Day 5 - Fly to Salta
Today you will fly west to the colonial city of Salta, which sits in the Lerma valley surrounded by mountain peaks in the Northwest of Argentina. You will have the afternoon at leisure to enjoy this city of fine plazas, beautiful colonial architecture and magnificent churches.
Day 6 - Cafayate Desert Landscapes and Winery
In this full day you will venture out into the dramatic scenery which unfolds south of the city, reaching Cafayate and then returning to Salta for the evening. En-route you will stop at the Quebrada de las Conchas (the Gorge of Shells), where wind and water erosion have carved curious shapes on the rocks, creating several distinct formations with vivid names, including the Amphitheater and the Devil's Throat.
Upon arrival in Cafayate you will visit one of the local wineries, famous for their production of Torrontes, with special characteristics due to the particularities of the climate and land. In the afternoon there will be time to explore the town and visit the magnificent colonial church, stroll around the leafy square, browse the handicraft stalls and shops, or visit the fascinating modern wine museum. You will then return to Salta along the same picturesque route.
Day 7 - Self-drive from Salta to Purmamarca
Today you will collect you car to start your round trip between Salta and Pumamarca. The provinces of Salta and neighbouring Jujuy are well-known for their high mountain and desert landscapes, with wind-sculpted gorges and red-ochre coloured rock formations, high altitude salt flats and winding mountains roads.
Among this desert scenery there are a number of rivers providing green foliage which contrasts the dry surroundings, as well as micro-climates which produce humid forests and jungles, like the one which stretches between the cities of Salta and Jujuy. You will drive north from Salta along these roads, stopping in Jujuy to admire the colonial churches if you wish. Continuing north will bring you to the town of Purmamarca, an ancient settlement surrounded by towering mountains, including the famous ‘Seven Colours Hill’.
You may also with take visit the Salinas Grandes, a 90 minute drive up through the mountains, to see the high salt flats. Overnight at Purmamarca.
Day 8 - Self-drive from Purmamarca to Salta
The following day you will continue north, along the main road through Humahuaca Gorge, to the thriving colonial town of Humahuaca. Here you can visit the historic church and the monument to independence heroes. You then head back south towards Salta, with a possible stop at the small colonial town of Tilcara and the pre-Inca archaeological site ‘Pucara de Tilcara’. Return to Salta in the evening and return the car.