- Tour Buenos Aires and enjoy a tango shown with gourmet dinner
- Explore the stunning salt flats of Salinas Grandes
- Taste regional organic and biodynamic wines
- Visit the breathtaking Iguazú Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
|Day 1||Arrive in Buenos Aires - Afternoon City Tour||Buenos Aires|
|Day 2||Buenos Aires to Salta city to Cachi||Cachi|
|Day 3||Cachi to Colome and onto Cafayate||Cafayate|
|Day 4||Cafayate to Salta||Salta|
|Day 5||Salta to Tilcara||Tilcara|
|Day 6||Salinas Grandes||Tilcara|
|Day 7||Fly from Salta to Iguazú falls||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 8||Explore Iguazú Falls (Argentine Side)||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 9||Explore Iguazú Falls (Brazilian Side)||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 10||Fly from Iguazú falls to Buenos Aires||Buenos Aires|
|Day 11||Depart Buenos Aires|
Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires - Afternoon City Tour
Welcome to Argentina! Renowned as the "Paris of South America," and the "Queen of El Plata," the capital city of Buenos Aires is defined by passion. This is exemplified in the rich tango heritage and its citizens' limitless enthusiasm for fútbol (soccer), which is by far and away the country's most popular sport.
When you arrive at the airport, your driver will take you via private car to your hotel, where you can relax. But make no mistake: the city will beckon you. Luckily, you'll explore the city's highlights on a 4-hour guided tour. Among the landmarks you'll visit is Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires' main square and home to Argentina's Presidential Palace. The plaza is the site of historical events, including the May Revolution of 1810 that kicked off this former Spanish colony's quest for independence, and is home the famed Casa Rosada (or "Pink House," as the Presidential Palace is known), also rife with history. It's on the front balcony here that dictator Juan Perón made some of his most memorable speeches with his glamorous wife, Evita, at his side. Ultimately it was she who won the hearts and minds of the Argentine people.
You'll also stop by Metropolitan Cathedral, the principal Catholic church in the city and another historic building that faces the Plaza de Mayo. The church was consecrated in 1791 but its earliest origins date back to the late 16th century when a humble chapel first sat on the current site. You'll walk onwards to San Telmo, BA’s oldest neighborhood, which boasts a vibrant tango and arts scene. Its antique markets, cobbled streets dotted with faroles (French street lamps), and old brick buildings with wooden balconies all add to the uniquely bohemian atmosphere here. Sundays are especially abuzz with activity as the main street market comes alive around Plaza Dorrego.
Also on your tour is La Boca, a vibrant, well-preserved historic neighborhood that's nearly as old as San Telmo. The area is known for La Bombonera, the home stadium of one of two principal soccer teams in the city: Boca Juniors. It's also home to colorful Caminito Street, a pedestrian zone teeming with old restaurants and tanguerías. Finish at Recoleta Neighborhood, home of the famous Recoleta Cemetery where the remains of Evita Peron rest.
After your tour, you'll return to your hotel to relax, or if the city's call to you is again irresistible, head out for a delicious dinner, complemented by a glass or two of Argentia's fabulous wine.
Day 2: Fly from Buenos Aires to Salta and drive to Cachi
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel to take you to Aeroparque (the domestic airport), to board your 3.5-hour flight to Salta.
Once you land, you'll be transferred to Cachi. Your drive will take you toward the Valles Calchaquies, then up a scenic road that squeezes through the dank Quebrada de Escoipe, before climbing the Cuesta del Obispo and reaching a colorful mountaintop view of the Valle Encantado, blanketed in olive-green vegetation and teeming with countless brooks. Your road trip continues along the "Tin Tin" stretch of the old Inca Road, passing by the giant cactus-filled Los Cardones National Park until you reach Cachi, crowned by the nearby peak of the snowcapped Nevado de Cachi.
Once in Cachi, stretch your legs and wander around this charming town's cobblestone streets and adobe-architecture; be sure to look out for local crafts — including traditional ponchos and ceramics — or climb a bit to get a panorama of the pea-green valley.
Day 3: Cachi to Colomé and onto Cafayate
After breakfast, you'll visit Bodega Colomé, one of the oldest wineries in Argentina, located in the upper Calchaqui Valley. Originally founded in 1831, the winery is famous for its production of organic and biodynamic wines. Taste the fruits of these high-altitude vineyards, visit the new James Turrel modern art gallery and amble through the gorgeous biodynamic gardens. After, stop for a bite (and maybe another glass of vino) at the lovely on-site restaurant.
Then it's back on the road for a four-hour jaunt through roads that journey alongside the Calchaquí River, offering views on either side of mountains and their snowcapped peaks. The route passes by the Quebrada de las Flechas, where the rough dirt road winds through rock formations of wind-eroded, reddish-brown sandstone strata, folded and fractured by the upheavals of the Andean orogeny.
You'll arrive in the center of the Calchaquí Valley: Cafayate is internationally recognized for its outstanding wines, amazing climate, friendly people and beautiful landscape. It is also home to the world-renowned torrontés grape, grown uniquely in Argentina, which flourishes in the 350 days of sunshine it receives every year here.
Take in the town on foot, stopping at the main square to admire the Cathedral, the picturesque Old Stone Mill, and the fantastic local museums.
Day 4: Cafayate to Salta
Your exploration of wine country continues with a half-day wine tour. You'll visit some of Cafayate's legendary vintners — such as El Esteco, El Porvenir and Las Nubes — tasting their fabulous wines and learning about their wine-making techniques. Savor the delicate, flowery white varietal created from the torrontés grape; this local wine is the perfect accompaniment for the delicious regional cuisine and also pairs beautifully with fish and seafood.
You'll then journey along the scenic Quebrada de las Conchas Gorge, spotting natural highlights like the Garganta del Diablo (Devil`s Throat) — a captivating sandstone rock formation — El Anfiteatro ( a naturally-formed amphitheater), and El Sapo (a toad-shaped formation). The Sierras de Carahuasi mountain range looms behind as a backdrop, while the foreground rock formations have been eroded and blasted by wind and rain to form buttresses, known as Los Castillos (the castles), as well as a huge monolith dubbed El Obelisco.
Your destination this evening is Salta, undoubtedly one of the country’s most traditional and best-preserved cities, featuring a unique architectural harmony and aesthetic. Enjoy dinner in town, taking in classic colonial architecture and the city's irresistible charm.
Day 5: Salta to Tilcara
This morning, you'll tour Salta with an expert guide, learning about the city's history, aesthetics and traditions. Set in a high valley surrounded by wooded mountains, Salta's enchanting music, colorful processions, and excellent facilities are all added attractions. Its sights include the marvelous Neoclassical San Francisco Church, an anthropological museum, and a historical museum. You'll also visit the MAAM (High Mountain Archeological Museum), which recounts the history of the Llullaillaco expedition to an Incan sanctuary in the mountains.
Afterward, you'll head to Quebrada de Humahuaca. Today's drive passes through Camino de Cornisa, a zigzag mountain road surrounded by an enchanting subtropical blend of mosses, trees, bromeliads, and epiphytes, all home to a rich variety of Andean birds. You'll also stop through the central square in Jujuy, where you can take in a bevy of beautiful 17th-century buildings.
Back on the road, you'll see spectacular geological formations as you continue on to the charming village of Humahuaca, with its Handicraft Fair and cobbled streets, lined with colonial-style or rustic adobe houses. Then you'll return south to tonight's resting place: Tilcara, an enchanting town with over 10,000 years of history, and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in Argentina. Its Archeological Museum and the rebuilt indigenous village of Pucara de Tilcara are must-sees.
Day 6: Salinas Grandes
After breakfast, you'll get a feel for this unique area at the base of the vibrant palate of the Hill of Seven Colors. You'll see Los Colorados, an area marked with incredible red hills and boulders, and the village of Purmamarca, a village with a quaint plaza and a quiet rhythm of life.
Next, it's on to the majestic salts flats of Salinas Grandes, which features Salinas Grandes. With nearly 30,000 acres of salt opencast and a seemingly infinite blanket of white, this area is one of the country’s biggest salt-flats and certainly the most impressive — ringed by mountains on all sides and topped by almost perennial blue skies. You'll walk upon this huge rink of snow-white crystals, forming irregular octagons surrounded by crunchy ridges, crackling the ground beneath like frozen snow.
Be sure to bring some good sunglasses, as the flat's surface acts as a huge mirror. The enormous expanses of salt often create cruel water mirages, though there are in fact some isolated pools of brine where small groups of flamingoes and ducks gather.
After your visit, take some time to relax in the ancient town of Tilcara and learn about this unique area's history and rich traditions.
Day 7: Fly from Salta to Iguazú falls
After breakfast, you'll transfer from Tilcara to Salta's airport to head to the beauty that awaits in Puerto Iguazú. Here you'll find the jewel in Argentina's natural crown: Iguazú Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these falls straddle the border of the Brazilian state of Paraná and the Argentine province of Misiones; the falls themselves divide the river into the Upper and Lower Iguazú. The waterfall system consists of 275 falls along about 1.7 miles (2.7 km) of lush terrain; some individual falls tower at heights of up to 269 feet (82 meters).
You'll have plenty of time over the next few days to explore all facets of this natural wonder, two-thirds of which are within Argentine territory. Rest up for adventure at to your hotel in Puerto Iguazú before you hit the ground for a day in the wilds of Iguazú National Park tomorrow.
Day 8: Explore Iguazú Falls (Argentine Side)
Fuel up at breakfast before your driver shepherds you to the entrance of Iguazú National Park, on the Argentine side of the falls, where you'll begin day's adventure. You'll enjoy a full-day excursion that involves traversing three circuit routes around the falls, each offering exceptional vantage points from which to view this magnificent natural wonder. The three circuit routes include:
The Upper Circuit (a one-hour walk), which features 2,624 feet (800 m) of catwalks. These walkways are elevated from the jungle surface so as not to disrupt the natural pathways used by the indigenous fauna. The circuit affords views of the upper portion of Iguazú, which means you'll be treated to countless panoramic vistas of the surrounding falls.
The Lower Circuit (a two-hour walk): these paths are also elevated and offer views from directly below and around Iguazú falls. This circuit takes you up near the base of the falls and provides a unique experience up close with nature, where you'll feel the visceral magnitude of the falls.
Devil's Gorge (a two-hour route) is the star of the show. A small tourist train leaves from within the park at Cataratas Station and travels 18 minutes to Garganta Sation, where you'll find amenities like restrooms, a snack bar, and the start of a wooden pathway. Your walk will take you over the river, culminating at a viewpoint where the reverberation of the plunging falls will create a one-of-a-kind, thrilling experience. Peering down into the cavernous abyss below at the highest of Iguazú's falls thunders all around you is downright unforgettable.
At the end of the tour, your driver will pick you up and transfer you back to the hotel where you can relax for the rest of the evening.
Day 9: Explore Iguazú Falls (Brazilian Side)
Upon arrival at the Visitor Center, you'll board a double-decker bus that will embark on a 30-minute ride into the park for today's tour. The Brazilian side of Iguazú has fewer hiking routes than the Argentine side but features a wealth of amenities in the form of conveniences, and restaurants with spectacular terraces overlooking the falls.
After you jump off the bus, your first stop is a balcony that offers panoramic views of the Argentine side of the falls, perfect for a photo op. You'll then hike about half a mile (950 m) along the Iguazú River until you reach the falls on the Brazilian side. The walkway passes over the river to the Salto Floriano (Floriano Falls). This magnificent wall of plunging water makes quite an impression, as do the vistas of the Lower Iguazú River and the Devil’s Throat Canyon.
Once you have the lay of the land, spend your day enjoying the various views and having lunch on a picturesque terrace before returning to your hotel.
Day 10: Fly from Iguazú Falls to Buenos Aires
Say goodbye to the Falls and hello to the city! Your transfer will take you to Puerto Iguazú Airport, where you'll board your flight back to Buenos Aires. Once you arrive, relax at your hotel before tonight's spectacular dinner and show.
On your final evening in Argentina, you'll be treated to gourmet cuisine, incredible entertainment, and luxe surroundings at the glamorous Gala Tango. Sip great wines, curated by one of Argentina's most exclusive wine-houses, as you dine and watch professionals perform the tango and so much more. You'll also hear music by a traditional quintet (comprised of a piano, large concertina, two violins, and double bass) accompanied by two tango singers, watch the feats of a charango player tackling the traditional Andean instrument, and enjoy a thrilling lasso-ing demonstration by boleadoras.
Day 11: Depart Buenos Aires
Savor one last breakfast in Buenos Aires before you head to the airport for your departing flight. Whether you fly home or onto your next adventure, you'll carry with you the memories of an unforgettable trip.