Northwest Argentina & Atacama Desert
Find out why everyone is enthusiastic about the Northwest Argentina region and neighboring Chile! The diversity of the landscape 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 in Northwest Argentina includes the most important highlights of the region and can be expanded or optimized as required.
Day 1: Arrival in Salta. Upon arrival in Salta, you will be picked up by our English-speaking driver and taken to your hotel. Overnight in Salta at the Antiguo Covento Hotel in a standard room with breakfast.
Day 2: Free day in Salta. There is a lot to experience here, from sporting activities such as rafting and hiking to sightseeing tours on four wheels or on foot, Salta has a lot to offer. This morning you have a city tour including a visit to the MAAM Museum, in which one of the three frozen Inca children was found on one of the nearby mountain peaks. Overnight in Salta at the Antiguo Covento Hotel in a standard room with breakfast.
Day 3: Pick up the rental car and drive to Purmamarca (approx. 200 km, 2.30 hours drive). Pick up your rental car from the downtown office this morning. Then it starts towards 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 Guemes. 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 Guemes, 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 leads 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 4: Free day 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.
Day 5: Drive to San Pedro de Atacama (approximately 450 km, on paved roads, 6 hours drive). The total distance today is 450 km, completely on paved roads. You will need all day. The first part of the route from Purmamarca to Salinas Grandes is on Ruta 52, which takes you uphill to the Lipan Pass. On the winding mountain road you reach a height of 4,170 meters. We recommend a short stop in Salinas Grandes for fantastic photos. Then continue on Ruta 52 to Susques. You should fill up gas there and possibly replenish food and water supplies, as Susques is the last city on the Argentine side. Then continue towards the border via the Paso de Jama to Chile and San Pedro de Atacama. Overnight at the Hotel Altiplanico in a standard room with breakfast.
Day 6: Free day in San Pedro de Atacama. Today you have time to explore the highlights of the city and of course the Atacama Desert. You can either do this on your own or with a professional guide at your side. Overnight at the Hotel Altiplanico in a standard room with breakfast.
Day 7: Free day in San Pedro de Atacama. Today you have time to explore the highlights of the city and of course the Atacama Desert. You can either do this on your own or with a professional guide at your side. Overnight at the Hotel Altiplanico in a standard room with breakfast.
Day 8: Drive to San Antonio de los Cobres (approximately 430 km, on paved and unpaved roads, 7.5 hours drive). Today you take the same road that you have already taken from the Salinas Grandes via Susques to San Pedro de Atacama. Only this time in the opposite direction. Instead of driving down the Lipan Pass to Purmamarca, you have to be careful not to miss the sign that leads to Ruta 40 to San Antonio de los Cobres. This sign is located approximately at Susques on the Argentine side. A 120 km gravel road leads from Susques to San Antonio de los Cobres. Overnight at the Hostería de las Nubes in a standard room with breakfast.
Day 9: Drive back to Salta (about 170 km, of which 85 km on unpaved roads, 4 hours drive). Today you cover a shorter distance than the last few days, but since 85 km of it are on unpaved roads, the journey takes about 4 hours. There are also countless stops for breathtaking photos. Follow 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. Follow the entire time of Ruta 51 via Chorrillos and Campo Quijano to Salta. Overnight in Salta in the Finca Valentina in a standard room with breakfast.
Day 10: Drop off your rental car and return flight. This morning make your way to the airport in Salta and drop off your rental car before you start your return flight.