You will drive this route through northern Argentina and explore a series of magnificent valleys where it seems you will find vestiges of ancient Indian settlements around every bend. Salta’s claim to fame is the city with the most Colonial buildings in the country. South of Salta, along the valley known as the Quebrada de las Flechas, which features impressive rock formations, is the village of Cafayate, located in a mountain valley surrounded by rivers and trees and the lands around it filled with vineyards.
A representative will welcome you at the airport after your flight arrives.We recommend a visit to the heart of the city’s Colonial district. O/N in a hotel in Salta.
You leave Salta and drive through the valley known as Quebrada de Escoipe to the town of El Carril, which is the doorway to some of northern Argentina’s most fabulous countryside. You will pass lush, jungle-like vegetation as you follow the Escoipe River, the banks of which overflow with ferns. 80 kilometers out of El Carril, you notice that the landscape begins to change as the road climbs into the mountains and the air becomes drier. You have now entered the section of highway known as the Cuesta del Obisbo that meanders up the mountainside. You stop at the La Piedra del Molina observation point, located at an elevation of 3620 meters. 600 meters below, is the Tin Tin straightway that cuts through the Los Cardones National Park (a cardon is a cactus that grows in a typical candlestick fashion). Living in the park are animals like the vicuña, deer, and condors.
We recommend a visit to the heart of the Cachi’s Colonial district. Also, enjoy the delicious food.
Today’s route: 170 km.
Duration: 3 hours
O/N in hotel in Cachi.
You leave Cachi behind and head towards the indigenous village of Payogasta, nestled in mountains covered with cardon cacti. The next locality is Seclantas, whose townsfolk are known for their excellent knitting skills, especially ponchos. Following this is Molinos, a town founded in the 17th century and marked by architecture from that era. The houses are made of adobe, feature arcades and large porticos. The route then heads towards Angastaco and its regional museum and comfortable inns. Afterwards comes San Carlos, an old city with lovely Colonial architecture, particularly the town square and church, built on the banks of the Las Flechas River.
You will at last reach Cafayate, and we recommend you take some time to tour the wineries and its wine museum.
Today’s route: 165 km.
Duration: 5 hours
Be careful during the rainy season since the road may be washed out.
O/N in hotel in Cafayate.
Today begins the return trip to Salta, this time following the Las Conchas River through the valley called Quebrada de Cafayate. There are plenty of charming attractions to see along this route, and you could easily stop around every curve.
Return rental car to the Salta Airport.
Today’s route: 190 km.
Duration: 3 hours