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Full of colors and contrasts, with Inca’s reminiscences and adobe houses that seem to be an extension of the earth, the Northwest is considered one of the most complete attractions of Argentina. In between the Northwest of Argentina and the Cuyo Regions are the Parks Talampaya and Valle de la Luna – UNESCO World Heritage sites, which are full of paleontological and archeological richness. Rocks, cliffs and shapes, along with the regional flora and fauna, form a spectacular scenery worth seeing. If instead a private tour, you would like to do a self-drive tour, you can check our Argentina road trips page.
The Northwest of Argentina is full of contrasts. The color of the hills in Humahuaca Gorge (so intense that you can distinguish the different layers from many miles away) or the salt fields above the clouds, are just some of them. Don´t miss to explore the culture, with its remarkable indigenous influence and the exquisite local cuisine. It´s going to be our pleasure to help you to plan your own adventure!
Arrival at the airport in Salta and transfer to the hotel. At an agreed-upon time, we will meet our personal guide in order to do our visit to the City. Reference map for the tour (flexible itinerary):
After breakfast, our guide will pick you up and we will start our expedition’s first day.
SALTA / QUEBRADA DEL TORO / TASTIL / SAN ANTONIO DE LOS COBRES / SALINAS GRANDES / PURMAMARCA
We make a journey to the clouds, following the train’s tracks. The town of Campo Quijano leads us to the spectacular Bull’s Gorge. Then, we visit the ruins of the pre-Inca town Santa Rosa de Tastil. We can become witnesses, as our journey continues, of the impressively engineered work made parallel to the route: the bridges, viaducts, sizzling and different stations. We will ascend to 4080 meters above the sea in Abra Blanca, located in the immensity of the Puna. Arrival to San Antonio de los Cobres, placed in the middle of the Andes mountain chains.
Then we pass by the Puna until we get to Salinas Grandes, in the province of Jujuy. We go down the impres-sive Cuesta de Lipán and finally we reach the beautiful town Purmamarca, with its Seven Colors Hill.
Lodging at Purmamarca
Breakfast at the hotel, and beginning of the second day of the expedition.
PURMAMARCA / TILCARA / HUMAHUACA / IRUYA
We visit the entire Gorge: Purmamarca with its beautiful Seven Colors Hill and Craftsmanship Market, Mai-mará and its Painter’s Pad, Tilcara with its warrior fortress Pucara, Uquía and its old Chapel that homes paintings from the Cusco School and Humahuaca, capital of the Gorge.
Then, we go to the enchanting little town of Iruya, with its narrow streets and crops terraces framed by majes-tic mountains where time seems to have stopped.
Lodging at Iruya
Breakfast at the hotel, and beginning of the third day of the expedition.
IRUYA / YUNGAS / SALTA CITY
We depart from Iruya towards Salta, but taking the way that crosses the Yungas, the regional jungle that is home to many native species of flora and fauna.
Lodging at Salta
Breakfast at the hotel, and beginning of the fourth day of the expedition.
SALTA / CUESTA DEL OBISPO / NATIONAL PARK LOS CARDONES / CACHI
We start going through Valle de Lerma with its tobacco crops and towns with colonial architecture until Chi-coana.
After Chicoana we enter Escoipe’s Gorge, that has subtropical vegetation, and then we follow the sizzling and amazing Bishop’s Slope until we reach the highest point of this day: Piedra del Molino, at 3.348 meters above the sea. A little bit further, we will enter The National Park Los Cardones and then Cachi.
Cachi is a peaceful town in the Valle Calchaquí, that welcomes us with its always white hill top, named Ne-vado de Cachi. In Cachi, we visit the archeological museum and the old Church.
Lodging at Cachi
Breakfast at the hotel, and beginning of the fifth day of the expedition.
CACHI / SECLANTAS / MOLINOS / QUEBRADA DE LAS FLECHAS / CAFAYATE
Crossing through the picturesque Quebrada de las Flechas (passing first by Seclantas & Molinos) visiting its attractions, continuing later towards the amazing vineyards in Cafayate. Visit to a traditional wine cellar.
Lodging at Cafayate.
Breakfast at the hotel, and beginning of the sixth day of the expedition.
CAFAYATE / QUILMES RUINS / BELEN
We drive through the picturesque Calchaquí Valley, where we make a stop-over at the Ruins of Quilmes, an archaeological site, located in the Argentine province of Tucumán. It was the largest pre-Columbian settlement in this region, and dates back to 850 AD. We continue then along the National Route 40, a legendary road, until we reach Belén, in the province of Catamarca.
Lodging at Belén
Breakfast at the hotel, and beginning of the seventh day of the expedition.
BELEN / CUESTA DE MIRANDA / VILLA UNIÓN
We continue along the Route 40, but today we will go through the “Cuesta de Miranda”, an impressive and sinuous section with large cliffs, and intense colors. Afterwards, we arrive to Villa Unión, in the province of La Rioja, which is our base from where we go to Talampaya and Valle de la Luna.
Lodging at Villa Unión
Breakfast at the hotel, and beginning of the eighth day of the expedition.
VILLA UNIÓN / TALAMPAYA NATIONAL PARK / VALLE DE LA LUNA PROVINTIAL PARK / VALLE FÉRTIL
Today, we will visit these two national emblems:
Talampaya National Park was declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, it´s at an altitude of 1500 m and covers an area of more than 2000 square km. It is an archaeological/paleontological paradise with many beautiful parts, among them the dry bed of the Talampaya River, the Gorge with its rock formations and the huge walls, native fauna (guanacos, maras, falcons, etc) and flora.
The Ischigualasto Provintial Park (well known as “Valle de la Luna” and also a World Heritage Site, located in the province of San Juan), is beautiful not only because of its paleontological richness, but also because of the unique shapes of rocks and cliffs formed by wind erosion. Among them, we can find the The Sphynx , the Mushroom and “cancha de bochas” shapes.
Lodging at Valle Fertil
Breakfast at the hotel in Valle Fertil (San Juan), and at an agreed-upon time transfer to San Juan’s airport.
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