Nature & Culture in Northern Argentina: Buenos Aires, Puerto Iguazú, Salta, Cafayate & Purmamarca - 15 Days
- Learn how to dance the tango and watch a live tango show
- Walk to the edge of the Garganta del Diablo in Iguazú Falls
- Taste classic torrontés wine at a vineyard in Cafayate
- Witness the beauty of nature at the Cerro de los Siete Colores
|Day 1||Arrive in Buenos Aires, Asado Dinner at El Fogón||Buenos Aires|
|Day 2||Buenos Aires Tour, Tango Lesson, Dinner & Tango Show||Buenos Aires|
|Day 3||Day Trip to Estancia Santa Susana, Evening Cooking Class||Buenos Aires|
|Day 4||Take an Argentine Cooking Class & Fly to Puerto Iguazú||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 5||Explore the Argentine Side of Iguazú Falls||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 6||Explore the Brazilian Side of Iguazú Falls & Parque Das Aves||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 7||Fly to Salta & Take a Tour||Salta|
|Day 8||Explore Salta, Folkloric Dance Lesson||Salta|
|Day 9||Road Trip Through the Calchaquí Valleys - Day 1||Cafayate|
|Day 10||Road Trip Through the Calchaquí Valleys - Day 2||Salta|
|Day 11||Road Trip to the Salinas Grandes & Purmamarca||Purmamarca|
|Day 12||Road Trip to Uquía, Humahuaca & La Paleta del Pintor||Salta|
|Day 13||Fly to Buenos Aires, Visit Tigre, Paraná Delta Boat Tour||Buenos Aires|
|Day 14||Explore Colonia del Sacramento||Buenos Aires|
|Day 15||Nature Walk & Mate Tasting, Depart Buenos Aires|
Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, Asado Dinner at El Fogón
Welcome to Argentina! Sometimes called the "Paris of South America" or the "Queen of El Plata," Buenos Aires is defined by passion, exemplified by the city's rich tango heritage and its people's limitless enthusiasm for fútbol (soccer). When you arrive at the airport, a private transfer will take you to your hotel, where you can relax after a long flight. After a quick recharge, the city beckons—so venture out this afternoon and start exploring.
Day 2: Buenos Aires Tour, Tango Lesson, Dinner & Tango Show
Today, learn about Buenos Aires' architecture and culture via a tour, a dance lesson, and a tango show. The tour begins in San Telmo, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, which exudes charm from its antique markets, faroles (street lamps), and cobblestone streets. Continue through vibrant La Boca, upscale Puerto Madero, and the government center at the Plaza de Mayo. Hit all the iconic highlights like the Obelisco, Recoleta Cemetary, and the Barolo Palace before it's time for your dance lesson.
This afternoon, enjoy a sixty-minute tango lesson in a comfortable dance studio. You'll be in good hands with a professional dance instructor in the tango capital of the world. Emulate the street performers you saw during the tour while learning the basic steps of the tango, like the embrace, how to walk, the "ocho," and more.
In the evening, watch true professionals dance the tango to the music of love, sorrow, and passion while you dine on Argentine classics like empanadas, Argentine steak, and dulce de leche. But the night doesn't end with the meal. After dinner, more professional dancers will perform folklóricos, traditional Argentine dances to folk music.
Day 3: Day Trip to Estancia Santa Susana, Evening Cooking Class
Just as North Americans have their cowboys, Argentines have their gauchos. To see some in action, head over to Estancia Santa Susana, a working estancia (ranch). Enjoy a guided tour of the property, some horseback riding, and a traditional folklórico dance performance before lunchtime. Then, while you savor asado, gauchos will showcase their prowess with tools like bolas and tricks like carreras de sortijas (ring races). Share some mate (a tealike infusion) before heading home.When it comes to dinner tonight, it doesn't matter if you are a cooking enthusiast or you just want to enjoy the local food—this cooking class will be a delicious and entertaining event. Learn how to craft wine cocktails, empanadas, and alfajores (Argentine cookies filled with dulce de leche) and taste grilled provoleta (Argentine provolone), handmade chimichurri, and Argentine steak. End the night as a newly minted expert in Argentine food.
Day 4: Take an Argentine Cooking Class & Fly to Puerto Iguazú
Today, continue to hone your Argentine cooking skills. Learn how to use the repulge (folding) technique to seal an empanada and how to blend herbs and spices into an authentic chimichurri sauce. Round out your culinary adventure by tasting malbec, Argentina's signature wine.Then, it's time to say adios to Buenos Aires and hola to Puerto Iguazú, home to the famous Iguazú Falls. A driver will pick you up at your hotel to take you to the airport, and another private transfer will bring you to your accommodations in Puerto Iguazú once you land. Rest up for the adventure to come!
Day 5: Explore the Argentine Side of Iguazú Falls
After breakfast, you'll head to the Argentine side of the Iguazú Falls. Three circuits await you, each with different views of this natural wonder. The Upper Circuit features panoramic views of the upper portion of the falls, while the Lower Circuit covers the base of the falls, where you can feel the water's spray. But the path to La Garganta del Diablo (The Devil's Throat) is the star of the show. Peering 269 feet (82 m) down into the cavernous abyss as the falls thunder all around you is downright unforgettable.
Day 6: Explore the Brazilian Side of Iguazú Falls & Parque Das Aves
The Brazilian side of Iguazú may lack the number of hiking routes found on the Argentine side, but it makes up for it with its number of incredible views. After you jump off the bus to the park, stop at a balcony that offers panoramic views of the Argentine side of the falls—with your camera in hand! Then hike along the Iguazú River until you reach the falls on the Brazilian side. The walkway leads to the Salto Floriano (Floriano Falls) and gorgeous vistas of the lower Iguazú River and the Devil's Throat.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 7: Fly to Salta & Take a Tour
This morning, fly to Salta, a northwestern city known for its neoclassical buildings and ties to Argentina's prehispanic and colonial history. A private transfer will take you to your hotel, and then it's time for a tour of the city. Visit the pastel-pink Salta Cathedral and tomb of revolutionary figure Martín Miguel de Güemes. Learn about the city's history at the Historical Museum of the North, stand under the imposing San Francisco Church's 177-foot (54 m) bell tower, and admire views from atop San Bernardo Hill.
Day 8: Explore Salta, Folkloric Dance Lesson
You'll have no shortage of options for how to spend your time in Salta, from tasting the best empanadas in the country (so they say) to visiting the Museo Arqueológico de Alta Montaña (MAAM) and learning about Inca culture and viewing well-preserved mummies. Admire the colorful buildings around the Plaza 9 de Julio and peruse the wares at artisan markets before heading to your next activity.Salta is the birthplace of many folk dances and songs, so consider taking a class or two taught by prominent dancers at La Vieja Estación. Folk dances like gatos, chacareras, and zambas, are as much a part of the cultural fabric of Salta as its landscape and its wines. This opportunity to learn the basic steps may encourage you to dance in the next Peña, a traditional gathering featuring folk music and dance.
Day 9: Road Trip Through the Calchaquí Valleys - Day 1
Few places on Earth are as stunning as the Valles Calchaquí, an area spanning several northwestern provinces, and over the next two days, you'll take them in with a road trip along Route 40. Today, your driver will take you through the Valley of Lerma before heading to your main stop in Cachi, a small town with adobe houses and impressive views of the Nevado de Cachi Mountains. After passing by the Calchaquí River, you'll finally arrive in Cafayate, your final stop for the day.
Day 10: Road Trip Through the Calchaquí Valleys - Day 2
Spend the day exploring Cafayate, the youngest city in the Calchaquí Valleys, internationally recognized for its wine production. This area is famous for torrontés, an aromatic, dry white wine. Visit one of the nearby wineries to try it for yourself and have lunch with colorful mountains as a backdrop. This afternoon, you'll have another chance to admire the unique desert landscape as you transfer back along the Lerma Valley route to your accommodations in Salta.
Day 11: Road Trip to the Salinas Grandes & Purmamarca
It's time to hit the road again on a guided adventure, this time heading toward the Tastil Ruins, a sandstone settlement built by the pre-Inca Atacameño people. Stop for lunch in San Antonio de Los Cobres before crossing into the province of Jujuy to visit the Salinas Grandes (Great Salt Flat), an otherworldly landscape of shiny white salt. Then, continue on to Purmamarca and its famous Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colors), formed by layers of ancient stone.
Day 12: Road trip to Uquía, Humahuaca, & La Paleta del Pintor
Head out from Purmamarca to visit Uquía, whose church houses paintings of Arcabuceros Angels—nontraditional angels holding long guns. Then check out Humahuaca, a small city famous for the Monumento a los Héroes de la Independencia (Monument to the Heroes of Independence), the most well-known monument by Argentine sculptor Ernesto Soto Avendaño. As you ride on to San Salvador de Jujuy, you'll spot La Paleta del Pintor (Painter's Palette), a colorful hillside that frames Maimara.
Day 13: Fly to Buenos Aires, Visit Tigre, Paraná Delta Boat Tour
It's time to circle back to Buenos Aires via flight and private transfer. Later on, a bus will take you along the Río de la Plata to visit San Isidro and admire the Catedral de San Isidro and the historic mansions owned by aristocratic families. From there, head to Tigre and board a catamaran for a 40-minute tour of the Paraná Delta. Here, rivers and streams crisscross, forming numerous islands, and boats, rafts, and water taxis float along the water. After the tour, you'll return to the city the way you came.
Day 14: Explore Colonia del Sacramento
Today, head to the pier in Buenos Aires to take the ferry to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, the only city founded by the Portuguese in the Río de La Plata area. Once in the city, take a tour around its most historic neighborhood, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1995 for its mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, and post-colonial styles and influences. Walk along its narrow cobblestone streets and check out the free-trade zone, a vestige of the black market that used to drive the city's economy.
Day 15: Nature Walk & Mate Tasting, Depart Buenos Aires
With an area of over 864 acres (350 hectares), many different trails, and more than 2,000 species that call it home, the Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve is the ideal place for hiking and bird-watching. During a two-hour tour with an expert guide, you may see the black-necked swan, the guira cuckoo, the cocoi heron, chimango caracara, and other native birds. Along the way, the guides will show you how to make and share a proper mate, so you can return home from Argentina with the knowledge of a local.
Eventually, it'll be time to take a private transfer to the international airport for your flight home. After two weeks touring some of the most stunning landscapes in the country, you'll be sure to dream of visiting Argentina again someday. Adios!
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