Indulge your senses on a remarkable South American adventure. Feast your eyes on colorful art and architecture, as well as magnificent landscapes shaped by nature's hand. Savor delicious cuisines and taste wine in Cafayate, known for its sumptuous Malbecs. Listen to the lively music of life in Buenos Aires and the mystical stillness of the Atacama Desert where rainfall has never been recorded. Journey through the Enchanted Valley to Salta - a romantic city with rich colonial heritage. Along the way, relax in lodgings as beautiful as the scenery surrounding them.
Witness the Atacama's pure white-salt beaches, clear lagoons, and flocks of pink flamingos
Experience the flavors of Argentina and Chile, from street food to world-renowned wines
Explore colonial Salta and beautiful Buenos Aires, the "Paris of South America"
Arrive in Buenos Aires and check in to your hotel. Meet an expert naturalist guide at Plaza St. Martin for a guided tour on the Forgotten Language of Trees - including how they provided food, medicine and shelter to natives - and learn about the plaza's important history.
Gain fascinating insights into Argentina on an exclusive tour of Buenos Aires led by a scholar from the university. Then, dive into the city's street food scene and discover three of Argentina's favorite delicacies with the help of a passionate gourmet guide. Sample empanadas, a typical pastry from Argentina; choripan, an irresistible chorizo sandwich; and Argentina's take on pizza. Finish with Argentina's own version of Italian gelato. In the afternoon, set off on your own to enjoy the rest of the day exploring the capital of Argentina.
Transfer to the airport and catch a flight to Salta City, then embark on a full-day expedition to Cafayate. At the Cafayate Ravine, see cliffs and crags that come in every color, including brick red, pale orange, slate blue, and rich purple - impressive geological formations created over the past 60 million years by wind erosion on the sandstone. Finally, reach Cafayate, a small village favored by wine lovers.
Learn about the wines of Cafayate with a visit to the Museum of Vine and Wine, then explore some of the most prestigious wineries in the area: El Esteco (formerly Bodega La Rosa, one of the most iconic wineries in the area) and Piatelli, renowned for its Premium Reserve Malbec. Top off your day with wonderful wines and cheese while watching the spectacular sunset.
Depart from Cafayate and traverse a canyon with unique rock formations on one of most interesting roads in the northwest. Enjoy lunch in the quaint village of Molinos, then travel two hours to the ancient town of Cachi. Its restored colonial church is a national historical monument, and its local archaeology museum is considered one of the best of its kind in Argentina. On the way, learn about weaving from the local artists who are famous for producing the beautiful red ponchos that are the emblem of Salta Province.
In the morning, explore the charms of Cachi. After lunch, drive into the mountains and watch for condors, eagles, and native camelid guanacos, which are common in the area. The road twists, turns, doubles back, ascends and descends through this mystical oil painting landscape, eventually leading to the Valle Encantado (Enchanted Valley) - a vast expanse of verdant green pastures. End the day in Salta for a well-earned rest and re-cap on this incredible adventure so far.
Spend the day together enjoying the rich colonial heritage of Salta, one of the oldest cities to be established in Argentina by Spanish conquistadors. Visit the Central Square surrounded by the Cabildo (formerly the Town Hall), the Archbishop's Palace and Cathedral; San Francisco's Church, and San Bernardo Church and convent. Browse the work of native artisans at the craft market, set in an old mansion. After lunch, explore the city on your own, followed by dinner at a local folk restaurant with live music.
Visit the Humahuaca Canyon, an imposing Andean gorge of multi-layered, rust-colored mountains and ancient settlements. Stop at Purmamarca, an enchanted village that's known for its excellent local markets, ideal for picking up handicrafts. Head to the village of Tilcara and visit a restored pre-Columbian fort offering spectacular views of the valley. Visit the Museo Arqueologico, which houses a diverse collection of local native artifacts. Then, return to Purmamarca for lunch and an easy hike to Los Colorados, an impressive formation.
Cross over into Chile, then continue to your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama. San Pedro reflects an Indigenous-Spanish cultural heritage and is surrounded by fortress ruins and other archaeological sites. After lunch, visit the Valle de la Luna, named after its moon-like landforms eroded by eons of floods and wind. From atop a giant sand dune, take in spectacular views of the valley, a distant ring of volcanoes, rippling Cordillera de la Sal, and surreal lunar landscapes.
We leave the hotel before dawn to arrive at the famous geysers at daybreak: the steam and vapors are all the more impressive with the cold and the light of the early morning. At the geyser field (14,100'), we will also see geysers thermal pools, mud fountains, colorful rock formations, hot streams and flora and fauna. The return journey is quite stunning with an abundance of wildlife and beautifully contrasting landscapes. This afternoon is free to explore on your own.
After breakfast, visit the otherworldly Atacama Salt Flats and snap pictures of the rare Andean flamingos who live there. Then, continue to La Laguna Cejar, a saltwater lagoon that is South America's answer to the Dead Sea, where you can take an unforgettable swim - and float - in the middle of the dessert. At night, the sky comes alive, allowing for spectacular stargazing in the Chilean outback.
We'll drive two and a half hours south east from the hotel brings us to the high Andean lagoons of Miscanti and Miniques. The lagoons are surrounded by beautiful snowcapped mountains and a wide variety of flora and fauna. The lagoons provide a stunning contrast and the combined effect is an amazing explosion of colors from white, blue and silver through to red, pink and yellow. We'll be back at the hotel to enjoy our farewell dinner.
Transfer to the airport for flight to Santiago and connect with your international flight home.
MT Sobek has been offering unique adventures in South America for over 40 years, working with premier guiding teams and top hotels.
Our action-packed adventure enables you to tick off top sights and experiences in Argentina and Chile - in under two weeks.
Explore unique colorful landscapes, enjoy local live music, and sample amazing wines - treat yourself!
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
This adventure perfectly blends easy cultural touring with wine tasting, food tours, and desert exploration that includes floating in lagoons and stargazing.
Enjoy unique accommodations including colonial hotels, elegant resorts, and luxury lodges in captivating natural settings. Includes three nights at Tierra Atacama.
Buenos Aires is mid-70s and mid-80s, dropping to upper 60s at night. Salta ranges from 45F to 80F. San Pedro will be 55F to 77F.
Our staff in Buenos Aires will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.
Yes, we can accommodate most diets, just be sure you let us know in advance.
Hiking is limited in Salta - once you arrive in Atacama there are many options for hiking.
We take our time to ensure that you get adapted to altitude. However, it's best to check with your doctor if this trip is right for you.
Yes, we will have plenty of stops for you to enjoy the views and photograph this fascinating landscape.
We do not camp on this trip. We stay in accommodations including colonial hotels, elegant resorts, and luxury lodges.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
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