Located in northwestern Argentina, the town of Salta is set at the foot of the Andes Mountains. Boasting the purest of fresh air, this is in an area that combines a tremendous diversity of natural landscapes with a fascinating culture and history. Indeed, the area in and around Salta invites you to connect with your sensations in this picturesque setting. With each step along your trail road, you will discover some new detail that invites you to pause for at least a moment to become part of nature that surrounds you. And, possessing over 65% of Argentina’s bird species, Salta is a paradise for bird watchers. On this 7-day/6-night tour, you will also find that northwest Argentina’s cuisine – from its famous empanadas to its most elaborate dishes – is as rich as this area’s history. As you travel to the southwest of Salta, you will come upon the Calchaquí Valleys, which are home to the highest vineyards in the world – reaching altitudes as high as 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) above sea level. In short, this unforgettable travel experience will provide you with these and other amazing landscapes, historical towns, colors, crafts and archaeological features.

Highlights

City Tour Salta, Scenic Badlands Trekking, High-Altitude Wineries and Wine, Mountain Trekking, Nevado de Cachi Mountain

Detailed Itineraries

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Arrival in Salta – City Tour – Archeological Museum – Welcome Dinner

AM: AM: Upon your arrival, you will be met and welcomed at Salta’s airport, and then driven to your boutique hotel. As an introduction to the region, you will be taken on a guided tour of the city, which is one of the best preserved in Argentina. Near the town’s main square, you will see neo-colonial-style houses, religious institutions (such as the Cathedral, San Francisco Church and San Bernardo Convent), as well as the Cabildo (“Town Hall”). As Inca culture played an important role in this region, you will be accompanied to the High Mountain Archaeological Museum (MAAM). One of the most important museums in Argentina, this institution was created to feature the perfectly preserved “Children of the Llullaillaco,” the frozen bodies of three ancient Inca children found in 1999 on the summit of the Llullaillaco Volcano. Their magnificent funerary offerings are also on display along with diverse objects, tools and crafts characteristic of their ancient civilization.

PM: PM: Returning to the hotel, you will be greeted with a welcome dinner, after which time you can get a good night’s sleep in your room at the boutique Solar de la Plaza Hotel.

AM: AM: Following breakfast this morning, we will head out on a southwestern drive to the Lerma Valley. Once there, we will go on a two-hour trek in the Quebrada de las Conchas Natural Reserve, which is also known as the “Gorge of Shells” due to the number of marine fossils it contains. As we hike, you will see how this route has a particular geography carved out by the wind and rain. Surprising rock formations can be seen in the gorges here, while the multicolored mountains are also surprising to travelers. Some of the most notable rock formations that can be seen here are the Garganta del Diablo (or “Devil´s Throat”), the “Amphitheatre” and “the Castles.”

PM: PM: After enjoying a picnic lunch, this afternoon we will head outside of the city of Cafayate to visit the Bodega El Esteco winery, located in within Hotel Patios de Cafayate. Founded in 1892 by French immigrants, this winemaking establishment is blessed by the assets of the region and the dedication of its staff, who have earned well-deserved recognition for the high quality of their products. During this visit, you will be able to participate in some wine tasting with a well-known oenologist, followed by dinner in the unique restaurant of the Patios de Cafayate Wine Hotel, though you will spend the night at the nearby luxury Grace Cafayate Hotel.

AM: AM: We will have breakfast and then visit Quilmes, an archaeological site in the Calchaqui Valley. The largest pre-Columbian settlement in the country, this site covers an area of about 30 hectares (75 acres). We will then visit the Bodega Piattelli winery, which is located among breathtaking ancient red rock formations and mountains in the Calchaquí Valley at an altitude of 1,768 meters (5,800 feet) above sea level. While visiting the winery, you can taste high-altitude wines and enjoy lunch with an incredible view.

PM: PM: After lunch, you will have time to relax time at your hotel. Later in the afternoon, we will go trekking to the La Yesera rock formation, where you are likely to find an incredible sunset behind the multicolored mountains. Dinner will be served at the Grace Hotel, where you will again spend the night.

AM: AM: Early in the morning we will start out on our drive along the famous Route 40, which stretches south all the way to Patagonia and is one of the longest routes in the world. We will drive to the Quebrada de las Flechas (“Arrow Canyon”), where narrow steps are formed between walls that are 20 meters high on both sides – one of the most incredible landscapes in the Calchaquí Valley.

PM: PM: After lunch at the Hacienda de Molinos, a boutique hotel, we will continue driving along Route 40 to the town of Cachi. Up ahead, you will be able to see the Calchaqui Valleys’ highest snowcapped mountain: the Nevado de Cachi, reaching an altitude of 6,380 meters (20,932 feet) above sea level. At the foot of this mountain is located Cachi, surrounded by colored mountains and blessed by the Calchaqui River. As Cachi remains a quiet and colonial town with a beautiful square, you can visit its old church built with adobe brick and cactus wood, as well as stop by the Archaeological Museum. Dinner will be served at La Merced del Alto Hotel, where you will also spend the night.

AM: AM: We will have breakfast and then leave out early in the morning to the Cuevas de Acsibi, located 20 km from Seclantás, a small town near Cachi. During the drive, the land turns from grey to red, with condors and donkeys appearing along the way. When the road ends, we will start a 5 km (3 miles) hike. Here, history is mixed with the geographical beauty of the area. The word “Acsibi” comes from a Cacán language and means “place of fire” or “place of light” due to the land’s intense red colors. Pottery elements have been found here and it seems that the former Sichas and Malcachiscos communities performed ceremonies and rituals at this site. This route, which was part of the Inca Trail system used by the Spanish to connect the region of Río de la Plata with Peru, leaves the canyon and leads to a valley of incredible shapes that some people compare to candles.

PM: PM: Finally, we will reach a valley full of caves and giant rocks. The light here filters and turns this area into what might remind you of a movie set. We will then return to Cachi and have dinner at El Cortijo Hotel. You will spend the night in Cachi at La Merced del Alto Hotel.

AM: AM: After breakfast, we will hike at the Las Pailas Archaeological Site, where you will be able to see rock art and the pottery used ages ago.

PM: PM: For lunch, we will have a picnic in this beautiful area before returning to Salta. We will drive through the Los Cardones National Park, a preserved area with cardones (huge cactus plant). After reaching an altitude of 3,348 meters (10,984 feet) above sea level at the Piedra del Molino lookout, we will then ride downhill along Cuesta del Obispo to reach an area known as the “Land of Gauchos,” a rural area that visitors find full of life, charm and surprises. The area’s haciendas (or “estancias” or “fincas”) are noted for their traditions and their hospitality, as they easily combine active rural lifestyles with relaxation and nature. Indeed, Salta is nature and this place invites you to connect with your sensations. Along this road, you will find some features that will invite you to stop and become part of the natural scenario for at least a moment. Later that night a farewell dinner will be given on your behalf at a typical folkloric restaurant. You can then spend the night at the Solar de la Plaza Hotel in Salta.

AM: AM: Following breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven to the airport in Salta, where you will undoubtedly be wished a fond farewell. End of our services.

PM:

Price per person

First Class

USD$ 5813

Included in the price

  • Accommodations:  2 nights at Solar de la Plaza Hotel, 2 nights at Grace Cafayate Hotel, and 2 nights at La Merced del Alto Hotel
  • Meals: all meals included (6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners)
    • Lunches: Bodega Piattelli and Hacienda de Molinos (three packed lunches during the hikes, alcoholic drinks are not included)
    • Dinners: Club 20 de Febrero, Patios de Cafayate Hotel, Grace Cafayate Hotel, La Merced del Alto Hotel, El Cortijo Hotel and La Casona del Molino (Alcoholic drinks are not included)
  • Hikes: To the Cascade with packed lunch (2 hours), Hike La Yesera with drinks, salami & cheese at the end (3 hours), Cuevas de Acsibi with packed lunch (full day) and Las Pailas Archaeological Site with packed lunch (3 hours)
  • Sodas and cheese at Posta de las Cabras (alcoholic drinks not included)
  • Visit and wine tasting at Bodega El Esteco
  • Visit to Quilmes Archaeological Site, with refreshment and snack
  • Visit Estancia El Carmen and its old Church
  • Shows: Musical Show at Grace Cafayate Hotel (included for groups of 5 or more passengers)
  • All land transfers in Salta
  • Entrance Fees to the High Mountain Archaeological Museum (includes written guide printed in English) and into the Quilmes Archaeological Site
  • English-speaking guide
  • Rangers during some of the hikes (where required)
  • English-speaking guide and host
  • Satellite phone, to be used in case of emergencies
  • Taxes

Not included in the price

  • Alcoholic and bottled drinks
  • Domestic flights
  • International flights
  • Tips
  • Expenses due to withdrawal from the program

Tripadvisor Reviews

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Jen L

May 2024 • Family

"

We went to Quito, Isabela and Santa Cruz islands in the Galapagos. Jorge planned an amazing trip - all details were taken care of and the trip was seamless. We stayed at Patio Andaluz Hotel in Quito, Casita de la Playa in Isabela, and Ikala Galapagos in Santa Cruz - all were great. The tours and guides were all fantastic! Evelyn and the team at Surtrek ensured that the trip went smoothly. It was a trip of a lifetime. I would highly recommend!
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An S

Feb 2024 • Solo

"

Sutrek - Juan Pablo - helped me plan a 2 week solo trip to Chile (the entire length frim North to South) with arrival in Santiago. It was really well planned, even though it was a last minute request. The communications were prompt and clear. Throughout the trip - i had full detailz and felt safe & well taken care off. Even when I wanted to change anything / or wanted improvements during the trip - it was addressed. I highly recommend Surtrek.
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cubigon

Jul 2023 • Family

"

We used Surtrek for our Galapagos trip. It was the best decision we made. Karla Leon created our itinerary and was amazing. She was always available and communicated with our group all the time while in the Islands. We will be using them again in the future. I recommend them 100%

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Nic

Feb 2024 • Friends

"

And amazing trip and great organisation. Everything went smoothly which made the trip a pleasure. All guides and tours were excellent and I recommend highly. Booking was a pleasure with Juan helping us to build a customised trip to see everything we wanted to in Brazil, Bolivia and Chile.
default avatar 2020 52

Exploration137916

Nov 2023 • Solo

"

I traveled with Surtrek and the team made everything orgnized and meanwhile I had a wonderful time with local people. The guides were very friendly and answered my questions about local nature and history. The operation team made every aspect smooth and I didn't have to worry about anything. recommend highly.

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