Mix a few of South America's highlights with trips to some off-the-beaten-path gems on a tour of northern Argentina and Uruguay. Experience the best of Argentina's north, from its Spanish colonial cities to its otherworldly rock formations to its inviting hot springs. Then, after wine tours and visits to German-inspired towns near Córdoba, you'll fly south to Uruguay to stroll the cobbled streets of its colonial towns, indulge in its wine, and enjoy walking tours of laid-back Montevideo.


  • Visit the mountains, deserts, lagoons, and hot springs of northern Argentina
  • Hit the wine trail in Córdoba and sample famous varietals like malbec
  • Stroll cobbled streets of colonial towns in Uruguay as you sip on maté
  • Tuck into delicious Uruguayan barbecue and see the highlights of Montevideo

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Salta (Argentina), Evening at a Traditional Peña Salta
Day 2 Day Trip to Cafayate Salta
Day 3 Transfer to Jujuy, City Tour Jujuy
Day 4 Day Trip to Hot Springs & Lagoons Jujuy
Day 5 Transfer to Córdoba, Optional Activities Córdoba
Day 6 Calamuchita Wine Tour & Day Trip to General Villa Belgrano Córdoba
Day 7 Fly Buenos Aires, Transfer to Colonia (Uruguay) & Walking Tour Colonia del Sacramento
Day 8 Tour Jesuit Ruins & Wine Tasting in Carmelo Colonia del Sacramento
Day 9 Colonia Walking Tour, Transfer to Montevideo Montevideo
Day 10 Montevideo City Tour, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Salta (Argentina), Evening at a Traditional Peña

You can't miss the Salta Cathedral, which looms over the city's main square

Welcome to Argentina! Save Buenos Aires for another adventure—this trip's all about the north. This part of the country is famous for its colonial cities, arid deserts, and awe-inspiring mountain and canyon landscapes. After a connecting flight in Buenos Aires, you'll arrive at one such historic marvel, Salta. Officially founded in 1582 in the mountains of northwest Argentina, this metropolis is known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture.

Upon arrival, your driver will transfer you to your hotel. Then, feel free to venture out on a self-guided walking tour. You can start in the historic city center, defined by landmarks such as the 19th-century Salta Cathedral, which overlooks Plaza 9 de Julio, the main square. 

In the evening, head out for a snack and a drink at one of the city's famous peñas. These historic saloons and restaurants have been around since at least the 18th century, and locals still flock to them to enjoy a few drinks and live Argentine folk music.

Day 2: Day Trip to Cafayate

The Quebrada de las Conchas features some of the north's most incredible rock formations

Time to hit the road! This morning, you'll meet your driver for a day trip to explore the surrounding mountain and desert landscapes. Leave Salta early, heading south on Route 68 for about three hours until you reach the town of Cafayate. To say this is a scenic drive would be an understatement. Along the way, you'll pass some of northern Argentina's most beautiful landmarks.

One highlight is the Quebrada de las Conchas, a deep valley of red canyons characterized by intense colors and unusual rock formations. The names of these geological wonders reflect their characteristics, like the Devil's Throat, the Amphitheater, the Frog, and the Obelisk. Feel free to stop wherever you like to take a walk around and snap photos.

Then, continue to Cafayate. This tourist town is nestled in the Calchaquí Valley of Salta province and is renowned for its vineyards. In fact, this is the premier wine-growing region of northern Argentina, famous for producing torrontés, an aromatic white wine. You can sample a glass or two of this prized varietal when you break for lunch at a local restaurant. After a leisurely meal, you'll transfer back to Salta via Quebrada de las Conchas and the Lerma Valley, which is filled with otherworldly landscapes.

Day 3: Transfer to Jujuy, City Tour

Jujuy is another hidden gem of Argentina's north

After breakfast, your driver will pick you up for the two-hour ride north to San Salvador de Jujuy (known simply as "Jujuy"). The capital of the province of the same name, this city is the gateway to many wonders of Argentina's far north. These include colorful Indigenous towns, vast salt flats, and the Puna de Atacama, a remote high-altitude desert. Upon arrival in the city, your driver will drop you off at your hotel.

Just like in Salta, there are many fascinating historical landmarks to see in Jujuy. So, after dropping off your bags, you'll meet a local guide and head out on a tour that begins around the Plaza España, located in the historic center. Highlights you'll stop at during the tour include the 18th-century Cathedral Church, with its pulpit laminated in gold; the Cabildo of Jujuy (Government House), which dates to the 16th century; and the impressive Basilica Menor San Francisco, an 18th-century church with a Baroque facade, intricate carvings, and decorative motifs.

Day 4: Day Trip to Hot Springs & Lagoons

Pass through the incredible landscape that surrounds Termas de Reyes

It's another day to enjoy northern Argentina's fabulous countryside. Depart your hotel in the morning, following the Río Grande northwest out of Salta, passing colorful villages as you go. You'll stop in one such town, Yala, to stretch your legs. While here, enjoy prime views of the surrounding Los Nogales region, with its citrus fields and rolling hills backed by towering Andes peaks.

Then, follow a mountain road to Potreros de Yala Provincial Park. This protected area encompasses diverse ecosystems, like high-altitude cloud forests, montane woodlands, and lush valleys, making it a popular spot for outdoor adventures. Once here, you'll embark on a brisk hike to Laguna de Yala, a glassy lake surrounded by lush vegetation home to abundant birdlife. Spend a few minutes relaxing on the lakeshore, where you can spot waterbirds like egrets and herons skimming the surface.

The journey continues until you reach an epic viewpoint adjacent to thermal springs. There, you'll treat yourself to a refreshing dip in these natural pools or opt for a more exclusive treatment at the on-site spa. Afterward, you'll return to the car and pass by more charming towns on your back to Jujuy.

Day 5: Transfer to Córdoba, Optional Activities

Hit the streets of colonial Córdoba, which is even bigger than Salta

Say goodbye to northern Argentina as you transfer to the airport this morning and board a 1.5-hour flight south to Córdoba. Located in the center of the country and surrounded by the towering Sierras de Córdoba, the city is known for its colonial architecture, surrounding wine country, and lively festivals. At the airport, a driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel.

Once you settle in, head out to explore at your own pace. A great place to start is in the UNESCO-listed Jesuit Block, which holds some of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Wander through the charming streets of the Güemes neighborhood, stopping at trendy boutiques, eclectic cafés, and street murals. For outdoor relaxation, head to Sarmiento Park, an expansive green space ideal for an afternoon of picnicking, paddle boating on the lake, or exploring the rose garden.

Day 6: Calamuchita Wine Tour & Day Trip to General Villa Belgrano

Calamuchita Wine Roads. Wines with character
It wouldn't be a trip to Argentina without sampling its famous wines
Plan your trip to Argentina
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Hope you're thirsty because you're off on a day trip to the Calamuchita Valley, the most renowned wine region in this part of the country. It's home to several boutique vineyards that produce an array of varietals, including cabernet sauvignon, syrah, torrontés, and Argentina's most famous grape, malbec.

On this guided tour, you'll wind your way through the green valley to the mountain town of La Cumbrecita. Forests and alpine views abound in this pedestrian-only village, full of historic buildings and cafés. Continue to Villa General Belgrano, a German town known for its alpine-style architecture, beer gardens, and Oktoberfest celebration, one of the largest in Argentina.

On your way back to Córdoba, you'll stop at several famous wineries along the Calamuchita Wine Road. Many of these wine estates are family-run, and you'll enjoy the fruits of their terroir during visits to the tasting rooms. At the end of the day, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 7: Fly to Buenos Aires, Ferry to Colonia (Uruguay) & Walking Tour

Colonia is one of the most romantic towns in all of Uruguay

This morning, you'll embark on a fun journey from Argentina to neighboring Uruguay. It begins with a flight back to Buenos Aires, where you'll transfer to the city port. Then, board a ferry for the 1.5-hour ride across the mighty Río de la Plata to historic Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. The entire town is a UNESCO Heritage Site, and the streets are packed with history. After you arrive, join a local guide to tour the cobblestone lanes and discover sites such as the Portón de Campo (Old City Gate) and the pretty, historic avenue called Calle de Los Suspiros (Street of Sighs).

During the tour, you'll have the opportunity to taste maté, a traditional tea made from the leaves of the yerba maté plant. The tea is prepared in an ancient ritual practiced in the Paraña region of Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay for generations. A local maté expert will teach you the basics of making tea and provide background on the drink's history. Sample different varieties and taste regional pastries to refuel during your walk, then return to your hotel, where you'll have the rest of the afternoon free. 

Day 8: Tour Jesuit Ruins & Wine Tasting in Carmelo

Today's wine tour also includes a visit to Jesuit ruins

Take a day trip to the birthplace of wine in Uruguay at La Caléra de las Huérfanas National Monument, a former Jesuit mission-turned vineyard. Along with your guide, you'll explore ruins and well-kept grounds that date back to 1741. After learning about this vital historical landmark, you'll travel an hour up the coast to Carmelo, where you'll enjoy several wine tastings. 

Begin at the Bodega Cordano, a family-run winery dating back centuries. Enjoy a tour of the vineyards and production areas with the owners and a tasting of several of their signature wines. You can also buy wine and souvenirs at the on-site Almacén de la Capilla, a vintage grocery store founded in 1855. 

Your next stop will be the Bodega El Legado, a boutique family-owned winery. Your visit includes a guided tour through the vineyards, wine cellar, and production area, followed by a tasting and lunch. Enjoy the three wines accompanied by a cheese and olive plate, then sit down for a traditional asado (Uruguay does barbecue just like Argentina). After the tours, you'll travel back down the coast to Colonia. 

Day 9: Colonia Walking Tour, Transfer to Montevideo

Spend your penultimate day exploring Montevideo's historic streets

Spend the morning wandering the cobbled streets of Colonia, purchasing handcrafted souvenirs and enjoying the river views. Around midday, board a bus for the two-hour ride south to Montevideo. Uruguay's capital is a beguiling metropolis similar to Buenos Aires in history, culture, cuisine, and architecture. Though smaller than its Argentine counterpart, Montevideo enjoys a much more scenic locale on the estuary of the Río Plata.

A driver will pick you up at the terminal and transfer you to your hotel in the city. With only half a day left, you've got a lot of ground to cover if you want to see the sights. The best place to start a self-guided tour is the Ciudad Vieja (Old City), the heart of the city. It abounds with colonial-era buildings, Art Deco, Beaux-Arts, and eclectic architectural gems. Major landmarks you'll want to visit include the 19th-century Solis Theater, the Cabildo (Government House), and the Citadel Gate, an 18th-century structure that once served as the entrance to Montevideo when it was a fortified city.

Day 10: Montevideo City Tour, Depart

Farewell, Uruguay

Depending on your flight schedule, there's time left to enjoy one more fun excursion. Meet a local guide and hit the streets of Montevideo on a three-hour tour. Along the way, you'll visit the city's most spectacular landmarks of the city.

These include the Plaza Independencia, the Executive Tower (where the President's office is located), the 19th-century Solís Theater, the Obelisk of 1830, the Estadio Centenario football stadium, and the Palacio Salvo, a visually striking building that blends Art Deco, Gothic, and Moorish architectural styles. The tour ends with a walk down the waterfront promenade to enjoy spectacular coastal views. Afterward, you'll transfer to the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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