Travel is nearly always a learning experience in itself. However we are now witnessing a growing trend for visitors to seek out places to stay and experiences that offer a genuine opportunity to expand their horizons and learn something new while on holiday. Whether that learning experience is acquiring a new skill, or – increasingly popular – gaining a deeper insight into local traditions and ways of life, Latin America offers a raft of extraordinary experiences that allow you to really get beneath the surface. Here we pick out some of our favourites.
Gaucho skills, Argentine cuisine & life on an Estancia
At Estancia Los Potreros, you can immerse yourself in life on an authentic working estancia. Set in a 6500-hectare cattle ranch in Córdoba’s Sierras Chicas, the estancia is family-run with a rich history. Guests can absorb this history during a stay here, but are also actively encouraged to participate in the present-day work of the gauchos. Herding cattle and learning to lasso are just some of the memorable experiences on offer! You can also try your hand at polo, or continue the learning experiences right into the kitchen. Regular ‘Chef’s Table’ evenings take place at the estancia, teaching guests local culinary skills such as folding delicious empanadas.
Going biodynamic – innovative wine production in Chile
Whilst organic wine is well-championed these days, the concept of biodynamic wine production is still relatively under-the-radar. Linked to the principles of biodynamic farming, this approach treats the vineyard as an entire ecosystem. The benefits – both for the environment and the quality of the wine – impressed the latest generation of the Matetic family so much that they decided this was the only way they wanted to produce wine when they acquired their estate in Chile’s Rosario Valley. Today, guests of La Casona at Matetic Vineyards can appreciate the success story of biodynamic wine production. A wine tour is included in all stays; you will learn about the variety of intriguing methods involved in Matetic’s biodynamic wine production – as well sampling the finished product, of course!
From May 2018, Inca Rail’s new 360° Machu Picchu Train will be providing their passengers with accessible background information on the highlights of the iconic journey from the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Machu Picchu. With an innovative on-board app, travellers will be able to chart the highlights of this journey and gain a unique insight into their surroundings and what awaits. The train journey always offers spectacular scenery, but it is also a route of rich historic and cultural importance where passengers can witness impressive feats of Inca construction before they even reach the wonders of Machu Picchu itself. Assisted by the App you can look out for intriguing Inca terracing on the banks of the Urubamba and the impressive ruins of Wiñay Wayna perching on the edges of this dramatic valley.