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Argentina’s High Plateau Attractions from Salta in 5 days
Argentina is a surprising country due to its natural and cultural richness. Argentina’s Northwest is wonderful and unknown, with arid mountains in the Andes and a lush jungle to the east, with transitional zones in the Calchaquí valleys and the Quebrada de Humahuaca, with a rich culture and history, both gaucho and Andean. Argentina’s High Plateau Attractions from Salta are more beautiful than the Gran Canyon, according to visitors.
Itinerary of Argentina’s High Plateau Attractions from Salta
Salta-Quebrada de las Conchas-Cafayate. We travel the route RN68 to the south where we cross tobacco production areas. The Quebrada de las Conchas is located on the road between Salta and Cafayate, for its beautiful and colorful geological formations is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the region. We take a 2-hour hike through the Quebrada de la Yesera.
Cafayate is, due to the characteristics of its soil, its sunny climate and its 1700masl, an area of high-altitude wine production, well recognized all over the world. We will visit the town and a wine cellar, where we will taste its high-altitude wines. Accommodation in Cafayate. Options: Villa Vicuña / Killa / Wine resort
Tour price: USD35. Includes transfer, tour guide and winery tasting. Does not include food or drinks.
Cafayate – Quebrada de las flechas – Molinos – Cachi. Crossing the legendary National Route 40, we cross the beautiful Ravine of the Arrows, of curious formations, where we will make short walks. We arrive at Colomé, the oldest winery in Argentina, which, in addition to producing excellent high-altitude wines, has a museum of contemporary art dedicated exclusively to the artist James Turrell. His works are based on light and perception. We visit Molinos, and the home of the last Spanish governor in the region.
Heading for Cachi we stop at the Artisans’ Walk, in which we find dozens of families working on their looms, where they manufacture ponchos. In the streets of the village of Cachi we find a colonial past still latent.
Accommodation in Cachi. Options: El Cortijo/Hosteria ACA/La Merced del Alto
Tour price: USD36. Includes transfer, tour guide. Does not include food, drinks, or tickets to museums.
Cachi – Abra del Acay – San Antonio de los Cobres. In our journey to the north, we visit the “Inca barns” that were used to store grains and potatoes. Then we ascend to the twin volcanoes with 300m of height.
Depending on the climatic conditions, we can visit the Devil’s Bridge, with stalactites and varied colours. With 4950masl the Abra or passage of the Acay is the highest point of our day through the route RN40. It is possible to spot fauna of the high plateau such as llamas, guanacos and vicuñas. At dusk we arrive at San Antonio de los Cobres, the largest village in the Highlands of Salta. Accommodation in San Antonio de los Cobres: Hosteria de las Nubes.
Tour price: USD44. Includes transfer, tour guide. Does not include food, drinks, or tickets to museums.
San Antonio de los Cobres – Viaduct La Polvorilla-Susques – Salinas Grandes – Cuesta de Lipán – Tilcara.
We visit the Viaduct of La Polvorilla, where the ‘train to the clouds‘ journey finishes. We continue towards Susques, to visit the oldest church in the country.
Later, we head to the Salinas Grandes, a huge sea of salt. We descend the Slope of Lipán by a winding road that leads us to the village of Purmamarca where we marvel with its picturesque and representative Hill of Seven Colors.
We walk along the Paseo de los Colorados. We visit the church and the handicrafts market. Accommodation in Purmamarca. Options: La Comarca / Casa de Adobe / El Manantial del silencio
Tour price: USD49. Includes transfer, tour guide. Does not include food, drinks, or tickets to museums.
Purmamarca – Tilcara – Humahuaca – Hornocal – Salta. The Quebrada de Humahuaca was also the old Royal Road during the Spanish era. In Tilcara we see the Pucará, a partially reconstructed archeological site, in it we can imagine how the daily life of its ancient inhabitants was. Then, we visit the Church of Uquía.
That since 1692 saves one of the two collections of arquebus angels of Cuzco origin that exist in Argentina. Its architecture and beautiful altar, laminated in gold, represents a colonial past where this region was the richest of what we know as Argentina today. We make a short walk in Las Señoritas.
In the afternoon we tour the old town and the Artisans’ market of Humahuaca. We leave for the 4300 asl, to arrive with the last hours of light to the panoramic viewpoint of the mountain ranges of Hornocal.
We return to Salta, along the cornice path, in a subtropical rainforest environment. Salta is a beautiful colonial city rich in traditions and culture.
Accommodation in Salta. Options: El Balcón de la Plaza / Villa Vicuña / Legado Mítico / Khala.
Tour price: USD64. Includes transfer, tour guide. Does not include food, drinks, or tickets to museums.
Private tours: Ask for a personalized quote. Includes 4×4 and guide. Does not include accommodation, food and drinks, or tickets to museums. Consult quote for other group excursions to the attractions of the Argentine highlands from Salta.
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