Northwest Argentina invites you to connect with sensations. At each step, on each road, you will find some detail inviting you to stop and for a moment become part of the natural scenario.
Its cuisine is as rich as its history. From the famous empanadas to the most elaborate dishes. The Calchaquí Valleys are located in the southwest of Salta and are home to the highest vineyards in the world, some cultivated at more than 3.000 meters above sea level (9.842 feet).
Amazing landscapes, colors, historical towns, crafts, archaeology and typical cuisine are all part of this unforgettable experience.
Come to Northwest Argentina and discover its beauty. You will fall in love.
Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.
We will meet you at Salta City's airport and transfer you to your boutique hotel.
As an introduction to the region, you will go for a guided tour around the city. The City of Salta is one of the best preserved in Argentina. neocolonial houses and churches stand out near the main square like the Cathedral, the Cabildo or the Town Hall, San Francisco Church and San Bernardo Convent. The Inca culture was very important in this region.
We will visit the MAAM (High Mountain Archaeological Museum), one of the most important museums in Argentina. It was created to preserve the frozen bodies of the Children of the Llullaillaco, three Inca children found perfectly preserved in 1999 on the summit of the Llullaillaco Volcano at 6.700 meters above sea level (21.981 feet).
Their magnificent funerary offerings are also kept with them, as well as diverse objects, tools and crafts distinctive of this ancient civilization.
Welcome dinner. Overnight in Salta at Solar de la Plaza Hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel we will start our trip driving southwest towards the Lerma Valley. We will do a two-hour trek to visit this area followed by a picnic lunch. We will go through the Quebrada de las Conchas Natural Reserve.
It is also known as the Gorge of the Shells due to the amount of marine fossils it contains. This road has a particular geography that has been carved by wind and rain.
Surprising rock formations seen in gorges and multicolored mountains surprised the traveler. Some of these formations are the Garganta del Diablo or Devil's Throat, The Amphitheater and the Castles.
Arrive in Cafayate. In the afternoon, we will visit Bodega El Esteco, located at the hotel Patios de Cafayate. French immigrants David and Salvador Michel founded the winery in 1892 and it soon became one of the pioneering establishments in the art of Argentine winemaking.
Blessed by the assets of the region and the dedication of its staff, it has since then earned well-deserved recognition for the high quality of its products. Winery tour and tasting with a well-known oenologist. Cafayate is an unique and excellent grape-growing region in the world. Dinner at the hotel Patios de Cafayate, at its unique restaurant.
Overnight in Cafayate at Grace Hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel depart for Quilmes, an archaeological site in the Calchaqui Valleys. This site was the largest pre-Colombian settlement in the country, occupying about 30 hectares. It is believed that about 5000 people lived there. Although discovered in 1888, the ruins were first studied in 1897 by the archaeologist Juan Bautista Ambrosetti.
Then we will visit Bodega Piattelli, situated among breathtaking ancient red rock formations and mountains in the Calchaquí Valleys. This winery sits at 1,768 meters above sea level (5,800 feet). We will visit the winery, taste high altitude wines and have lunch with an incredible view.
After lunch, relax at the hotel. In the afternoon, we will do a trekking at La Yesera. Incredible sunset with multicolored mountains.
Dinner and overnight at Grace Hotel.
Early in the morning we will start our drive along the famous Route 40. This route stretches all the way south to Patagonia and is one of the longest routes in the world.
We will drive towards Quebrada de las Flechas (Canyon of the Arrows). This landscape has between 15 and 20 million years. Narrow steps are formed with walls of 20 meters height in both sides of the route. It's one of the most incredible landscapes across the Calchaquí Valleys. We will have lunch at the Hacienda de Molinos, a boutique hotel.
After lunch, we will continue along Route 40 to Cachi. Up ahead, we will see the highest snow-covered mountain in the Calchaqui Valleys, Nevado de Cachi at 6,380 meters above sea level (20,932 feet).
At its base sits the quaint town of Cachi, surrounded by multi-colored mountains. Cachi remains a quiet and colonial town with a beautiful square. You can visit the old church built with adobe brick and cactus wood, and the Archaeological Museum. Dinner at the hotel.
Dinner and overnight in Cachi at La Merced del Alto Hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel depart to the Cuevas de Acsibi located 20 km from Seclantás, a small town near Cachi. During the drive, the land turns from grey to red and condors and donkeys appear.
At the end of the road, we will start a 5 km walk (3 miles). In the area history is mixed with the geographical beauty. The word Acsibi comes from a language called Cacán and means “place of fire or light” due to its intense red colors. Pottery pieces have been found and it seems that the local communities of Sichas and Malcachiscos performed ceremonies and rituals at this site. This area was part of the Inca road system used by the Spanish to connect the region of Río de la Plata with Perú.
The path leaves the canyon of the river and enters a valley of incredible shapes. Some people compare these shapes with candles. Finally we will enter a valley of caves and giant rocks, where the light filters and turns this space into a movie set. We will return to Cachi and have dinner at the El Cortijo Hotel.
Overnight in Cachi at La Merced del Alto Hotel.
After breakfast depart Cachi. We will drive through Los Cardones National Park, a preserved area with cardones (a huge cactus plant).
From the high point at the Piedra del Molino lookout (3,348 meters/10,984 feet above sea level) we will descend along the Cuesta del Obispo to an estancia located on the outskirts of Salta.
This is a land of gauchos where, for the visitor, rural life is full of charm and surprises. Estancias and fincas are noted for their traditions and hospitality. They easily combine a rural active lifestyle with relax and nature. We will have an asado (barbecue) lunch at El Bordo de las Lanzas, a typical Argentinean estancia. Free afternoon at the estancia.
Dinner and overnight at El Bordo de las Lanzas.
After breakfast visit a nature reserve at the estancia. After lunch depart for Purmamarca. Today you will appreciate the multicolored mountains of the Quebrada de Humahuaca in Jujuy province. In 2003 it was declared an UNESCO Heritage Site.
There are a lot of small towns along The Quebrada de Humahuaca: Maimara, Purmamarca, Tilcara, Uquía and finally Humahuaca. We will arrive in Purmamarca, a small town known for its Seven Color Mountain, where we will spend the night.
You can visit the square, the church and the artisan market where you can buy crafts. It is very nice to walk along a place called Los Colorados. Purmamarca is an ideal place to relax.
Dinner and overnight in Purmamarca at Manantial del Silencio Hotel.
On the last day, we will drive from Purmamarca to Tilcara, a land of llamas. We will visit a small family winery during a walk and have a picnic for lunch. In the afternoon, we will go up to the highest point in Cuesta del Lipan (4,170 meters/13,681 feet above sea level).
This is a spectacular international route that continues to Chile and Bolivia. At this point, we descend to Salinas Grandes, one of the largest salt flats in Argentina. It is located on the frontier of Salta and Jujuy provinces, at more than 3,000 meters above sea level (9,842 feet).
With an area of 212 km2, this enormous “white sea” of salt is one of the breathtaking landscapes in Argentina. We will be able to discover this place walking at a slow pace because of the altitude.
Farewell dinner and overnight in Purmamarca at Manantial del Silencio Hotel.
Transfer to the Jujuy Airport.
All of our guides were great and spoke really good English. The transfers between airports and hotels were seamless and the flights were coordinated perfectly. We loved the peaceful and relaxing stay at Club Tapiz in Mendoza.
- Debbie J, May 2015