Tailor-Made Holiday

Self Drive Holiday to North-West Argentina

An Extraordinary Journey Through The Wild North-West of Argentina

16 days

from £3,095pp (excluding flights)

This is a 16-day self-drive through some of Argentina's most varied landscape and home to some of the country's most delightful hotels.

  • Discover the ochre deserts of northwest Argentina
  • Visit Salinas Grandes where hundreds of pink flamingos provide a striking contrast
  • Experience the warm hospitality of the local communities
  • Explore the wine region of Cafayate home to the highest vineyard in the world

After a few nights in the vibrant capital of  Buenos Aires explore northwest Argentina by car. This area offers the visitor a spectacular variety of landscapes, colours and terrain.  You will be given a full briefing and armed with maps and tips (and a full support system tracking your vehicle) set off along the route of the Tren de las Nubes (train of the clouds). Starting and finishing in Salta, home to the fascinating MAAM Archaeological Museum, this self-drive holiday takes you on a breathtaking journey through the Humuhuaca Gorge to ancient Andean villages and over rainbow coloured hills.  The Calchaquies Valley is arguably the most beautiful route in Argentina taking you from the charming whitewashed streets of Cachi through high passes of fiery red rock formations to the vineyards of Cafayate.

Northwest Argentina can be visited throughout the year except during the months of December to February when terrain and weather conditions can make roads impassable.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 3095 £ 900
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Buenos Aires overnight

Day 2

Day at leisure in Buenos Aires

Known as 'The Paris of Latin America', Buenos Aires is quite simply one of the world's greatest cosmopolitan cities. World class museums and leading restaurants jostle for space with boutique shops and antique markets, and the colonial architecture and cobbled streets of San Telmo contrast with the modern lines and waterfront designs of up and coming Puerto Madero. It is a city with a colourful and fascinating history, which has given rise to a variety of neighbourhoods from the uber trendy Palermo Soho to the bohemian charm of La Boca, the birth place of tango.

You will be staying at Legado Mitico, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Half Day City Tour
A fascinating 4-hour tour of the elegant turn-of-the-century districts that earned Buenos Aires the sobriquet 'the Paris of South America'. Begin the tour on the charming cobbled alleyways of San Telmo with its colonial architecture, before moving on to the Plaza de Mayo that is dominated by the the government house Casa Rosada, the Nación Bank, the cathedral and the original parliament houses. Continue up the leafy Avenida de Mayo towards the imposing grandeur of the Palace of Congress, before ending your tour at the historically fascinating Recoleta Cemetery. Discover the facts, stories and anecdotes that make up the colourful tapestry that is Buenos Aires.

You will be staying at Legado Mitico, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Fly Buenos Aires to Salta

In the heart of the dramatic province of Salta lies the city of Salta itself, a charismatic colonial gem situated in a beautiful, mountainous region that makes a comfortable base for exploration of the dramatic surrounding landscapes. Once you've explored the city's striking architecture, museums and handicrafts market, there are plenty of excursions to consider further afield.

Self-Drive from Salta to Purmamarca

Drive to Purmamarca today, a driving time of approximately 3 hours.

Purmamarca is a typical small Andean village made up of adobe brick buildings that have remained largely unchanged for centuries. The most remarkable feature of the village is its striking backdrop of the 7-coloured hill. The inhabitants live off the land or are artisans and are very warm and welcoming to visitors. Purmamarca is the perfect base for trips to the famous Quebrada de Humahuaca.

You will be staying at El Manantial del Silencio, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

At Leisure
Day at leisure. This area has a strong Andean culture. Visit the famous market in Pumamarca and explore the arid yet beautiful surroundings, in particular the rock face of seven colours that provides a striking back drop to the town. With a self drive option visit the pretty town of Tilcara, home to the Easter pilgrimage, Uquia with its beautifully painted interior and sleepy Humahuaca.

You will be staying at El Manantial del Silencio, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Travel from Purmamarca via Salinas Grandes to Salta

Depart this morning for Salta via Salinas Grandes. Driving time is approximately 7 hours (220 miles)

You will be staying at Legado Mitico, Salta, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Salta activities and excursions
Salta is a fascinating city to explore, plus the surrounding area, to follow is a suggestion of activities and excursions to choose from:

MAAM - high mountain archaeology museum on the main square.

San Lorenzo, a verdant valley and pretty village just 10kms from Salta.

Explore the Quebrada del Toro.

Visit the man made Cabra Corral Dam, 83 kms outside of Salta.

Full day trip on the train to the clouds excursion.

Head north up the beautiful Quebrada de Humahuaca.

Head south and visit the rock formations along the Rio de las Conchas.

Visit the surrounding wine lands and Calchaqui Valley.

Stay on a local finca and visit the tobacco and sugar cane factories.

Wander around Salta and explore the pretty streets and shops.

You will be staying at Legado Mitico, Salta, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Travel from Salta to Cachi via Cardones National Park

Drive to Cachi today, a journey time of approximately 4 hours (100 miles)

Cachi was founded in 1694, and is a charming village of simple whitewashed streets and a central square with a pretty church with a roof made from cactus wood. There are a number of interesting walks from Cachi into the surrounding villages, where you can still see the pre Inca irrigational systems bring down melt water from the surrounding peaks. Cachi is a very sleepy town and is the perfect place to unwind and relax.

You will be staying at El Cortijo Boutique Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Day at leisure
Day at leisure. Options include exploring Cachi on foot, visit Colome Winery, which is certainly the highest and arguably the best wine experience in the country. Explore the winery and its grounds before visiting Tacuil winery for wine tasting.

You will be staying at El Cortijo Boutique Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Travel from Cachi to Cafayate

Journey time to Cafayate is appoximately 4 hours (110 miles)

Located in the extreme southwest of Salta province at the head of a wide valley with mountains on all sides, Cafayate is a small and slow-paced town making an excellent base to explore the dramatic landscapes of the Quebrada de Cafayate. Everything is within walking distance, including the wineries that are well worth a visit to taste some of the renowned local wines.

You will be staying at Vinas de Cafayate, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Tour of Quilmes and local bodegas
Day at leisure. Perhaps visit the Pre-Incan ruins at Quilmes, the best in Argentina. Take lunch at Finca Las Nubes with a fantastic selection of locally produced cheeses, vegetables, meat and wine. The views across Las Conchas Gorge are stunning. Visit a local bodega followed by sunset at Los Castillos.

You will be staying at Vinas de Cafayate, Bed & Breakfast

Day 12

Drive from Cafayate to Salta

You will be staying at Finca Valentina, Bed & Breakfast

Day 13

You will be staying at Finca Valentina, Bed & Breakfast

Day 14

Fly Salta to Buenos Aires

Drive from Buenos Aires to Pampas

Leave the city behind for the sprawling Pampas; flatlands home to vast estancias and a strong agricultural industry.

The sophisticated capital of Buenos Aires may be at Argentina's head, but the heart of the nation and the people is out in the countryside. It was here, in the fertile and limitless pampas that the proud, rebellious and passionate Argentinian character was forged and the country's fortunes made. The original gauchos (cowboys) of the pampas, who spent their lives on horseback roaming from ranch to ranch, may have disappeared, but the estancias themselves remain, many of which have now opened their doors to guests. A couple of days at an estancia is the perfect counterpoint to a stay in Buenos Aires, allowing you a unique and privileged insight into the old-world charms of pampas life and the chance to gallop around with modern day gauchos.

You will be staying at Estancia La Candelaria del Monte, Bed & Breakfast

Day 15

Fly Buenos Aires to London overnight


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Legado Mitico

Legado Mitico

A highly conceptual property founded on the notion of Argentine identity, Legado Mitico is a boutique property that is all at once avant-garde and undeniably homely....

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Vinas de Cafayate

Vinas de Cafayate

This lovely property is located in a vineyard plantation at the foot of the impressive San Isidro Hill....

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Estancia La Bandada

Estancia La Bandada

An elegant country house, built in the 1830s and set in beautiful grounds of sycamores, elms and pine trees, this traditional working estancia is located south of Buenos Aires, on the Pampas....

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Legado Mitico, Salta

Legado Mitico, Salta

Legado Mitico is the second hotel of a small boutique group that first started in Buenos Aires....

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Finca Valentina

Finca Valentina

A traditional white-washed country house that is shrouded by indigenous trees and climbing greenery, Finca Valentina is a characterful family-run property that lies in the foothills of the Andes....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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