Where are you going again? Salta, I said. It’s a province of Argentina that’s in the northwest of the country bordering Chile, Bolivia, and Paraguay, continuing my explanation. Oh, that’s nice! Why? Because given its position at the foot of the Andes Mountains, the area is filled with natural wonders, many of which are still undisturbed. And, I wanted an opportunity to travel with a company that believes in the power of sustainability as much as I do.
With that, our small group embarked on five days of leisurely hiking through varied and beautiful terrain (think jungles, mountains, and dry valleys all within a short radius, and the added reward of lots of food and wine tasting each day).
Given that over 16% of the province’s area is protected, it was no surprise to me that the only people we encountered (if at all) during our hikes were local indigenous people. One gentleman, for example, was crossing a good portion of Los Cardones National Park with his two dogs so that he could look in on his grandfather that day and make sure that all was well. Another one was herding his sheep across La Yesera.
We were traveling with Autentica Salta’s co-owner Nano, who over the last 22 years, along with his wife Soledad, has cultivated strong relationships with family-owned area enterprises, such as potters and weavers and naturalist guides and winemakers.
Collectively, they all shared their love for the land, its history, and cultural traditions, and most importantly, understood the value of how mindful and ethical partnerships can benefit local communities socially, economically and environmentally.
But, what struck me the most was how young everyone was. Having just traveled to Crete some weeks before, I realized during this trip that a movement was occurring perhaps across the world.
This movement has centered on young people who find themselves disillusioned with city life, and are wanting – needing – to go back to their roots and their villages to start businesses that would allow for them to support their families while tending to their need for a simpler lifestyle.
The Greek and the Argentinians are evoking a real need for sustainability.
Certainly, technology is helpful for spreading the word, but it’s companies that Autentica Salta that make it possible to connect like-minded travelers with these opportunities for biking, hiking, gastronomy, and horseback riding. For the active traveler or family, it’s easy to spend a week in Salta re-connecting with, well, whoever is important to you.