DURATION
12 DAYS

DIFFICULTY:
MODERATE

Road Trip Northwest

Argentina boasts a diverse natural richness. On this self-drive tour, you will enjoy the colored mountains of Salta and Jujuy. This area will surprise you with its diversity and contrasts. Every corner offers a unique, and in most cases, unknown landscape. You will drive through the calchaqui valley, with its towns and particular desert  landscapes, you also will appreciate the beauty of El Hornocal, Salinas Grandes, Purmamarca, El Rey National Park, and Quebrada de Humahuaca. And of course, before starting your self drive adventure, you will walk around Buenos Aires, the city that never sleeps. 

The richness of its culture and the warmth of its people turns Northwest of Argentina into the perfect destination. The culinary offering must not be forgotten; anyone who visits here will be able to revel in the famous local delicacies, all of which are a product of the fusion of indigenous and European recipes. Meats, empanadas, humitas, casseroles, are just some of the culinary delights that will always be accompanied by a good Malbec.

Highlights

  • Buenos Aires
  • Salta
  • Jujuy
  • El Rey National Park
  • El Hornocal
  • Calchaquí valley
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Itinerary

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Itinerary

Upon arrival at the international airport, you will be transferred to your selected Hotel. We suggest you to take a walking tour of the enigmatic city of Buenos Aires, known as the city that never sleeps. Where you can find a large number of attractions and sites of artistic, historical, architectural, cultural and culinary interest. At night we recommend you to witness a tango show while enjoying a delicious dinner in one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city “San Telmo”.
At appropriate time, you will be transferred to the local airport, to take your flight to Salta, called La Linda due to the beauty of its city and impressive landscapes.

Upon your arrival in Salta you will pick up your rental vehicle at the airport to go to your selected hotel and start this wonderful adventure on this distinctive corner of our country!

At night, try a typical “salteño” dish in one of the many delicious restaurants or Peñas (best Peñas at Balcarse Street) that the city has to offer, or stroll through the magical colonial center of the city.

Today you will drive 160 km (round trip). You start your day from the city of Salta crossing to El Rey National Park on your rental vehicle. You will love this National Park, it’s a green oasis in the middle of the Northwest! The road can be crowded or less crowded depending on the time of year. You will arrive in a few hours to another impressive bio-geographical environment, Las YUNGAS or Montaña Jungle. Once you enter El Rey National Park, you will have the possibility to contact nature through a walk on your own through the established trails. Among the varied fauna of this Park, the Pecarí de Collar, the Chuña de Patas Rojas and the Corzuela Parda stand out. Its flora is also very varied according to the different height levels within the National Park itself; in the lower zone the transitional forest develops, at 2500 meters it becomes Montaño Forest and at higher altitude the predominance of tall grasslands begins.

In the afternoon you will return to Salta.

You will take the same path as the famous and unique “Train to the Clouds”, through “Quebrada del Toro” towards “San Antonio de los Cobres”. Then, through the Puna and continue on Ruta 40 towards “Salinas Grandes” in Jujuy.

Before arriving at San Antonio de los Cobres and Salinas Grandes, you will enjoy the experience of driving near the rails of the Tren a las Nubes for part of the journey. This Train is one of the few that can still be taken in Argentina and reaches 4220 meters in height, making it one of the highest trains in the world.

After passing the picturesque town of San Antonio de los Cobres, renowned for its landscapes, gastronomy, textiles and handicrafts; you will arrive in Salinas Grandes.

The origin of the Salinas Grandes dates back to between 5 and 10 million years, when the basin was completely covered with water from a volcano. It is considered one of the 7 natural wonders of Argentina.

Finally, you will descend the Cuesta de Lipan (with a maximum height of 4,170 meters) to the pictures of Purmamarca, at the foot of Cerro de los Siete Colores. You will spend your night at Purmamarca.

Today you will enjoy and visit most fabulous places and towns in the Argentine Northwest on The “Quebrada de Humahuaca”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, begins. But before the Quebrada de Humahuaca, you drop in on magical places, with their proper idiosyncrasy like Maimará, “Painter’s Palette”, Tilcara, “The Pucara of Tilcara” archaeological ruins, Humahuaca, Tropic of Capricorn, Uquía (Pinturas Cuzqueñas), Humahuaca and the Independence Monument. On this day you could appreciate the truly sunset on the blue and clean sky of the northwest!

You will spend your night in Humahuaca.

On this day you will have the possibility to decide what would you like to do departing from Quebrada de Humahuaca:

La Quiaca – Villazon (Bolivia): is a border crossing between Argentina and Bolivia and it is located at the end of Ruta Nacional 9.
Yavi: Yavi is located in the north of the province of Jujuy, 15 km from the border city of La Quiaca. It is a very beautiful small town in the middle of the mountains. Yavi is also a town with a lot of historical content! You’ll love it!

Iruya: is a very charming town, with excellent human quality located on the side of the mountain. It is located in the province of Salta but is only accessed from Jujuy. If you want to go in your own vehicle, you must pass Humahuaca 30 km. On the right hand side there is a sign that says “Iruya” but we recommend you not take this detour but continue another 300 meters along Ruta 9 and turn left at the gauchito Gil house.

Today we suggest you visit The Hornocal. When you believed that the Cerro de 7 colores, the Pucará, Paleta de Pintor and Los Colorados were the landscapes that should not be missed on a visit, the Quebrada de Humahuaca offers a new natural attraction just 40 minutes from Humahuaca and that generates a unique experience : The Hornocal.

The Hornocal mountain range is located 25 kilometers from the city of Humahuaca, it is a gravel road that leaves tourists on a balcony in front of the majestic hill whose symmetry and color catch the opportune visitor.

It has a height of 4761 meters above sea level, so in its ascent it is recommended to do it slowly and if possible make a few previous stops to acclimatize to the altitude.

At the appropriate time, you will go back to Humahuaca to continue to Salta driving 220 km, paved route.

Departure from Salta to the Calchaquíes Valley’s. It’s a natural treasure enclosed in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. On this tour you will discover these magical places:

Quebrada de Escoipe: after crossing lush yungas, a few kilometers away is the “Quebrada de Escoipe”, one of the first stops on the Salta-Cachi route. The “Quebrada de Escoipe” stretches across a large valley of multicolored mountains and varied vegetation, bordering the Escoipe River.

Cuesta Del Obispo: is a winding and steep path that connects the Lerma Valley with the Upper Calchaquí Valley. At its highest point, it reaches more than 3,400 above sea level. This part of the road is a jewel in the middle of the Northwest.

El Valle Encantado: if you take a small detour to the side of the road, you will arrive at Enchanted Valley. This valley is near the top of the Cuesta del Obispo, it’s wonderful!

Parque Nacional Los Cardones: it is a huge park of more than 65 thousand hectares, covered by a large number of cardons that span several kilometers. It’s impressive!

Finally, you will arrive in Cachi. Regarding all the towns of the Calchaquí Valleys, this is one of the most charming and recommended to visit. You’ll love it!

Departure to Cafayate, along mountain roads passing through the villages of Seclantas, Molinos and Angastaco. You can also pass through Quebrada de las Flechas (Ravine Arrows). It is a very particular rock, 20 meters high (66 ft.), With rocky walls that line the winding road. Arrival in Cafayate, a colonial settlement, with its vineyards that produce renowned wines (the typical one is Torrontés, a wine of height).
This day you can visit some wineries recognized worldwide, and after having lunch, you will return to Salta through The Shells ́ Gorge, visiting the peculiar rock formations caused by the rain and wind, such as The Amphitheatre, or The Devil ́s Throat. You arrive in Salta after crossing The Lerma Valley.
At the appropriate time, you will go to the airport on your own, to left your rental vehicle and take your flight to Buenos Aires, the birthplace of tango!

Upon arrival at the local airport, you will be transferred to your selected Hotel.

At appropriate time, you will be transferred to the international airport, to take your flight.

Include:

– All transfers mentioned in the itinerary
– 11 night accommodation
– Rental Car Service
– City Tour Buenos Aires
– Breakfast & Lunch mentioned in the itinerary

Not include:

– International and / or Internal Flights
– National Parks, Reserves and Museum Tickets (except for exceptions mentioned in the itinerary)
– Optional excursions
– Tips
– Medical or Cancellation Insurance

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