4 day trips for this Winter Holidays
- Published: Monday, 11 July 2016 16:05
The winter break is a great opportunity for many locals to take a few days off the routine and get to know one of the many options Argentina has to offer. Thousands of visitors come to the Northwest each year to enjoy and blow their minds with the views, culture, music, food and everything the region has to offer.
Let’s review four of the most common tours you can discover if you choose the city of Salta as your basecamp.
Located 180 kilometers from Salta and in the middle of the Calchaquí valley, Cafayate is widely known for its vineyards and wineries which make it a great option for wine lovers.
The tour starts early in the morning and leaves the Lerma valley behind crossing cute little towns (Cerrillos, La Merced and La Viña) where lots of tobacco crops can be spotted. Riding the national route 68, it crosses Coronel Moldes, the gateway to the Cabra Corral reservoir, one of the most important fresh water reserves in Argentina.
As we start entering the Quebrada de las Conchas, the landscape begins to turn more arid and red. Alemanía is a real ghost town in the middle of the tour, only inhabited by some “hippies” living in community around the old train station.
The “Gorge of Shells” is full of different rock formations carved by the wind and rain over millions of years. Some of the most recognized are The Devil’s Throat, The Amphitheatre, The Priest, The Toad and The Castles. Before arriving in Cafayate, the tour visits one (of the many!) wineries in the area, where you will get the opportunity to try some of the best regional wines.
Once in the town, you can’t miss the beautiful main square, the Cathedral, the delicious regional food and even Torrontes wine ice cream!
Check more info here: http://www.dexotic.com/salta/en/cafayate.html
Located 160 kilometers away from Salta, this tour leaves through the same road to Cafayate but makes a turn in El Carril to take the provincial route number 33 to Chicoana. After leaving the Lerma valley behind, everything turns more arid and the mountains begin to change its colours as we enter the canyon formed by the Escoipe river, an area that was chosen to film “La Guerra Gaucha” (a movie about the Wars of Independence).
After El Maray (where you can grab a snack or some souvenirs) we start climbing the Cuesta del Obispo, an impressive 20 kilometers road that takes us 1700 meters higher. Once we reach the top, called Piedra del Molino, the tour continues crossing Los Cardones National Park via the Recta del Tin Tin (an old Inca road which is completely straight, surrounded by thousands of cacti) up to Payogasta, the last town before our destination.
In Cachi, the main square, the archaeological museum and the cemetery are must sees and, if you have the time, you can even visit a strange landing field for UFOS!
Check more info here: http://www.dexotic.com/salta/en/cachi.html
San Antonio de los Cobres and the Salt Flats
The Train to the Clouds is one of Argentina’s most famous tours but not the only way to visit this area. San Antonio de los Cobres is located around 165 kilometers from Salta, enclaved in the middle of the Puna, a high altitude desert and one of the most arid regions in the country.
Leaving Salta, the tour goes to Campo Quijano to access the Quebrada del Toro, where the road plays and crosses with the train tracks multiple times up to Santa Rosa de Tastil. In this little village, it is possible to visit some old pre Inca ruins and a really interesting museum, all in the middle of the commercial route these people used before the arrival of the conquerors.
This is where the road and tracks go separate ways and we climb up to 4000 meters above sea level in Abra Blanca, the highest point of the tour. After a short descent, we arrive in San Antonio de los Cobres, a mining town characterized by the wind and cold days all year round. Only a few kilometers away, the Viaducto La Polvorilla can be visited to witness the impressive bridge that usually illustrates the tour by train.
It is also possible to turn the whole tour into a circuit and come back visiting the Salinas Grandes (salt flats) and Purmamarca before going south to return to Salta.
Check more info here: http://www.dexotic.com/salta/en/salinas-salt-flats.html
Quebrada de Humahuaca
This region was awarded the title of World Heritage Site in 2003 under the category of “cultural landscape”. The area spreads pretty much from Volcan up to Humahuaca, following the río Grande, in the Jujuy province.
The tour departs from Salta direction Gral. Güemes to take the national route 34/9 to Jujuy. It is possible to visit the capital, San Salvador de Jujuy, before entering the gorge itself. The places that cannot be missed are Purmamarca (the church, crafts market and the Seven Colors Hill), Tilcara (the archaeological museum and the Pucará, an old fort built by the natives) and Humahuaca (home of the impressive Heroes of the Independence memorial).
Other options to cover, if you have the time, are Uquía (its church is famous for the old paintings), Maimará and the monolith marking the Tropic of Capricorn.
From this region, it is also possible to visit Iruya, one of the most isolated and beautiful towns in the Argentine Northwest.
Check more info here: http://www.dexotic.com/salta/en/humahuaca-gorge.html