-old larches. The Futalaufquen Lake inside the park is one of the best places for sportive fishing in Patagonia.
Esquel City is located just 300km from Bariloche, and some train fans around the world come to this corner of the south to find a gem: La Trochita or Viejo Expreso Patagonico (as it is known internationally); a train that is a real museum on tracks, because its structure and even the rails on which it flows, are relics. It dates from 1922 and now it is opened only for tourism, but its added value is the surrounding landscape.
Afterwards, we went to Trevelin, a small town which keeps the Welsh heritage at its best.
Quiet streets are populated with rose gardens, but its main feature is the typical houses and its famous Welsh tea. One of the most authentic celebrations in Trevelin is the Eisteddfod, which consists on an art competition, mainly of music and literature that dates from XI century in Wales.
From Trevelin, you can leave for other tourist spots in the region, such as Nant & Fall Vineyard.
Owned and ran by a local family that follows the tradition of their ancestors in Italy, it is the first one in this area and one of the southernmost. They use a unique system that gives their wines a special color, smell & taste!
Finally, we were able to visit the amazing Huemules Natural Reserve, an exclusive property which offers accommodation in eco-friendly domes with Patagonian cuisine and the kindest service, as well as a wide variety of adventurous activities within the marvellous view of our Patagonia.
Would you think that travelling from one country to another by land could be more than just a classical transfer with a border crossing? If you didn’t, then keep on reading these notes by our MICE executive, Alejandra Lippi, who was invited by Patagonic Adventure – Cruce Andino, in alliance with Llao Llao Hotel Resort, Golf & Spa, Enjoy Puerto VarasHotel and NorwegianAirline to a fabulous FAM TRIP to enjoy first hand “The Andes Lake Crossing” between Argentina and Chile. Before you begin reading, it is fair to mention that ALCHEMY DMC Argentina was the first DMC to ever operate this service on a private basis for 2 large incentive groups, back in 2016.
This unique experience trip may begin either in Argentinean San Carlos de Bariloche or in Chilean Puerto Varas, as you may do it either way, or even make it a round trip journey.
When leaving from Bariloche, and after making your way to Puerto Pañuelo Port to embark, the journey begins by sailing through the Nahuel Huapi Lake´s blue waters. After around one hour of enjoying the views of the beautiful “mountain surrounded” lake, the boat arrives to a small pier located in a picturesque landscape: Blest Port.
From there, and after a short bus ride into the forest, the second boat sets sail for a short navigation that allows all travellers to appreciate the emerald colored waters of Frias Lake, located at the border between Argentina & Chile.
In addition to the blue and green waters, the trip now adds all of the Valdivian Jungle colors, in a road transfer which takes all visitors along a zigzagging one way path between the mountains and the regional flora towards Peulla town.
The last navigation, via Todos Los Santos Lake, allows, with sunny weather, to catch sight of the Osorno & Puntiagudo Volcanos and the Tronador mountain. After which, the passengers disembark in Petrohue, and hop on board for the last land transfer towards Puerto Varas, the final destination of this full day experience.
Besides enjoying three lake navigations and three land transfers, this trip allows some additions, such as a nice lunch, a short activity in Peulla (for the one day trip) or even the possibility to add one, two or more nights in Blest Port or Peulla to simply relax or do some activities in these amazing spots.
At ALCHEMY DMC Argentina we thank this invitation, which was truly a learning experience for Alejandra and we highly recommend to all our individual travellers, families and groups.
The VIK winery features a unique and unprecedented design, which is at once state-of-the-art, highly sustainable, technologically creative and a stunning visual experience that promises to redefine the wine experience.
In 2004, Alexander Vik, a Norwegian entrepreneur, proposed the creation of a world-class vineyard to produce a unique wine. To find the best terroir, he gathered a team of oenologists, climatologists, geologists, viticulturalists and agronomists to search South America. In 2006, Alexander Vik chose the best terroir with optimal climatic conditions for grape growing and purchased 11.000 acres in Chile.
The specific location chosen was the Millahue Valley, or “Place of Gold”, as named by the indigenous people. Here “VIK” was born and it embodies the perfect fusion between man, experience, land, climate and the most advanced technology. Their vineyard, or “Place of Gold”, is located in the interior of the valley among innumerable gorges, offering us a variety of unequaled terroir and small microclimates – each with distinct exposures and cooled by coastal breezes — giving it the complexity sought after and assuring us that we are on track to reach our objective of producing the best wine in South America. The viti-vinicultural concept at VIK is based on the technique of optimizing each stage of grape growing and wine production, with an important focus on science and technology, all of which is adapted to each of our valleys in order to achieve the optimum maturity levels in our fruit and to create the best wine
Featured new retreat “PURO VIK”
Vik Retreats announces Puro Vik, a new retreat set in the hills at VIK in Chile. Working in tandem with Vik Chile, its pioneering sister property, the remarkable collection of glass houses offers a new way to experience Chile’s breathtaking cultural landscape.
Ideally perched on a hilltop in the middle of this most picturesque valley, with the Andes Mountains in the distance, Puro Vik is a stunning destination nestled in Chile’s Millahue Valley – only a two-hour drive from Santiago de Chile. Puro Vik, a collection of glass houses that will hang from the steep hills just below Vik Chile, in the stunning nature and vineyard of Chile’s Millahue Valley.
Carefully positioned to offer the best vantage points for living in exquisite, cool and romantic luxury while capturing the magnificent dramatic natural surroundings. Puro Vik offers a hospitality experience which is rare, inspiring and singular by design.
Each glass house will feature unique art and design including themes such as artifacts and antiquities, Japan with Utagawa Hiroshige, the art of glass with Dale Chihuly, holographic art, pop art, 18th century France, bohemian design, neon and light, site specific art installations and La Piu Belle, imagined in homage to the most recent wine from Viña VIK.
Each house will have a free-standing transparent Italian designed glass closet and luxurious wide-planked hardwood floors continuing from the bedroom out onto the terrace. The roofs will be covered with wild grasses or solar panels depending on each house’s exposure.
The luxurious bathrooms will each feature a different and unique marble from around the world, art in and of nature itself, laid in slabs, plus handmade Japanese washi paper set inside the glass bathroom walls to create a discrete elegant separation from the bedroom.
Bedrooms and bathrooms will open onto the private terraces, inviting guests to relax in the plein aire and soak in large beautiful tubs sipping a glass of the best wine beneath the warm Chilean sun, the moon and the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere.
Thinking about visiting the jungle? Peru has two options: The purely Amazonian jungle, located in the north of the country, in the Department of Iquitos, and another in Puerto Maldonado, southeast of the country.
Although both have spaces of virgin forest, each has something different to offer.
Traveling to Iquitos to visit the jungle is an adventure. This city is only accessible by air or fluvial and has two distinctly different seasons: The rainy season, from late November to March, and the dry season, from April to mid-November.
Iquitos offers the opportunity to navigate the majestic Amazon and many of its well-known tributaries. Here you will find the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.
the city and in islands close to it, is possible to visit several Non-Governmental
Organizations ventures that seek to rescue wild animals from illegal sale and
reinsert them into their natural habitat. These include:
-CREA, the Amazonian Rescue Center.
Located in the same city and a few minutes from the Port of Nauta, CREA offers the opportunity to know closely the situation that live dozens of species commercialized illegally either for consumption or as pets.
In their facilities, they rest and recover waiting to be released, the famous Charapas turtles, spider monkeys, tigrillos and manatees.
The island, located 30km from Iquitos, houses for more than 20 years a rescue center that keeps the monkeys free, waiting for them to reach the age needed to be reinserted in the jungle. Many of the monkeys that inhabit it have been rescued from houses and markets. They were captured very small, separated from their mothers, to be adopted as pets. On the island they check them daily, help them learn to get food for themselves, to manage themselves while keeping them healthy. Once they reach sexual maturity and their behavior becomes aggressive, they are returned to the jungle to continue their life in absolute freedom.
In Iquitos it is also possible to visit several native communities that share with the visitor their worldview and teach them that to live from nature and respect it at the same time is possible.
In Iquitos inhabit the famous pink dolphin, otorongos, jaguars, turtles, sloths, the black lizard, manatees. Watching them is not that simple. Special trips to the virgin forest must be organized in many cases.
offer is basically based on eco lodges designed to mimic the environment and
offer the visitor a different experience, connecting with their surroundings.
offers several alternatives of accommodation, although none of luxury (there´s
only 1 5* hotel).
Here It is also possible to board several luxury cruises that offer packages of up to 7 days to tour the Amazon.
minimum stay 3d/2n
for traveling with children
Like Iquitos, Puerto Maldonado has very well defined the rainy and dry seasons. Here are several natural reserves: Tambopata and the Manu are the best known. Within Tambopata, in addition, is the National Park Bahuaja and Sandoval Lake, making the observation of wild animals easier than in Iquitos as the action of nan on nature is widely controlled.
Otters, black lizards, Charapitas, tapirs, Colpas, monkeys of various species,
giant anteaters, jaguars, are some of the species that can be seen in the tours
offered by most lodges.
Here, the accommodation options operate under the All Inclusive mode: from transfers to and from the airport, to tours and food.
There are categories
of accommodation for all tastes and pockets.
The Inkaterra chain has opted for luxury accommodation without breaking the environment, building lodges with cabins that blend in perfectly with the surrounding rainforest.
There are also lodges for those looking for an experience more similar to Iquitos: few luxuries and lots of nature. One of the best known is the Sandoval Lake Lodge, the only located on the shores of the beautiful lake of the same name.
This time I’ll tell you about a must-see event full of alchemy that I attended in Mendoza: 10 Manos!
What is it about? 5 luxury world-known Argentine chefs formed a team years ago, and host this event once a year in different parts of the world (don’t forget to check where the 2020 edition of this must-see event will take place). The starring lineup of the “Dream Team”: Narda Lepes, Mauro Colagreco (no less than the first Argentine chef to be awarded a Michelin star for his famous restaurant, Mirazur, in France), Fernando Trocca, Germán Martitegui and Guido Tassi.
More hands joined in, like Tato Giovannoni´s, with his perfect cocktails, and as bonus: all wines from winery Zuccardi Piedra Infinita, among others.
Obviously, all of them care a lot about my rating in the COQUERA
guide, so I’ll award them 4 shoes and a glass of wine (EXCELLENT Plus!), and here
is the reason why:
It was like stepping them down and
right back up from the premium chef category pedestal: Down, because we saw
them in action as plain regular people just cooking and hosting us with the
same care and intimacy you would expect from your own friends when having you at
their home. And then, back up to the top, with the warmth and quality of
service truly worthy of the podium.
The environment in such a winery, with its owners as our luxury hosts, added even more magic to the event. And right at the foot of the Andes.
The menu featured chef Martitegui’s tamales with two types of corn and partridge leg; chef Tassi’s blood sausage with fresh beans; Colagreco’s shredded and pressed lamb confit, with sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, dates and mashed quince on the side, and another dish of persimmon with Armagnac whipped cream; chef Narda Lepes’ squash tempura with aioli; and chef Martitegui’s kid goat tacos wrapped in lettuce leaves.
Spectacular live music by duet Mariano Dalla Torre and Gustavo Bruno.
Over one hundred guests, gastronomic icons, journalists, wine experts and special—not to say shameless—guests, like me. My conclusion: gastronomy, cocktails and premium wines combined in a luxury environment. If you are a hearty eater, add this event to your bucket list!
As every place we attend with ALCHEMY DMC, this event turned every single element into gold!