Adventures in Argentina’s Northern Realm

Overview

With surreal landscapes that beckon the hiker, classic colonial towns, and a proud cultural heritage, the provinces of northern Argentina are utterly intriguing. We’ve woven together the many strands that make this region so captivating on a journey that will bring you from the beautifully preserved colonial city of Salta to the renowned Calchaqui Valley, home to the highest vineyards in the world, to dreamy Cachi, and the extraordinary “painted mountains” of Purmamarca. Our hikes and explorations will lead to ancient ruins, into wind-sculpted canyons with towering red-rock formations, across shimmering salt pans, and into isolated valleys suspended in time. Along the way we’ll learn how to make savory empanadas at a private estancia, sample elegant vintages with a winemaker, and enjoy historic inns and estancias filled with character. Join Trip Leader Rob Noonan for an adventure into the incredible vistas, culture, and cuisine of this enchanting corner of Argentina.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Salta

We visit Salta’s archaeological museum for a private viewing of its rare Inca mummies, and hike in the montane forest of the Reserve Finca Las Costas.

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Days 3-5
Canyon Country Hikes / Vineyards of Calchaqui / Cafayate

Our hike in the Quebrada de Las Conchas Nature Reserve is the perfect introduction to northern Argentina’s red-rock scenery, and we visit a historic vineyard in the Calchaqui Valley, with a special winery walk with a geologist-winemaker (and a tasting, of course!). Other hikes brings us to a pre-Columbian ruin and into sandstone canyons with fantastic colors. One evening, we head to a vineyard for a festive Salta asado (barbecue), complete with local music.

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Days 6-8
Quebrada de Las Flechas / Cuevas de Acsibi / Cachi

After a visit with a potter in historic San Carlos, we hike in the Quebrada de Las Flechas (Canyon of Arrows), an incredible rampart below the desert sky, with sandstone fins stretching for miles. From the delightful village of Cachi, our off-the-map adventure is a spectacular hike through the canyons to the Cuevas de Acsibi.

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Days 9-13
Private Estancia / Purmamarca / Great Salt Flats / Salta

We cross an 11,000-foot road pass to descend into the Valle Encantado and are welcomed at a private estancia with its own nature reserve. A dramatic new landscape unfolds as we enter Jujuy Province to reach Purmamarca, set below striking multi-colored mountains. Our final hike brings us across the Salinas Grandes, with blue skies above, red mountains all around, and glittering white salt flats spread out before us. We return to Salta on the historic Yunga road and depart on Day 13.

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Highlights

Highlights

Hike in the incredible red-rock canyons and wild landscapes of northern Argentina
Meet an artisan in his studio, learn to make empanadas, enjoy a vineyard walk with a geologist-winemaker
Savor fine Argentinean wines at some of the highest vineyards in the world
Overnights in colonial inns and historic estancias

Details

Length: 13 days
Cost From: $6895  
Arrive: Salta, Argentina
Depart: Salta, Argentina
Lodging: 12 nights hotels and haciendas
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

Moderate day hikes, 2-5 hours a day, cultural exploration