9. Salta: Cafayate, Cachi, and Salinas Grandes Guided Day Trips
Spend 3 days exploring the main attractions surrounding Salta with a driver and guide. Go wine tasting in Cafayate. Take in the cacti of Los Cardones National Park and the colonial architecture of Cachi. Explore the picturesque town of Purmamarca, the Hill of Seven Colors, and the Salinas Grandes.
Day 1:After pickup from your hotel, head south along Provincial Route 68. Take in panoramic views of the farms and tobacco plantations of the Lerma Valley. See tobacco leaves drying in the sun. Pass the town of Alemania and marvel at red mountains and rock formations, including the "House of the Parrots."
Upon arrival in Cafayate, visit a winery to learn about the local wine industry and famous Torrontés wines. Discover the winemaking methods used and sample some of the wines. Following lunch, travel back to Salta via a different route to see a completely different landscape from the morning drive.
Day 2: Depart Salta and drive through the small towns of Cerrillos, La Merced, and El Carril. Then, pass the dramatic Escoipe Gorge and Los Laureles. Next, take the winding Cuesta del Obispo (Bishop's Slope) to the peak at 3,348 meters above sea level. Admire magnificent rock formations en route.
Travel through Los Cardones National Park and marvel at its flourishing Cardon Grande cacti. Arrive in the beautiful town of Cachi in time for lunch. Then, stroll through the streets, admiring the perfectly-preserved colonial architecture, including the stunning town church in the central plaza.
Next, visit the museum to discover the history of the indigenous communities in the Calchaquí Valley. Pick up some souvenirs in the craft market and enjoy some free time to shop before the return drive to Salta.
Day 3:Head to the neighboring province of Jujuy, passing through the towns of Volcán and Tumbaya on the way. Stop at Purmamarca, one of the most picturesque villages in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Quebrada de Humahuaca. Visit the vibrant main square and buy souvenirs at one of the many craft stands.
Afterward, visit the breathtaking and aptly-named Hill of Seven Colors. Later, continue your ascent along the majestic Cuesta del Lipan to reach the Salinas Grandes, one of the 7 Wonders of the Argentine Republic. Here, enjoy some free time to admire the unique salt flat and famous pools.
Afterward, return to Purmamarca and break for lunch at one of the many traditional restaurants before returning to Salta.