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We will meet you at Salta City´s airport and transfer you to your hotel. As an introduction to the region, you will have a guided tour around the city. The City of Salta is one of the best preserved in Argentina. Neocolonial houses and churches stand out near the main square like the Cathedral, the Cabildo or Town Hall, San Francisco Church and San Bernardo Convent. The Inca culture was very important in this region. The MAAM (High Mountain Archaeological Museum), is one of the most important museums in Argentina. It was created to preserve the frozen bodies of the Children of the Llullaillaco, three Inca childs found perfectly preserved in 1999, on the summit of the Llullaillaco Volcano at 6.700 metres above sea level (21.981 feet). Their magnificent funerary offerings are also kept with them, as well as diverse objects, tools and crafts distinctive of this ancient civilization. Welcome dinner in a gourmet restaurant. Night in Salta at Villa Vicuña hotel.
You will have breakfast and then leave early in the morning. We will start our trip driving southwest. We will go through the Lerma Valley, driving through the towns of Cerrillos, La Merced and Chicoana. We will go uphill along Cuesta del Obispo, the maximum height being at the Piedra del Molino lookout (3.348 m.a.s.l.). We will go down towards Los Cardones National Park, a preserved area with cardones (huge cactus plant). Salta is nature and invites to connect with sensations. Up ahead, we will see the highest snowed mountain in the Calchaqui Valley, Nevado de Cachi with 6.380 m.a.s.l. At its feet, is located Cachi. Cachi is surrounded by coloured mountains and blessed by the Calchaqui River. Cachi remains a quiet and colonial town with a beautiful square. You can visit the old church built with adobe brick and cacti wood, and the Archaeological Museum. Dinner in the hotel. Night in Cachi at La Merced del Alto Hotel.
Early in the morning we will start our drive along the famous 40 Route. This route stretches all the way south to Patagonia and is one of the longest routes in the world. We will drive towards Quebrada de las Flechas (Canyon of the Arrows). This landscape has between 15 and 20 million years. Narrow steps are formed with walls of 20 metres height in both sides of the route. It´s one of the most incredible landscapes across the Calchaqui Valley. The colours, sensations and inmensity provide tranquility. We will go towards Cafayate, a very important town in this route. We can visit Bodega Piattelli, situated amongst breathtaking ancient red rock formations and mountains in the Calchaquíes Valley. This winery sits at 5,800 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest altitude wineries in the world. In the afternoon, we will visit the Vine and Wine Museum to learn more about wines. Dinner in the hotel. Night in Cafayate Wine Resort.
In the morning we meet you in the lobby of your hotel. We drive north through the Quebrada de las Conchas Natural Reserve. It is also known as the Gorge of the Shells due to the amount of marine fossils it contains. This road has a particular geography that has been carved by wind and rain. Surprising rock formations seen in gorges and multicoloured mountains surprised the traveler. Some of these formations are the Garganta del Diablo or Devil´s Throat, The Amphitheatre and the Castles. Along Route 68, while discovering the Lerma Valley, we will arrive to the little town of Guachipas. Visit to Guachipas Cave Paintings. Then we continue driving in a dirty road towards Estancia Pampa Grande, one of the most traditional estancias in Salta. Pampa Grande has 30.000 has (74.131 acres) that reach 3,000 metres above sea level (9.842 feet). Down in the valley, at 1.700 metres above sea level (5.577 feet), several houses of colonial architecture appear among the trees. Dinner at the estancia. Night at Estancia Pampa Grande.
Relax day in Pampa Grande. The main house stands out for it´s beauty and splendour. It has 2.000 m2 with wide galleries, common places and rooms that have all the modern comfort. Since 2005, a Belgian family is dedicated to develop ecological projects on these lands and protecting their natural splendor. The main activity revolves around organic meat production. Over 65 locals work in the Finca, taking care of the house, the guests, the 5.000 heads of cattles, the horses and the mules that are raised in the stables, and the organic orchard. Inside the lands of the Finca there is a chapel, a school, a first aids room, maintenance workshops, logistic centre, stables and pens made of “pircas” that were built in the XVIII and XIX centuries. You can share with the gauchos a full day of hard work and labours in the fields and stables. This day you can also do different activities such as horse riding, biking, hiking, fisihing or just relax at the estancia. Night at Estancia Pampa Grande.
This day we will go through one of the roads with nicer vegetation in Salta. In middle of the mountains and following the course of small rivers, we will discover virgin landscapes, full of birds and little houses owned by local gauchos. Today we will appreciate completely different landscapes, from the green jungle to the multicoloured mountain of The Quebrada de Humahuaca in Jujuy province. In 2003 it was declared a UNESCO heritage site. We will arrive to Purmamarca, a small town known by its Seven Colour Mountain, where we will spend the night. We will visit the square, the church and the artisan market. Dinner in the hotel. Night in Purmamarca at El Manantial del Silencio.
We will drive from Purmamarca up to the highest point in Cuesta del Lipan 4.170 metres above sea level (13.681 feet). This is an international route that goes to Chile and Bolivia. At this point, we descend to Salinas Grandes. Salinas Grandes is one of the biggest Salt flats in Argentina. It is located in the limit of Salta and Jujuy provinces, at more than 3.000 metres above sea level (9.842 feet). With an area of 212 km2, this enormous “white sea” of salt is one of the breathtaking landscapes in Argentina. Then we will drive towards Tolar Grande, our next stop. Dinner in the town. Night in Tolar Grande.
The small town of Tolar Grande is set in the high altitude Puna desert from where the province´s volcanoes can be visited (Llullaillaco, Socompa, Arizaro, Aracar and Guanaquero), as well as the incredible water holes in the salt flats, and the most unforgettable landscape. The Arita Cone is a perfect cone of a black lava salt, 147 metres high and one of the most outstanding geographical features in Salta. It is found at the Arizaro Salar, in the high plateau or Puna, 80 kilometres away from Tolar Grande. Dinner in the town. Night in Tolar Grande.
We will drive towards San Antonio de los Cobres, one of the most important towns in the Puna. Then we continue to El Abra de Muñano 4.180 metres above sea level (13.713 feet) where we will start our descend. We descend along the paved Route 51, following in parallel the same way of the famous Train to the Clouds, discovering the incredible Quebrada del Toro. This day we will visit the Archaeological Site of Tastil, that has just been declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then we will visit Alfarcito, one of the most outstanding examples of the work with original communities. Transfer to Salta City. A farewell dinner in a typical restaurant will give you the chance to listen to locals playing the guitar. Night in Salta City, at Villa Vicuña hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer from the hotel to Salta City ´s airport. End of our services.
› Transfer in/out Salta City´s Airport.
› All accomodations, land transfers and entrance fees.
› Meals mentioned in the itinerary (9 B, 8 L and 9 D).
› English speaking guide and driver.
› Personal accidents insurance.
› Satellite telephone for emergencies.
› Meals not mentioned in itinerary.
› Gratuities or tips.
› Domestic flights.
› International flights.
› Expenses due to your withdrawal from the program.