Day 1: Buenos Aires. Welcome to Argentina, the second largest country in South America. Upon arrival at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, you will be met and assisted by our local representative and transferred to your hotel. Accommodations at the four-star Elevage Hotel (or similar) in an executive room, breakfast included. Buenos Aires (75ft), the capital of Argentina, was originally founded by Pedro de Mendoza in 1536. This afternoon set off on a half-day, privately-guided tour of Buenos Aires in which a professor of the University uses four parks and plazas of Buenos Aires (Plaza de Mayo, Parque Lezama and La Boca, Plaza San Martin and Recoleta) to introduce visitors to Argentina.
Day 2: Tigre and Delta of the Parana River. This morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transfer to the city of San Isidro. Today you will explore one of the most beautiful areas of Buenos Aires’ surroundings – the northern riverside districts of Tigre and San Isidro. The history of San Isidro begins in 1580, when Juan de Garay carried out the first distribution of the lands situated north of the City of La Santísima Trinidad (Buenos Aires). It has an important colonial heritage reflected in its houses and buildings.
You will visit the Pueyrredon Farm, the San Isidro Cathedral, several colonial mansions and the Victoria Ocampo's Mansion. Continue to Tigre, a city overlooking the Delta of the Parana River. Here, you will explore the Fruit Market, a different, almost magical world. The port has three inner docks. After free time to have lunch (not included) you will enjoy a riverside walk and a boat trip through the countless islands of the delta of the Parana River, with beautiful views of the riverside villas, Victorian docks, English gardens, and traditional rowing clubs.
If weather conditions allow, you may sail the River Plate to Buenos Aires (at additional cost). As an optional activity, we offer the opportunity to enjoy a kayak expedition. The trip lasts approximately 1-2 hours and travels 7-12 miles depending on the paddler’s experience. Late in the afternoon, return to your hotel. Overnight at the Hotel Elevage (or similar). Includes: (B).
Day 3: Buenos Aires - Salta - Cafayate. Hotel pickup and transfer to the Buenos Aires domestic airport for your flight to Salta. One of the most fascinating aspects of visiting Northwest Argentina is the chance to mingle with the native population, who preserve their ancient customs and traditions intact: their polychromatic dresses, their expressive artwork and handicrafts, their music, their colorful markets and street fairs and delicious gastronomy are eloquent expressions of the soul of these people and their love for Pachamama (Mother Earth).
Since this area was originally colonized by the Spaniards, this region holds the most ancient traces of Spanish heritage: towns with typical colonial architecture, adobe churches and hidden chapels, old traditional fincas (ranches), etc. Salta Airport reception and transfer to Cafayate, along the breathtaking Las Conchas Gorge, with peculiar rock formations. Cafayate has become the most important site in the Calchaquí Valleys. During the afternoon, you will visit some of the famous wineries of Cafayate. Afterwards, you will be transferred to your overnight accommodations at the Cafayate Wine Resort. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Cafayate - Cachi. After breakfast, depart northward following the Calchaquí River Valley. During the trip, you will see amazing landscapes and small towns which preserve their colonial heritage as if time had stopped. San Carlos is a town with colonial houses and narrow streets. Since its foundation it was destroyed many times by indigenous indians. The Jesuits settled here and founded the "San Carlos Mission", giving origin to the actual town. Then you will continue along the impressive Quebrada de las Flechas.
Molinos was founded in the middle of the 17th century. The plan of the town is irregular, with adobe houses and clay roofs. The road continues northwards to Cachi, a beautiful town with white buildings, adobe houses, stone-paved streets and impressive architectural and cultural constructions. Cachi means "salt" in quechua due to the fact that natives mistook the top of "El Nevado" with a salt mine. You will visit of the town, its church and museum. In the evening, transfer to your hotel. Overnight at Hostería Cachi. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 5: Cachi - Salta (San Lorenzo). After breakfast, depart Cachi and travel east through the Calchaquí Valleys to Salta. On both sides of the road tall and elegant cacti will begin to appear, as you approach Los Cardones National Park while traveling through Recta de Tin Tin. After Enchanted Valley, you will begin a spectacular descent through Cuesta del Obispo, a landmark that gives a wonderful panoramic view of the surroundings. Continue through the Lerma Valley to San Lorenzo village, located 15 minutes from the city of Salta. Overnight at Selva Montana Hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 6: Finca Lesser. Transfer from the hotel to Finca Lesser to enjoy a full day at the 11,000 hectare estancia, which is dedicated to the breeding of cattle and equine livestock, among which Peruvian horses stand out. You will visit the main house and have lunch. It is also a great opportunity to enjoy horseback riding with Peruvian horses. Overnight at Selva Montana Hotel. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 7: Salta - Tilcara. After breakfast, depart north, traveling through the magnificent Humahuaca Gorge to Tilcara. This town is located at 2.465 meters above sea level on the banks of the Rio Grande. Surrounded by an incredible landscape of multicolored hills and gorgeous panoramic views, its colonial heritage can be seen in low adobe buildings and narrow streets. It is considered the archaeological capital of Jujuy because of its museum, one of the most important in the area, and the Pucara – or fortress – which was built by the original inhabitants of Humahuaca Gorge. The fortress was discovered in 1903 and restored in 1951. Overnight in Tilcara at Rincón del Fuego. Includes: (B).
Day 8: Tilcara - Humahuaca Gorge - Iruya. Full day expedition enjoying the multicolored landscape of the Humahuaca Canyon, the peaceful villages, old chapels, native markets, small museums with astounding archaeological pieces and remains of ancient pre-Inca fortified towns. The gorge once served as an overland route for the Incas, a required passage for expedition parties and settlers, and an important commercial route in the vice regal period. Today, small towns conserve their religious believes, rituals, ceremonies, art, music and agricultural techniques; a unique living patrimony in the world. For this reason, it was declared Humanity Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in the year 2003.
Humahuaca, Uquia, Tilcara, Maimara and Purmamarca will be some of the fascinating stops during the day. Before reaching Humahuaca, you will cross the Tropic of Capricorn. Humahuaca is a colonial city with narrow stone-paved streets, streetlamps and adobe houses that made it one of the most important trade centers of Alto Perú until the end of the 19th century. After visiting the town, the trip continues to Iturbe, where you will begin climbing to Abra Cóndor (4.000 m.). This place, the Altar of Pachamama, is the beginning of the “Silent Valleys”, a place of extraordinary beauty. Finally, the steep streets of the little town of Iruya welcome you.
Iruya is situated in a mountain area that ends in a slope near the Iruya River. Inhabitants have preserved their traditions and customs for more than 250 years. The streets in this town are narrow and cobbled in order to avoid ground’s erosion caused by rain. This town has an ancient origin, since it was an important stop in the route from Potosi (Bolivia) to Buenos Aires. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 9: Iruya - La Quiaca - Yavi. Departing from Iruya the trip continues north to La Quiaca (3.450 m.), on the Argentina-Bolivia frontier, founded in 1907 with the arrival of the train. You may cross on foot to Villazón, in Bolivia. The interesting market offers fruits, vegetables and coca leaf. The town of Yavi lies 9 miles ahead. Along the way you will see the Siete Hermanos Mountain Range. You will visit Laguna Colorada, where petroglyphs represent human figures, llamas, spirals. A box lunch will be provided at this incredible landscape.
In the evening, you will finally arrive in Yavi. This small town was founded in 1667 and belonged to the Marquis of Tojo until 1707. The colonial-style ranch house of the Marquis, today a museum, and the magnificent Chapel of San Francisco are worth visiting. The pulpit, the altars, and the altarpieces are gold-plated. It has paintings and outstanding sculptures that were brought from Cuzco. Overnight at Hosteria Pachama. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 10: Yavi - Salinas Grandes - Purmamarca. Leaving Yavi behind, the trip continues to Abra Pampa (3.848 m.). You may see vicuñas and llamas and will be amazed at Salinas Grandes, the great salt plains of 12.000 hectares. After a box lunch, you will begin descending through the Lipan Slope, a winding road that leads to Purmamarca. Overnight at Manantial del Silencio Hotel. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 11: Purmamarca - Salta. Morning at leisure to enjoy the garden and the hotel pool. You will also have time to visit the crafts fair and walk around. In the afternoon, return to the city of Salta. Overnight at Papyrus Hotel (or Hotel El Lagar). Includes: (B).
Day 12: Salta - Buenos Aires. Transfer to the Salta Airport for your flight to Buenos Aires. Airport reception and transfer to your hotel. In the evening, you will be picked up and taken to a Dinner & Tango Show at Café de los Angelitos, one of the most prestigious and historical houses in Buenos Aires. The birth of tango took place towards 1880 in the suburbs. Although at first it was rejected by the high society, little by little this new musical expression began to scale to the highest levels, turning into a world wide recognized argentine product. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 13: Buenos Aires - Int'l Departure. Morning at leisure to enjoy the city and its surroundings. At the appropriate time, you will transfer to the International Airport for your flight back home. Includes: (B).
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