Earlier this month The View South once again left our accustomed surroundings of Buenos Aires and headed to the far North of Argentina or to be more precise Salta. Having personally travelled widely throughout Argentina including the beautiful and world renowned provinces of Patagonia in both Argentina and Chile. Salta by quiet a stretch is my favourite place in Argentina. My filming experience and vacation time there should give you a good insight into why. I hope you enjoying reading the latest View South blog!
After a short flight to the city of Salta, I was picked up by one of the Chacu team. One of the first things you notice about Salta is the sky, you’ll see very few other places with such a blue sky. The Chacu lodge is located east from the city of Salta near two small towns of Joaquín V. González and Las Lajitas.
The majority of people’s preconception of Salta’s landscape is cactuses, orange rock mountains and deserts. Salta of cause has this but the reality is quite different as Salta has also has tropical landscapes and other types of terrain. In addition to this the landscape where Chacu is located is very flat and quite similar to that of Entre Rios or Cordoba.
The lodge itself is absolutely beautiful. At Chacu they really have everything catered right down to the finest details. The lounge as you can see from the photo has cosy log fire and every evening the hunters and fisherman gather round to enjoy some of Salta’s finest cuisine in a different part of the lodge each night. Firstly there is the wine cellar, the outside asado, the lounge and the main dinner table. I’ve had my fair share of wine and empanadas in my years in Argentina but here they have the best! The chief there also cooks some fantastic home made pastas and various other dishes. When you see the video you’ll notice I focus on some of the fine details of the lodge and not just on wide shots which also demonstrate the general look of the place. It’s the fine touches which make the difference between good place to stay a great place to stay.
My clients really wanted me to demonstrate how many birds that there are and I can tell you first hand there is millions of them. When I was out filming in the bush we came upon a huge water hole with several wild horses there and plenty of birds flying overhead. I jumped out of the jeep and snuck into the bush. Left out there alone in the wild. I had all the time I needed to get some great shots of the birds flying around the water hole. I’m not sure whether or not some of the readers here have experienced a sense of being left out in the wild alone but I love it, it really completes something inside of me and makes me feel whole while I’m there. Perhaps its some form of a pre historic sense “man and his craft in the wild”. You have one single task to get those key shots and all of life’s other complications and events going on across the globe are eliminated.
below – testing out the go pro gun shots!
After two days filming the lodge and the shooting. We embarked on a journey to Chacu’s fishing lodge “San Fernando” which is about two hours and half drive from Chacu. I was quite astonished how Salta’s landscape changed from wild bush and flat lands to the mountain jungle. There is a huge abundance of wildlife in this part of Argentina. Most notably this is the territory of one of Argentina’s big cats the Jaguar! My client has several small motion sensor cameras which picked up a few shots of the Jaguar. Unfortunately I didn’t get chance to film any. As you can imagine this is a mammoth task, however it’s an active dream of mine and hopefully one day I can for fill it. I did managed to get some fantastic underwater shots of the fish and Argentina’s famous Golden Dorado with the help of my friend Fernando. We placed the camera into the river bed and with Fernando’s good judgment guessed the right place and direction in which they would swim.
I also took a super low and wide shot of the river whilst in the middle of it! A few people have mentioned that these shots have become my trademark shots.
I’m very happy people enjoy them. Although on this occasion the current was quite strong it took a fair bit of strength and persistence to keep the shot level and steady but I got there without my camera and tripod floating down stream!
Upon completion of the Chacu filming I decided to extend my flight and stay longer in Salta. For my little trip I hired a car in the city of Salta and drove to Cachi. The drive was an incredible one but I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. One thing I will mention however is after drive through incredibly tight corners one after another on the narrow mountain roads, you eventually arrive in a desert at the summit. I’ve never experienced a place where there is hardly any sound. You could hear a pin drop in this dessert. The only sound which I could hear was the scratching of donkeys’s hooves. Incredible!
I spent two leisurely nights in Cachi at wonderful little hotel owned by a lovely and very hospitable Argentine couple. I’ll include the hotel details at the end of the blog as it’s a fantastic and authentic place to stay. The rooms even have a skylight so you can watch Salta’s night sky before you sleep! My time in Cachi consisted of exploring the village, tasting those fine wines and delicious empanadas. I also mountain biked a lot through the world class terrains Cachi has on offer. It really is a unique and special to visit.
Following my stay in Cachi I drove to Cafayate down the world famous “Ruta 40″ and then back to Salta city as you can see from the map it’s more or less a full circle route. To the east of the city are the routes taken with the Chacu team.
Although I prefer spending my time in the great outdoors, the city of Salta certainly deserves a mention too. I was only in the city briefly, but I will say that from what I saw it’s the prettiest city in Argentina. It has a very authentic feel about it and very much an unspoilt place. They also have the world’s best preserved mummies there, at the museum of high altitude archaeology. The three mummies are from the Inca era and I highly recommend a visit to the museum for a great insight into this incredible part of human history.
I hope you enjoyed my photos and the video for Chacu can be seen below too. It’s been yet another trip of a lifetime and long may they continue on. Salta certainly has the mantel for my favourite place in Argentina so far. Salta la linda indeed!
The View South have several new projects coming up for several estancias and we’ll also be filming Buenos Aires from helicopter in the near future. So keep liking our posts and checking back in with us. I personally highly appreciate all the support and feedback that The View South receives. Feel free to ask any questions about travel or any camera pointers. I’m always happy to help!