Allow 3 weeks for this fine one way journey through some of Argentina’s finest landscapes. Each day you will discover something new and the scenery just keeps getting better and better as the journey continues. While there is no major reason for not doing the journey in reverse, we feel that it is definitely better to drive from north to south. Along the way you will taste some of the best wine in Argentina, visit Talampaya National Park, drive up to altitudes of over 4,000m and if that isn’t enough for you then an extension idea would be to travel to El Penon for 3 nights and explore the Puna, Argentina’s high altitude desert (also see Safari Drive’s In Depth Northwest itinerary), ride horses at estancias, eat Salta’s delicious empanadas washed down with Salta’s delicious beer.
from £4,073.00 per person based on two sharing a vehicle
from £3,423.00 per person based on four sharing a vehicle
Return economy flights with British Airways from London Heathrow to Buenos Aires cost from £700 per person including taxes.
Mendoza to Salta ITINERARY
DAY 1The Sofitel Hotel, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Upon your early morning arrival in Buenos Aires you will be collected from the international airport, Ezeiza and transferred to your hotel, the Sofitel in Recoleta. This is a journey of approx. 1 hr depending on traffic. We recommend a private city tour or walking tour of Buenos Aires for a few hours with an English-speaking guide. It's a really good way to find your feet and get your bearings. In the evening we also recommend one of the many dinner and tango shows in Buenos Aires.
DAY 2Al Pasion Lodge, Mendoza
This morning you transfer to the domestic airport in Buenos Aires for your short flight (1.5 hrs) to Mendoza. On arrival you will be met and briefed again on your journey and route. You will also be handed your vehicle and then drive to the Valle de Uco with the opportunity to visit some of the wineries en route. Just a short drive today approximately 1.5 - 2 hrs of paved road. The province of Mendoza is without doubt Argentina's leading wine producer and has been so for centuries. Dinner at Al Pasion Lodge.
DAYS 3 & 4Posada Rio de los Patos, Barreal
Today you will drive to Barreal via Uspallata, an easy drive on tar and gravel 'ripio' roads. It is a magnificent drive Evening to relax. After a good night's sleep you have a full day to explore the area. There's lots to do and it's also a nice place to relax and enjoy being in Argentina.
DAY 5Villa Union, La Rioja
You should try and get an early start today as you have a big day of driving, c. 8 hrs, one of a couple of longer drives in this itinerary.
DAY 6Talampaya National Park
Today is a day to really enjoy the Talampaya National Park, a designated World Heritage site by UNESCO. In the morning you can enjoy a hike and in the afternoon you can ride horses with a guide.
DAY 7Laguna Brava
Today you will enjoy a full day trip with a private guide to visit Laguna Brava which is located above 4000m. This guided visit is not possible from late May until approx. November (winter time).
Today you will leave the area of Talampaya and take the av. 5 hour drive to your next stop at Finca Huayrapuca.
Today there is the option of visiting a disused gold mine with a private guide. It is highly recommend. At the end of the 19th century it was one of the most important places for not only the extraction of gold, but also silver, iron, copper and lead. The mining extraction was funded by the English.
Today you have a long but interesting drive to Cafayate, Argentina's second wine capital if you will. There's a lot to see en route (Quilmes ruins for example) so if you are able to spend the night in Catamarca at quite basic accommodation then this is a good place to extend your itinerary by a day and night. Otherwise it is a full day drive to reach the nice town of Cafayate where you might choose to have dinner in town or at your hotel.
DAYS 11 & 12Nr Cachi
A nice day today with an interesting day visiting wineries, in particular we recommend popping into Colome winery, where some of the most ancient vines in the country are grown. You will spend two nice at a lovely hotel in the countryside.
DAY 13Finca near Salta
Today is a beautiful day's driving as you cross over the Cuesta de Obispo, the last mountain pass before reaching Salta. If the cloud isn't down obscuring the view, then this windy road with many hairpin bends will impress you with far reaching views. Try and take the detour route via Los Cardones National Park or affectionately known as the Cacti route!
DAYS 14 & 15Purmarmarca
This morning you will by pass Salta and head north towards the Quebrada de Humahuaca. You will have time to explore some of the small villages in the area and as an optional extra, if you wish we can also arrange for you to visit a rural school approximately 10 kms outside of Purmamarca with a guide. Here you can enjoy lunch with the kids and maybe tell them something about your home town. Otherwise, you might like to visit Salinas Grandes. Return to your hotel for dinner. Day 15 is free for you to discover Purmamarca and the hills of 7 colours or maybe drive to Tilcara.
Today you will head back to Salta where you will drop off your vehicle, check into your hotel and then spend the rest of the day exploring this beautiful city as well as visit some of it's impressive museums.
DAY 17Buenos Aires
This afternoon after you have explored Salta a little more, you will fly back to Buenos Aires and transfer to the other Legado Mitico property. This is a trendy part of town (San Telmo) and there are lots of bars to explore and good restaurants, so you can enjoy your last night in Argentina in style.
DAY 18Depart Buenos Aires
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the international airport for your flight home.