Between Nature and Identity
WHEN TO GO
ALL YEAR ROUND
LANDSCAPES OF THE SOUL
Venturing into the less commonly visited northern regions of Argentina, this far-reaching expedition weaves together a tale of remote wildernesses and the native peoples who once ranged there, of conquistador cities and Spanish baroque ruins lost to encroaching jungles, and of Argentina’s revolution and a European aspect that endures, not always comfortably, to this day. Why is the dual idea of geographical and cultural belonging fundamental to the question of Argentine national identity?
At every stage of this odyssey, enjoy privileged access to archaeological sites, nature reserves and museum collections, and benefit from expert insights provided by some of the country’s leading ethnographers, geologists, environmental scientists and historians.
WILD LANDSCAPES AND THE HUMAN IMPRINT
From camping amid the salt flat deserts of Salinas to trekking the windswept ravines, sierras and valleys of Los Cordones, a visceral study of northern Argentina’s primal landscapes reveals the ethnogeography of a culturally rich and complex region. At Campo Piedra de Pomez, an otherworldly labyrinth of volcanic rock awaits, while a journey from Cafayete to Cachi connects with the living history of indigenous settlers. The Iguazu Falls, Argentina’s singular natural treasure, thunders forth from the rainforests of Misiones; explore the province named for the Jesuit missions established to convert the native Guaraní to Christianity.
TAPESTRY OF PEOPLES
To learn more about how Argentina’s various indigenous peoples fit into the nation’s anthropological puzzle, enjoy a private visit to the Juan B. Ambrosetti Ethnographic Museum in Buenos Aires. An afterhours tour of the Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña with a local historian reveals the poignant and perfectly preserved Llullailaco child mummies, sacrificial victims of an Inca empire that extended into corners of Argentina. Earlier still, explore the fortified town of Pukara, built by the Omaguaca tribe who settled around the 12th century.
CONQUISTADORS AND THE REVOLUTION
The material legacy of Argentina’s Spanish conquerors is revealed in Cordoba’s Manzana Jesuítica, the finest preserved group of colonial buildings in the country. Delve into the jungle-clad ruins of reducciones, or Jesuit missions, where once the indigenous Guarani were corralled amid splendid Spanish baroque churches. A lavishly restored Jesuit estancia (ranch) formerly belonging to an Argentine president is one of many unique and culturally thematic accommodations. An exclusive tour of the Cabildo, the seat of Spanish power in colonial-era Buenos Aires, reveals the history and artefacts surrounding Argentina’s May Revolution of 1810.
THE SPIRIT OF A NATION
The vital essence of modern Argentina is writ large in the timeworn Buenos Aires neighbourhoods of Monserrat and San Nicolás, and through intangible heritage icons like the tango, born out of the portside clubs and bordellos of Argentina’s melting pot capital in the 19th century. Learn the story (and master the steps if you wish) of the world’s greatest dance. Gastronomy is another essential ingredient of northern Argentina; sample the region’s outstanding viticulture with an exclusive visit to the Colome Bodega winery, one of the oldest and highest vineyards in the world.
ENLIGHTENED TRAVEL, SHAPED BY YOU
Choose a location anywhere on earth, from the cultural hubs of Europe to the wilds of Patagonia, and share your passions with us. A Guild of experts will add substance and purpose to one-off experiences, shaped by you. The Luminaire shares private access, selects properties of historical or cultural provenance, and creates engaging and accessible ways to participate and learn, for a community of curious minds, young and old.