Arrive Salta. After settling in at the hotel, take an afternoon tour of the city commonly referred to as "Salta the Beautiful." True criollos (native Argentineans of Spanish parentage) reside in colonial Salta and uphold a culture that has remained traditionally strong. Visit the famous Iglesia Cathedral, San Francisco church, San Bernardo Convent and more. After touring the city, admire Salta and its surrounding landscape from the view at San Bernardo Hill. You will also spend some time enjoying the village charm of nearby San Lorenzo. Finish the day with a visit to a handicraft market before relaxing at the hotel.
Depart this morning from your hotel and drive toward the enchanting village of Cachi. Drive southward passing by Cerrillos, El Carril, Chicoana and up the Escoipe River Gorge to enjoy the imposing scenery of Cuesta del Obispo (Bishop´s Slope) up to Piedra del Molino, the highest point in the road at about 11,811 ft (3,600m) above sea level. From there the so-called Recta de Tin Tin, a road originally set by the local aborigines, which produces the strange sensation of going up when in fact you are descending. Continue westbound along the bleak high plateau towards the terrain of the giant cardón (candelabra cactus) protected by Los Cardones National Park. It was created to preserve the endangered species of this big cactaceus plants and the arid-like flora and fauna of the region.
After passing by Payogasta, an old aboriginal settlement the road reaches Cachi, situated at the Nevado de Cachi foothill. Cachi enjoys the colorful clear atmosphere of this pre-Columbian village with its old houses, its radiant sun, good wines and attractive hills, where the air is so pure that locals are said to live to a very old age. Your will visit the eighteenth century Parish Church, mainly furbished in cardón wood pieces, such as the altar piece, confessionals, pews and even the floor and roof. You can also visit the Archaeological Museum (entrance fee not included).
Continue towards Cafayate, driving along mountainous roads passing by Seclantas, Molinos, Las Flechas gorge, San Carlos, El Barrial and Animaná, small typical villages devoted to sweet pepper farming to produce paprika. Overnight in Cafayate at approx. 5,577 ft. (1,700m)
After breakfast, take a relaxed-pace hike through the Piatelli Vineyards and enjoy a wine tasting complete with snacks. In the afternoon, return to your hotel for a free afternoon to relax or explore on your own.
In the morning, your guide will meet you to transfer you back to Salta city. Along the way, visit Las Conchas Gorge. This narrow valley with its red sandstone walls is one of the most picturesque areas in Salta. This area not only offers impressive natural beauty, but also has an ancient stretch of the Inca path that amazed Spanish conquerors and modern travelers alike. Continue on to Salta for your flight back to Buenos Aires or to your next destinaton.
$385 single supplement