Northwest Argentina: Salta & Jujuy

Walk, wine, and wonder.

This hiking tour covers the Calchaquí Valley and the Quebrada de Humahuaca, with sophisticated comfort combined with soft activities and cultural exchange. Travel the region’s highlights and explore off the beaten path sights. On hikes, you discover geographical formations that are a window into the geological formation of the Andes. Walk through vineyards, desert paths, pre-Inca agricultural terraces or sleepy villages where colonial churches are still the most important building in town.

All days are different, combining experiences with walking and hiking adjusted to the travelers’ requirements. This exclusive journey will cover all of Northwest Argentina’s regional flavors and will provide an insight into its local, vibrant culture.

The mountain ranges of this little-known region tucked into the eastern Andes, slope and unfold dramatically from west to east. Each rolling range is unique and every valley in between has its characteristic settings, vegetation, traditions and cultural expressions. This stunning and multi-multi-faceted educational hiking adventure will capture the essence and reveal the soulful beauty of one of the world’s best-kept landscape paradises!

This is subtropical South America, a land as rich in culture as it is beautiful, with high plateaus designed by volcanoes, salt flats, dry desert valleys with multi-colored mountains and cactus forests. The highest vineyards in the world thrive here and yield grapes that will become full-bodied red wines. The temperate green valleys, where cattle and farming sustain life, have led to the existence of a strong gaucho culture that you will experience and photograph up close! For this exclusive hiking tour, you will sample all the special dishes of the region: empanadas, Locro Vallisto, Andean potato soup, Asado, Budin de pan con Dulce de Leche and much more, all paired with the fine altitude wine of the region.

Highlights

  • Incredible landscape diversity consisting of five distinct biomes resulting in a visual feast
  • 2 nights in the magical colonial town of Cachi
  • Hike the archaeological Humahuaca Indian site of Tilcara
  • Explore the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a UNESCO World Heritage site

Trip Details

Price
$4,500
Single Supplement
$600
Length
9 Days / 8 Nights
Start/End Locations
Cafayate, Argentina/Purmamarca, Argentina
Trip Dates
10/16/18 - 10/23/18

Make this tour Private or for more information, call:

800.866.7314

Itinerary

Arrive in Salta & Drive to Cafayate

Salta is located in north-western Argentina with roots closer to Peru and the cities of Arequipa and Lima than the capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires. There is a private transfer from the airport to Cafayate. This is a three-hour drive through stunning landscape through the Quebrada de las Conchas (also known as the “Gorge of the Shells” due to the number of marine fossils it contains). We hike into the colored mountains at La Yesera and explore on foot to get up close with amazing formations.

Cafayate

We explore the mountains west of the valley, where the water that comes from the high mountain peaks is managed with a system that is working since pre-Hispanic times.

Hike from the hotel (or start with a short 20-minute transfer). Follow a path that slowly climbs into the mountains west of Cafayate and walk with goats along high paths. Loop back to lunch in the vineyards. Lunch will be at a small family winery under the trees, and we have a wine tour and tasting there as well. You have a free evening tonight.

Cafayate to Cachi

We drive north on route 40, the longest in Argentina and the backbone of the Calchaquí Valley, and built on an old indigenous road. We will pass by old mud chapels and farmhouses that date back to the mid-1700s. There will be plenty of opportunities for photos and learning about a culture that blends Andean native traditions with old Spanish colonial ways.

From Seclantas, go off the road to the beginning of the hike through the red formations at Acsibi. The walk explores caves eroded in sandstone. Picnic lunch in one of the caves. There is also the option to go to Colomé winery for lunch and a tasting, along with a visit to the James Turrell Museum.

Cachi

After breakfast we drive for 30 minutes through local plantations of beans, tomatoes, peas and peppers. We arrive to Las Pailas and hike through abandoned archaeological pre-Inca terraces. The slow but easy climb leads up to 3,800 m.a.s.l. (or more).

We climb into the hills towards the higher mountains; we will start walking amidst the giant cacti called cardones, and continue higher into the Andes. Our reward will be the most spectacular view over the valley below which we will enjoy while we have a picnic lunch. If we get lucky we will see some guanacos, the wild cousins of the better known domestic llama.

Cachi to Salta

Drive out of Cachi in the morning and across Los Cardones NP. At the mountain pass Piedra del Molino, we leave the Calchaqui Valley and start driving down into the greener Lerma Valley. Here we find the trail that will take us down a rocky ridge with the most stunning vistas of the valleys below through the Valle Encantado and El Torreón. We drive into Salta in the late afternoon.

Explore the mountains in a way only seen by the local communities. We say farewell to the high valleys enjoying the most stunning views during lunch.

Salta Green Mountains and City

This morning, we drive 20 minutes from the hotel and hike in the Las Costas area at the foot of the Andes, through dense Yungas vegetation. We have lunch at the city main square and visit the MAAM archaeological museum. Salta is located in north-western Argentina with roots closer to Peru and the cities of Arequipa and Lima than the capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires.

The air here is different, both because of the Andes geography and because the blend of people and culture is different: Andean, Spanish, Lebanese, Italian all blended in one. The afternoon will be at your leisure in the hotel—relax at the spa and unwind.

Quebrada del Toro

This is a day to explore the Altiplano and high puna. We have an early morning drive up the Quebrada del Toro, where we explore the Tastil ruins and visit a responsible community project at El Alfarcito. We continue up to the Puna region driving by the small town of San Antonio de los Cobres and also Cobres. In the afternoon, we walk across salt flats, then drive down to Purmamarca, which is tucked at the foot of the Seven Color Mountain.
In the evening, we check in and have a lovely, authentic Argentinian dinner at the hotel.

Tilcara and Maimara

In the morning we watch the sunrise on the Seven Color mountain. We then drive to Tilcara from where we hike with llamas as pack animals carrying our lunch. We walk to Alfarcito and then to Maimará following ancient paths and enjoying stunning landscapes.

We return to Purmamarca in the afternoon and will have free time to shop in the small Andean town. In the evening, we have our last dinner in the beautiful Northwest Argentina region.

Adios!

After breakfast, we part ways. We transfer you to Jujuy Airport (approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes).

What's Included

Trip Planning

  • Shuttle transfers at the beginning and end of the tour

On The Tour

  • Transport in suitable private vehicle throughout whole itinerary
  • Bilingual guide throughout trip
  • Trekking poles and water bottles
  • Wine tour and tasting in Cafayate

Accomodations & Meals

  • All accommodations
  • All breakfasts, lunches, and some dinners