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Natural History Field Course in Argentina’s Backcountry

Organisation: NATUCATE

Country: Argentina

Type: Environment & Wildlife Conservation

Natural History Field Course in Argentina’s Backcountry

Your off-the-grid-adventure in the Andean Cordillera

Besides from acquiring knowledge about topics like geology, plant anatomy and avian biology participants will also be instructed in developing necessary skills to live and observe nature in the backcountry wilderness context in a responsible and ethical manner. Join this unique Wilderness Experience and gain valuable perspective on the relationship between the human species and the natural world it affects.

You will fly to Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires. From there you will travel by bus or by plane to Neuquén Province. This is where all participants will meet at the Presidente Perón International Airport to start their 26-day-trip together. A chartered van will drive you to the beginning of your path into the Cordillera near the small town of El Huecu. From where you and your group are dropped off, you will travel by foot/horseback to a Patagonian horse ranch at the foot of the Andean Plateau.

The following day you will have an orientation meeting and receive a programme introduction, dealing with aspects like logistics, emergency protocols and backcountry safety issues, cultural issues, as well as other important details.

Three days later you will leave the ranch headquarters to start your backpack trip and follow the Ríos Trocomán and Pícunleo to their headwaters in the Andean Cordillera, along the South American continental divide. During this time, your group will spend one week at the high mountain lake, Laguna Negra. Typical field days will incorporate traveling with backpacks along the planned route, punctuated by lesson presentations, focused field experience, and group discussions. The nature of the programme is, however, dynamic, and depending upon what is encountered, you may opportunistically take advantage of observing subjects/topics of interest that you encounter unexpectedly. Due to the group’s partial reliance upon nature to provide the subject material, participants should expect the schedule to change with some frequency, and should be willing to be flexible to appreciate the paradoxical “order” of our natural world. The primary focus of this experience will be to explore the fascinating diversity of life forms in Patagonia and the intricate relationships that exist between these organisms and their environment.


Together with you group you will primarily be camping in remote backcountry locations and/or staying in rustic accommodations. During the trip you will be carrying and preparing your own meals. The range of available foods suitable for backpacking will be limited, that’s why you should plan on menus including bread, crackers, cheese, salami, honey, jam, and muesli or granola for breakfasts and lunches. For dinners, you will often have rice, lentils, pasta, polenta. Before and after your actual packtrip you will stay at a horse ranch, located in the Patagonian Andes. You’ll be accommodated in shared guest rooms with shared bathrooms. The ranch has an own garden that provides staff members and guests with vibrant fresh greens for daily salads, as well several other vegetables. In the ranch’s kitchen the chefs prepare a wide variety of foods ranging in style from California cuisine to traditional Argentine dishes for the guests.

  • Minimum age: 18 years
  • Start dates: 01.02.2018
  • Duration: 26 days
  • Project location: Province Neuquén / Argentina
  • Accommodation: tents, shared accommodation with shared bathroom
  • Language requirements: English (solid basic knowledge is sufficient)
  • Suitable for: Wilderness Experience, Sabbatical
  • Certification


  • Placement in the course
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Assistance with selecting travel insurance
  • Assistance with booking flights
  • Pre-departure information pack
  • Course start: transfer from Neuquén to the ranch
  • Course end: transfer from the ranch to Neuquén
  • All meals during the course – participants help to cook
  • Accommodation during the course
  • Classroom hours
  • Certificate
  • English speaking support by long-term experienced staff
  • 24/7-support throughout the course

Fees: 3.525 EUR

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