The city of Salta exudes a colonial spirit that can be seen in its Hispanic architecture and monuments. The surrounding area is renowned for its amazing natural landscapes. Deep gorges, colorful valleys and high plains make hiking, biking and horse riding popular year-round activities. In nearby Cafayate, local wineries produce some delicious varieties, including the sweet and light Torrontes. Also nearby are Jujuy, home to the massive Salinas Grandes (Salt Flats), Humahuaca Gorge and the scenic Train to the Clouds.
Local residents are descended from the Aymara people (pre-Incans) and proudly retain much of their traditional culture. Argentine folk music (penas) can be heard at many local restaurants and bars, where you can also taste the famous Saltean empanadas that are renowned to be the best empanadas in South America.
Day 1: Salta Arrival at the airport; Pick up of the car at Airport Stand and drive to your hotel: Legado Mitico
We recommend that you take a walk around the town to obtain an insight into its Colonial past which is seen in the Hispanic architecture of its houses and Churches. San Francisco Church, first built in 1626 and rebuilt in 1870, has the highest church tower in South America (53 mts.). You can drive to the nearby San Bernardo Hill where you will get a panoramic view of the city and Lerma and Lagunilla Valleys that is one of the most fertile regions of Argentina. From here travel through Castellanos Gorge to get to the residential summer resort San Lorenzo located on the river shore. On the way back the tour will stop at the famous indigenous handicrafts fair.
In the evening we recommend that you visit one of the many cafés in the main plaza to watch the world go by and enjoy the vibrant and authentic folkloric singers over a few wines.
Day 2: Salta - San Antonio de los Cobres - Purmamarca
Early departure following the route of the Train to the Clouds rails towards the Quebrada Del Toro (Bull’s River Gorge). You will pass by the Ruins of Santa Rosa de Tastil, an ancient pre-Inca settlement, to finally arrive at the small village of San Antonio de los Cobres. Continue crossing the Puna up to Salinas Grandes, and start descending through the Cuesta de Lipan to Purmamarca, a typical village at the foot of the Seven Colours Hill. Arrival Purmamarca to book into hotel: Los Colorados. Total distance to drive: 320 km (200 miles), 113 km paved road. Driving time: 6 hours.
Day 3: Purmamarca - Humahuaca Gorge - Salta
Today we suggest a full day excursion to Humahuaca Gorge visiting typical and colorful villages such as Purmamarca, Tilcara with its Pucará (an old pre-Colombian native fortress partially rebuilt) and Uquia with its local parish church which holds a collection of paintings coming from Cusco, representing the harquebusier angels. Arrive at Humahuaca and visit the church, the old Town Hall, and the Argentine Independence War’s Monument. After lunch return to Salta. On the way you can stop at Maimara to admire La Paleta del Pintor..
This area was declared a World Natural Monument by UNESCO for its colorful hills and unique natural formations.
Arrival at Salta. Accommodation Legado Mitico Hotel. Total distance to drive: 275 km (172 miles) paved road. Driving time: 4 hours
Day 4: Salta - Molinos
Departure towards the Calchaquí Valleys, a natural treasure enclosed in one of the country’s most beautiful landscapes. You will pass by Chicoana, Cuesta del Obispo, known as “the condor’s home”, Recta del Tin and Los Cardones National Park. In Cachi, visit the church and continue towards Molino where we book into the Cortijo Boutique hotel. Total distance to drive: 210 km (131.25 miles) 57 km paved road, 153 km gavel road. Driving time: 6 hours
Day 5: Molinos - Cafayate
Departure towards Cafayate, driving along mountainous roads passing Seclantas, Molinos and Angastaco. You will also pass by Quebrada de las Flechas (Arrows’ Ravine). This is a very particular rock ravine formed by 20-meter-high (66 ft.) rock walls that skirt the winding road. Arrive at Cafayate, a peaceful, colonial type settlement with its vineyards that produce renowned wines Accommodation Vinas De Cafayate Wine Resort. Total distance to drive: 110 km (68.75 miles) 5 km paved; 105 gravel road. Driving time: 3 hours
Day 6: Cafayate - Salta
Drive towards Salta. The panoramic view of the valleys continues along Quebrada de las Conchas, (Cafayate’s Gorge) with reddish sandstone walls and curious rock formations that have been masterfully carved by the erosion of wind and weather. All these formations have been baptized by locals according to their fancy shapes with names such as: the Amphitheatre, the Devil’s Throat, the Obelisk and the Castles. Arrival at Salta. Accommodation: Legado Mitico Hotel. Total distance to drive:192 km (120 miles) paved road. Driving time: 4 hours
Day 7: Salta
Drive to the airport and drop off your car at the rental office.
- Meals were indicated
- Transfers as listed
- Tours & activities as listed
- Car Hire
- Internal Flights.
- International Flights
- Travel Insurance
- Access to National Parks