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Northwest Argentina Road Trip

Itinerary Overview

  • 7 nights in charming deluxe lodges in Salta, Purmamarca, Molinos and Cafayate.
  • Private airport transfers.
  • English-speaking private guide & driver for all included cultural activities.
  • Advance itinerary customization and restaurant reservations, as well as 24/7 in-country support.

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Day 1

Welcome to Salta

Upon arrival (flight not included), you’ll meet your Exeter Latin America driver and English-speaking guide just outside baggage claim (holding a sign with your name on it) for your private transfer to your accommodations. For a stay just outside of Salta surrounded by nature and a more remote feel, we love the charming House of Jasmines, a beautiful Relais & Chateux property. (Pricing varies.)

Located in the green Lerma Valley, Salta is the capital of the province bearing the same name and the gateway to to the high altitude wine, stunning nature and colonial architecture of Argentina’s vast northwest region. There’s plenty to see and do in Salta and neighboring Jujuy and this requires a good bit of driving to truly enjoy, with great stops along the way!

This afternoon, a privately guided tour of this colonial gem, including Main Square and the surrounding historical buildings like the San Francisco Church, the San Bernardo Convent, and the Museum of High Altitude Archaeology (MAAM). Within this museum, you’ll learn more about the Incan Sanctuaries within the Andes such as the one atop the Llullaillaco Volcano.

Day 2

Salta to Purmamarca

After breakfast, depart with your guide and driver to the neighboring Jujuy province. The beginning of your trip will have you driving along the route of the Tren a las Nubes (“train to the clouds”), a long railroad that runs through the Andes from northwestern Argentina all the way to southern Chile. Along the route you’ll drive along mountain roads with views of seemingly infinite desert plains and blue skies. Keep an eye out for small sections of humbles houses and pre-Hispanic ruins.

Along the way, you’ll have stops at various locations like the town of Campo Quijano and the impressive Quebrada del Toro gorge through which the Tren de las Nubes also passes. Here you’ll have a stop for some local coffee while taking in the incredible views, before continuing on to Santa Rosa de Tastil, a small pre-Incan settlement (13th century), and San Antonio de los Cobres, one of the smallest villages in the region. With your main stop at Salinas Grandes salt flats, you’ll have ample time to enjoy the surroundings and try your hand at some of the unique photos that can be taken here thanks to the landscape and reflections from the thin layer of water that covers the ground.

Overnight at cozy El Manantial del Silencio.

Day 3

Through the Humahuaca Valley

After breakfast, you’ll head out for a full day excursion through the Humahuaca Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage cultural landscape. The town of Purmamarca was built at the foot of the Seven Color Hills, which were the result of 600 million years of marine, lake and river sediments deposited, leaving a colorful natural spectacle like few others in the world. You’ll pass through Tilcara and its rebuilt Pucará or indigenous fortress, a reminder of the the ancient inhabitants of this region.

After passing through Huacalera and the Tropic of Capricorn, you arrive at Uquia, home to one of the most important collections of Arcabucero Angels, iconic example of the Cusco school of painting. Then, continue on to Humahuaca town and some time for lunch before returning back to Salta. Overnight again at the beautiful House of Jasmines.

Day 4

Salta to Colomé through the Calchaqui Valley

Depart this morning from Salta toward Molinos, one of the most incredible drives in Argentina crossing four different ecosystems – from the green forest of the Yang’s to the semi-desert Calchaquí Valley, and then through the Piedra de Molino pass at over 11,000 feet ASL. Try to catch sight of condors in the blue sky above and guanacos and burros among the local giant cacti below.

You’ll arrive at Estancia Colomé, which is not just an amazing and historic vineyard (since 1831), but also home to a museum dedicated to the work of American artist James Turrell. The unique sunlight of this part of Argentina make it an ideal place for an artist known for his work in the Light and Space movement.

Overnight at Estancia Colomé.

Day 5

Onward to Cafayate

After breakfast, depart along Route 40, of the longest highways in the world along which you’ll find many small villages between Molinos and Cafayate populated by family farms and boutique wineries, as well as the spectacular desert and rock formations of the Valley of the Arrowheads.

Cafayate’s terroir is unique with its desert climate, large variation of high and low temperatures, and soils low in organic matter. This produces some truly fantastic wines, and the most well-known varietal here is Torrontés.

Overnight at Patios de Cafayate, a picturesque lodge on the wine estate of El Esteco vineyard.

Day 6

Wine tasting in Cafayate

Today you’ll visit two small wineries in Cafayate, as well as have time to enjoy relaxing at Patios de Cafayate.

Day 7

Journey through the other-worldly Queabrada de las Conchas

Depart back to Salta, passing through the Quebrada de la Conchas gorge with a 40-mile long deep ravine with incredible rock formations carved over 50 million years. This area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its intense red color brings visitors from all over the world. This journey is truly spectacular and you will find it impossible not to stop a few times along the way.

Day 8

Until next time!

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. We always suggest a final night here before continuing back home!

Private Journey PricingPer Person

Pricing Level
From Price Per Person
2 guests traveling


4 guests traveling



  • 3 nights (total) in a Double Superior room at House of Jasmines.
  • 1 night in a Double room at El Manantial del Silencio.
  • 2 nights in a Double Colonial room at Patios de Cafayate.
  • 1 night in a Junior Suite at Estancia Colomé.
  • Breakfast daily.
  • Private arrival and departure transfers (assumes all guests on same flights.)
  • English-speaking guide included when specified in itinerary.
  • Private, local English-speaking guides for all activities as described in the program.
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle for all included activities and transfers, with bottled water daily.
  • Cost of entrance for all sights and experiences specifically included in your program.
  • 24/7 local emergency contact during your journey.
  • Full-service advance tailoring of your itinerary and assistance with restaurant reservations.
  • Air tickets as described

Not Included

  • Air travel.
  • Lunches, dinners and alcoholic beverages unless otherwise specified in your program.
  • Gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel porters, etc. unless otherwise specified in your program.
  • Travel or medical evacuation insurance.
  • Any other items or services not specifically included in your itinerary

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