CORDOBA & NORTHWEST

A new program that joins Córdoba with the north of Argentina. We go to Córdoba to see the route of the Jesuit Estancias, the Calamuchita Valley and Cumbrecita. Later we carry on north to Tucumán to do the Grand Tour that includes the Quilmes Ruins, Cafayate and Salta. Continuing north we enjoy the charm of the Quebrada de Humahuaca and the province of Jujuy.

Córdoba & Argentina Northwest in 14 days

14 days - 13 nights

Córdoba & Argentina Northwest in 14 days

14 days - 13 nights

  • Accommodation in double room with breakfast
  • Transfers detailed itinerary
  • Regular excursions listed in the itinerary (except optional)
  • Bilingual English Spanish Guide
  • Permanent coordination

Day 1 - Arrival to Buenos Aires

Reception in the International Airport of Ezeiza and transfer to the Aeroparque Jorge Newbery of the City of Buenos Aires to take the flight to the City of Córdoba. Reception in the Airport of Córdoba and transfer to the hotel.

Day 2 - Knowing Córdoba City

We begin our tour around the city of Cordoba. During the excursion we can observe the influence of colonial times in the architecture, contrasting with modern designs. The places of interest we visit are the San Martin Square, before called Plaza Mayor, to stroll around the historical and cultural quarters of the old town, today the microcentre. Places of interest are: the Cathedral, the Cabildo, Santa Catalina Convent, the Cripta del Noviciado, the Oratorio del Obispo Mercadillo, the Compañía de Jesús Church founded by San Ignacio de Loyola located on the Jesuit Square in downtown, The Monserrat National School which is the second oldest in Argentina, after the Inmaculada Concepción School in Santa Fe, from 1687. It was in this school where the first printing company in the country worked. We continue to the Sagrado Corazón Church which belongs to the Capuchin Priests outstanding for its neo-gothic architecture designed by the Italian Augusto Ferrari, then we go to the Nueva Córdoba neighbourhood, the Sarmiento Park, the Ciudad Universitaria (University Campus), until we arrive at the centre of the metropolis. Finally, we go by the Chateau Carreras Stadium and other attractions. After finishing this circuit, we return to the hotel.

Day 3 - La Cumbrecita

Breakfast in the hotel. We go to visit some of the other charms of Córdoba including the Calamuchita Valley. We advance by the mountain road until we arrive at the Los Molinos Dam, where the excellent panoramic views are wonderful to photograph. We arrive at the Villa General Belgrano where the majority of the residents speak their original language. From there we go to La Cumbrecita, a village in the middle of the Sierras Grandes, by taking a mountainous route. La Cumbrecita has diverse nationalities especially Swiss Germans and their contribution to the Alpine style architecture, that can be found immersed in beautiful conifer woods irrigated by waterfalls in a unique landscape, is well defined. It is an ideal place to relax. We go on to visit Peñón del Aguila where there is a perfect conjunction of the virgin nature, woods, rivers and gorges to give a mountain adventure and there is a circuit prepared for 'el canopy y tirolesas'. Late afternoon we return to the hotel.

Day 4 - The route of the Jesuít Estancias

Breakfast in the hotel. We leave early to start this trip by the Cordoba roads to the town of Jesús María following the same route as the old Camino Real to Alta Peru. There we visit the Jesuít museum, a 17th century Jesuít Estancia, and go on to see the Doma and Folklore Amphitheatre and Colonia Caroya, a town of Italian immigrants that are famous for their making of sausages and preserves. Also we enter the Casa Caroya, where operated the first manufacturer of swords and knives that dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. At this house stayed General Belgrano and General José Don de San Martín, fathers of the Republic. After, we go to the church and the Estancia Catalina and on to the locality of Ascochinga. Continuing in the direction south we pass El Manzano, Salsipuedes and the River Ceballos. Finally we make our way back to Córdoba.

In the middle of 2000, UNESCO recommended to name the Camino de las Estancias and la Manzana Jesuítica de Córdoba as Patrimony to Humanity. The monuments that we see in this trip show the origins, progression and consolidation of the work of the Compañía de Jesús in all South America. All their architectural works are true testimony to their socio-economic, cultural and religious system that operated in Córdoba for more than 200 years. In Córdoba the works consist of La Manzana Jesuítica de Córdoba in conjunction with the church of la Compañía de Jesús, the Rectory of the Universidad Nacional and the Colegio Monserrat. But in the Camino de las Estancias we find other works that form part of this system such as the Estancia Catalina, La Capilla de Candonga, La Casa del Virrey Liniers (Ex-Estancia de Alta Gracia) and the Estancia de la Candelaria. The contextual systems such as these can only be seen in one place outside of Córdoba and that is in the Jesuít Missions in the province of Missiones. Their territorial system has to this day conserved its integrity and was fundamental in the structure and maintenance of the Spanish cultural organisation in South America.

Day 5 - Departure to Tucumán

Breakfast in the Hotel. Follow advancing to the north of the Argentinian, to arrive to our new destination: San Miguel of the Tucumán. We take advantage of the afternoon to rest.

Day 6 - El Cadillal, Raco, El Siambón, San Javier and Villa Nougués (Grand Tour)

Breakfast in the Hotel. We leave from the capital of Tucuman to make the Grand Tour, passing localities representative of this interesting province, taking the National Route 9 until we enter Tafi Viejo (Old Tafi). We divert at kilometer 20 to visit the Celestino Gelsi Dam, found in the locality of El Cadillal, and its town, Veraniega. We appreciate the very beautiful adjoining lake of nearly 3,000 acres surrounded by mountains marking the ultimate elevations of the Sierra de Medina (jagged mountain range of Medina). This is an ideal area for adventure sports such as kayaking, aquatic skiing, diving and amongst others, point to point trekking in the jungle or simply to refresh in the hot summer months.

We continue to the towns of Raco and El Siambón, the first, located at 48km from city Tucuman and dates from the 17th century. It is a small picturesque town that has the river Raco running through it and has a club for diverse activities. A few more kilometers and we find El Siambon, another beautiful place know for its gentle green slopes in harmony with the blue skies and pretty houses, here we also find the Benedictine Monastery built in 1955.

After visiting these places we go to the town of San Javier situated some 1150 metres above sea level that beholds a mountain park of the same name and an ideal place to relax amongst this natural beauty or take in other activities such as parapenting, trekking and horse riding. On the way to the park we pass through an attractive residential zone. After, we visit el Cerro San Javier, a special hill top viewpoint where we can also see el Cristo Bendicente, a 28 metre statue. This is followed by a visit to Villa Nogués, another picturesque locality in the middle of the valley amongst zones of yungas jungles that are notable for this region. We then return to San Miguel de Tucumán.

Day 7 - Tucumán - Tafi del Valle - Ruinas de los Indios Quilmes – Cafayate

Breakfast at the hotel. We will get ready to start this tour which will take us to Tafi del Valle, the natives Quilmes Ruins and, our last stop, Cafayate. We will go through the national route 38 to visit, as a first stop, the Jesuitical Ruins of San José de Lules, which has a chapel and a convent which was found by the jesuits in 1670. We will continue our tour going through Famaillá, Acheral and Santa Lucía which is the road that will take us to Tafi del Valle and the one from which we will be able to watch some sugar cane, citrus and other fruit farm fields.

After a few kilometres, we will be getting to Quebrada de Los Sosa, we will travel by the Cornice Road (Camino de Cornisa) which offers us a spectacular vision of the wild tucumana vegetation and we will go through spots like the Indio, Fin del Mundo and Heladera along all the way, which are attractive to people because of their curious geoshapes. We will continue ascending and as we do it, we will notice some changes in the landscapes, because it starts appearing lower vegetation, between willows, pines and alisos which give a special and beautiful touch to the green hills, crossing streams in an admirable light blue sky.

We are ready now to come into the valley, which offers a huge green postal right in front of us, so we can go to El Mollar, a tourist village in the province of Tucumán, which was a very important archaelogical settlement, where some ruins of an ancient civilization that dates from 300 years b. C. has been discovered in the XX Century. We will be surrounded by pure nature and green landscapes; we will continue to see La Angostura Dike, a wonderful water mirror which is an ideal place to practise aquatic and adventure sports.

We will see the "village of a magnificent entrance" (pueblo de entrada espléndida) just in front of us, a name given by the diaguitas, a native community who lived here a hundred years ago and that is what means "Tafi". Once we get there, we will visit the Jesuit Church of La Banda, a simple colonial relic which dates of the beginning of the XVIII Century. From there we will continue to Abra del Infiernillo, a deserted path between Tafí del Valle and the calchaquí Valleys, where we will be able to watch animals such as llamas and sheeps and it is also the habitat for some animals in extinction danger like the andino cat and the taruca. Once we cross the Abra and go to Ampimpa, we will be able to see cardoons beside us, a natural balcony of the Yocavil Valley or Santa María from where we will see the village of Amaicha del Valle, a few kilometres away. There is only one native community in the northwest who live in this last area, the diaguita culture, manufacturers of unic handicrafts, apart from being a famous town because of its exquisite "patero" wines, alfajores, nougat candy (turrón) and quesillos.

As soon as we cross the Yocavil river, we will come into the Quilmes Ruins, remains of the biggest pre columbian community in Argentina, the name was given because they were forced to walk a thousand kilometres when they were defeated by the spanish, until getting to Buenos Aires, to the town which has that name. We will do a visit to the museum and next, to the fortress built by this community.

We will go through El Bañado, Colalao del Valle. Then we will continue to the town of Tolombón so we can enter to Cafayate. We will be able to watch its arid landscapes and vineyard fields, then we can notice that we are in the Cafayateñas lands. We will spend the night in Cafayate.

Day 8 - Calchaquíes Valleys through Cafayate

Breakfast at the hotel. We will continue our journey from Cafayate, by visiting the Calchaquí Valleys. We will visit the Cathedral "Nuestra Señora del Rosario" which contrast with the multi – coloured hills in the background and then we will cover the most traditional wineries in this beautiful city between valleys and hills of an impressive green colour, which is the most important one in the Calchaquí Valleys because of its "torrontés" wines above all, an ideal place because of the temperature and humidity to the development of this kind of grape with a sweet and fruited taste, together with their goat cheese. The name of the city was given because of an old native settlement which means "Bury of sorrows or sadness" (Sepultura de las Penas). We will be pleasured to taste some wineries´wines. We will continue to visit the Archaelogical Museum, a place where there is a great quantity of objects which belonged to native villages. Many people have been investigating, making excavations, restorations and exhibitions about them.

We will be wondered as soon as we watch those rare and eye-catching shapes, going through Quebrada de las Conchas, where we will be able to see figures such as the Devil´s Throat (Garganta del Diablo), the Amfitheater (Anfiteatro) a wonderful place where we can perfectly hear the echo of any sound and it is here where many festivals take place, such as the folklore; another shapes are the Obelisk (Obelisco) which makes a lonely crag, the Castles (Castillos) of an intense red colour which reminds the castles in the medieval times, the Yesera with its light sandstone formations, the House of Parrots (Casa de los Loros) named like this because there are stone walls which are the habitat for great flock of parrots during the summer; the friar (Fraile), the toad (Sapo) and the impressive Devil´s Throat in Salta, shaped as a human trachea and also called like that because of its colour.

We will make a stop in Alemanía, a lonely town, but we cannot miss the visit so we can admire its old country houses between green hills, the train station which doesn´t work anymore and now we can see the beautiful work of the craftsmen who invite us to bring a nice souvenir from this town. We will get ready to descend through the valleys. We will get to Dique Cabra Corral, next to Coronel Moldes, an ideal place to practise water sports, then we will go through some towns dedicated to the farming activities such as El Carril, where we will find many stock-tobacco companies and also fig tree, walnut tree and peach tree fields; La Merced, with its cleany streets and green spaces which make it so picturesque, and Cerrillos. All these towns belong to Valle de Lerma, where there are treasures which come from mines that were found and they are hidden somewhere between the hills, according to local stories. We will continue to Salta city, going through impressive landscapes that change on every curve we make in wonderful colours like the reddish hills, ochre colour of the grass, grey stones and green cactus. Night in Salta.

Day 9 - Knowing Salta

We will start our tour along the city from the nice 9 de Julio Square, so eye-catching because of its decorated coloured quarries and its fruited trees which leave a nice fragrance in the salteño air. From the square we will be able to have a first vision of its history and colonial past, as we will be surrounded by old buildings such as the Cabildo, the Cathedral, the Church of San Francisco, the Convent of San Bernardo de las Monjas Carmelitas, one of the oldest buildings in the city which was the entrance door to the convent and it is made of carob wood that was carved by the natives in 1762; its old houses complete the historical quarter, which are today very important monuments.

Then, we will go to the impressive and most recognised hill in the salteña city: Cerro San Bernardo. Before getting to it, we will tour along the streets, getting to Güemes monument, an argentinian general who is known because of its ideals of freedom, dispise to materialism and his love to his Motherland. We will get to San Martín Park where we will find the cable railway station, our means of transport to get to the hill so we can have an amazing panoramic of the city and its surroundings, with the hills at the background.

After the ascent, we will continue to a really charming place, which is chosen by many tourists because of its wonderful natural attractions and the different activities to do: the summer village of San Lorenzo, where we will find the Quebrada, an ideal place to spend the day at the edge of the river, listening its relaxing sounds. We will enjoy our way to it, as we will go through flowered Gardens, mansions and castles which are surrounded by small hills and where we can do (horse) riding, trekking and pic-nic. We will go back to the city, going through the Handmade Market (Mercado Artesanal) first, where we will be able to get some souvenirs from this beautiful city, such as silver and pottery pieces, rustic fabric of llama wool, craftwork in leather, among others.

Day 10 - Safari to the Clouds – Salinas Grandes – Purmamarca

Breakfast at the hotel. We will tour the road that the Train to the Clouds does, even visiting the Big Salts (Salinas Grandes) to Purmamarca. Campo Quijano will be the first village that we are going to cross, it is a peaceful town in which we have to highlight Las Lomitas Dike, where we are going to get beautiful views of its farms and green hills such as the Arenales river landscape in El Encón, it is a traditional town in the Lerma Valley, very well known for being the entrance door to the Puna, where the Train to the Clouds railway tracks go past.

We will continue our tour going through Río Blanco, which is surrounded by pure nature, we will get to Quebrada del Toro, which stretches to Puerta Tastil, a small precolumbian city which has its higher development in the XIV century and then, it strangely disappeared, in this very same village it appears the Río Blanco again that goes along the way. The prehispanic city of Tastil represents the entrance "door" to Quebrada de las Cuevas, where we will find the archaelogical Ruins of Tastil. We will continue by Abra Blanca which is located at 4080 metres over the level of the sea to San Antonio de los Cobres, a small village that is found at 4000 metres over the level of the sea and it is famous because the Pachamama (Madre Tierra) National Festivity takes place there. Besides, it is the best spot in the Train to the Clouds.

We will continue on the Route 40 to the Big Salts (Salinas Grandes), now in Jujuy, which are at 3450 metres over the level of the sea, aproximately. These stretch through the Puna Jujeña region. The origin of the salts date from 5 and 10 millions years ago, in which period this salt´s basin was covered with water with a great quantity of salts because of the volcanic activity, and little by little, the evaporation of these waters gave rise to this big salt, which is an spectacle to enjoy and it contrast with the sky. We will descend the Cuesta de Lipán and we will get to Purmamarca town, located at the foot of Cerro de los Siete Colores.

Day 11 - Quebrada de Humahuaca: Purmamarca, Tilcara...

We leave from San Salvador de Jujuy in the northern direction to La Quebrada de Humahuaca, a national patrimonial and cultural humanity site. The entrance to La Quebrada is León and our journey runs alongside the Rio Grande (big river). On the way we pass the towns of Yala, Lozano, León, Tumbaya and Volcán. In the world famous picturesque town of Purmamarca we encounter the mountain of the seven colours. Here we go to the walk way of Los Colorados, the fair and the church.

Leaving Purmamarca we then go Maimará where we see the Cementerio de Altura (high cemetery) and the mountain Paleta del Pintor (painter's pallet). Following on our route goes by the historical monument of La Posta de Hornillos and arrives at Tilcara where we visit el Pucara. Our sleepover destination is Humahuaca where we also visit the Monument to the Heroes of Independence, the church with its cuzqueñas paintings and optionally can go to the Benediction of San Francisco Solano.

Day 12 - Knowing Jujuy - Lagunas de Yala & Termas de Reyes

Breakfast in the hotel. In the morning or afternoon we visit the historic remains of the town, including the San Francisco church, the Lavalle Museum, the Government House and the room of the flag. The Government House is a beautiful French style palace. We also pass the old railway station, the artisanal way and the residential areas like the Perales and the old rough streets with large colonial houses and their typical windows and central patios with wells. We finish our excursion in Alto La Viña where we find the Jorge Pasquini López Archeological Museum which has a unique viewpoint where we can enjoy the marvelous landscape that this northern city has.

We journey from San Salvador to the Yala lakes that are some 20km from the city. Here there is an imposing group of six small lakes situated at an altitude of 2000m surrounded by the exuberant green of the alder and pine forests. We ascend by the mountain pass to a trout fishing area. The lakes are in the Provincial Park. Potrero de Yala, and are classed as a Biospheric Reserve that is a protected part of Jujuy and the North East. Yala is an ideal place to practice adventure sports, fishing and ecotourism. This region is part of the Jujuy Valleys and is similar to the National Park of Calilegua. Later we leave Yala to go to Reyes by an isolated very picturesque route where we find the panoramic viewpoint of la Quebrada, a giant mountain fissure.

Day 13 - La Quiaca - Yavi - Villazón - Jujuy

Breakfast in the hotel. We visit the city and after go Yavi, known for its historic chapel. La Quiaca is on the Bolivian border with its sister Bolivian town of Villazón and they are connected by an international bridge. At the beginning of the 20th century a railroad was built from La Puna to La Quiaca and here it crosses the river Quiaca by a viaduct of three arches.

La Quiaca has developed over time and became important from the middle of the last century. There is an incessant transfer of people from the Altiplano Andino, typified by their puneña clothing. We also visit the Yavi, another important north eastern town due to its historical routes and then cross the bridge to get to know the Bolivian town of Villazón. We will return to San Salvador de Jujuy.

Day 14 - San Salvador de Jujuy - Return to Buenos Aires

Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to San Salvador de Jujuy Airport. Reception and transfer from Buenos Aires Airport (Domestic Airport) to Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires. End of our services.


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