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Argentina tour

5-Day Northwest Argentina: Wine and Canyons

Northwest Argentina: Wine and Canyons -- Trip Photo of Argentina tour  Argentina map

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Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrival in Salta

Visiting: Salta

Arrive in Salta. Meet and greet with your guide and transfer to hotel.

Salta is an invitation to adventure! Nature, tradition and history merge throughout the province of Salta, located in northwest Argentina. Valleys, canyons, forests and high country call you to experience nature. In all directions Salta offers diversity. Rivers to raft, mountains to climb, rugged terrain to embark on challenging trips to be done by vehicle, horse, bike or on foot.

With a unique architectural harmony and great aesthetic beauty, the city of Salta is undoubtedly one of the country’s most traditional and best preserved. Located in a high valley surrounded by wooded mountains, its enchanting music, colorful processions and delectable food are all added attractions. Today, explore the “9 de Julio” main square, the white “Cabildo” (Town Hall), the Neoclassical Cathedral (with its gold-leaf altar), San Francisco Church (with the image of the pregnant Virgin Mary), and other sites of historical interest. We will also visit the MAAM (High Mountain Archeological Museum), which houses the relics found during the Llullaillaco expedition to an ancient Incan sanctuary in the mountains.

Dinner tonight is at the famous Casona del Molino Pena, where you will have the chance to try some of the most famous local dishes while enjoying live Salteña music.

  • Meals: D
  • Luxury Lodging: Legado Mitico Salta

Day 2 : Los Cardones National Park and Cachi

Visiting: Salta

Morning departure towards the "Valles Calchaquies", going Southwest via Chicoana, along the Lerma valley. Continue up the scenic RP 33 that meanders through the stunning Quebrada de Escoipe, before climbing the "Cuesta del Obispo" and reaching a pass of 3720 meters with a glorious and vibrant view of "Valle Encantado" accented by the surrounding Andes mountains, blanketed in olive-green vegetation and criss-crossed by countless brooks. Continue driving along the "Tin Tin" stretch (part of an ancient Inca Road) and passing by "Los Cardones National Park", boasting some of the oldest and largest Cacti on the continent.

Our journey continues toward Cachi. Located 2280 m.o.s.l., Cachi is in view of the awe-inspiring, permanently snowcapped Nevado de Cachi (6380 mts), whose peak beckons only 15 km to the west. Cachi is a tranquil town where visitors can wander and admire the local traditions of weaving and ceramics or climb to get a panorama view of the lush-green valley.

Fifteen km outside of Cachi, stop Stop for a short hike at Las Pailas.This is an important archeological site dotted with numerous Cacti at the foot of the Nevado de Cachi (3,000 m.o. s. l.). The Valles Calchaquies people used to live here, before the arrival of the Inca from Peru. One main walkway leads to numerous chambers, cicurlar graves, underground irrigation channels and silos all constructed by a local white stone.

We end our day at Molinos (60 km South of Cachi). Upon arrival we take a peek at the local adobe houses and the beautiful eighteenth-century church of San Pedro Nolasco.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Hacienda de Molinos

Day 3 : Bodega Colome and James Turrell Light Museum

Visiting: Salta

Today we head higher into the mountains still, to the famed high-altitude vineyards of Colome. Founded in 1831, Bodega Colome is one of the oldest wineries in Argentina and is located in the upper Calchaqui Valleys, sitting between 2300 and 3111 meters above sea level. Today Bodega Colomé is known for its production of organic and biodynamic wines.

Highlights include the property's modern “James Turrel” art gallery, an impressive estancia consisting of a luxury boutique hotel (not open to tourism), biodynamic gardens, high altitude vineyards, colonial-style architecture and a gorgeous little restaurant. Enjoy lunch looking out over the vineyards and sample some of the best wines from the Colome cave (lunch included).

Return to Molinos in the afternoon to explore at your own leisure.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Hacienda de Molinos

Day 4 : Cafayate

Visiting: Salta

Today we make our way along the Calchaqui river, offering views on either side of steep mountainsides and glistening snowcapped peaks. The route passes through “Quebrada de las Flechas”, where the rough dirt road winds through epic rock formations of crimson colored, wind-eroded sandstone strata folded and fractured by the upheavals of the Andean plates.

Arrive in the early afternoon in Cafayte- the heart of Salta's wine country. Today you have the opportunity to visit one of the legendary wineries of Cafayate, such as El Esteco, El Porvenir and Las Nubes, in addition to tasting fabulous wines and learning about the extraction and production processes. The most famous grape in this region is the Torrontes Grape. The torrontes grape was originally brought from Galicia, Spain and the delicate, flowery white wine it produces, with a slight acidity, is the perfect accompaniment for the local regional cuisine in addtion to fish and seafood.

Enjoy the evening at leisure relaxing on the hotel patios overlooking the vineyards and mountains, or exploring the quaint town of Cafayate.

  • Meals: BL
  • Luxury Lodging: Viñas de Cafayate Wine Hotel

Day 5 : Departure

Visiting: Salta

Enjoy the morning at leisure. In the afternoon depart from Cafayate towards Salta. Take Route 68 and drive along the scenic “Quebrada de las Conchas” gorge, with colorful and curious sandstone rock formations: “Garganta del Diablo” (Devil's Throat), “El Anfiteatro” (The Amphitheatre), “El Sapo” (The Toad) , and more. The gorge is seen at its best in the mellow late afternoon or early evening light. The “Sierras de Carahuasi” (the northernmost range of the Calchaquí mountains- 1900 mts), stand as a mighty backdrop, while the foreground boasts immense buttress rock formations known as “Los Castillos” (the castles) and a huge monolith dubbed "El Obelisco". Finally, pass by the historical villages of Cerrillos, La Merced and Coronel Moldes, before arriving at the Salta airport. Catch your flight home or on to your next destination.

  • Meals: B

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