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Argentina bespoke travel

Argentina, South America
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    Argentina general information and map

    Capital: Buenos Aires

    Getting there: There are regular flights from most major European cities direct to Buenos Aires. British Airways flies from London Heathrow with a touch down in Sao Paulo (Brazil) en route. Flying time from London is approximately 15 hours.

    Time: GMT minus 4 hours.

    Try not to miss: Buenos Aires! In all probability you will arrive in Argentina via this most glamorous and cosmopolitan of all south American cities, often described as the Paris of South America. We recommend at least at a two days and nights based either in the hip Palermo part of the city, or the elegant and refined barrio of Recoleta. We use hotels in both districts and can organise anything from private tours of the city to theatre tickets and tango lessons.

    From Buenos Aires fly down to Patagonia, land of legendary beauty and inaccessibility that is home to vast estancias and some of the best riding and fishing opportunities in the world. Begin in the north by staying at one of our hand picked estancias scattered about the Patagonian steppe surrounding Lanin National Park, before heading south to explore the Argentine Lake District and the alpine town of Bariloche. Move further south still to Calafate, where the Perito Moreno glacier – one of only 3 in the world that is actually advancing each year – awaits in Los Glaciares National Park, as does the extraordinary estancia Christina at the western end of Lago Argentina. Across the border in Chile lies the rugged and beautiful Torres del Paine National Park, instantly recognisable from the iconic peaks of her famous towers.

    Visit the beautiful provinces of Salta, JuJuy and Catamarca in the North West for spectacular high Andes scenery, rich colonial architecture and the southern end of the Inca trail. Explore the fascinating settlements of Cachi and Purmamarca, stay in luxury at estancia Colomé, the oldest bodega (vineyard) in Argentina, visit the dazzling white salt flats of the Salinas Grandes, and be driven along a dried up river bed to experience the charms of isolated Iruya in JuJuy province. Ask us about our high altitude trek with llamas from the eastern jungles across the Andes Mountains to Tilcara. Mendoza lies halfway between the northwest and Buenos Aires, a province celebrated for her vineyards and stylish bodegas, and perhaps a hike to the base of mighty Aconcagua mountain. For something completely different visit the magnificent Iguazu Falls close to the border with Brazil and Paraguay, which are surrounded by tropical rainforest alive with colourful birdlife.

    You could also visit Dos Lunas, a boutique farm house that boasts a unique style, located in the heart of the Ongamira valley in the province of Córdoba. Surrounded by an extraordinary 2,300 hectare (5,689 acre) natural environment, Dos Lunas offers an amazing mix of nature and comfort that makes guests feel like home from the moment they arrive. The tours around the valley, coordinated by expert guides and providing the best equipment, are the highlight of Dos Lunas and make it a premium destination. You can explore the valley from horseback together with our expert staff through a variety of paths featuring different levels of difficulty and length. Trekking on foot is also an option to visit the area and actively enjoy its beauty through specially selected paths. Dos Lunas is an excellent destination to combine a riding and shooting holiday.

    Visas: No visa is required for visits of up to 90 days for UK citizens.

    Why Argentina: Because we cannot think of another country anywhere in the world that boasts such a diverse range of landscapes, from glaciers in the south to steamy jungle in the north east and arid desert in the north west, with a huge variety in between, ensuring there is never a bad month to visit some part of this remarkable country. Come also to experience Argentina’s indefinable spirit and style, her fine wines and celebrated cuts of tender meat – all three fuse together at a weekend asado or barbeque.

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    Wild and Exotic  Antarctica & Patagonia sample itinerary

    Day 1: On arrival into Buenos Aires you will be met by a Wild and Exotic representative and transferred to the Legado Mitico Hotel (approximately 1hr drive) which is located in Palermo. You will spend the rest of your day at leisure; the hotel is minutes walk from the city’s best restaurants and shopping districts. Overnight Legado Mitico Hotel

    There is an optional half day city tour, which includes the most important sights of Buenos Aires arise from the centrepiece of this half-day tour. You will be driven through the narrow streets of the old city and the broad avenues that mark Buenos Aires modern growth and on South America’s broadest avenue, 9 de Julio Avenue; you will see the Colon Theatre and the Obelisco.

    Around the Plaza de Mayo (May Square), you will see the Casa Rosada (Pink colored house), which houses the mythical balcony from where Evita used to address people, the Cathedral with the mausoleum of General San Martín, Argentina´s independence hero, and the Cabildo, (town Hall). You will continue your way through May Avenue, that joins the Plaza de Mayo with the Congress, with its Art Nouveau buildings, old hotels, theatres and cafes. You will continue your journey towards San Telmo, a neighbourhood of bohemians, artists, antiques shops and cobbled streets. You will pass around Dorrego Square, where each Sunday thousands of tourists and porteños (Buenos Aires inhabitants) visit the antique fair that is held there. You will also visit the neighbourhood of La Boca, with its colourful tenements, where a lot of artists open their studios and workshops. We will walk along the mythical street of Caminito. You will your tour in Recoleta district, one of the most fashionable parts of the city, which includes South America’s most opulent and extraordinary cemetery, the resting place of Eva Peron.

    This evening there is an optional Tango Show & dinner at Esquina Carlos Gardel: You will be collected from your hotel at 20:15hrs and transferred to one of the most elegant tango show palaces, built over the location of “Chanta Cuatro” — a restaurant where Carlos Gardel used to dine with his friends.

    Day 2: This morning you will be collected from the Hotel and transferred to the domestic airport (approximately 20 minutes) in time to catch your flight to El Calafate. On arrival into El Calafate you will be met and transferred to Eolo Lodge where you will spend the next 3 nights. Eolo Lodge is located thirty minutes away from El Calafate, on the way to Perito Moreno Glacier. It is strategically located in La Anita valley, on the eastern side of Mount Frías. This afternoon will be spent at your leisure enjoying the activities and facilities that Eolo has to offer. Overnight Eolo Lodge .

    Day 3: After an early breakfast you will be transferred to Puerto Banderas (approximately 1hr). On arrival into Puerto Banderas you will have time to board a comfortable ship that will take you to the port of Estancia Christina (departure 08:15hrs). The boat ride will take approximately 3 ¼ hours sailing among icebergs on the Argentino lake and watching the breath-taking views of the occidental front of the Glaciar Upsala.

    Estancia Cristina was founded in 1914 by Joseph Percival Masters, an Englishman who came to Patagonia with his wife in 1900. They had two children, Percival Herbert Masters in 1902 and Elinor Cristina Masters in 1904. Mr Masters named his home Estancia Cristina in honour to his little daughter. They lived in tents set near the lake for the first year. Needless to say, the first years were times of hard work, effort and restraint. The estancia grew and had up to 22,000 hectares of land surrounded by glaciers, snow peaks and lakes of great natural beauty. When Mr. and Mrs. Masters died, the estancia went into Herbert’s hands, who was then married to Janet Mc Donald. Herbert died in 1984, leaving Janet to manage the property alone. Janet died in 1997. The idea now is to keep alive the history of this family who -with the effort and endurance common to every old pioneer, left an everlasting mark in this unique region.

    On arrival at Estancia Christina you will have the whole day to spend at your leisure enjoying activities such as a visit to the museum, a 4×4 ride up to the continental ice hut and a short trek to the Upsala viewpoint. Later in the afternoon you will take the boat back to Puerto Banderas. On arrival at approximately 7pm you will be transferred back to Eolo Lodge for an overnight stay.

    Day 4: This morning you will be collected from Eolo Lodge and transferred to Los Glaciares National Park’ entrance and Ventisquero Perito Moreno. The journey is a total of 80kms and should take approximately one hour. The last 15 kms are very slow- you will be driven along a panoramic zigzag road to visit the main vista point, boarding Lago Roca lake shores.

    The Perito Moreno glacier was declared a Mankind Heritage Site by the UNESCO. It descends to Argentino Lake and its 35-kilometer long and 70-meter (230 ft.) high wall above water level can be admired, with vibrant colors ranging from white to turquoise. During the short walks, you will be able to witness the ice detachment phenomena, with the hollow sounds of ice falling and becoming smaller floating glaciers. Periodically the glacier advances over the L-shaped Argentino Lake forming a natural dam which separates the two halves of the lake when it reaches the opposite shore. With no escape route, the water-level on the Brazo Rico side of the lake can rise by up to 30 meters above the level of the main lake. The enormous pressure produced by the height of the dammed water finally breaks the ice barrier holding it back, in a spectacular rupture event. This dam/rupture cycle is not regular and it recurs naturally at any frequency between once a year to less than once a decade. This afternoon you will transferred back to Eolo Lodge. Overnight Eolo Lodge.

    Day 5: This morning you will transferred to The Singular hotel in Puerto Bories (approx. 3 ½ hours). Puerto Bories is located in the heart of Chilean Patagonia, on the Patagonian fjords of Ultima Esperanza, five minutes north of Puerto Natales. On arrival at The Singular you will visit the hotels private museum; the original Bories cold-storage industrial facilities, which have been preserved in perfect conditions. The Bories Cold-Storage Plant was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1996. It is located 5 kilometers (3 miles) to the north of Puerto Natales in Chilean Patagonia. When visiting the site, you can take in the buildings of the Frigorífico Bories including the Garage de las Locomotoras (engine garage) the Herrería (forge), the large building of the Curtiembre y Grasería (tannery and tallow house), among other places that vividly evoke the past. Overnight: The Singular

    Day 6: Today will be spent discovering the Torres del Paine National Park. The Torres del Paine National park was created in 1959 and declared a Unesco World Biosphere reserve in 1978. The park is situated 154 km from Puerto Natales. You will head north from the hotel, reaching Villa Cerro Castillo located one hour from The Singular hotel. This is a village surrounding an old estancia that belonged to the Sociedad Explotadora Tierra del Fuego, devoted to sheep farming. You will stop at the village for fifteen minutes and then continue your journey to Lago Sarmiento, where you will be able to observe the typical fauna of this area, ñandúes and herds of guanacos. The lake is renowned for its striking deep blue colour. You will enter the Torres del Paine National Park at Portería Laguna Amarga, once inside the park; you will visit different viewpoints with unique perspectives of the Macizo Paine. You will take a thirty-minute walk to visit the Salto Grande waterfall, where you will be able to see the Cuernos del Paine (Paine Horns). Finally, you will reach Lago Grey, where you will start a one-hour trek, with a view of Glacier Grey and icebergs. You will return by the Mylodon Cave route, where you will have panoramic views of the Macizo Paine. Overnight: The Singular.

    Day 7: Today can be spent at your leisure or you can choose activities organized by The Singular such as:

    Full Day Trekking Sierra Baguales – Private Reserve: Driving from Puerto Natales, 90 kms north, you will arrive at Estancia Cerro Guido, a typical estancia in this area of Patagonia, you will learn about the work that is done in such Estancias. You will continue to Sierra Baguales, an impressive mountain range, named by the locals after the herds of wild horses that used to roam the area. This mountain range is a noteworthy feature of the landscape because of the different pointed shapes of its basaltic formation. In some areas it is still possible to find fosil remains, evidence of the geological eras, which you will discover during your visit to this magical place. You will reach the final destination of your journey, Estancia Las Cumbres, an isolated place, a land for the adventurous, pioneering soul, where you will have a unique and unforgettable Patagonian experience.

    Half Day Trekking to Mylodon Caves: These caves are considered one of the most ancient and most significant paleontological and archaeological sites in Southern Patagonia. Evidence of human presence has been found here dating back 12,000 years, associated with extinct fauna such as the Mylodon. The hike starts at the first cave, where you will start to delve into this major archaeological discovery, you will then head to the middle cave, and finish in the main cave, which astounds us with its dimensions, two hundred meters deep, eighty meters wide at the mouth, and thirty meters high (650 by 260 by 100 feet). Overnight: The Singular.

    Day 8: This morning you will be transferred from The Singular to Punta Arenas (approximately 3 hours) to board Cruceros Autralis cruise ship where you will be spending the next 4 nights. Check in is between 13:00hrs and 17:00hrs and cruise ship boarding is scheduled for 18:00hrs. Once the cruise has departed the captain and crew give a welcome cocktail reception. Overnight: Cruceros Australis.

    Day 9: At dawn, you will continue navigating through Almirantazgo Sound, arriving at Ainsworth Bay, inside the Alberto De Agostini National Park. From a distance you may see the Marinelli Glacier which descends from the Darwin Mountain Range, and you will learn how life begins after the retreat of the ice. You will also take a walk to discover a beaver dam in the marvellous sub polar Magellanic forest. On the beach, you will try to see elephant seals, but we cannot guarantee this as the precise location of the colony is unpredictable. Later, you will sail to Tuckers Islets, and after lunch you will board the Zodiac boats to view Magellanic Penguins (which only live in the Southern Hemisphere), and Cormorants. In September and April this excursion is replaced by Brookes Bay where you will land for a short walk to approach a glacier. Overnight: Cruceros Australis

    Day 10: Today you will navigate along the main part of the Beagle Channel to reach Pia Fjord, where you will disembark near Pia Glacier. You will take a short hike to a look-out point with a spectacular view of the entire glacier tongue, stretching from high in the mountains all the way to the sea. After this unforgettable experience, you will continue sailing along the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel through majestic Glacier Alley. Overnight: Cruceros Australis

    Day 11: Today you will sail through the Murray Channel and Nassau Bay to reach Cape Horn National Park, where you will disembark (weather permitting). The mythical Cape Horn was discovered in 1616, and it is a sheer, 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory. For many years it was an important navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and it is known as the “End of the Earth”. The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in June 2005. In the afternoon, you will go ashore at historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of one of the region’s largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Charles Darwin landed here on January 23rd, 1833, during the voyage of the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. You will walk through a Magellanic forest of Lengas, Coihues, Canelos, ferns, and other native vegetation to reach a look-out point. Overnight: Cruceros Australis.

    Day 12: Early this morning you will arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina’s most important and southernmost city. At 08:00hrs you will disembark Cruceros Australis and the rest of the morning can either be spent on the Ushuaia city tour or exploring the city on your own with a private guide. Ushuaia’s name comes from the language of the yámanas or yaghanes indians, its original inhabitants, and means “bay that penetrates westward.” It is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel, at the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego Island, and surrounded by the Martial Mounts. Its superlative location allows you to enjoy sea, mountains and forests at the same time.

    During the sightseeing tour you will visit the legendary old prison museum that preserves its impressive architecture as well as its tough history in the south of Argentina. You will also get to visit the harbour and Paseo del Centenario, a great viewpoint where you can take in the panoramic view of the mountains´ chains and the light house of the end of the world. After the tour you will be transferred to Ushuaia airport in time to check in to your flight to Buenos Aires. On arrival into Buenos Aires you will be met and transferred to Legado Mitico Hotel, the rest of the day can be spent at your leisure. Overnight Legado Mitico.

    Day 13: This morning will be spent at your leisure. This afternoon you will be transferred to the international airport for your flight home. End of Wild and Exotic services.

    Notes:

    The price is inclusive of all private transportation & English speaking guide throughout the itinerary, accommodation with breakfast , Meals as noted: B= breakfast, BB = buffet breakfast, BL= box lunch, L=lunch, D= dinner, FB = Full board.

    The price does not include international and domestic flights, airport taxes, gratuities and items of a personal nature. Extra activities as stated in the itinerary (tango shows, city tours etc) can be arranged for an additional charge.

    As ATOL license holders (#6445) we can book seats on most major airlines at competitive prices. We are able to make the booking (and fix the best price, less taxes and fuel charges) up to a year in advance with payment not normally due until 8 weeks before departure – this means that we can release your seats at anytime up until payment is due without penalty.

    Please note that it is the responsibility of the client to ensure they obtain the correct visa prior to travel. A Visa is not required to visit Argentina for less than 90 days.

    Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which is enclosed with your booking form.

    ANTARTIC & PATAGONIA


    Wild and Exotic Patagonia sample itinerary

    Summary

    Wild and Exotic have identified many remote and exclusive estancias and lodges in different regions of Argentina. In all probability you will arrive in Argentina via this most glamorous and cosmopolitan of all South American cities; Buenos Aires, often described as the Paris of South America. We recommend at least a two days and nights based either in the hip Palermo part of the city, or the elegant and refined barrio of Recoleta. From Buenos Aires fly down to Patagonia, land of legendary beauty and inaccessibility that is home to vast estancias and some of the best riding and fishing opportunities in the world.

    Begin at Estancia Peuma Hue, located in the Nahuel Huapi National Park in northern Patagonia, within 2 miles of lakeshore and surrounded by pristine forests before heading south to explore El Encuentro, a delightful property located on the banks of the Futaleufu River near Esquel, which is run by the Anglo Argentine Beale family. Move further south still to Calafate, where the Perito Moreno glacier – one of only 3 in the world that is actually advancing each year – awaits in Los Glaciares National Park, as does the extraordinary estancia Cristina at the western end of Lago Argentina.

    Itinerary

    Day 1: Under your own arrangements you will check into your flight to Buenos Aires.

    Day 2: On arrival into Buenos Aires you will be met and transferred to the Loi Suites hotel in the beautiful district of Recoleta for an overnight stay.

    Day 3: This morning you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to Buenos Aires domestic airport (AEP) in time to check in to your flight to Bariloche. On arrival into Bariloche you will be met and transferred to Peuma Hue (meaning Place of Dreams in native Mapuche language), which is located within the Nahuel National Park in northern Patagonia, with 2 miles of private shoreline, pristine forests and waterfalls. A great place for riding, white water rafting, trekking, boating, kayaking, and exploring the beautiful landscape of the Patagonian Lake District. Animals roam freely around the houses and welcome human contact.

    Day 4: At leisure at Peuma Hue.

    Day 5: Today you will be transferred by road via El Bolson to have lunch en route for a 3 night stay at El Encuentro, a fishing lodge on the Fataleufu River situated in the foothills of the Andes and with stunning views across the river to the mountains beyond. El Encuentro is run by a charming Anglo Argentine family and is a great base for fishing, rafting, riding and exploring Los Alerces National Park.

    Day 6: Today you could spend the day rafting on the River Corcovado.

    Day 7: Today will be spent fishing. The fishing here for wild brown and rainbow trout and the occasional land locked salmon is amongst the best of its kind in the world, and can be done from a boat of the bank. Lunch can either be taken back at the lodge (followed by a siesta if wished) or alternatively will be prepared by your guide on the banks of the river.

    Day 8: Today you will spend the day exploring Los Alerces National Park, which is home to giant redwood trees.

    Day 9: Today you will be transferred to Bariloche airport in time to check in to your flight to El Calafate. On arrival in El Calafate you will be met and transferred to Eolo for a 2 night stay

    Day 10: Today you will be collected from your hotel at 08:30hrs and transferred towards the National Park’ entrance and Ventisquero Perito Moreno (westwards, 80km, 1 hr easy drive, paved route, no loo on route). It is a slow drive along a panoramic zigzag gravel road for 15 km to visit the main vista point, boarding Lago Roca lake shores. Upon arrival there is approx 2hrs to explore the “pasarelas” or vantage point in front of the glacier.

    You will also go on a minitrekking excursion, which begins in the embarking pier located in “Bajo de las Sombras” bay approx 6 km before the glacier balconies. You will take a boat across the Rico Arm, enjoying the views of the front of the glacier. You disembark on the opposite shore, where specialized mountain guides welcome you and lead you to a small shelter. Once on the ice the guides put a pair of crampons on each participant, and explain how to use them. The two hours circuit that follows explores the glacial landscape including streams, small lagoons, gullies and ice formations. The ice surface over which you walk is irregular, but firm and safe. You will receive explanations about flora, fauna and general glaciology of the region. After the walk, a stroll through the forest brings you back to the shelter. This excursion continues with a visit to the main vista point for an awesome panoramic view of the continental ice shelf. You will return to Calafate at approximately 19:00 hrs for an overnight stay at Eolo .

    Day 11: After an early breakfast you will be collected for a 30 minutes drive to Puerto Banderas. On arrival you will board a modern and comfortable ship. You will depart the port to sail among icebergs on the Argentino lake and watch the breathtaking views of the occidental front of the Glaciar Upsala. On arrival at the port of Estancia Cristina at 11:30 hours you will be transferred to Estancia Cristina. You will have the rest of the day to spend at your leisure enjoying the facilities and activities at Estancia Cristina such as:
    Visit the Museum and the chapel
    Short trekking up to the Caterina river.
    Hiking to “Canadon de los Fosiles”, the area where thousands of fossils can be seen stuck in -and showing up from-the rocks, as a result of the action of the glaciers. This valley offers features which are unique in the park with views of Lago Guillermo, the breathtaking oriental front of Glaciar Upsala, the Patagonian Ice Fields, Cerro Murallón and Cerro Don Bosco.

    Day 12: Today can be spent at your leisure and we recommend riding to Mirador Upsala. Riding through the Caterina river valley, up the West side of Meson mountain to Los Perros point with views of the surrounding mounts, the Patagonian Ice Fields and Glaciar Upsala. In the afternoon you will return back to Puerto Banderas at approximately 19:00hrs and you will be transferred to Kau Yatun for an overnight stay.

    Day 13: Today you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight back to Buenos Aires. On arrival into Buenos Aires you will be met and transferred to the Magnolia hotel in Palermo. Overnight at the Magnolia hotel in Palermo

    Day 14: Today you will be transferred on the half day city tour of Buenos Aires. The most important sights of Buenos Aires arise from the centre piece of this half-day tour. Our air conditioned car and guide will take you through the narrow streets of the old city and the broad avenues that mark Buenos Aires modern growth. Around the Plaza de Mayo (“Mayo Square”), you will see the Casa Rosada, the rose-coloured presidential residence, the Cathedral and the Cabildo (Town Hall). On South America’s broadest avenue, Avenida 9 de Julio, you will see Colon Theater and the Obelisco. A highlight is a visit to the “Recoleta” district, one of the most fashionable parts of the city, which includes South America’s most opulent and extraordinary cemetery, the resting place of Eva Peron. La Boca district is also included in this tour, which lasts approximately 3 hours. Afterwards you will have lunch at Cabana Las Lilas before being transferred back to the Magnolia hotel.

    Day 15: Today you will be collected from the Magnolia hotel and transferred to the international airport in time to check in to your flight home. End of Wild and Exotic services.

    Notes:

    The price of this itinerary is inclusive of all activities described, together with meals.

    Extra activities in Buenos Aires (tango shows, city tours etc) can be arranged for an additional charge.

    The price does not include international or domestic airfares, lunch at El Bolson, items of a personal nature, gratuities, etc.

    As ATOL license holders (#6445) we can book seats on most major airlines at competitive prices. We are able to make the booking (and fix the best price, less taxes and fuel charges) up to a year in advance with payment not normally due until 8 weeks before departure – this means that we can release your seats at anytime up until payment is due without penalty.

    BEST OF PATAGONIAN


    Wild and Exotic Salta & North West sample itinerary

    Summary

    No region has such a varied landscapes as Argentina’s northwest. In the space of a single day, a trip up the Quebrada de Toro takes you from the colonial city of Salta, with its plazas of tall waving palms, through forest-clad valleys, past mighty red mountains and on to the stark beauty of the high altitude puna, dotted with llamas and shimmering salt flats. Indigenous culture still thrives in Jujuy, the starting point for the Quebrada de Humahuaca. In this vast valley of ochre and terracotta rock, quiet oasis villages add a splash of green. From Purmamarca to Humahuaca, tiny churches are filled with treasures, Carnival is a riot and Easter is extravagantly celebrated. South of Salta, an exhilarating road snakes up the dramatic Cuesta del Obispo to the magical Valles Calchaquíes, home to sophisticated pre Inca cultures, whose marvellous ceramics fill every local museum. You will discover calm in the small villages of Cachi and Molinos, perfect for walking in the mountains or relaxing in lush valleys, with acres of scarlet peppers laid out to dry in the sun. Cafayate’s picturesque bodegas transform high altitude grapes into delicious wines, whilst the valley’s weavers turn llama wool into the softest ponchos. There are fascinating pre-Incan cities at Santa Rosa de Tastil and Quilmes, at atmospheric Las Pailas and a hilltop fortress at Tilcara, which commands breathtaking views of the valleys below.

    Itinerary

    Day 1: On arrival into Salta airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon you will be given a walking tour of the colonial town of Salta, located in Argentina’s most traditional region of the Andean Northwest stopping at the cathedral with its gold-leaf altar, and the Church of San Francisco to see the image of the pregnant Virgin Mary. During this excursion you will learn about the connection of this area to the Potosi mines in Bolivia during Spanish colonial times. Overnight in Salta: Legado Mitico.

    Day 2: Today you will be transferred to Purmamarca driving through “Camino de Cornisa” an enchanting subtropical environment of mosses, trees, bromeliads, and epiphytes. This lush environment shelters a rich variety of Andean birds. Spectacular geological formations accompany us throughout our journey. Purmamarca is at the base of the polychrome Hill of the Seven Colours. Overnight: El Marques de Tojo

    Day 3: From Purmamarca, we visit the Salinas Grandes in the province of Jujuy, where you will see one of the biggest great depressions of the province, with over 12,000 hectares of salt opencast, an infinite vastness of whiteness, it is located at 3,350 meters above sea level and salt is from 10 to 50 cm thick. You will have lunch at El Mojón, a fascinating restaurant and museum run by a small indigenous community, before continuing onto Tilcara. Overnight. Posada de la Luz

    Day 4: This morning you will visit the archaeological ruins of Tilcara Fort, and learn about the Indian traditions of the Alto Perú. Continue to the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a Unesco World Heritage Site, which offers spectacular geology, an artist’s palette of colour splashed on the surrounding hillsides. You can visit the traditional town of Uquía with its 17th century church displaying a collection of paintings from the Cuzco school (Peru) featuring the famous ángeles arcabuceros, which are angels equipped with Spanish colonial armors. Because the Spaniards colonized this area from Peru, it has many features that recall the Andean countries, including numerous adobe churches. You will continue through remote and only recently passable (by vehicle) valleys to the enchanting town of Iruya, which overlooks the valley of the Iruya River from a height of 2780 metres close to the border with JuJuy Province. Iruya is concealed within the folds of mountains and has a truly “far from the beaten track” feel. The name comes from the Quechua language and means” site of the high pastures”. Iruya was used a resting place by caravans and muleteers carrying goods from the Puna highlands to the Río San Francisco River, and vice versa. Overnight: Iruya Inn

    Day 5: Today you will start your journey back to Salta, by the same route that took you from Tilcara, passing by Humahuaca, Huacalera, Maimará and Tumbaya again. Near Huacalera, you can see the Tropic of Capricornio monolith. On arrival in Jujuy, you will take a detour to the 34 provincial route, which is a quicker way back to Salta city. Overnight: Hotel Mitico.

    Day 6: Today you will be transferred to the village of Cachi, driving across the “Cuesta del Obispo” and reaching the 3720 metre summit with stunning  views to the “Valle Encantado” or Enchanted Valley. You will continue being driven along the “Tin Tin” stretch (part of the old “Inca Road”) and passing by “Los Cardones National Park” (abundance of giant pascani cacti). Overnight: La Merced del Alto.

    Day 7: This morning you will depart towards Colome, which lies some 60kms km south of Cachi. Nestled in a hidden nook of the Calchaquíes valleys, Colomé boasts the oldest vines in all of Argentina. You will stop at Molinos, which used to be part of the Inca Road and a melting pot of  of different races and cultures. You will continue to Estancia Colome, which is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, for a visit to the museum and winery . Afterwards continue your journey to the charming town of Cafayate for an overnight stay. Overnight: Viñas de Cafayate.

    Day 8: Today you will be transferred to Cafayate. The route passes by the “Quebrada de las Flechas”, where the rough dirt road winds through breathtakingly beautiful rock formations of wind-eroded reddish brown sandstone strata folded and fractured by the upheavals of the Andean orogeny. You will have a brief stop to visit the village of Angastaco’s main square and will continue to the villages of Molinos and Seclantas before reaching Cafayate. This town, which is located in the centre of the Calchaquí valleys, is internationally recognized for the quality of its wines, the affability of its climate, the friendliness of its people and the beauty of its surroundings. The charms of this beautiful and important town are best appreciated by wandering its streets to admire the Cathedral, central plaza, the picturesque old stone mill and museums filled with history.

    Afterwards you will continue onto Salta, towards the “Valles Calchaquies”, which is a scenic drive along the “Quebrada de las Conchas” gorge, where deeply coloured sandstone rock formations were deposited as sediments during the Eocene-Paleocene. You will also pass by the historical villages of Cerrillos, La Merced and Coronel Moldes. Overnight: House of Jasmines – www.houseofjasmines.com

    Day 9: Today will be transferred from your hotel to the airport in time to check in for your flight home.

    Notes

    The cost of this itinerary is based on two people sharing accommodation. A single supplement may apply if guests are not prepared to share accommodation

    The price is inclusive of all activities described with an English speaking guide.

    The price does not include international or domestic airfares, items of a personal nature, gratuities, etc.

    UK and USA visitors to Argentina and Chile currently do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days.

    Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which is enclosed with your booking form.

    BEST OF SALTA AND THE NORTH WEST


    “We have had  simply the most amazing trip around this massive country thanks to you. Salta and JuJuy were perhaps the most incredible. The guide Mariano was perfect. A million thanks.”
    Nicola Shearer, Argentina bespoke travel, January 2008

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