Discover Northern Argentina: Salta, Calchaqui Valley, Humahuaca Gorge & the salt flats

Trip ideas
Duration (in days): 7

From: Salta

To: Salta

From

£2,125

Exc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Overview

This trip through scenic, northern Argentina is a journey of contrasts; from the high, snow-capped peaks of the Altiplano and the Andes, to the stripy-coloured hills around Purmamarca and from arid deserts into gleaming, white salt plains set against deep, blue skies. On your comfortable, private guided tour from Salta, you’ll find yourself discovering ancient Andean history and ruins in the Calchaquies Valley, sipping world-class wines and staying overnight on a vineyard in Cafayete. You’ll discover ancient Inca pathways around the Humahuaca Gorge and witness the shimmering white salt flats of the Salinas Grandes. You’ll end the trip with a unique stay in an estancia – a beautifully converted, traditional Argentinian cattle ranch on the outskirts of Salta – the perfect end to your exploration!

This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements, please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

Highlights

  • Uncover Salta’s High Mountain Archaeology Museum on a guided tour
  • Discover Cachi’s interesting pre-Columbian ruins
  • Sample Cafayate’s world-class wines and spend the night on a vineyard
  • Marvel at the rainbow colours of Cerro de los Siete Colores
  • Admire the sparkling salt flats – great for photo opportunities
  • Learn about the historical importance of the Humahuaca Gorge
  • Spend a night in a beautiful estancia (ranch)
Itinerary

 

Itinerary in brief:

  • 1 night Salta
  • 1 night Cachi
  • 1 night Cafayate
  • 2 nights Purmamarca
  • 1 night Salta

 

Day 1: Arrive in Salta

You will arrive at Salta airport where you will be met and driven you to your hotel.

In the afternoon, you will be picked up at your hotel and taken for a guided tour of the city to get your bearings. You’ll see the most iconic colonial buildings and also visit the High Mountain Archaeology Museum with its exhibits which will introduce you to the Inca culture and heritage.

You’ll have the late afternoon and evening at leisure; then you’ll spend the night in a hotel in Salta.


Day 2: Calchaqui Valley     

After breakfast and an early departure, you will be picked up and taken on a drive through the impressive Calchaqui Valley. Along the way, you’ll be able to enjoy contrasting views, from tobacco plantations and multi-coloured hills to agricultural valleys and imposing mountains. You’ll reach the pretty, pre-colonial village of Cachi, with its white architecture and adobe houses, surrounded by snow-capped peaks. You’ll visit the main sites, enjoy some free time to explore and spend the night here.

Day 3: The winelands of Cafayate 

This morning after breakfast you will be driven to Cafayate. At 185km from Salta, this is one of Argentina’s driest spots, and locals say that here the sun shines every single day of the year!

Cafayate is particularly well-known for its wine and the many vineyards that surround the city. The altitude, climate and terroir combined with insightful investment in technological innovation has gained Cafayate’s wines an international reputation for the quality.

Today you’ll get to visit some local wineries for some wine tasting – including the most famous locally-produced wine Torrontés, before spending the night at a hotel amongst the vineyards.


Day 4: Cerro de Los Siete Colores (Seven Colours hill)

After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll begin your drive towards Salta, continuing to Purmamarca a village with a truly spectacular backdrop.

Purmamarca village is huddled at the base of the striking Cerro de Los Siete Colores (Hill of the Seven Colours) whose vibrant hues come to life when the afternoon sun shines on the mountainside. Formed from different rock types, you’ll see pink, red, yellow, green, brown and purple hues which form a striking and highly photogenic landscape!

We’ve included the rest of the day here, so you can enjoy the spectacular views, wander through the local shops and see some of the locally-produced crafts before spending the night in a local hotel.  


Day 5: Salt lands        

After breakfast at the hotel, you will depart for a full day excursion to the Salinas Grandes (Salt Flats).

You’ll drive over a pass at 4,180m where you’ll get your first glimpses of the vast Puna – an arid plateau. Gradually you’ll descend along a winding road, passing tiny hamlets with breath-taking views over the desert-like plateau with its intense colours until you reach the flats at 3,550m

You will arrive back in Purmamarca with some free time to relax, before staying overnight in Purmamarca.


Day 6: Humahuaca Gorge   

Today is another opportunity to explore this region’s spectacular scenery. You’ll drive through the stunning Quebrada de Humahuaca, a narrow valley between the Altiplano and the sub-Andean ranges that follows the line of a major cultural route, El Camino Inca, along the valley of the Rio Grande. Here you’ll find many pre-Columbian ruins and evidence of ancient Andean culture, and you’ll stop to explore villages including Tilcara, Pucara, Humahuaca and Jujuy.

You will reach Salta in the afternoon where you will check in into your estancia (ranch) for your final night.

Days 7: Departure      

Today you will be picked up at your estancia, and you will be taken to Salta airport for your onward flight.

Info

Daytime temperatures are generally warm throughout the year, and nighttime temperatures can drop to below zero in the winter months (June to August). The rainy season is during the summer (December to February) and some heavy rains during this period are to be expected.           

This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.

What's included: 

  • Accommodation for 6 nights
  • Private touring with an English speaking guide
  • All airport transfers on a private basis
  • Meals as mentioned

Not included: 

  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Accommodation

6 nights in 3* and 4* standard accommodation.

Hotels in this category include:

  • Legado Mitico Salta

  • La Merced del Alto 

  • Viñas de Cafayate

  • Manantial del Silencio

  • The House of Jasmines Estancia
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