Bonnie Tucker / FST
The El Calafate airport is two hours away, and you may have to get out to open and close several cattle guards to get to your home away from home for the next few days because it is in a small beech forest on the ranch that is furthest from nowhere in this solitary corner of the Argentine province of Santa Cruz.
Back in camp, you see that your bed in the headroom-high geodesic dome tent atop a wooden platform is properly made up with a quilt, two fleece blankets and crisp white sheets on a thick mattress. There are eight tents in the forest.
During dinner in the large multi-purpose dome that serves as a dining and living room for all the guests, you sip fine wine and enjoy choice cuts of beef or lamb with vegetable side dishes as you chat with fellow nature lovers from the First World who revel in pristine places, but also appreciate comfort.
There is hot water for a shower in the wooden bathhouse with ladies’ and men’s sectors.
When you wake up the next morning you will observe the lichen-draped branches of the beeches around you through the transparent PVC picture window of your tent, and decide whether you want to spend the day hiking, birding, biking or hearing a guide explain the local flora and fauna. More than one burned-out urbanite spends the first 24 hours sleeping or reading a book, with short breaks for eating. Breakfast is served in the big dome, but it can also be brought to the tent.
Thus far, the ages of the people who have been going in for this sort of experience since the tent complex opened in 2007 (when I visited the site) have ranged from 24 to 80. About 90% of them are foreigners who hail from such countries as England, the Netherlands and the United States.
Adventure Domes, the eco-undertaking of two Santa Cruz outdoor aficionados, offers three-day (two-night) all-inclusive packages that include a transfer to and from the glacier in front, and may be prolonged if the client so desires. Minimum: two persons. Cost: approximately US$250 per person per night. Information and bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org and 5199-0401 in Buenos Aires.
PHOTO CREDITS: All photos courtesy of Adventure Domes.