Fascinating North of Argentina
Find out why everyone raves about Salta! The diversity of landscapes in Salta and the neighboring province of Jujuy is unrivaled in all of Argentina. And maybe even in all of South America. In addition to the impressive landscape, various other factors invite you to visit: the friendly people, the excellent food and the excellent wine, which is one of the best in Latin America. The following tour includes the most important highlights of the region and can be expanded or optimized as required.
From Salta to Purmamarca
Day 1: Arrival in Salta and drive to Purmamarca (about 200 km, 2.30 hours drive). When you arrive in Salta, pick up your rental car at the office in the airport and make your way to Purmamarca. There are two ways to get from Salta to Purmamarca. The first option is to take the highway that leads to San Salvador de Jujuy via General Güemes. The second option, which is much nicer and more attractive, is to drive the route on Ruta 9. Instead of taking the highway from Salta to General Güemes, take the old Ruta 9 to La Caldera. It is a steep, vegetation and winding road. So be careful not to drive too fast as some corners are very sharp. The road takes you to Jujuy and from there it is the same way as in the first option. The entire route is approximately 180 km. Overnight in Purmamarca at the Hotel Los Colorados in a standard room with breakfast.
Day 2: Free day in Purmamarca. Today you have the day off to visit for example the Quebrada de Humahuaca (rock canyon). Overnight in Purmamarca at the Hotel Los Colorados in a standard room with breakfast.
Salinas and San Antonio de los Cobres
Day 3: Drive to the Salinas Grandes, via San Antonio de los Cobres to Salta (about 350 km, on paved and unpaved roads, 8 hours drive). Today it goes on the Ruta 52 over the Lipan Pass. At the highest point of the winding mountain road you can reach a height of up to 4,170 meters. Hard to do in a small car. Now you are happy to have rented a 4 × 4. This leads you to the Salinas Grandes (salt lakes), which impress with their only white surface. Then it goes back to the Lipan Pass and then on the Ruta 40 to San Antonio de los Cobres. After a short visit to the picturesque town, we return to Salta. You drive along the rails of the “Tren a las Nubes” (train to the clouds). Your route also takes you past the town of Santa Rosa de Tastil, where there are several interesting ruins to visit. Overnight in Salta in the Finca Valentina in a standard room with breakfast.
The wine region of Cafayate
Day 4: Drive to Cafayate (186 km on paved roads, 3 hours drive). Today we start heading south on Ruta 68 via El Carril and Coronel Moldes. About 50 km before Cafayate you will reach the impressive “Quebrada de las Conchas”. The valley is covered with huge, red boulders and although the journey takes only 3 hours, you should plan more time to take a closer look at these impressive rock formations and to stop at the countless photo stops. Overnight in Cafayate at the Hotel Killa in a standard room with breakfast.
Day 5: Free day in Cafayate. Today you have time to explore Cafayate. The area produces excellent wine and is particularly known for the “Torrontes” white wine and the “Shiraz” red wine (known there as Syrah). We particularly recommend visiting the bodega of Finca las Nubes. It is also worth visiting the ruins of Quilmes, which are a little south of Cafayate. Overnight in Cafayate at the Hotel Killa in a standard room with breakfast.
Cachi and the Ruta 40
Day 6: Drive via Molinos to Cachi (162 km on unpaved roads, 4.30 hours drive). After breakfast it starts on the Ruta 40 through the Calchaquí valley. To do this, leave Cafayate northwards and keep left towards San Carlos. After about 25 km a route begins on unpaved road and soon you will reach the valley of the arrows, in which the rock strands are aligned vertically and look like arrowheads. At sunset, the rocks change color, making them one of the most beautiful natural spectacles of your trip. Continue to Molinos, where you have the opportunity to see one of the most beautiful old churches and an excellent museum, where you can learn about the history of the region and its first residents are informed. We recommend that you drop by for a lunch in the beautiful Hacienda de Molinos. Then it goes on the Ruta 40 to Cachi. Overnight in Cachi in El Cortijo in a standard room with breakfast.
Back to Salta via Piedra de Molino
Day 7: Drive to Salta (160 km on mostly paved roads, about 5.30 hours drive). This morning it goes from Cachi back to Salta. Leave Cachi following the signs to Salta. Pass the Los Cardones National Park, which is famous for its huge cacti (cardones) that cover the slopes and range in color from dark green to deep red. Follow the very long, very straight road called Recta Tin Tin until you reach Piedra de Molino, the highest point of your trip at 3,348 meters above sea level. In the afternoon it is usually too foggy, but in the morning you should be able to enjoy a fantastic view. Be careful when driving up the Cuesta del Obispo – it’s an impressive route, but it also has many steep slopes and sharp curves. Overnight in Salta in the Antiguo Convento in a standard room with breakfast.
Day 8: Drop off your rental car and return flight. This morning make your way to the airport in Salta and drop off your rental car there before you start your return flight.