From red-rock desert paintings to waterfalls that span two countries and the pulse of tango, this 15-day Argentine adventure will show you the country's diverse landscape and rich cultural heritage. Travel from Buenos Aires to Argentina's northwest by air and on the open road, with plenty of time to sip the country's famous malbec wines along the way.


  • Feel the passion of authentic Buenos Aires tango at a Río de la Plata dinner show
  • Taste world-class malbecs in the Uco Valley wine country
  • Marvel at the Inca Bridge and La Paleta del Pinto geological wonders
  • Get soaked walking under Iguazú Waterfalls' cascades

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 2 Buenos Aires Barrios & Tango Dinner Show Buenos Aires
Day 3 San Antonio de Areco & Estancia el Ombu Buenos Aires
Day 4 Fly to Mendoza Mendoza
Day 5 Uco Valley Wine Tour Mendoza
Day 6 Aconcagua Park & Inca Bridge Mendoza
Day 7 Transfer to Salta, Half-Day Tour Salta
Day 8 Lerna Valley Two-Day Tour: Salta to Cafayate Salta
Day 9 Lerna Valley Two-Day Tour: Cafayate to Salta Cafayate
Day 10 Day Trip to Purmamarca & Humahuaca Salta
Day 11 Day Trip to Salinas Grandes Salta
Day 12 Fly to Puerto Iguazu Puerto Iguazú
Day 13 Brazil, Iguazú Waterfalls & Parque Das Aves Puerto Iguazú
Day 14 Explore the Argentina Side of Iguazú Waterfalls Puerto Iguazú
Day 15 Fly to Buenos Aires & Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires

The famous Obelisco of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is Argentina's largest city with a robust urban life

Welcome to Argentina! Your driver will meet you in the arrivals hall at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires to transfer you to your hotel. From there, you can spend the rest of the day resting for the adventure ahead or set off to explore one of the city's many barrios (neighborhoods).

With 78 square miles (203 sq km), and 48 barrios, you'll have a lot to choose from, and it may be best to start with the area around your hotel to get acclimated. Some sites worth checking out are the Casa Rosada presidential palace, Teatro Colón opera house, or one of the city's many museums. 

Day 2: Buenos Aires Barrios & Tango Dinner Show 

Get your camera ready to capture Boca's colorful zinc homes

Put on your walking shoes to explore this capital home to 15 million, known as the "Paris of South America" for its elegant Beaux Arts and Art Nouveau architecture. Learn about the history of the dynamic metropolis as you walk through several of its barrios. Begin in Plaza de Mayo, the city's main square and center of political activity, continue on to San Telmo's cobblestone streets and get your camera ready for La Boca's colorful zinc houses. After a break in Palermo's gardens, continue to Recoletta's cemetery to discover the tomb of Eva Perón or "Evita," the activist, actress, and former Argentine first lady.

Seeing a tango show is a must in Buenos Aires, and in Río de la Plata's barrios, where the dance originates, you'll experience one of Argentina's best-known examples of cultural heritage. Settle into your candlelit table in San Telmo to enjoy an authentic Argentine meal at the La Ventana dinner theater as more than 30 performers entertain you with their music, singing, and of course, tango. After dinner, learn tango steps with a lesson or explore a variety of local wines with a wine-tasting. 

Day 3: San Antonio de Areco & Estancia el Ombu

San Antonio de Areco & Estancia el Ombu
Exploring San Antonio de Areco is like time traveling

Even city dwellers need a country break, so today, you'll transfer 72 miles (117 km) northwest from busy Buenos Aires to San Antonio de Areco. While you won't travel far in distance, you may feel like you are traveling back in time 280 years as you spend the morning and afternoon in a world of gauchos, blacksmiths, and farmers. Explore the town's colonial architecture and learn about the work of local artisans, such as silversmith Juan José Draghi in his family's workshop.

After walking through this traditional pueblo (village) combining Spanish and South American influences, you'll take the relaxation level up a notch at the 9.8-acre (4 ha) El Ombu Estancia farm, where you'll eat lunch surrounded by oak, palm, eucalyptus and magnolia trees. Then take a post-meal stroll around the farm's estate before heading back to Buenos Aires.

Day 4: Fly to Mendoza

Most Mendoza vineyards have the benefit of the Andes as a backdrop.
Mendoza's Andean climate is ideal for wine production

Argentina is among the world's top 10 wine producers, and tasting its most-well known wine—malbec—is next up on your travel itinerary. Your driver will take you to catch your two-hour flight west from Buenos Aires to Mendoza at the heart of Argentina's wine country, where you can transfer directly to your hotel or spend some time exploring the town. 

Get a head start on wine tasting by stopping in one of the town's many bodegas (wineries) for a predinner drink or to have a sampling paired with food for an easy night out. End the evening with a leisurely walk along Mendoza's tree-lined streets or some people-watching at Plaza Independencia.  

Day 5: Uco Valley Wine Tour

Uco Valley's wineries combine views with tasting high-altitude wines
Your wine-tasting tour begins today in Uco Valley. Known for its high-altitude balanced grapes and malbecs, here you'll try award-winning wines while appreciating views at the foot of the Andes Mountains. Visit the region's celebrated wineries, such as Salentein, Domaine Bousquet, and Andeluna Cellars. During your tour, there will be a break for lunch and a chance to pair Argentine dishes with those local labels.

Day 6: Aconcagua Park & Inca Bridge

Inca Bridge is one of Argentina's natural wonders

Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere, and you'll explore it today on Aconcagua Provincial Park's trails. Your guide will pick you up at 8 am for the journey southwest along National Route 7 to Poterillos. From there, you'll have views of Cordón del Plata (an Andes sub-range), and Potrerillos Dam. Navigate through tunnels and bridges, arriving at Uspallata with its Inca petroglyphs. Then continue to Aconcagua Provincial Park to explore.

As you approach Puente de Inca (Inca Bridge), 2.4 miles (4 km) down the road, you may be wondering if it is human-made or natural. The bridge was formed over the Cuevas River by glaciers and hot springs in the Cordillera mountain range. It's a popular spot for hiking and soaking in the springs—ask your guide to take a dip before heading back to your Mendoza hotel.

Day 7: Transfer to Salta, Half-Day Tour

Plan your trip to Argentina
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Salta Cathedral is an example of the city's colonial past

Say goodbye to Mendoza and get ready to travel 784 miles (1,263 km) north to Salta. Your driver will pick you up to catch your approximately two-hour flight, depending on your schedule. In Salta, a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Salta's Spanish colonial roots are evident in its architecture, and its locals, called salteños, are known for keeping the city's cultural heritage alive through festivals and celebrations. A tour of the city will show you some of its key sights and its history, including its founding in 1582 by Spanish settler Hernando de Lerna and its past as part of the Inca empire.

Spend the afternoon exploring Salta, visiting Salta Cathedral and its tomb of Martin Miguel de Guemes, or General Güemes, who is considered a hero in the battle for Spanish independence. At the Historical Museum of the North (the city's former town hall), learn more about the area's history through art, artifacts, and documents starting from the pre-Hispanic era. Marvel at the imposing San Francisco Church with its 177-foot (54 m) bell tower. If you arrive during mass, you can visit San Bernardo Convent, the oldest building in Salta that is only open to Carmelite nuns (except during mass). 

Day 8: Lerna Valley Two-Day Tour: Salta to Cafayate

Lerna Valley Tour: Salta to Cafayate
Lerna Valley is recognized by its red rock formations

Your next two days are dedicated to a Lerna Valley road trip exploring Argentina's northwest and its mountain way of life and landscape. You'll travel round trip, 122 miles (197 km) each way, from Salta to Cafayate. Leaving Salta on day one, Route 68 will take you through the Lerma Valley with a lunch break in Cachi, with its adobe houses and archaeological museum. You'll then continue on to Route 40, which passes the Calchaquí River and Calchaqui Valleys with their distinctive red rocks. There will be time to stop in small towns such as Seclantás, Molinos, Angastaco, and Animaná.

In the afternoon, get out and stretch your legs in Cafayate, where you'll spend the night. Cafayate and the Calchaquí Valleys are also known for their wine production, and you can sip the area's most well-known wine torrontés at a local cellar and even ask for a tour. Your guide can recommend a place for wine tasting and where to try local dishes.  

Day 9: Lerna Valley Two-Day Tour: Cafayate to Salta

There are many areas to hike and explore in Shells' Ravine area
Today you'll make the journey back to Salta along Route 68. The main attraction along the way is Quebrada de las Conchas (Shells' Gorge), which spans 31 miles (50 km) and is 106 miles (171 km) south of Salta. The nature reserve is recognized by its red rock formations and its ravine, Devil's Throat, amphitheater, and fossils. You'll have time to explore the area and then get back in the car to continue the drive north. Along the way, get another taste of the Calchaqui Valley's wines with a stop for lunch and wine tasting before heading back to Salta. 

Day 10: Day Trip to Purmamarca & Humahuaca

Purmamarca & Humahuaca to Salta
Painter's Palette is a natural phenomenon of geological colors

Quebrada del Purmamarca Valley is a place to uncover the religious history of Argentina through churches and artwork. The first stop will be Purmamarca Village at the base of vibrant-hued Seven Colors Hill. You can spend the morning exploring the 400-person village's 17th-century architecture, browsing a craft market, or listening to street musicians. In Uquía, see its church with rare Cusco School paintings of ángeles arcabuceros (angels with Baroque arquebus guns) from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Before lunch, you'll reach the Humahuaca Valley and its main UNESCO-listed city. The timing will be ideal to see a clock in the town square, which chimes at noon, followed by a door opening to reveal a figure of Saint Francisco Solano. Take a break for lunch before continuing on to Maimará to see another group of colorful mountains known as La Paleta del Pintor (Painter's Palette) for their geological formation of painted hills. The next stop will be at San Salvador de Jujuy, where you can explore its cathedral and main square before returning to Salta.

Day 11: Day Trip to Salinas Grandes

Salinas Grandes
Salinas Grandes is a high-altitude white-sand desert

San Antonio de los Cobres is 106 miles (171 km) northwest of Salta, and today's day trip through the area will provide plenty of stops to learn more about the Andes desert area. See the village of Tastil, a settlement that was inhabited until the 15th century when it was invaded by the Inca Empire. You'll stop for lunch at San Antonio de los Cobres and continue north on Route 40 to the Salinas Grandes

As you approach Salinas Grandes, you'll want to fasten your seat belt as you start on the road to Cuesta de Lipán, a slope known for its winding, steep curves and condor sightings. The white sand desert here has an average altitude of 11,318 feet (3,450 m) above sea level and covers 81 square miles (212 sq km). After a day spent exploring this open landscape, you'll travel on the highway to return to Salta. 

Day 12: Fly to Puerto Iguazú

Iguazú Waterfalls covers Brazil and Argentina and is the largest waterfall system in the world

Today it's time to gather your belongings in Salta and make your way to Puerto Iguazú, your entry point to Iguazú Falls in Iguazú National Park. A driver will take you from your hotel to the airport in Salta where you'll catch a flight to travel approximately two hours east and 898 miles (1,446 km) to Puerto Iguazú.

When you arrive (according to your own schedule), a driver will pick you up for a transfer to your hotel. In Puerto Iguazú, you can spend the evening resting or go out for a walk to see the Three Frontiers landmark, representing one piece of three landmarks created in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, to honor the proximity of the three borders in the area. 

Day 13: Brazil, Iguazú Waterfalls & Parque Das Aves

From the Brazil side of Iguazú National Park, you'll be fully immersed in the cascades

With 275 cascades, Iguazú is the largest waterfall system in the world, spanning Brazil and Argentina in a national park. Today you'll hop over to the Brazil side of the park to see the largest of the falls—Garganta do Diabo (Devil's Throat). A bus will take you from the visitors' center to the beginning of the footbridge that provides a circuit to explore the park, and then you'll follow a subtropical rainforest path, possibly even seeing wildlife such as toucans and jaguars before you reach the spectacular waterfall.

You may want to bring rain gear to protect your camera and yourself as you take in the views, and then ride an elevator back to the meeting point to catch your bus. From Iguazú National Park, you'll take about a one-hour drive to Parque das Aves, a 40-acre (16 ha) bird sanctuary in Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil's Paraná state. The park's immersion aviaries will allow you to admire the more than 1,000 birds from 143 species in the park while keeping an eye out for caimans, anacondas, and butterflies. After your bird-watching experience, get in the car to head back to Argentina and have a free night in Puerto Iguazú.

Day 14: Explore the Argentina Side of Iguazú Waterfalls

See Iguazú Falls from different perspectives to appreciate their size

See the Argentina side of Iguazú Falls National Park today led by a professional guide. Starting with the park's Lower Circuit, you'll walk below the falls as they crash onto rocks (so bring your rain gear), and then hop on to the Upper Circuit by elevator or bus for panoramic views of several of the park's cascades. Finally, follow the trail to a finale at Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat) to see it from a different perspective.

From the Argentine side of the park, you'll see Garganta del Diablo's massive cascade from above, providing a vantage point to watch water rush beneath your feet and disappear over the falls' edge. It's then time to dry off as you head back to the park's entrance for a transfer to your hotel and a free night in Puerto Iguazú.

Day 15: Fly to Buenos Aires & Depart  

Spend your last moments exploring dynamic Buenos Aires

At the end of an action-packed adventure, it's time to say goodbye to Argentina. Following your own schedule, a driver will take you from your hotel to Puerto Iguazú airport to catch your flight to Buenos Aires. From there, you can connect to your next destination. Safe travels and adios!

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Map of Buenos Aires & Northwest Argentina: Natural Wonders, Waterfalls & Wine - 15 Days
Map of Buenos Aires & Northwest Argentina: Natural Wonders, Waterfalls & Wine - 15 Days