Wine, Estancias & Crazy Geology

Road Trip Through Northwest Argentina

Buenos Aires & the Pampas, Salta, Salta & Northwest Argentina

Duration: 13 nights

Price: From £3,850 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation, some meals, car hire, private transfers and taxes

Northwest Argentina is a beautiful region, where the high peaks of the Andes plunge into multicoloured valleys, past the volcanic landscapes and salt flats of the Puna. This road trip adventure will see you taking in all that and more, and, as a self-drive adventure, is perfect if you prefer to go at your own pace – we know that flexibility is important for lots of people, and nothing beats the feeling of spontaneous adventure promised by a road trip. Taking in wine-tasting, colonial cities and the addictive buzz of Buenos Aires alongside the spectacular landscapes, this itinerary also suits first-timers or those looking for a broad introduction to northwest Argentina.
Perfect forA relaxed introduction to Argentina, with the added adventure of a road trip
In the knowConsider adding a few days exploring Mendoza, where you can enjoy yet more fantastic wine.

Best for

  • Road Trip
  • Off the Beaten Track
  • Landscapes & Scenery
  • Adventure

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Itinerary details

Buenos Aires


Your journey begins in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. After touching down, you’ll be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel, Hub Porteno, a stylish boutique property in the upmarket Recoleta barrio. Get your bearings with a stroll through the pretty colonial streets, past the beautiful cemetery and Our Lady of the Pillar Church, before enjoying innovative Argentine cuisine at the acclaimed Tarquino restaurant. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a tango show during your time here – the very best, Rojo Tango, is performed at the Faena Hotel.
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Flying from Buenos Aires to Salta, you’ll pick up your car and drive for around an hour to Estancia el Bordo de las Lanzas, your home for the next two nights. One of the oldest estancias in Argentina, this place is brimming with historic character and dates back to the 17th century. It’s a great place to get a feel for traditional Argentine ranch life, and a ride on its horses remains the best way to experience the gorgeous surrounding countryside; you can also experience cattle roundups, and traditional displays of horsemanship courtesy of the estancia’s gauchos. Don’t forget to stop in at the winery for a tasting session.
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2 nightsTILCARA

The next stop on your adventure is Tilcara, a colonial market town rich in indigenous Argentine culture. On the two-hour drive from General Guemes to Tilcara, you’ll pass the Cerro de los Siete Colores – the Hill of Seven Colours – made up of layers of rock in different hues of pink, orange and white. Your home here is Las Marias Boutique Hotel, a luxurious property just a few blocks from the town centre. Attractions nearby include the Regional Museum of Painting, where you can view artworks by local painter Jose Antonio Terry, and the pre-Inca ruins of Pucara de Tilcara. The town is surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Humahuaca Valley, and you can enjoy views of the famously technicolour hills from beside the hotel pool. 
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San Antonio de los Cobres


Departing Tilcara, you’ll pass through yet more otherworldly landscapes as you journey through the salt flats and volcanoes of the Puna, en route to San Antonio de los Cobres. This highland town is the launching point for the spectacular Tren a las Nubes – one of the highest railways in the world – and offers a typical snapshot of Andean life. You’ll spend the night in the Hotel de las Nubes, a comfortable property where wood, stone and rough-hewn walls reflect the rugged beauty of the Quebrada del Toro.
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2 nightsSALTA

The next stop on your self-drive adventure, around two and a half hours away, is the lovely colonial city of Salta. This is a fantastic place to experience traditional Argentine culture; music lovers will want to check out the city’s famous folk music clubs, known as penas, where you can learn a few traditional dance steps. The city is also famed for its pretty colonial architecture – check out the beautiful Cathedral and the Church of St Francis – and as the launchpad for adventures in the Puna. Your home for the next two nights is Legado Mitico, a boutique townhouse property decorated with local handicrafts and antique furnishings.
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1 nightCACHI

It’s time for yet another scenic drive, as you travel from Salta to Cachi past cactus-strewn plains, gorges and mountains. You’ll spend the night at La Merced del Alto, a relaxed boutique hotel in a whitewashed, colonial-style building. Cachi is a pleasant town of cobbled streets and pretty buildings, with stunning views of the Nevado de Cachi mountains in the background. The restaurant at the hotel is a fantastic place to sample traditional Andean food, with dishes on offer including llama tenderloin with Inca maize; there’s a pretty extensive wine cellar, too.
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2 nightsCAFAYATE

From Cachi you’ll hit the road again, driving through the valleys and vistas of Salta Province to Cafayate, a pretty town famous for the quality of its wine. Your home for the next two nights is Patios de Cafayate, a lovely boutique property housed in a farmhouse dating back to the 1890s. This region is the second most prominent for Argentine wine behind Mendoza, and tastings are the number one activity at the hotel. Photography workshops are also on offer, and are a fantastic way to better get to know the rugged beauty of the Calchaqui Valley and learn how to take fantastic landscape shots.
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Buenos Aires


Your journey through northwest Argentina is nearly at an end, as you drive to Salta – where you’ll leave your car – to board a flight back to Buenos Aires for one more night. You’ll stay, as before, at the Hub Porteno – this is a great opportunity to explore parts of the city you may not have done before, such as the cobbled streets and pastel buildings of La Boca, and to relax and prepare for your journey home.
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Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

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