When Wildlife is in Danger

When wildlife is in danger and luckily someone is around to do something about it, the incident becomes an anecdote that certainly deserves to be told.


Last month, one of our groups from Germany traveling through the National Road 40 saw a guanaco trapped on a wire fence. We invited Claudio Allende, Kallpa’s Tour Leader assigned to this group (and one of the heroes of the day!) to write about the episode and share it with all of you:

Claudio Allende
Claudio Allende

Guanaco Ricky’s second birthday                          by Claudio M. Allende 

Lands in Patagonia are surrounded by thousands of kilometers of wire fence. This is how man decided to civilize and settle on these beautiful grounds, still wild and adventurous.

Crossing through the Route 40 towards El Chaltén, one of the largest and fairest roads by the side of the Andes, we saw a guanaco trapped on a wire fence. Many guanaco carcasses hung from the wire showed us his probable fate. But today, his destiny was about to change.

The guanaco tangled on a wire fence

While Sergio -the driver- drove through a constant fight against the wind, 14 German travelers enjoyed the Patagonian natural beauties: mountains and hills, guanacos, rheas, foxes, sheeps and gauchos, all holding hands under the Patagonian skies.

That is how we found the poor guanaco with his legs tangled on a fence. When I asked if we should stop and try to help him, Sergio slammed on the breaks, we looked at each other and it was clear that we would do everything possible to liberate the animal.  

Sergio and Claudio helping the guanaco
Sergio and Claudio helping the guanaco

“Please don’t anyone get off, stay on the bus so we don’t scare him more than he already is” were my words to our travelers and we walked towards the poor guanaco, that nervously watched us getting closer and closer. An adult specimen-such like this one- might weigh up to 90 kilos. The mix of fright when he saw us, believing us to be a menace and the desperation for not being able to escape gave the animal an incredible strength. Every movement of his head and every kick could hurt Sergio or me, and also endanger the travelers.

Almost done!
Almost done!

But at the moment you don’t think about any of that: we saw a few wounds that he had on his groin and how the wire was hurting his long legs. Without any doubt, we begun to separate the wires and try to release one of the legs. Once he had one free, the scared animal started kicking. I hung from his neck trying to cover his eyes, to disorient him so he could soothe a bit while Sergio fought with the last leg. We had just two wires left. With all our strength combined, finally we set him free. “Our” guanaco ran away immediately. The wounds weren’t that deep and surely he would survive. As a token of his appreciation, we got a few kicks and bruises…but also the satisfaction of giving this animal a new life.  

Ricky trying to escape
Ricky trying to escape

The travelers rejoiced: we heard the cries of joy in the bus and when we returned, a big and loud applause. We celebrated toasting with water and baptized “our” guanaco on his second birthday. Somewhere in Patagonia, now we have a guanaco son named Ricky and I hope to see him again sometime.

Ricky finally free!

Ricky finally free!

The pictures are courtesy of one of the travelers.

Curious Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia

We love this region with its enormous landscape and cultural wealth. We decided to give Patagonia its own place as “Our curious Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia”.


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The snow-covered peaks of the Andes give birth to many rivers and water-falls in Patagonia. From the majestic mountains to the volcanoes, Patagonia still is the virgin borderline in South America.


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The 673.000 square kilometers of this area are so scarcely populated that the population density is extremely low. We´ll find just one person per square kilometer in some areas


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The 28.300 hectares of the Parque Provincial Copahue, on the eastern frontier with Chile, where we find the crater of the volcano by the same name, is home to prehistoric araucaria forests. Extensive meadows,snow-covered Andean peaks, lakes and a picturesque lunar landscape of rocky origins.


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The Glaciar Perito Moreno rises above the Lago Argentino as a solid wall of 4.8 kilometers wide and almost 60 meters high. One of the 47 massive ice fields is the Parque Nacional de la Patagonia Argentina. This force of nature is 260 square kilometers in all.


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The sunset casts a pink glow over the granite peaks that ring a glacier lake in Torres del Paine. This national park is the crown jewel for Chileans. With an area of 242.000 hectares,this park is a kaleidoscope of different land formations such as the high mountains or the ice fields.


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A lone lighthouse stands on watch over the Patagonian coastline of Ushuaia. The cold waters from Antarctica cover  a rich sea life all along the southern coast of Patagonia,including sea-lions cormorants and albatross.


If you want to know about this and other destinations in Argentina and Chile you can check our monthly blog.

If you have any interesting data that you would like to share with us you are invited to leave your comments on our website

Aonikenk Chalten

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Aonikenk Chalten! These were 2 expressions, ussually related to each other, used by the Tehuelches, the natives of the Patagonia Steepe. It is believed that Aonikenk means “us, the people” in Tehuelche.


Aonikenk-Chalten-1The exact meaning of the Word “Chalten” remains unknown. The most accepted theory tells us that the tehuelche people used this term to refer to the “smoking mountain” or “mountain that smokes” for the Granite tower that signalled the westernmost frontier for the Tehuelches on their nomadic route, since the mountain always has thin clouds coming from the top, creating the sensation we are in prescence of a Volcano.

Hundreds of years later, The Chalten Mountain Range, with its hanging glaciers and century-old Lenga forest, remains imposing and defying for all visitors magnetically drawn to the small Mountain Village of El Chalten. As the laguna de los tres trail, the most popular and beautiful path, makes its way through the Lenga forests, the Towering granite peaks appear totally dominating the scene, and a small though of give it a try and attemp the climb to the top starts to grow inside of oneself, from the casual hiker to the most seasoned climber.

Aonikenk-ChaltenAfter a strenuous Last trekking hour through a rocky zigzag steep stairs, the reward, the emerald Green Laguna de los Tres is the mesmerizing end of the trail for the hikers, or the base jump for the climbers looking to conquer the peak´s Summit.


Kallpa annual meeting with Tour Leaders

The Kallpa annual meeting with Tour Leaders was organiced at home, here in Kallpa Buenos Aires, last October 2nd to talk about expectations we and our clients have for the upcoming season.

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Great expectation is in the air, certain uncertainty and anxiousness is merged in everybody’s faces, nobody knows precisely how tough the coming season will be! It was already knocking at the door when we recently met for the Intro briefing for season 2014 – 2015.

kallpa-annual-meeting-with-tour-leaders-3Some of the most significant topics we went through were: proactivity (forethoughts), security (anticipation), TL as an example, tools on the road (catalogue + ops. letter + manuals + intro-briefing and daily briefing) and good held lectures among many others.

Some core ideas were also handled to help our Tour Leaders, to make the most of their nice job to our common and distinguished passengers. Always keen to improve their services and represent every part effectively on the ground. It is a privilege to be ambassador at our own country and build up a working team on the field that allows guests to earn positive and human close experiences.

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10 Tour Leaders could join us for the meeting, in which the experienced TL Daniel showed his personal and very successful way of introducing the trip and himself to a fresh arrived group, one of the most significant moments of their job. Other Tour Leaders could not assist because they were already travelling or split all around Argentina (Misiones, Tucumán, Mendoza, Río Negro, Santa Cruz) and even elsewhere in the World, but were also shared this meeting thereafter.

Expectations came down to the ground, lots of issues became certain and we all know that it is a promising but challenging season. And it is already running …