9 Days - 8 Nights
Tucumán, Salta & Jujuy
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9 days - 9 nights
Day 1 - Knowing Tucumán
Welcome to Argentina. Reception and transfer from Ezeiza International Airport (Buenos Airtes City) to Jorge Newbery Airport. Transfer from San Miguel de Tucumán Airport to the hotel.
We will start visiting the historical center and its surroundings, with places full of history which are reflected in their buildings. The Independence Square (Plaza Independencia) is our departure spot, so we can go to the Government House (Casa de Gobierno) and all the historical houses which surround it.
Then, we will go the Cathedral, the Church and the San Francisco Convent, a national monument because of the old relics it preserves, like the first national flag that was rised in Tucumán in 1814, among others; Nuestra Señora de la Merced Church has a neoclassical style with a simple interior, the Nicolás Avellaneda Historical Provincial Museum (Museo Histórico Provincial Nicolás Avellaneda) which is the house where he lived as many other politicians in the XIX Century, the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo, among other buildings and representative houses.
Once the tour is finished in the historical center in the city of Tucumán, we will continue to 9 de Julio Park, designed by Carlos Thays, a french artist who designed gardens and Parks. This park has a very beautiful clock made of flowers, very colourful and paths to walk between the trees. Then, we will go to the Museo de la Industria Azucarera "Casa del Obispo Colombres", in which we will learn the history about the sugar industry in the province from its origin. We will continue to the most distinguished area in the city of Tucumán, the outstanding Urquiza Square because of its paths and spaces so people can skate and ride a bicicle, it is also a green area to rest which has a french style in its surroundings; San Martin Theatre, the Legislature Building and the Casino. Alberdi Square is another green area with its very well preserved grass and benchs and it is located in front of the General Mitre Railway Station which will be our last spot in the tour. If you want to see other excursion options in Tucumán, click here: Tours in Tucumán.
Day 2 - Tucumán - Tafi del Valle - Archeological Ruins of 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. If you want to see other excursion options in Tucumán, click here: Tours in Tucumán.
Day 3 - 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. If you want to see other excursion options in Salta, click here: Tours in Salta.
Day 4 - 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 5 - 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 6 - Quebrada de Humahuaca from Jujuy
Breakfast in the hotel. 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 7 - Valleys and Dams: Los Alisos, La Ciénaga, Las Maderas - Lagunas de Yala & Termas de Reyes
Valleys and Dams: Los Alisos, La Ciénaga, Las Maderas - Lagunas de Yala
We pass by the dams of La Ciénaga and Las Maderas and then return by the town of San Antonio, one of the best conserved settlements of the valley distinguished by its artisanal cheeses and a manufacturer of dulces in La Almona. Finally we go to the Los Alisos dam before returning to San Salvador de Jujuy.
Termas de Reyes
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 8 - Las Yungas, Calilegua National Park: The Reserve of Biosphere of the largest in Argentina
We commence our enjoyable adventure visiting the National Park where we undertake a guided tour of one of the three trails, the Mamota, the Herradura or the Lagunita that go between an altitude of 475 to 1700 metres. The Yungas jungle is one of the areas richest in mammalians of this tropical region. It is estimated that there are 100 species of mammals in the 600km extension of the northeast of Argentina and 35% of them are encountered in the ecosystem of the jungles and Yungas.
It is possible to observe mammals such as the jaguar, tapirs, great anteaters, cai monkeys, great ferrets, porcupines, coloured squirrels, bats, armadillos etc. and birds such as Toucan parrots, humming birds, eagles, partridges, orioles and many more, also amphibians such as different frogs and toads including the red stomached toad and many types of fish.
The mountain jungles are on the slopes between 500 and 1000 metres where the vegetation is dense and humid. The highest treetops of over 30 metres are those of the cedars, laurels and walnuts whilst those at the 20 metre level consist of oaks, chalchal, palo luz and tala. There are other stratas such as that of shrubs and herbs, plants that spread over the surface and there is an important number of vines and epiphytes. In the Calilegua National Park there are different forests of mountain pines, alders and queñoa that are on the slopes up to 3000 metres.
Day 9 - Knowing San Salvador de Jujuy - Return to Buenos Aires
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.
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.