STYLE: Extension package.
Trip Code: ARTSSC
DIFFICULTY RATING: 1 (easy adventure)
If you’re looking to visit part of Argentina which offers something a little more authentic, then our Chimu Adventure’s Salta Extension is the trip for you. While the region is gaining traction with tourists, its location in the far north of the country allows this destination to remain a little off the beaten track. And there is so, so much to explore. Your journey will start in the city of Salta and traverse both south and north of the city. To the south, highlights include passing through Parque Nacional Caldones, tasting wines in Cafayate and visiting the Gorge of the Shells. In the north, highlights include Purmamarca’s Seven Colours Hill, the Salinas Grandes Salt Flats, Pucara de Tilcara pre-Inca Fortress and Humahuaca Gorge. Along the way you will experience Andean and Quechan culture in small townships and get a taste of what it’s genuinely like to live in Argentina.
On this all-encompassing personalised itinerary, Chimu will provide travel logistics for your travel party for the duration of your journey, plus expert guides for all the major sightseeing as per itinerary. Each night you will stay in superior accommodation, handpicked by our experienced team for their creature comforts, convenient locations, and impeccable service.
You will arrive in Salta, the provincial capital of the mountainous
north-western region of Argentina. Known as ‘Salta la Linda’ which means ‘Salta the Pretty,’ the city is known for its Spanish colonial and Andean heritage. Today is an arrival day and you are free to explore. Perhaps take one of the cobblestone streets to Parque San Martin and board the Teleferico to the top of Cerro San Bernardo for outstanding views of the city.
Today you will enjoy a half day city tour of Salta. Highlights include Plaza 9 de Julio (the city’s main square), the MAAM and the San Bernardo Convent. Plaza 9 de Julio is surrounded by the Cathedral Basilica de Salta, El Cabilido Historical Museum, El Palacio Gallerias Shopping Mall and the Teatro Provincial de Salta.
The MAAM features the mummified remains of three Inca children who were sacrificed to the gods and later found on the Llullaillaco volcano. The San Bernardo Convent is Salta’s oldest building and you can visit the external algarrobo door and purchase fresh pastries made by the convent’s nuns. The afternoon is free to continue exploring Salta at your leisure.
From Salta you will travel overland over the Piedra del Molino mountain pass, keeping watch for condors in the sky on your way towards Parque Nacional Caldones. Parque Nacional Caldones is known for its giant cactus groves which flank Cuestra del Obispo (or Bishop’s Slope) high above the Calchaquies Valley.
Continuing on the famous Ruta 40 you will make your way south from Molinos to Cafayate across the Quebrada de las Flechas, a desert valley with eroded limestone and quartz cliffs which resemble arrow heads that point towards the sky. Your day will end in the town of Cafayate, the Tuscany of Argentina.
Enjoy a free day to explore Cafayate. Set deep within the Calchaquies Valley, Cafayate is Argentina’s second most famous wine growing region behind Mendoza.
The area produces an aromatic dry white wine known as Torrentes named after the type of grape used. There are a number of bodegas within walking distance of the village to visit and enjoy a tasting, or you could head to the Museo de La Vid y El Vino to learn more about the areas wine industry.
You will depart Cafayate to head back to Salta. Enroute you will stop to explore the Quebrada de las Conchas, or the Gorge of the Shells. This natural rock formation was formed due to the collision of two techtonic plates and erosion by water creating sediment build up over ninety million years. The site has a number of marine fossils within the rock formations, hence the name of the gorge. Back in Salta, why not dine at one of the local parrilladas for some steak and pasta or try some local empanadas?
Today you will travel to the town of Purmamarca. Located at the base of Seven Colours Hill, the village features a whitewashed adobe church and a handicraft market situated in the main square. You get a quick glimpse of the town, enjoying a walk up a rocky path behind the Seven Colours Hill before continuing to the Salinas Grandes salt flats.
The drive to the Salt Flats along Ruta 52 will take you over Lipan Pass and zig zag to the white mirrored salt lakes that are surrounded by volcanoes and an endless horizon. Returning to Purmamarca, you will have the opportunity to visit the handicraft market to purchase souvenirs in the afternoon.
This morning you will explore Purmamarca’s north, heading to Humahuaca Gorge. Enroute you will pass through a series of small towns and attractions including Maimara, the beautiful multicoloured rock formations of Paleta del Pintor, Tilcara, the pre-Inca fortress of Pucara de Tilcara and the towns of Huacalera, Uquia and Humahuaca.
In Humahuaca you will visit a handicraft market before visiting the gorge. Humuahuaca Gorge is series of broken mountains that dip into a ravine. There are layered colours through the rock in the gorge due to sedimentation that has occurred over thousands of years. After returning to Purmamarca you will continue back to Salta for the night.
You will be transferred to the airport to fly to your next destination.
We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service8 Days FROM AUD 2,650 Enquire Now
Tried & tested upmarket properties with above average facilities and service8 Days FROM AUD 3,330 Enquire Now
Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.8 Days FROM AUD 4,200 Enquire Now
Private airport transfers
Accommodation with breakfast daily
Other meals where stated
Sightseeing with local English-speaking guide as detailed in the itinerary
International and internal flights not indicated
Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable)
Gratuities for tour guides/drivers
Any items not mentioned as included
A single supplement surcharge applies and is subject to availability. Please contact us for more information.
Prices are based on per person, twin share.
Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change at any time.
All entrance fees are subject to change without prior notice.
Seasonality and availability at time of booking.