Journey to Patagonia
Adventures in Argentina and Chile
November 29 ~ December 12, 2017
Come and join us, Richard Liebmann and Natalie Young, on an incredible journey to Patagonia. This amazing trip is enormously fun, awe-inspiring and rich in so many ways. We will be connecting with the passionate culture of Argentina and Chile, wild nature, Spirit and each other. With a small and intimate group (14 participants) led by Richard and Natalie who have been leading plant focused journeys for over 15 years, you will have the opportunity to experience the sense of "place" in each region and a deep connection with each other. One can't help but be aroused by the mystery that surrounds Patagonia; the vastness of nature, its wild and untamed beauty. During our last Patagonia Journey we were delighted with the stunning, breathtakingly beautiful landscapes for which this region of the earth is so famous. We will be staying in the beautiful Lake District of Argentina and Chile, meeting with wonderful 'plant people' & experiencing the local flavor of a rich and diverse culture. It will be winter here in the States, but late spring time in the Southern Hemisphere, and simply the best time for viewing wildflowers, gardens and experiencing nature!
The program starts at 3 pm on November 29th in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina within Parque Nahuel Huapi which is one of the jewels of Argentina. This is a spectacular area of lakes and rivers carved from ancient glaciers, majestic mountains, inviting valleys, meadows, Valdivian forests and wildflowers. The program ends at 12 noon in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina on December 12th. When making your travel arrangements, plan to fly into and out of San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina (airport code BRC). In order to be well-rested from the long flights, we suggest flying in a day early. Or if you have a few extra days before hand, plan to fly into Buenos Aires and spend some time in this charming city. If you need help with your reservations or travel in general please contact Richard at email@example.com. Please note that there is a one time reciprocity fee of $160 that is paid online prior to your arrival into Argentina.
Some of the Highlights of our Journey
Parque Nacional Nahuel Haupi ~ Argentina's oldest and largest national park (over 2 million acres), Parque Nacional Nahuel Haupi contains over 50% of all the species found in the vast Patagonia. Myriads of sapphire lakes, glaciers, volcanic peaks and endless natural wonders to explore.
San Carlos de Bariloche ~ This town is an exciting blend of South American and European architecture, food and culture. In Bariloche, ¨the little Switzerland¨ of South America, there is Alpine-stye architecture, fragrant roses blooming everywhere, rose hips and lavender growing profusely and made into popular cuisine and health/ beauty products. Famous for its chocolates and chocolate factories, and fine eateries . This town is built on a most spectacular lake Nahuel Huapi that is 7 miles long, 1400 feet deep, pristine and clean. Dotted with islands and teeming with fish especially rainbow and brown trout. When out in a boat, if you rotate yourself 360 degrees you will see every kind of mountain that exists; snow capped, verdant with greenery, sculpted, bare, pointed and rounded... all in one place.
Lake Nahuel Huapi ~ We will travel to places on Lake Nahuel Huapi that are true wilderness, reachable only by boat, where rivers cascade into the lake creating multiple waterfalls and pools. Our guide on the lake, native Argentinean and fisherman extraordinaire Captain Juan Waroquiers tells us that he has fished all over the world and has come home to “the best possible place to fish”. For the fishermen/women among us, there will be ample opportunity to fish and eat our fresh catch prepared over the grill, Argentine style.
The Arrayanes Forest ~ The Arrayan trees, a type of myrtle whose red and white bark create designs resembling modern paintings, are found growing only in this part of the world and comprise a dense forest with trees as old as six and seven hundred years old. There are also giant redwood type trees (transplanted from California years ago!) that we will visit as well.
Pilcaneyeau Desert ~ We will leave the high mountains and travel to the La Buitreara (Rocks with Condors) in the Pilcaneyeau Desert. These sculpted, unique rock outcroppings are the nesting and mating ground for golden eagles and condors. To witness their flight is one of pure awe and delight. It is here you will see large narrow and often needle like rocks called Le Dedo de Dios – The Finger of God. We’ll also visit Los Juncos- a unique water conservation area and wildlife refuge where flamingos, ducks, swans and otters live.
El Bolson ~ a quaint amiable town where gauchos (cowboys), artisan breweries (the best hops in Argentina are grown here), musicians and herbalists live side by side. Live music is heard spilling out of the restaurants and bars and is played on the streets. We will visit a medicinal herb farm, meet and walk with local herbalists, hike to a spectacular scenic vista over looking Lago Puelo and mountain ranges that march into Chile. In El Bolson we will shop at strictly artisan market called by the locals “La Fería”. Artisans and farmers of the region bring their handicrafts, homemade food and garden produce to sell... baked goods, preserved fruit, natural health and beauty products, chocolates and traditional Argentinian dishes (empanadas and milanesas a-plenty). We will have time to browse the wide variety of hand made products, from wooden picture frames to puppets to beautiful dried flower arrangements, Patagonian stones, hand made jewelry, hand made clothes and bags and much more.
Victoria Island ~ In the remote past, native communities that lived here left their marks in the form of cave paintings on Victoria Island. The leafy trails that cross Victoria lead the visitors to the giant sequoias, thujas, eucalyptus, pines, oaks and cypresses.
The Futaleufu River ~ The Futaleufu river is known in whitewater circles as one of the most exciting rivers in the world. It is an exhilarating whitewater power storm of turquoise waters churned into white champagne. Riding the spine of this river as it flows through this isolated portion of the glaciated Chilean Andes is an unparalleled experience... exhilarating, challenging, scary at times, and immensely rewarding. The staff are world class paddling experts with an oarsmen on the raft and a safety team of a kayak and a pontoon boat in front. This trip is considered one of the top river experiences in the world. The river's name is derived from a local Tehuelche Indian word meaning "big big river" and it lives up to its namesake in every respect.
Pumalin Park ~ is one of the most remote places on Earth. It is where the snow capped Andes Mountains tumble spectacularly into the fjorded sea. Where rivers roar with glacial waters. Where 3,000-year-old Alerce trees strain for the sky. Where sea lions rule from their perch on the rocky coast. Where we will soak in natural thermal waters to sooth our muscles after hiking the mighty Chaiten Volcano. "Pumalin Project”, as the Park is fondly called, was birthed by American philanthropist Doug Tompkins founder of North Face and Esprit.
Puerto Varas ~
Puerto Varas is one of Chile's most charming villages, located on the shore of Lago Llanquihue with majestic Osorno volcano's graceful snow covered peak ever present in the background. There are excellent restaurants and elegant shops here.
Our local guides and experts include:
Captain Juan Waroquiers ~ a native Argentinean, avid fishermen and storyteller, Juan will be our captain and fishing guide.
Dr. Eddie Rapoport Dr. Rapoport holds a Doctorate in Natural Sciences and is a biologist, ecologist and bio-geographer. He is professor Emeritus at the National University of Comahue. He is the author of many books and scientific publications including Edible Weeds of the Southern Hemisphere. Dr Rapoport, in his 80's, is also an accomplished wood sculptor.
Dr. Anna Ladio ~ Dr Ladio's work focuses on medicinal use of plants amongst the indigenous populations. Some titles of her work include "Cultural Transmission of Ethnobotanical Knowledge in a Rural Community of Northwestern Patagonia", "Traditional Knowledge of Edible Wild Native and Exotic Plants in the Context of Cultural Change in Human Populations of Arid Patagonia", and "Gathering of Wild Plant Foods with Medicinal Use in a Mapuche Community of Northwest Patagonia".
Luis Martin Gray ~ Luis is a talented artist and local shaman. He works painting mandalas and handcrafts magic wands and walking staffs. His focus is on indigenous Americans, their culture, medicine and spirituality.
Eloisa Castellanos ~ Eloisa is a local herbalist and healer of El Bolson with years of experience using alternative and native methods of health care. Her focus is based on native plants, particularly flowering species. Her methods include Bach flower remedies, home made tinctures and a mixture of spiritual and traditional based techniques. She has published two books on the plant life in the region, their uses and their native histories and mythology. Eloisa has studied with indigenous healers and has a natural intuition and connection with the plants.
Silvia Gonzalez ~ Silvia is a native born Argentina with an innate love and appreciation of nature. She has degrees in pharmacy and biochemistry along with postgraduate degree in Natural Products. Silvia has been working in the education system since 1986 and is currently a Professor of Organic Chemistry, specializing in aromatic and medicinal plants at the Facultad de Ciencias Naturales de la UNPSJB in Esquel. She is a talented nature photographer and also facilitates sound healing and therapy sessions.
Yumbel and Lila Marassi ~ A dynamic musical duo, residents of El Bolson and a married couple who will be assisting us as guides for their region and entertaining us with their original music. Yumbel Marassi is a charming young native Argentinian musician, accomplished jeweler, chef and former gaucho. Lila is our magnificent daughter, Hawaiian born and raised, musician, excellent cook, dancer and fluent Spanish speaker who has been living in Argentina for 5 years.