Understand this first of all: The Four Seasons this ain’t. But what it is is a window into real life in the wilds of NW Argentina in a lovely, family run ranch/B&B. To start with, this is VERY hard to find, being 3 km south on a dirt road off Rte 40 (the Argentina version of Rte 66 except with gravel) from the tiny town of Seclantes, without benefit of any sign! When you do find it, it is VERY rustic with wood heating on an old family ranch run by Fido and Berta with 3 kids, some horses, a llama or two and pet dogs, cats, and a pig! Berta was away the night we were there, leading to a minor degree of chaos. Dinner normally is available, but Fido was without food or a functioning car, so our guide and we drove with him into Seclantes to coax some grocers into opening their stores on a Sunday afternoon and finally securing a steak from his brother, as the butcher was attending a local soccer match! Once back at the ranch, we figured the quickest path to glory was for all to pitch in, so my wife helped peel the carrots and potatoes, and Fido served us (and his 3 kids) a nice steak (though a bit overdone for our taste; I forgot to say the magic word, jugoso) with salad and roasted potatoes. Really a warm family experience, followed by stargazing at the Southern Cross without ANY contaminating light around, complemented by amazing the children with our iPad Star Walk app. By morning, the 20F chill outside had penetrated the house, but Fido had hot coffee and pastries awaiting us. He then led us on an hour-long horseback ride along the Calchaqui River in complete isolation. Stunning views. Dinner, breakfast, a bottle of Malbec, and the room set us back the grand sum of 270 pesos (US$65). Again, it will never win any spa awards from Conde Nast, but for a genuine glimpse into life in the Andean foothills, it can’t be beat!