Al Kamar, where the Moon is within reach

Fire pierces night’s veil, barely lit by light from stars that can be appreciated in ways the city never could. The forest is pitch black as soon as sundown

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Al Kamar “is a life philosophy”, Graciela reflects as she walks through a wooded trail where new specimens of meter, meter and a half appear; trees of different native species. This native forest is profiled as an ecological edge that bridges with the superb “Campo San Juan”, the radiant reserve managed by Misiones and the National Government.

Graciela Turrella de Ruiz is the owner of Al Kamar, a lodge that sits just in the transition between the thicket and the last grasslands of south Misiones. To the left, in the distance and across the route, stands majestic the Cross of Santa Ana, on whose slopes the rewilding project is carried out by several landowners, with the support of young professionals of the area.

Al Kamar is settled on top of a hill, on a 25 hectares property where wild fruit trees abound. Lots of shade, fluttering birds and an endless view of shades of green.

Graciela is 66 years old but has an enviable vitality. In the noon heat of Misiones, she takes her time to show the new specimens that were planted by the thicket’s reconstruction team. In the slowly recovering forest, there are several more sapling waiting for their place on the soil. Yellow guatambú, papayas, guabiroba and urunday emerge in the mixture of forest and grasslands.

“We want it to be a reserve that connects the hill with the countryside, an ecological support for Campo San Juan”, explains Graciela to Economis. In the farmland, ten hectares were used for the recovery of the thicket. In the area there must be more than one hundred, counting neighboring producers.

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In the calm of this place, she tells, animals begin to appear knowing that they are in safe territory: tatous that were believed to be gone, wild turkeys, birds, moorhens and foxes abound. Hidden cameras promise to reveal more surprises. In Campo San Juan, a few kilometers away, the ecosystem amazed with its diversity.

Born in San Martín, Chaco province, Graciela was always in contact with nature and when she came to Misiones she decided to invest in something that would allow her to “host people”. That is how Al Kamar was born as a concept, which was transformed into an exclusive lodge with three spacious cabins designed with comfort and modernity in mind, without breaking the harmony of the landscape. The lodging is completed with four more rooms in the four-star category.

The venture is managed by Graciela and the youngest of her six children. It has a restaurant open to the public, with a first-rate gastronomic proposal and vegetables harvested in the organic garden, a few meters from the entrance, where lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables are harvested.

There is also a small convention room and two swimming pools, one with an unmatched view of the sunset, ideal for those in love with tranquility and nature. Before sunset, the spa, enveloped in a forest silence, is ideal to relax the tensions of the city.

At night the show is unique. The sky seems close at hand and there are hammocks and armchairs strategically distributed for the visual spectacle. Al Kamar means full moon in arabic. From the hill as a balcony, it seems within reach. You don’t need electric light to walk the trails that surround the facilities. “It took us more than seven years to build, we thought about it a lot, we observed the places, we loved this spot, the nature that surrounds it and that the horizon is the limit of the view,” says Graciela, who 34 years ago, together with her husband, chose Misiones as their place to live.

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The lodge, born of her imagination, imposes itself today as a stimulating option for the south of Misiones. “Those who visit us feel that there is a good energy in this place. Guests come from everywhere, several from Posadas, but also from other provinces and abroad, before the pandemic”, she explains. The health crisis, like everywhere else, paralyzed the activity but, as soon as the first restrictions were lifted, demand grew again. The pure air, surrounded by nature, promises a nature-filled escapade.

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