Fly Drive Argentina


This itinerary takes you to the vibrant capital of Argentina - Buenos Aires for a few days of exploration before you head out on a self-drive adventure across Argentina's north-west. This region offers a spectacular variety of landscapes, colours and terrain. On your drive, you will go through the beautiful cities of Tucumán, Tafí del Valle, Cafayate, Cachi, Salta & Purmamarca. 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.  

As with so much of Argentina, the drive will take you through ever-changing scenery. The greenery surrounding Salta gives way to dusty desert towns and then to the salt flats, gorges and ‘Cerro de los Siete Colores’, the mountain ranges around Purmamarca composed of stripes of rock in shades of russets, terracotta and pale yellows. Doing a self-drive in this area allows you the freedom to linger over these views.



   14 days

  Tour Includes

  • Economy class international and domestic flights 
  • Accommodation & breakfast throughout
  • Meals as detailed
  • Transfers and transportation
  • English-speaking guides 
  • Airline departure taxes


From $3,870.49 per person based on based on 2 people sharing*

Best time to go

To visit the northern regions of Argentina the best time is from September - November when the weather is pleasantly cool. 

Tour Highlights

  • Discover the ochre deserts of northwest Argentina
  • Experience the warm hospitality of the local communities
  • Journey through the sunlit mountains and russet-red rockscapes of the provinces of Salta
  • Explore the wine region of Cafayate home to the highest vineyard in the world
  • Discover the white colonial churches, characterful markets and adobe villages

Day 1: Departure

Maximise your time by flying overnight to Buenos Aires on a direct overnight British Airways flight from London.

Day 2: Buenos Aires

At the airport, you will be met by an English speaking guide, who will escort you to your hotel, help you check in. After this, you will head out for a city tour which includes attractions such as the 9 de Julio Avenue, the Obelisk and Corrientes Street. The first stop will be in the Plaza de Mayo to visit the Cathedral and the Cabildo (Old City Hall). After that, the trip will continue towards the most traditional neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, San Telmo, which is characterized by its old colonial houses and the cobblestoned streets. Later on, the tour will go to La Boca Neighborhood located in the south of the city. Here you can see the colourful zinc houses, the refuge and home for the first immigrants and popular artists. Then head to Puerto Madero – the old port which is now one of the most exclusive gastronomic and residential areas in Buenos Aires. Finally, you will explore the famous neighbourhood of Recoleta and explore the area around

Accommodation: Intersur Recoleta

Day 3: Buenos Aires - Tucumán

After morning breakfast your guide will transfer you to the airport on your way to Tucumán.  Upon arrival at San Miguel de Tucumán airport, you will get your vehicle.

Tucumán was widely known as “The Garden of the Republic”, San Miguel de Tucumán is a fusion between the old and the modern. The flat and colonial city perfectly blends with the fast growth of the modern city. San Miguel keeps treasure of its traditional culture in each of the streets, squares, old houses and museums open to the public. The Independence Square and the House of Tucumán are both local symbols of the history and culture. Churches, convents, museums, among many others, sum up for the typical city tour. On the other hand, the wide range of landscapes, modern facilities and diverse weather conditions, make of Tucuman an ideal destination for active tourism.

Accommodation: Amerian Tucumán Hotel [Breakfast]

Day 4: Tucumán - Tafí del Valle

Transfer from the hotel to the airport to Puerto Madryn, Trelwe Airport. Upon arrival, you will be given a rental car vehicle. 

Tafi city is the most important location in Tucuman. This village is set on the mountain region at the west, only 107 km from the capital city. Its name comes from the term “Taktillakta”, meaning the “town of the splendid entrance”. Tafi is an excellent combination of mountains, rivers and a nice weather that allows you to visit the region during any time of the year. Average summer temperatures reach 26º C and 16º C during winter. To the east of the city we will find the Calchaquíes chain of peaks, reaching 3500 meters. To the west, we can appreciate the Muñoz Peak of 4440 meters, while Nuñorco Grande Peak with its 3320 meters encircles the region to the south. Tafí del Valle offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy relaxing trips and excursions to the high mountains, fresh valleys, watersheds and fruit fields. Activities on offer include 4x4 journeys to Los Sasos River, trekking in Pelao peak, horse-riding along the Quilmes ruins and unimog driving through the valley. Another remarkable feature is Nuestra Señora del Carmen Church, the Quebradita Gorge and the Angostura Dam, ideal for fishing and nautical sports. Last but not least, there are many archaeological reserves, many of them still unexplored.

Accommodation: Las Carreras Estancia [Breakfast]

Day 5: Tafi del Valle

A day at leisure to go over the city or try an adventure sport or activity.

Accommodation: Las Carreras Estancia [Breakfast]

Day 6: Tafí del Valle - Cafayate

You will head for Cafayate City. We highly recommend:

Quilmes Ruins

You can reach Quilmes Ruins from Cafayate (Salta) or from Tafi del Valle city. To put it in a nutshell, this destination is just unique, majestic and spectacular. At first glance with the morning sun, you get the impression of just another mountain with rare features. But once you get closer, the scenery changes completely. Widely known as Quilmes Ruins, they were once inhabited by the Calchaquíes natives who settled on the margins of the Calchaquí mountain chain; therefore their tribe name: Quilmes and Calchaquíes. This huge mountain that seems to have been taken from a story tale is actually a stone Fortress. Cattle and cactus was the main feature in the agricultural development of the communities in the region. They also harvested corn and quinoa. The highest part of the mountain is what we called the ruins. This was the chosen place to defend the tribe against the enemy. Spaniards found it really hard to conquer this land.


Cafayate city is located 183 km from Salta. You can reach it though National Route Nº 68. Cafayate is the most important region of the Calchaquíes Valleys and is settled 1660 meters above sea level. The city stands out for its production of Torrontes wine, a sweet, deep, fruited wine that evolved thanks to the ideal combination of temperature and humidity of the region. Cafayate is a warm welcoming place for tourists. People are very friendly and there are a lot of spots designed to please visitors. Must see places are the Cathedral, the main square, the stone mill, wine museums and archaeological trails. All of them will allow you to appreciate the outstanding ancient architecture. Wine cellars are also a remarkable offer in town as well as Las Conchas Gorge and the river cascades of Colorado River and Sant Teresita peak.

Accommodation: Villa Vicuña Cafayate [Breakfast]

Day 7: Cafayate

A day at leisure to go over the region. We highly recommend:

Quebrada de Las Conchas

Just 18 km away from Cafayate, you will find the local Reserve that includes the impressive Devils Throat’s formations and the Amphitheatre. An excursion to Quebrada de las Conchas Gorge is a must and an ideal place to take pictures. You can reach the gorge across route 68 that goes along the river. Eroded rocky formations come from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic period and cover almost 40 kilometres of land and offer a fun entertainment for curious travellers that like to look for shapes on the rocks. Figures like “The Castles” and “The Windows” come first. Then “The Friar” and “The Toad”. Later on, you will encounter with the Amphitheatre, a natural formation that amplifies sound due to its structure. It is common to find local artists singing or music shows here. At the end of the circuit, you will reach the Devil’s Throat ideal for exploring at the corners of the mountain.

Quebrada de las Conchas Gorge is one of the most visited places in Salta. It can take you around four to six hours to explore it and be able to fully contemplate each formation, walk its paths and take pictures in a slow pace. The red colour of the landscape is due to the oxide present on the rocks.

Accommodation: Villa Vicuña Cafayate [Breakfast]

Day 8: Cafayate - Cachi

You will head to Cachi. We recommend going through the Quebrada de las Flechas Gorge. Please note that you will find improved roads but not paved. Route 40 goes right through the Calchaquíes Valleys and the Quebrada de las Flechas Gorge, both Natural Monuments of the Angastaco Province.

Quebrada de las Flechas

Is a region where you will find numerous rocky formations of funny aspect that stand out 50 meters above the floor level. They have a layer construction shape of pointy and sharp edges bent and overlapped. The colour of the soil ranges from grey-ash to reddish ochre. This Natural Monument counts with a wide range of gorges and vertical lands. Light and shadow create a magic atmosphere as the day progresses. Outstanding rocky formations are “Paso del Ventisquero” and “Paso de la flecha”. This last one resembles a petrified glacier of sharp edges declared Naturals Monument of Angastaco in 1995.


Going forward across route 40, you will find the oldest Jesuit Church of the whole valley dating back to 1780. It was restored in 1969 by the current owners of the place (Del Carmen Ranch). It is entirely made of canes and adobe (sun-dried bricks). The church has two colourful altars and seems to be pending from a hill overlooking the valley. From there you can traverse the river and reach the old stones of archaeological value. You can see pottery and funeral urns from local Santamariana ancient tribe.

Accommodation: El Cortijo Hotel [Breakfast]

Day 9: Cachi

A day at leisure to go around the region

In the Quechua language, the word "cachi" means salt and in the Diaguita dialect means silent stone.

Cachi was once inhabited by the Chicoana natives. Nowadays its population is located in the confluence of Cachi and Calchaquí Rivers. Relaxed and traditional, Cachi retains an old look with narrow stone-paved streets and ancient mansions. Red pepper plantations and snowed-peak Mountains offer a lovely view to visitors. To the north, you will find the Cachi chain of mountains ideal for the adventurous. You can also pay a visit to the local Church dating back to XVIII C. and declared Historical Monument. The widely famous Anthropological museum counts with around 5 thousand pieces of over 10 thousand years. Las Pailas and Puerta La Paya spots also offer interesting vestiges of pre-Columbian civilizations. Cachi is the kingdom of quietness where time seems to have stopped. From Salta city, you can reach it through National Route 68 and then take Province Route 33 to the right. It is just a 157 km journey from Salta city. 

Accommodation: El Cortijo Hotel [Breakfast]

Day 10: Cachi - Salta

You will leave Cachi to follow the route to the city of Salta.

Widely known as “Salta the beauty”, this city is one of the most colonial places in the whole of Argentina. Its traditional buildings of pure white walls, red tile roofs and wells mixes with modern constructions and urban areas that hold the famous San Martin Square connected by funicular railway to San Bernardo. Salta attracts visitors for its diverse landscapes ranging from mountains to valleys, gorges and puna. Subtropical flora and fauna are preserved through its many national parks. Internationally renowned features of Salta include “el Tren de las Nubes”, a train journey towards the highest regions, and “La polvorrila” viaduct 4200 meters above sea level. Around Salta you can find numerous towns and historical places filled with native vestiges. Excellent hotel offer, exquisite cuisine and many entertainment options like the casino, bars, flea market and museums all await in the region for the tourist's eye.

Accommodation: Ayres de Salta [Breakfast]

Day 11: Salta

A day at leisure to relax and enjoy the city.

Accommodation: Ayres de Salta [Breakfast]

Day 12: Salta - Purmamarca

We strongly recommend going to:

Humahuaca Gorge

Along its 100 kilometers, the Humahuaca Gorge offers the most impressive landscape of the region traversed by the Grande River and the National Route 9. Each town, at the margins of the Gorge, deserves a visit. Purmamarca, Maimará and Tilcara are a must to appreciate its fertile valleys and the local tradition of its friendly population. Once there, you may want to ask locals about festivities and enjoy a minga, chicha or coplas festival. As far as cuisine, typical locro, tamal and grilled goats are on offer even in family houses. Other distinctive features of the region are its many street stands and shops that sell colorful knitted clothes and tapestry, baskets made of vegetable fibers and goldsmith pieces.

Accommodation: Marqués de Tojo [Breakfast]

Day 13: Purmamarca

We highly recommend:

The Great Salt Mines

Located some kilometers away from Purmamarca. This vast region of more than 12.000 hectares of opencast salt mines, offers a unique landscape of withe immensity. You will find no difficulties to traverse the 126 Km distance from Purmamarca till the Great Salt Mines. We recommend carrying a camping set and picnic stuff to have a nice break there. Keep in mind that there are no fuel stations on the route so be cautious to fill your tank before leaving. During rainy season the trail can get a little bit dangerous. This is one the largest salt mine sin the country. It is worth a while to take a break and just stay silent among the white immensity. Over the salt you can see vehicle tracks that manually extract this mineral to feed cattle. You can distinguish three regions here, the polygonal, the florescence and the muddy mine. Local workers will teach you on the extraction process of washed salt from the pools and you will see how they shape salt with axes. Of course you can take some salt as a souvenir and then start the journey back to Purmamarca.

Accommodation: Marqués de Tojo [Breakfast]

Day 14: Departure

Early morning return the vehicle in Salta airport and fly to Buenos Aires for your BA overnight afternoon flight to London Heathrow.


Tour Includes

Visas, Other meals were not mentioned in the programme, Drinks, Overweight luggage, Personal expenses, Travel insurance, Tips & gratuities


We can put together any kind of self-drive Argentina holiday to suit your time, budget and interests. Speak to one of our travel experts at 020 7843 3531 or email at to create your perfect holiday based on your travel requirements.

* This is a guide price, based on travel in low season

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