Arrive Argentina today and transfer independently to your comfortable hotel. Spend your free time exploring the amazing architecture of Buenos Aires, or simply relax after your long international flight. Overnight.
This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Salta -- commonly referred to as "Salta the Beautiful." The city is a gem of a colonial town set in the Lerma Valley. True criollos (native Argentineans of Spanish parentage) reside in colonial Salta and uphold a culture that has remained traditionally strong. This afternoon set out on a half day city walking tour in the colonial part of town. Visit also the amazing MAAM museum where famous high altitude mummies are on display. At night your guide takes you to a traditional peñas in the city where you can taste the best cheese or meat Salteñas' empanadas, the Humitas, and Tamales. Enjoy gaucho folk live music this evening and settle in.
This morning arise and transfer to the nearby town of San Lorenzo. Here join up with others for the tour safety briefing before you board bikes and head to Potrero Grande. Potrero Grande offers breathtaking natural beauty as its mountains are covered with pastures and forested hillsides. Enjoy the three hour challenging bike ride along the mountain bike trails. Be prepared for an uphill and some stream crossings, but your efforts are rewarded with picturesque views along the way.
This afternoon join a group tour on horseback. From here mount your horse and start the moderate climb up the hillside surrounding the Lerma Valley. These hills are covered with pastures where local people graze their cattle and offer some of the best panoramic views of the valley. Suitable for beginners, the ride ends after 3 hours with you returning to San Lorenzo and driving back to Salta.
This morning you head to Cafayate, the heart of wine country in the Calchaqui Valleys. Enter en route the breathtaking Las Conchas Gorge, once the bottom of the ocean and now a feast for the eyes with its strange shapes of deep red sandstones. Stop for a two to three hour long hike in a landscape similar to that of planet Mars. Continue on to Cafayate in the afternoon and enjoy a wine tasting at one of the well known winecellars in the region. Taste the famous Torrontes wine, an original from this area.
Descend to the famous Calchaquies Valley this morning, where a striking natural landscape combines with unique architecture and cultural attractions to make this a fascinating off-the-beaten-path locale. Hike for two hours through the impressive Quebrada de la Flecha (Flecha Gorge), where a collection of sandstone spikes often appear like moving figures due to the light. To keep you going, your guide will prepare a lunch of typical Argentine foods. This area holds much historical evidence of aboriginal settlements -- adobe huts stand on sand dunes here. The town of Molinos is a great spot to search out a unique gift -- you'll find many local craftsmen selling handmade ponchos and blankets that they make using ancestral techniques. This evening you will arrive in Cachi. With time, wander the cobblestone streets, visit an ancient chapel made from cactus wood, or discover one of the best archaeological museums in Argentina.
This we start heading back to Salta on the longest straight route planned by the Incas, the Tin Tin road stretching across Los Cardones National Park. Here thousands of cactus stand like a forgotten army. Once you are in the stunning Obispo gorge, hike 3 hours along the Enchanted Valley. Unique shapes caused by rain and wind erosion and natural colors from the semi-desert climate make it a stunningly beautiful area. Continue on to Salta this evening.
Wake this morning for the two hour drive to nearby Cabra Corral Dam, located at the heart of the Juramento River's gorge known as Peñas Blancas. Next you will receive a brief rafting introduction and safety course by your guide before boarding the raft for your 12 km journey down the river. Keep your eyes open for flora and fauna, and enjoy the splash of the water as you conquer the rapids!
After you have a chance to settle down, leave from the raft base and hike up a small hilltop to the first canopy platform. From here soak in the amazing views of the Juramento Canyon before zipping across your first cable over the canyon to the next platform. Enjoy three more ziplines before returning back to the base. Some cables are quite long and allow you to get up to speeds that make you feel as though you are flying over the canyon!
Return to Salta this evening.
Today you head north towards Bolivia and the Humahuaca Gorge. The region is a recognized World Heritage site. The Spanish, from Peru, were the first to colonize this area, and as such the region has colonial churches with simple bell towers and beautiful doors. But even more spectacular is the landscape itself -- the canyon's colorful rocks decorate the horizon.
Stop en route for a one hour hike in Los Colorados. In the afternoon set out on a half day hike with Llamas! Continue on to Purmamarca, today's final destination.
This morning drive (three hours) back to the Salta airport for an afternoon flight back to Buenos Aires. You may connect with your international flight home or continue your travels in another part of Argentina!
$390 single supplement