Northern Argentina: Salta & Iguazu Falls – 25

Discover two regions of Northern Argentina as you travel from the Andes of Humahuaca, Cafayate, and Salta to the awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls.

DAY 1 : BUENOS AIRES / SALTA

Description: your guide will greet you at the airport. After lunch, you can take a tour around the city of Buenos Aires or simply to rest in the hotel room (day use option). Before leaving for Salta, a briefing around a map will take place with one of our Operations Representatives. After a 2h15 flight to Salta, your guide will be waiting to take you to the hotel.
Lunch: not included.
Day use: at My BA Hotel or equivalent.
Accommodation: Legado Mitico Salta Hotel or equivalent.

DAY 2 : SALTA / CACHI / COLORADOS & CARDONES / ESTANCIA COLOME

Description: on your way to the Calchaqui Valleys you will go through the tobacco plantations of Lerma Valley. When travelling the route of the magnificent Valley of Escoipe, you will discover subtropical vegetation. Under the intense blue Andean sky, vegetation grows scarce as you ascend the impressive Obispo Hill which will take you to the highest point of your excursion: the Windmill Stone, 3348 meters (11048 feet) above sea level. A detour will guide you to Los Colorados, mountains of red sand and rivers of salt. You then cross Los Cardones National Park to the picturesque town of Cachi. After having lunch and visiting the town, you continue your trip to the Estancia Colome on the famous route 40. If you like, you can stop at a poncho weaving workshop in Seclantas.
Distances: 222 km (138 miles), 4 hours from Salta to Cachi and 90 minutes from Cachi to Colome.
Lunch: at the Automóvil Club Lodge – regional dishes.
Accommodation: Estancia Colome.

DAY 3 : ESTANCIA COLOME

Description: day of activities at the estancia according to your preferences: a 4×4 tour of the property (39000 hectares), a visit to the winery and vineyards or a visit to the breeding farm and 160 hectares of biodynamic crops. You can also enjoy the facilities or activities: horse riding, swimming pool, tennis, lawn bowling, pool, mini golf, bocci ball court, Internet and massage service.
Note: massages and the horse ride. Please book in advance; payable in situ.
Distances: 90 minutes for visiting the property.
Accommodation: Estancia Colome.

DAY 4 : ESTANCIA COLOME / VALLES CALCHAQUÍES / CAFAYATE

Description: you will depart for Cafayate, stopping by at a vicuña breeding farm in the town of Molinos. You then take route 40, which is surrounded by the surprising landscapes of Las Flechas formations. The Calchaqui Valleys take you to Cafayate. There you will begin, after lunch, a wine tasting circuit at 2 local wineries: Mounier (las Nubes) and Etchart. You will discover an amazing vine-stock: the Torrontés, the specialty of Cafayate.
Distances: 137 km (85 miles), approximately 4 hours.
Note: the wineries selection may be modified according to your preference.
Lunch: at the San Pedro Winery restaurant in Yacochuya.
Accommodation: Patios de Cafayate Hotel or equivalent.

DAY 5 : CAFAYATE / QUILMES / CAFAYATE

Description: the morning will be devoted to visiting the Quilmes ruins, the most famous archeological site in the country. Quilmes is an ancient pre-Incan city which was inhabited between the 17th and 19th centuries. The site, built on a natural amphitheater, offers an exceptional view of the valley. You will have the afternoon to enjoy the hotel facilities (pool and spa), stroll through Cafayate or visit other wineries.
Distances: 100 km (62 miles), 8 km (5 miles) are dirt roads, between 2 hours and a half and 3 hours.
Accommodation: Patios de Cafayate Hotel or equivalent.

DAY 6 : CAFAYATE / LAS CONCHAS / QUIJANO

Description: after breakfast, you will depart for Las Conchas Valley, which offers numerous opportunities to stop and have a brief stroll. Multicolored rocky formations and semi-deserted mountains: a show nature has been preparing for centuries. If you wish, you can do a mini trek in the area of Yesera. After a late lunch, the afternoon will be devoted to relaxing at the hotel’s spa or pool.
Distances: 189 km (117 miles), approximately 4 hours.
Optional: one-hour trek in Yesera.
Accommodation: Estancia House of Jasmines or equivalent.

DAY 7 : SALTA / SAN ANTONIO / SALINAS GRANDES / PURMAMARCA

Description: at 7.30 a.m. you will depart to San Antonio de los Cobres, following the well-known tracks of the “Train to the Clouds”. You will cross the Quebrada del Toro which will take you 3800 meters (2361 feet) above sea level and which offers an impressive panorama of the snowed peaks of the Andes, before reaching Salinas Grandes, a 120-square-kilometer salt deposit. There you will stop for lunch before witnessing the salt exploitation process. Then you will climb the impressive Lipan’s Hill, which descends to Purmamarca. This town is known for its ochre-colored adobe houses, built at the foot of the Hill of the Seven Colors.
Distances: 330 km (205 miles), full day excursion.
Note: since it is a long day, it is advisable to set off early.
Lunch: gourmet picnic at Salinas Grandes.
Accommodation: El Manantial del Silencio Hotel or equivalent.

DAY 8 : PURMAMARCA / QUEBRADA DE HUMAHUACA

Description: this day you will tour the entire Quebrada de Humahuaca, stopping by its small towns, each one with its own distinctive features, beginning with Tilcara and its interesting Pucará, a pre-Columbine fortress built sometime between 1000 – 1480, the archeological museum and Devil’s Throat. Immediately after crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, Uquia appears with its lovely chapel. By the end of your tour you will reach Humahuaca, an ancient post of the Incan empire and later of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, located 2940 meters (9645 feet) above sea level. You then begin the descent of the Quebrada to enjoy the famous Painter’s Palette in Maimará. The variety in color tones are due to the successive appearance of different geological layers.
Distances: 140 km (87 miles), approximately 6 hours.
Note: you will visit Tilcara in the morning to take advantage of the light over the exceptional view the Pucara offers us.
Option 1: before leaving Purmamarca you can take a brief stroll through the Hill of the Seven Colors (20 min), or ascend to a small viewpoint (15 min) to see the morning light over town.
Option 2: during the day, you can take a 40-min trek through the Quebrada de las Señoritas, in the Uquia area and/or Pollera de la Coya area.
Lunch: in Humahuaca at La Casa Vieja, regional restaurant.
Accommodation: El Manantial del Silencio Hotel or equivalent.

DAY 9 : PURMAMARCA / IRUYA

Description: from Purmamarca you retrace the Quebrada once more, this time until Abra del Condor, located 4000 meters (13123 feet) above sea level. The aim is to reach the town of Iruya, nestled in the mountains, with its small stone houses and its narrow steep streets. The landscapes you cross are surprising for their colors and vegetation.
Distances: 246 km (153 miles) roundtrip, approximately 7 hours.
Optional: after the Condor’s Pass it is possible to descend to Iruya on mountain bikes. The vehicle will accompany the cyclists. This option should be requested to the guide upon arrival in Salta.
Lunch: at the Iruya Lodge restaurant.
Accommodation: El Manantial del Silencio Hotel or equivalent.

DAY 10 : PURMAMARCA / CORNISA / SALTA

Description: after leaving Purmamarca, you will descend to the city of Jujuy, a route still very rich in colors. You then travel to Cornisa, which will take you to a completely different landscape: the yunga forests. You then head for Salta and after checking into the hotel you will tour the most interesting spots of the city and its outskirts: 9 de Julio Square, the cathedral, the city hall, the San Francisco Basilica, the San Bernardo convent, San Bernardo Hill, the General Guemes monument and the artisans fair. The circuit ends with tea at San Lorenzo Castle (14 km, 9 miles from Salta).
Distances: 150 km (93 miles), approximately 3 hours in the morning and 80 km (50 miles) in the afternoon, about 2h30.
Note: if there is significant fog, the return to Salta will be via General Guemes.
Lunch: at La Cienaga Dam Lodge restaurant.
Accommodation: Legado Mitico Salta Hotel or equivalent.

DAY 11 : SALTA / PUERTO IGUAZÚ

Description: you will be driven to Salta airport for a 2h15 flight to Buenos Aires; then you will fly for 1 hour 50 min to Iguazú. After the hotel check-in, you will visit Puerto Iguazú or enjoy the hotel facilities.
Optional: besides shopping, you may visit the Aripuca Museum or the Three Border Viewpoint.
Distances: 12 km (7.5 miles) and 24 km (15 miles) for airport – hotel transfers.
Accommodation: Panoramic Hotel Iguazu or equivalent.

DAY 12 : PUERTO IGUAZÚ / CATARATAS IGUAZÚ

Description: after breakfast you will head towards the argentine Iguazú Park. The excursion to Iguazú falls will begin with a train ride (3 km, 1.8 miles) to the Devil’s Throat station. From there a 1100-meter (3600 feet) footbridge begins which will lead you to the Devil’s Throat viewpoint, the most impressive waterfall of all. You then return to the Waterfalls station to begin a tour on foot through the footbridges. The upper circuit lasts about 1 hour (1200 meters, 3940 feet) and gives you a view of the waterfalls from above. The lower circuit (1700 meters, 5580 feet) has many more stairs. You may catch a boat to San Martin Island, a magnificent circuit which goes from viewpoint to viewpoint, at the very heart of the falls.
Distances: 18 km (11 miles) from Puerto Iguazú to the Park.
Option 1: “Nautical Adventure”: a 20-min motorboat ride through the Iguazú River beneath the seven main falls. Departure from San Martin Island.
Option 2: visit the Devil’s Throat on full moon nights.
Note: the options must be organized by the chauffeur-guide and paid for in situ.
Lunch: at El Fortin restaurant inside the Park.
Accommodation: Panoramic Hotel Iguazu or equivalent.

DAY 13 : PUERTO IGUAZÚ / CATARATAS IGUAZÚ

Description: 80% of the waterfalls are in Argentine territory. Nevertheless, the view from the Brazilian side offers a very different perspective. The circuit begins on “Las Cataratas” path (1200 meters, 3940 feet – some stairs) which will lead you to the most important panoramic viewpoint, Devil’s Throat, to which you have access via a 500-meter (1640 feet) long footbridge. After lunch you will visit the Birds Park, a 5-hectare sanctuary inhabited by 800 bird species, butterflies, caimans, iguanas and monkeys of the Amazon rainforest. The parrots, macaws and parakeets are the park’s big stars. After that, you’ll have the afternoon off to enjoy the hotel pool; the vehicle will be available for shopping or for visiting Puerto Iguazú.
Distances: 50 km (31 miles).
Options: besides shopping, you may visit he Aripuca Museum or the Three Borders viewpoint.
Lunch: at the Grand Hotel Das Cataratas inside the Brazilian Park.
Accommodation: Panoramic Hotel Iguazu or equivalent.

DAY 14 : PUERTO IGUAZÚ / BUENOS AIRES

Description: after a short relaxing morning, you will leave the Amazon jungle to fly from Iguazú to Buenos Aires (1 hour 50 min. flight). Once settled in at the hotel you will be able to take advantage of the afternoon to walk around town, or, if you prefer, to go shopping. The leather and gaucho articles stores particularly offer very original products. A dinner show will introduce you to the passion and grace of Tango… Argentina further reveals its soul!
Distances: 24 km (15 miles) to the Iguazú airport.
Lunch: not included or on the plane.
Dinner show: Cabaret Rojo Tango at hotel Faena in Puerto Madero or equivalent, wine and champagne included.
Accommodation: Park Hyatt Buenos Aires Hotel or equivalent.

DAY 15 : BUENOS AIRES / FLIGHT

Description: before leaving for the airport, you will discover Buenos Aires and/or, if you prefer, go shopping. The leather-goods and gaucho articles shops offer typical and original products. The city tour goes through 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world with its 65 meter (213 feet) obelisk and Avenida de Mayo, which is well known for its buildings of Galician architectural influence. At Plaza de Mayo you will discover the Casa Rosada, the president’s HQ. You will then visit La Boca neighborhood with its colorful houses made of material recovered from ships, which inspires many painters and poets. Later, you can visit San Telmo, home for antique shops and traditional tango bars. Recoleta is a traditional residential neighborhood, where walking is a true pleasure thanks to its numerous parks and squares. To end the tour, you will visit Puerto Madero, the old city port which has recently been completely refurbished. A visit you cannot miss out!
Option: fly over Buenos Aires in a private helicopter. Get an unforgettable panoramic view of Buenos Aires from 200 m in the air. The tour will take 30 to 45 minutes to cover around 100 km.
Lunch: Gardiner restaurant or equivalent.
Dinner and night: on the plane.