• Overview
  • Photos & Video
  • Pricing
  • Dates
  • Hotels
  • Trip Reviews
  • FAQ

Though increasing numbers of visitors are discovering Argentina’s vast northwest region, by most anyone’s standards, this is still the road less traveled. The picturesque colonial city of Salta makes a perfect base for exploring the vicinity’s major natural attractions on this eight-day travel to Argentina. These include not just the Andes but also stunning multi-colored canyons and valleys in an unusual cactus landscape. The Quebrada de Humahuaca, recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its archeological riches and remnants of its indigenous heritage, plus Argentina’s vast salt flats spanning the borders of four northwest provinces are among the sights you’ll see north of Salta during these Argentina tours. To the west, you will visit the quaint village of Cachi and distinctive Los Cardones National Park, finishing to the south in the Calchaqui Valley wine region with a stay at the Cafayate Wine Resort. This travel to Argentina begins with a whirlwind 24 hours in Buenos Aires which you may wish to extend, coming or going, since spending only a day in Buenos Aires is like scheduling just one day in Paris on a trip to France.

 

Itinerary
Day 1 ARRIVE BUENOS AIRES

On arrival in Buenos Aires, you will be transferred from the international airport to your lodgings in the center of the city. A short walking tour to nearby sights acquaints you with your surroundings, including the always-interesting pedestrian promenade, Avenida Florida, a popular locale for shopping, dining and watching street tango. The remainder of the day and evening are unscheduled to enable you to explore this fascinating city on your own before spending the night at your comfortable hotel.

Day 2 BUENOS AIRES - SALTA

After breakfast, you are transferred from your hotel to the domestic airport for your flight to Salta. Upon arrival, you will be taken to the hotel that will be your lodgings for your stay in Salta. The rest of the day and evening you are free to roam. (B)

Day 3 SALTA – ROAD TO THE CLOUDS – HUMAHUACA

After an early breakfast, you depart on your drive through spectacular mountain scenery, following the route of the Train to the Clouds, one of the highest in the world. Traveling northwest into the spectacular Toro Canyon, you will reach the archaeological site of Santa Rosa de Tastil, one of Argentina’s oldest pre-Columbian ruins. This route is one of the most dramatic entrances to the Puna Highlands, taking you to 12,385-ft San Antonio de los Cobres and the impressive 226-ft high, 882-ft long La Polvorilla viaduct. Continuing north, you come to Salinas Grandes, a most exotic, photogenic sea of salt where you will learn about the salt extraction process. Following the Lipan Slope to Purmamarca, you will cross the highest point of the day, an elevation of 13,680 feet. After a free evening, you’ll spend the night at the scenic La Comarca, a comfy hotel surrounded by colorful hills. (B)

Day 4 HUMAHUACA – TILCARA - SALTA

After breakfast at the hotel, you meet your guide for today’s travel in colorful, multi-hued Humahuaca canyon. Today you will experience music, street fairs, craft markets and gastronomy of the area’s regional cultures. The visit includes stops in the villages of arty Tilcara and the more indigenous Humahuaca. Within walking distance of Tilcara, you will hike to Pucará de Tilcara, a restored pre-Columbian fort that offers marvelous views. At the end of the day you return to your Salta lodgings for an evening on your own. (B)

Day 5 SALTA – CALCHAQUI VALLEYS – CACHI

On today’s Argentina tours, you travel south up the Cuesta del Obispo, famous for its winding, scenic road to the ancient village of Cachi. You skirt rust-colored tobacco fields before heading west on RP 33, a gravel road through parched Quebrada de Escoipe. At the canyon’s end, the landscape changes abruptly as the Cuesta del Obispo Pass and the Valle Encantado (Enchanted valley) come into view. Condors and eagles may be seen overhead as the road’s switchbacks eventually reach an elevation of about 12,000 feet. You will see cattle, sheep and llama grazing on the arid lower and middle slopes. The trail levels off at 11,874-ft La Piedra del Molino, on reaching beautiful Los Cardones, National Park that protects thousands of huge Cardon cacti and is crisscrossed by a myriad of stone Inca trails. The area’s main attraction, Cachi (7,544 feet) is located near the park’s western border. Cachi’s restored colonial church is a national historic monument and the archeology museum here houses a collection of native Andean artifacts. You spend the night at El Cortijo, a quaint hotel in Cachi. (B)

Day 6 CACHI – CAFAYATE

After breakfast, you depart for Cafayate, a tiny paradise for wine enthusiasts looking for a tranquil hideaway. At 5,740 feet, the valley is home to some of the world’s highest vineyards, producing Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the local white specialty, Torrontes. This Spanish fruity but dry grape with distinctive flavor has found its perfect terroir here. It was first planted in 1850 in the La Florida vineyard, owned by the Etchart Bodega and later passed to Pernod Ricard, the famous wine and spirit company. You stay the night at the scenic Cafayate Wine Resort. (B)

Day 7 CAFAYATE WINERY – SALTA

In the morning, you tour a winery before returning to Salta. The drive from Cafayate passes impressive geological formations produced by erosion on the colorful sedimentation of sandstone over the past sixty million years. You will spend a final night at your Salta lodgings. (B)

Day 8 SALTA – BUENOS AIRES

You will be transferred to the Salta airport for your return flight to Buenos Aires and onward home, marking the end of Southern Explorations’ services for these Argentina tours. (B)

Weather (Argentina - Northern)

When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

The rainy season is between December and March, with little precipitation falling during the wintertime. The best times to visit are perhaps the spring and fall seasons, during which times the temperatures are comfortable, the precipitation is manageable, and the crowds are minimal.

 


 

Weather (Argentina)

When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Due to the country's geography and location, Argentina & Patagonia offers a wide variety of climates. The Argentine mainland is mostly temperate, with seasons reversed from those in the northern hemisphere. The northern areas of Salta and around Iguazú are tropical, while southern Patagonia's weather is often cold and windy and always unpredictable.

Winter (from the end of June to the beginning of October) may be cold with some rain in certain areas of Argentina, while the Northwest enjoys sunny days and warm temperatures.

Summer (from December to March) is hot and sometimes humid in Buenos Aires; warm and dry in the Northwest with intermittent summer rains; and cold but sunny and sometimes windy in Patagonia.
 

BUENOS AIRES

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN69-833.9
FEB67-814.2
MAR67-784.9
APR58-713.5
MAY53-652.8
JUN47-582.2
JUL47-582.4
AUG48-612.6
SEP51-642.6
OCT56-704.4
NOV61-764.1
DEC66-813.8
*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

EL CALAFATE

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN45-650.5
FEB42-650.3
MAR37-610.5
APR32-541.0
MAY28-451.2
JUN27-410.8
JUL29-391.0
AUG33-430.8
SEP44-500.6
OCT37-560.5
NOV41-610.4
DEC44-640.6

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

USHUAIA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN41-571.5
FEB51-561.8
MAR39-542.1
APR36-492.2
MAY32-432.1
JUN29-401.9
JUL28-391.4
AUG30-421.8
SEP32-461.6
OCT36-501.4
NOV38-531.4
DEC40-561.7

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

BARILOCHE

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN43-700.9
FEB42-710.9
MAR39-661.2
APR35-582.1
MAY33-505.3
JUN30-445.5
JUL29-435.1
AUG30-464.6
SEPT31-512.3
OCT34-571.5
NOV38-631.0
DEC41-671.3

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

MENDOZA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN64-901.4
FEB62-871.3
MAR57-811.1
APR50-740.5
MAY42-660.2
JUN35-600.2
JUL35-590.3
AUG38-650.1
SEP70-430.3
OCT51-770.4
NOV57-840.6
DEC63-881.0

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

SALTA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN61-817.0
FEB61-796.4
MAR59-774.6
APR54-731.4
MAY46-700.3
JUN39-660.1
JUL37-680.2
AUG39-720.2
SEP45-750.8
OCT52-791.0
NOV57-812.5
DEC61-825.4

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


 

 

 

Maps

Specials >> Argentina

Join a group on our Feburary 4-16, 2019 Patagonia Hiking Panorama tour to experience the best...

Discover Salta

Pricing
Per Person
$2,895
Domestic Airfare:
$700 Airfare: Buenos Aires/Salta/Buenos Aires (subject to change)
 
Single Supplement: $550
A single supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy.
Included in tour cost
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear
  • Reciprocity fee

Discover Salta

Trip Dates
Weekly Departures. Contact us to arrange your departure date.
Sunday, April 1, 2018 to Friday, November 30, 2018
Available
Cachi
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
  • 3 Star
     Included Hotel (subject to availability) 
Cafayate
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Purmamarca
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Salta
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
  • 3 Star
     Included Hotel (subject to availability) 
Buenos Aires
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
patagonia glacier trek
Our trip was marvelous from start to finish. Southern Explorations is the only way to really enjoy Patagonia. Because the territory is so vast, having everything planned maximized our experience and minimized the logistical aspects and associated worry. This was our second trip with Southern Explorations and will definitely take another one. - Anne Whitehair (Private Patagonia Lakes & Glaciers)

patagonia travelLuxury Patagonia’ exceeded our every expectation. The arrangements, the accommodations, the guides, the food as well as every location visited were as close to perfect as one could hope. The care and assistance from Southern Explorations prior to our departure was meticulous and informative. We will never forget this trip – one of the best in our lives. - Rosemary and Geoff Pierson, Massachusetts (Patagonia)

patagonia travelThis was a trip of a lifetime. The highlight was the Explora Lodge with unbelievable hikes and horseback riding. Also, the Perito Moreno Glacier was fantastic. I wouldn't change a thing. - Kyle Craig, Colorado (Patagonia)
 

patagonia travelEveryone at the SE office was helpful and returned calls promptly. We just cannot say enough about how enjoyable our entire trip was. - Kathy & Peter Brackett (Argentina)

mount fitzroy patagoniaMy father and I really loved Luis. He is just a super dependable, humble, smart and kind person. We invited him to dinner with us twice at Los Cerros because we enjoyed his company so much. My father and Luis spent most of dinner sharing stories about their passion for the mountains and discussing all the same books they’ve read about climbers who’ve climbed thee highest peaks around the world. I even had lunch with Luis in Buenos Aires while he was home for the holidays. Please make sure that Luis knows how much we appreciated him as a person as well as his skills as a guide. We couldn’t have asked for a better guide. We enjoyed all the hotels. The staff at the Sheheun in El Calafate were very attentive and kind. I liked the fact that it was a few blocks out of the main street. We had a lovely view from our room. I cannot say enough about Los Cerros. The hotel was lovely. Everyone on staff was so friendly - the airport transfer driver, the wait staff, the receptionists, and the manager. They treated both my father and I like royalty and yet like family. I really hope to return. I thought the entire staff with whom I had contact at Southern Explorations - Jonathan, Justin, Eric and Marisa - were incredibly competent, communicative and genuinely enthusiastic about what they do. I felt from the very beginning that I could trust you folks. I just had a good feeling about you all. Thanks so much. It was an unforgettable trip with my dad. - Virginia Roberson (Patagonia)

 
patagonia travelWe thoroughly enjoyed our trip. The Hosteria del Fuego in Ushuaia was our best experience. I have never slept so well while on a trip. All accommodations exceeded my expectations, however. We especially enjoyed the picnic lunch in Ushuaia. Also, the tea in Gaiman was outstanding. We would definitely consider Southern Explorations again if they offered a trip to a desired destination. We have a lot of other places we want to go, though, so wouldn’t know when we might go back to South America. - The Rambow Family, Houston (Patagonia)

We just returned from our South American adventure this morning, but I wanted to write you to thank you for helping us put together a fantastic vacation. Our friends called it the 'trip of a lifetime', that included the 'hike of a lifetime' and the 'kayak paddling day of a lifetime' for them. You made it so easy to have a great adventure. Thanks again for all your help. - Heidi and Michael Rotberg (Argentina Mountains & Wineries)  

Thank you for planning an amazing trip for us. Everything was beyond wonderful... and ran so smoothly. We so enjoyed our guides...who took us on harder hikes, just like we wanted. We especially loved El Chalten... and of course the Eolo Hotel. I think the glacial hike was one of the most beautiful walks we have ever taken. So appreciate all the effort your agency put into our trip. I WILL definetely travel with you again. - Lisa Goldman (Luxury Patagonia) 

It was a wonderful trip and Southern Explorations really did a marvelous job of putting everything together for us. Thank You. We have had nothing but fantastic memories and have spoken to many people about Southern explorations and what a nice job you guys did putting everything together. Peru and other South America ventures will happen. I will be in touch. - Steve Andryk (Wisconsin) (Luxury Patagonia)

We were extremely pleased with the services provided by Southern Explorations...not only the extensive itinerary for Patagonia, but also the care and attention to detail that was delivered at every step of the way. It sure made this trip easy for us...everything was extremely well organized. We enjoyed the variety of activities and loved the guides....they were truly outstanding. - Joyce & Garry Mammel, Canada (Patagonia)

Southern Explorations created an amazing custom trip to one of the most beautiful places on earth. They worked with us to fine tune the details of what our perfect vacation to Patagonia would be. The reservations, the accommodations, the transfers and the guides were spot on, very informative and professional. Will we use Southern Explorations for our next trip to the southern hemisphere? You can be certain of that. - Jim Balsitis and Kathy Kalp (Patagonia)

I chose Southern Explorations for the combination of interesting itineraries and your high rating on customer satisfaction. I made the right choice. I will gladly recommend you to others. - Pat Harding, Texas (Iguazu, Lakes District, Mendoza & Santiago)

From arrival to departure this trip, from an organizational stand point, felt like a ballet… seamless and fluid. We couldn’t have done it without you – Thanks Southern Explorations! - Lori Schrader, New York (Patagonia)

Our experience planning a trip to Patagonia in South America with Southern Explorations exceeded my highest expectations!  Everything was incredibly well organized, the hotels they booked for us were very nice, the guides and people who transported us all spoke our language (English).  When my husband got very sick and we had to alter our plans,  they were on top of rebooking flights and canceling excursions, and handled all of the logistics for us.  I would highly recommend the services provided by Southern Explorations, and will certainly use them for all future travel planning that we do!! - Kristi Holland, Alabama (Patagonia)

Our words to describe our trip are Spectacular, Exciting, and Remote! We got to see basically everything we had hoped for, and more! - Ann Huston, California (Patagonia)

My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed all the activities in Patagonia and Southern Explorations made the trip smooth and easy. From the hotels, to the food, to the guides, and the outings, we loved it all. We would recommend it to all our friends and family! - Miriam Derman, Illinois (Patagonia)

 

Argentina - Northern - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer a variety of pre-planned tours online and we’d love to design a custom trip just for you. Take a look at what we have online then call an Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the trip that best fits your timeframe, budget and interests.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to modify any tour to meet your needs and also add pre and post-excursion extensions. If you sign up for a group departure we cannot change the group portion, but we can add extensions before and after.
Q: When is the best time to go to Argentina?
A: Argentina’s large size and geographic orientation means it covers many climatic zone and different areas are better to visit during different times of the year. In the south, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego are best visited from October through April. In the north, the season is inversed and your best time to travel is from April through November. Buenos Aires and the wine country around Mendoza can be visited year round.
Q: What is the weather like in Argentina?
A: The weather ranges from temperate summers and cold, snowy winters in the south to rainy summers and dry, warm winters in the north. You will find a detailed weather chart on the Overview page of each trip. You can also call your Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the weather trends for your trip.
Q: What is a typical day like in Argentina? 
A: The typical day varies widely from trip to trip, but all tours will have full days with guided exploration. There will be time for rest and relaxation as well as independent exploration of the cities and towns we visit. Due to the remote nature of Argentina’s most scenic areas, some long travel days will be required.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Argentina? 
A: As long as you are able to walk a couple of miles at a leisurely pace and comfortably navigate uneven terrain, you will be able to enjoy most of our tours. Some of our more adventurous tours include activities like kayaking, ice climbing and hikes up to 12 miles. Please check the physical ratings on our trip pages or contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator to see if a particular itinerary is a good fit for you.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Argentina?
A: Because of the vast size of Argentina we recommend at least seven days. If you wish to visit multiple regions within Argentina we recommend 12 days or more.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. We recommend planning a trip at three to nine months in advance, but if you want to stay at very specific luxury hotels or travel over a holiday then we recommend planning nine months to a year in advance.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: The guides on all of our tours are experienced, fluent in English and hold a degree in a related field. The guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid. We tend to use the same guides as they are accustomed to the trips we offer and understand the Southern Explorations commitment to quality.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: We primarily work with 4-star hotels in Argentina and the occasional 3-star property, provided they meet our standards. We also work with several amazing 5-star properties. All of our hotels are clean, comfortable, well-located, offer en suite bathrooms and have been personally vetted by a Southern Explorations staff member.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: We will confirm all airfare within South America and this price is listed separately from our base tour costs. You are responsible for booking international flights to/from Argentina
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: Our Argentina trips are generally limited to 8 travelers, although some areas (all-inclusive lodge stays and cruises) may require that we form larger groups with other travelers.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal, which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.
Q: I read about a “Reciprocity Fee” to enter Argentina, do I need to pay that?
A:

There is no longer a “Reciprocity Fee” required for travelers carrying US, Canadian or Australian Passports. If you carry a passport from a different country please check with your nearest Argentine consulate for more information. 

Argentina - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer a variety of pre-planned tours online and we’d love to design a custom trip just for you. Take a look at what we have online, then call an Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the trip that best fits your timeframe, budget and interests.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to modify any tour to meet your needs and also add pre and post-excursion extensions. If you sign up for a group departure we cannot change the group portion, but we can add extensions before and after.
Q: When is the best time to go to Argentina?
A: Argentina’s large size and geographic orientation means it covers many climatic zone and different areas are better to visit during different times of the year. In the south, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego are best visited from October through April. In the north, the season is inversed and your best time to travel is from April through November. Buenos Aires and the wine country around Mendoza can be visited year round.
Q: What is the weather like in Argentina?
A: The weather ranges from temperate summers and cold, snowy winters in the south to rainy summers and dry, warm winters in the north. You will find a detailed weather chart on the Overview page of each trip. You can also call your Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the weather trends for your trip.
Q: What is a typical day like in Argentina? 
A: The typical day varies widely from trip to trip, but all tours will have full days with guided exploration. There will be time for rest and relaxation, as well as independent exploration of the cities and towns we visit. Due to the remote nature of Argentina’s most scenic areas, some long travel days will be required.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Argentina? 
A: As long as you are able to walk a couple of miles at a leisurely pace and comfortably navigate uneven terrain, you will be able to enjoy most of our tours. Some of our more adventurous tours include activities like kayaking, ice climbing and hikes up to 12 miles. Please check the physical ratings on our trip pages or contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator to see if a particular itinerary is a good fit for you.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Argentina?
A: Because of the vast size of Argentina we recommend at least seven days. If you wish to visit multiple regions within Argentina we recommend 12 days or more.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. We recommend planning a trip at three to nine months in advance, but if you want to stay at very specific luxury hotels or travel over a holiday then we recommend planning nine months to a year in advance.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: The guides on all of our tours are experienced, fluent in English and hold a degree in a related field. The guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid. We tend to use the same guides as they are accustomed to the trips we offer and understand the Southern Explorations commitment to quality.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: We primarily work with 4-star hotels in Argentina and the occasional 3-star property, provided they meet our standards. We also work with several amazing 5-star properties. All of our hotels are clean, comfortable, well-located, offer en suite bathrooms and have been personally vetted by a Southern Explorations staff member.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: We will confirm all airfare within South America and this price is listed separately from our base tour costs. You are responsible for booking international flights to/from Argentina.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: Our Argentina trips are generally limited to 8 travelers, although some areas (all-inclusive lodge stays and cruises) may require that we form larger groups with other travelers.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal, which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.
Q: I read about a “Reciprocity Fee” to enter Argentina, do I need to pay that?
A:

There is no longer a “Reciprocity Fee” required for travelers carrying US, Canadian or Australian Passports. If you carry a passport from a different country please check with your nearest Argentine consulate for more information.