Trip reference number: ITN-ARG012

Trip Operator: Rainbow Tours

North West Argentina Explorer

From: £3395.00

Combine cosmopolitan Buenos Aires with the striking north west region of Argentina. Experience two sides to the country as you trade the bustling capital city for red desertscapes, towering cacti, deep gorges and canyons and of course wonderful wineries. 

Indulge your senses in Buenos Aires; a beautiful metropolis known for gastronomic delights, stylish architecture and poignant history. Visit the colourful La Boca neighbourhood with its caminito houses, upmarket Recoleta and its famous cemetery where Eva Peron is buried as well as the curious markets in San Telmo. Devour world class steak washed down with robust Argentine malbec and watch the sultry tango at a famous tango hall. 

North West Argentina has a definite Andean feel compared to the rest of the country. Immerse yourself in sophisticated Salta, a city of colonial ambiance, outstanding museums and enticing boutique hotels before venturing off to discover some of the most rewarding landscapes in Argentina. Self-driving within the area allows for complete freedom and flexibility, alternatively we can organise a guide to drive, please let us know your preference.


Day 1 Depart the UK on your overnight flight to Buenos Aires.

Day 2 Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the next 2 nights. The rest of the day is at leisure. Buenos Aires is commonly known as the “Paris of South America”, owing to its classical architecture, plazas, fountains and wide boulevards.

Day 3 With your local Porteño guide, visit the highlights of the city. In the centre lies the Plaza de Mayo, flanked by the cathedral and the Pink House government building. Admire the colourful houses in La Boca before heading to the upmarket area of Recoleta. Visit the famous Recoleta cemetery next. Pack a camera; the ornate and lavish crypts that line the cemetery's walkways display the wealth of Buenos Aires' richest families and many are works of art.

Day 4 Depart Buenos Aires today and fly to Salta, the gateway to the north west of Argentina. Spend the afternoon exploring the city of Salta on foot accompanied by a guided. Founded in 1582, this charming spot in north west Argentina displays a wealth of colonial architecture. Around the leafy main plaza, 18th & 19th century buildings line the streets. Stop at the Cathedral and San Francisco Church. Visit the MAAM (Museum of High Altitude Archaeology) museum (please note all museums are shut on Mondays).

Day 5 Your hire car will be dropped off at your hotel today with a GPS, full trip notes and maps. Drive north to the adobe town of Purmamarca and spend the next 2 nights here. A village north of Salta in the Jujuy region; sleepy Purmamarca is set at the base of the striking, multi-hued Seven Colours Hill. Adobe houses line the streets of this postcard pretty town and there is a quaint 17th-century whitewashed church to visit. Purmamarca is an excellent base for many treks into the surrounding ravines and fertile valleys and of course the nearby Humahuaca Gorge. Best enjoyed at sunrise or sunset is the Seven Colours Hills, to witness the kaleidoscope of colours at its best.

Day 6 Day at leisure. We recommend exploring the Seven Colours Hill, the pre-Inca ruins of Pucara de Tilcara or the impressive Humahuaca Gorge.

Day 7 Drive back to Salta this afternoon to spend a night.

Day 8 Drive from Salta to the small village of Cachi for a night. Cachi, meaning "salt" in the Quechua language, is a picturesque town south of Salta. Once a main village in the area, it bears traces of the pre-Columbian cultures that inhabited this region and is also an important testament to Spanish colonisation. The picturesque village of Cachi makes for a wonderful overnight stop between Salta and Cafayate. Today's journey takes you steadily up the Cuesta del Obispo – an amazing feat of road engineering - to the route’s highest point (3348 metres asl), known as the Piedra Del Molino. From here the road straightens out as you go through the Los Cardones National Park, which is particularly famous for its giant cacti (cardones) which dot the hillside, ranging in colour from dark green to deep red.

Day 9 Depart Cachi today and drive to the small town of Cafayate, best known for its beautiful landscapes and many vineyards. Along the way, pass by dramatic scenery, such as the Quebrada de las Flechas, a stunning natural rock formation within the Calchaqui Valley. Impressive eroded cliffs formed into arrow head shapes make up an intricate labyrinth of ravines and gullies. Cafayate is Argentina’s second centre for quality wine production. One of Argentina’s most seductive destinations, the tranquil small town is surrounded by green vines and backed by soaring mountains beyond. Famous for its torrontes, a grape producing aromatic white wines, the town is home to a handful of excellent bodegas.

Day 10 Today is at leisure to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside and nearby wineries or alternatively relax by the pool on the property taking in the stunning natural surroundings.

Day 11 Drive from Cafayate to Salta, this time staying at a wonderful property just outside the city. Overlooked by the Andes this is a charming, country house with large gardens, an inviting pool and the possibility to do horse riding, birding tours, there are bikes to borrow and plenty of walks to enjoy.

Day 12 Drop the hire car off today at the airport and fly to Buenos Aires today. Spend your final night here. Please enquire if you would like to go to a Tango Show and enjoy a steak dinner.

Day 13 Depart Buenos Aires today for your return flight to UK.

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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