Fly & Drive - Argentinean North West

13 Days / 12 Nights

HIGHLIGHTS

Salta - Cachi - Cafayate - Tafi del Valle Purmamarca - Iruya - Tilcara

An amazing self drive adventure through the Argentinean North West. Drive through towns with colonial architecture, find ancient villages and pre-Columbian and colonial sites, largely intact. The Acsibi Caves are a must. Visit Ruinas de Quilmes, the largest pre-Columbian settlement in the country. Return to Salta before continuing your journey to Purmamarca passing by the Ruins of Santa Rosa de Tastil, an ancient pre-Inca settlement. Have a unique, gourmet picnic lunch in the salt plains of Salinas Grandes. Enjoy a special experience walking with Lamas in the mountains - a great Andean Experience with a wine tasting on the way. Visit Pucará de Tilcara, partially reconstructed ruins of a pre-Inca fortress.

100% TAILOR-MADE

Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.

Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Argentina with Seven Senses.

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

Day 1. Arrive Salta (-/-/-)

Welcome to Argentina. After arrival meet with your guide who will assist you to pick up the vehicle and review the program with you and show you maps. Now your driving adventure begins! Drive to your hotel in the centre of the city. Rest of the day free at leisure.

Overnight accommodation at Balcon de la Plaza Hotel – Website: http://www.balcondelaplaza.com.ar/

This colonial mansion built in 1896 is part of the Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Salta Province. It has 10 cosy, comfortable rooms that reflect local culture in their decoration, colours and materials.

Day 2. Salta - Cachi (B/-/-)

Drive from Salta to Cachi (approx. 153km). Drive through Valle de Lerma with its tobacco plantations and towns with colonial architecture until Chicoana. After Chicoana enter Escoipe’s Gorge, that has subtropical vegetation, then submerge into the sizzling and amazing Bishop’s Slope until you reach the highest point of the excursion: Piedra del Molino at 3,348 meters above sea level. A little bit further you will arrive to Los Cardones National Park and then Cachi. Cachi is a peaceful town of the Valle Calchaquí at the foot of the Nevado de Cachi Hill with eternal snow at its peak. The front of the plaza (square) is the main entrance to the Pío Pablo Díaz Archaeological Museum. This museum contains more than 5,000 pieces covering a time period of 10,000 years with a majority covering the time period between 800 BC and 1600 AD. Ancient pictographs figure prominently in the museum, and the staff is extremely knowledgeable about them. 10 kilometers to the south-southwest of Cachi are the important ruins of Puerta de La Paya. Cachi also has the world's highest vineyard, Bodegas Colomé.

Overnight accommodation at La Merced del Alto – Website: http://www.lamerceddelalto.com/en/

At the foot of the Nevado de Cachi, La Merced del Alto dominates over the breathtaking valley surrounded by hills, rivers and streams. Standing out from the top, its views invite to explore the Valles Calchaquies or simply relax and enjoy the silence of the place.

Day 3. Cachi to Cafayate (B/-/-)

Drive from Cachi to Cafayate (approx. 160km). Take the famous National Route Nº40 visiting the historic town of Molinos. The amazing Quebrada de Las Flecha will surprise you in between San Carlos and Angastaco before ending your journey in Cafayate, famous for the Torrontes Wine. We recommend a visit to the cellars! All along the route you will find ancient villages and pre-Columbian and colonial sites, largely intact, such as Seclantas. 15km from Seclantas, Acsibi Caves are a must.

Overnight accommodation at Patios de Cafayate Wine Hotel – Website: http://www.patiosdecafayate.com/

Patios de Cafayate is a vineyard and rural hotel, located in the city of Cafayate, province of Salta. Rooms overlook the courtyards, gardens, vineyards and mountains surrounding the Calchaquí Valleys. Each room has its own decoration.

Day 4. Cafayate to Tafi Del Valle, Tucuman Province (B/-/-)

Drive from Cafayate to Tafi Del Valle (approx. 120km). Take National Route Nº40 to Tafi del Valle, again along the Calchaquies Valley across the border to Tucuman Province. The route is full of panoramic stops and a must you can´t miss is the Ruinas de Quilmes, this archaeological site was the largest pre-Columbian settlement in the country, occupying about 30 hectares. The area dates back to ca 850 AD and was inhabited by the Quilmes people; it is believed that about 5,000 people lived here. Tafi del Valle is a village surrounded by mountains, in the mid-west of Tucumán. It is situated in a deep depression bordering the Calchaquí mountains to the east (Mala Mala and Tafí Mountains at 3,500 m above sea level) , Muñoz Hill (4,440 m) to the west and Nuñorco Grande at 3,500 m above sea level to the south. The RP307 route from San Miguel de Tucumán to Tafí goes into the Tucumán forest and passes through the Quebrada de los Sosa nature reserve. It passes three places of interest: the "El Indio" monument, "The Freezer" and "The End of the World". At the eastern entrance to the Tafí valley is the village of El Mollar, which possesses a variety of tourist attractions, as also does the town of Tafí del Valle. One of the main tourist attractions is the collection of menhirs at the Parque de los Menhires close to El Mollar. These phallic monoliths, some of them bearing still visible carvings, were shaped by the indigenous people of the Tafí culture. Originally they stood at different locations throughout the valley, but under the provincial governorship of Antonio Domingo Bussi they were brought to their present location, in order, it was said, to preserve them and protect them from damage by visitors.

Overnight accommodation at Lunahuana Hosteria– Website: http://lunahuana.com.ar/

Day 5. Tafi del Valle to Salta (B/-/-)

Drive from Tafi del Valle to Salta City (approx. 320km). On the way back to Salta you can make several panoramic stops, one recommendation is to visit “Dique Cabra Corral” - Cabra Corral Dam which was named after the title used on the folders of the project by the American company in charge of the topographic surveys. “Cabra Corral” instead of “Corral de Cabras” as the area was truly called (“goat yard” in English). Nowadays, this construction, which was finished a long time ago, is an artificial dam that combines waters from all the rivers of the Calchaquí Valley region creating a dam with millions of litres of water. It has a Y shape and can be accessed from many sides. It is a favourite spot among the people from Salta for a weekend getaway. Anything goes there: fishing, bungee jumping, looking for animal footprints and much more. Overnight accommodation at Balcon de la Plaza Hotel – Website: http://www.balcondelaplaza.com.ar/

Day 6. Salta (B/-/-)

Salta Sightseeing Experience - Meet your guide for a private tour around the city; we start our tour from the traditional 9th of July Square, visiting the historic centre of the city, its museums (MAAM visit included), monuments and colonial architecture. The main attractions are el Cabildo, The Cathedral San Francisco’s Church and San Bernardo’s Convent. Then, we go to the top of San Bernardo’s Hill passing by the Monument of the General Güemes and then the surroundings of Salta, visiting the university campuses and San Lorenzo, a summer village, and ending at The Craft Market

Overnight accommodation at Balcon de la Plaza Hotel – Website: http://www.balcondelaplaza.com.ar/

Day 7. Salta (B/-/-)

Day free at leisure.

Overnight accommodation at Balcon de la Plaza Hotel – Website: http://www.balcondelaplaza.com.ar/

Day 8. Salta to Purmamarca, Jujuy Province (B/-/-)

Drive from Salta to Purmamarca (approx. 183km). Follow the route of the Train to the Clouds rails towards the Quebrada Del Toro (Bull’s River Gorge). You will pass by the Ruins of Santa Rosa de Tastil, an ancient pre-Inca settlement, to finally arrive at the small village of San Antonio de los Cobres. Continue crossing the Puna up to Salinas Grandes one of the greatest depressions in the province with an exposed surface of over 12,000 hectares of salt. Your guide will meet you there for a unique gourmet pic nic lunch in the middle of the Salinas! After some time to relax start descending through the Cuesta de Lipan to Purmamarca, a typical village at the foot of the Seven Colours Hill.

Overnight accommodation at Manantial del Silencio Hotel - Website: http://hotelmanantialdelsilencio.com/

Featuring a large garden with a swimming pool at the foot of the Hill of Seven Colours, Hotel El Manantial del Silencio offers rooms with free Wi-Fi in Purmarmarca. Spa facilities and a restaurant are featured. Tilcara is 23 km away. With large windows offering garden and mountain views, rooms at El Manantial del Silencio are very bright.

Day 9. Purmamarca (B/-/-)

Today you will enjoy an ancient local activity “Walking with Lamas”. For more than 4,000 years the Andean man walked with lamas trough the mountains. Today we walk this antique path getting impregnated of the spirit of the Coquena, the master whisperer of the lamas. If you are looking for a unique experience you have to try walking with lamas. As Purmamarca is the perfect place, why not join us on one of our experiences or walks with our team. We offer walks with our friendly lamas all year round and our team not only will help you with the arrangements for your trip, but with our knowledge of the area, and food expertise, we can bring you a great Andean Experience of Wine and local foods.

Wine tasting, mineral water, cheese board, cakes, tortillas, snacks and fruit included.

Overnight accommodation at Manantial del Silencio Hotel - Website: http://hotelmanantialdelsilencio.com/

Day 10. Purmamarca to Iruya (B/-/-)

Drive from Purmamarca to Iruya (approx. 141km). Continue driving to Iruya, through some interesting towns on the way like Posta de Hornillos, Maimará and its Painter’s Pad, Tilcara and its Pucara. Further up, Huacalera, Uquía and after crossing Tropic of Capricorn, we get to Humahuaca. Humahuaca is the largest town in this area. Stop and visit the church, the old Town Hall, and the Argentine Independence War’s Monument, you can make a nice walk all along this area. Again on your route and after you reach 4,000 metres above sea level you will get to Iruya Town, your final stop for the day.

Overnight accommodation at Iruya Hotel – Website: http://www.hoteliruya.com/eng/index.php

Day 11. Iruya (B/-/-)

Today you have a free day to explore Iruya, the town is popular with tourists for its scenic location, townscape and friendly locals.

Overnight accommodation at Iruya Hotel – Website: http://www.hoteliruya.com/eng/index.php

Day 12. Iruya to Tilcara (B/-/-)

Drive from Iruya to Tilcara (approx. 117km). Traces of human habitation in the area date back more than 10,000 years, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements of Argentina. The area features dramatic mountainous landscapes and rich aboriginal traditions, which make it a major tourist attraction in northwestern Argentina. Possibly the biggest attraction in Tilcara is the nearby Pucará de Tilcara, the partially reconstructed ruins of a pre-Inca pukara, Quechua for "fortress", located a few kilometers away from the city of Tilcara on a hill with an impressive view of the valley of the Río Grande.

Overnight accommodation at Las Marias Boutique Hotel – Website: http://lasmariastilcara.com.ar/en/home/

Three blocks from the main square of Tilcara, the cultural heart of the Humahuaca Valley, surrounded by majestic mountains, Boutique Las Marias Hotel Tilcara can provide comfort in a natural setting. The architectural style, combining local materials and the warmth of its furniture and decoration respect the local culture and blend harmoniously with the beauty of the landscape.

Day 13. Tilcara to Salta airport (B/-/-)

Drive from Tilcara to Salta Airport (approx. 210km).

Your guide will be waiting for you to help drop off the car and give you a warm farewell!

PRICES AND INCLUSIONS

13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS FROM £3,050 per person + international flights

based on 2 people travelling together January to September

£3,525 per person + international flights 

based on 2 people travelling together October to December

The price includes:

VW AMAROK OR FORD RANGER - double cabin pickup truck with cover to protect the luggage - Year 2015

Air bag, air conditioning, electric windows, central locking, stereo/radio with CD

All taxes 

Domestic flights: Buenos Aires - Salta - Buenos Aires

Meals as mentioned in the programme without drinks (B/L/D) = (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

The price does not include:

 

Return flights from the UK to Argentina. Request a quote from us.

Anything not specifically mentioned above.

Optional tours, camera fees.

Tips to the guide and driver, porters and waiters.

Travel insurance.

Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.

Peak season surcharges

Private transfer surcharges if required

National Park tickets, museums or Natural reserves entrance fees

Airport arrival/departure taxes (if any)

Meals and beverages not mentioned in itinerary

Car Rental Terms & Conditions

- Compulsory insurance against third party liability and coverage of total damage to the vehicle rented included in the price. 

- Fuel costs have to be paid by the customer.

- The liability insurance coverage of up to $ 4,000,000.- (ARG PESOS) for total destruction, total theft and fire are included in the costs.

- For partial damage, a coverage of up to $ 20,000.00.- (ARG PESOS) for breakages or theft of accessories.

- For collisions or damage by negligence $ 40,000.00.- (ARG PESOS) and $ 80,000.00 for rollover.

- Deposit: When you arrive at the rental location, you will be asked to leave a deposit for your rental. The deposit amount will be authorised on your credit card but not debited from your account. The deposit is intended to cover additional rental costs. The amount is $ 20,000.00.-(ARG PESOS). You can use Visa, Mastercard or American Express. The safety deposit is to verify the solvency of the credit card and a blank coupon is to protect us in case of any contingency that exceeds the blocked amount, these guarantees will be returned after the rental company finds the vehicle under normal conditions and /or similar to delivery.

REQUEST A QUOTE

At Seven Senses Tours, the sky’s the limit in terms of creating your next unforgettable experience. Our knowledgeable and experienced travel consultants are waiting to plan every last detail of your upcoming trip, so all that’s left for you is to enjoy it.

We work Monday to Friday: 10am-6pm and we aim to respond to your query within one business day.

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  • If you travel with us you will not just visit, you will experience your destination

 

  • Get in touch with the local culture, meet the people

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SEVEN SENSES TOURS IS A TRADING NAME OF BRS TRAVEL SOLUTIONS LIMITED REGISTERED IN ENGLAND. COMPANY NUMBER 10287236. REGISTERED ADDRESS: 19 CROSSFIELD ROAD, LONDON, N17 6AY, UNITED KINGDOM.

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