Argentina road trip – Northern Argentina itinerary 2 weeks

Written by Maria Aardal

April 10, 2020

Northern Argentina is a part of Argentina that is often overlooked or rushed through by travelers. Keep reading to find out why you should add a northern Argentina road trip to your Argentina itinerary and exactly where you should go. This Argentina road trip itinerary will take you through the provinces of Salta and Jujuy. It starts in Salta and does a northwest loop before ending back up in Salta after twelve days on the road.

Dirt road we met on our Argentina road trip

Driving through Salta and Jujuy was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. The nature along this route is simply astonishing. You get to see everything from rainforests and green mountains, to salt flats, bright red mountains, and cacti covered gravel mountains. You will experience high altitudes, blazing sun and freezing nights. This region has so much to offer, and because it is so overlooked you will have some of the places all to yourself.

Tips for driving in Argentina

Driving in Argentina has a rocky reputation. I was very uncertain before heading out on our Argentina road trip, it if was a smart choice. When I did research about the driving conditions in Argentina I read very mixed reviews. Some said that it was ok, but many said that it was awful, both the roads and the drivers. However we decided to go for it, and I am so glad we did. Here are some useful tips and tricks we learned on the way. These tips might your Argentina road trip a lot smoother.

Llamas in Jujuy
  • Food and water – Always keep some food in the car, both for snacks and for emergencies. A few times we headed out without food, and the drive ended up taking much longer than we expected. On some of the stretches, there are also basically no places to stop and buy food. The same goes for water, except water is much more important. We always kept about 6 liters of water in the back of the car which we used to fill out water bottles.
  • Gas – Try to never go below a half tank, it’s far between gas stations.
  • DO NOT listen to the km when looking for duration – If you are wondering how long a stretch is going to take you to drive. Looking at the km will not get you far. We have spent about one hour driving 20 km one day and 20 minutes driving the same distance another day. It all depends on the road condition. The most important thing to look at is if the road is paved or not. If it is not you will be driving on dirt roads. On dirt roads we usually crawled along in 20 to 30 km per hour.
  • Four-wheel-drive helps, but is not necessary – We did not have a four-wheel-drive and we were fine. However it would have made the trip a lot smoother if we did have it. We did drive on a lot of unpaved roads and we were completely fine bumping along in our little two-wheel-drive.
  • Know how to change a tire – Here is a tip that we did not follow, and luckily for us we did not pop a tire. However for my own comfort, I wish that I had known how to do it. One of my biggest concerns on the trip was definitely that we would pop a tire out in the middle of nowhere and not know how to fix it.
  • and chargers – We depended a lot on the app for directions. It is an app where you download the maps ahead of time so that you can access them without wifi or data. It works like a charm and I do not know what we would have done without it. On the same note, you should always keep some charged power-banks handy.
  • Listen to the locals and respect the weather – If someone tells you that you should not take a certain road, listen to them. They are the ones who know the roads and the conditions. The same goes for if someone tells you that you should not take a certain road because of the weather, LISTEN. It is not the same as in Europe or many other places, where the weather might be an annoyance, but that is it. When it rains on dirt roads rivers can form making sections of the road impassable and dangerous landslides happen regularly.
  • Toilet paper – Always keep some toilet paper in the car. Many public restrooms will not have any. Also, respect it when it says do not throw toilet paper in the toilet, just use the bin.
  • Do not rush or get stressed – I definitely had to take a few breathers, when you are on the side of a mountain, driving through loose gravel and another car comes up behind you. It is easy to start to speed up, but the safest option is to calm down and look for somewhere where you can let them pass. It is better to slow someone else down a little bit than to drive faster than you are comfortable with.
  • Do not miss out on the journey – It is easy to get swept up in driving and getting to the destinations. Remember to slow down and enjoy the way there. My favorite part of the trip was on the roads. I saw some of the most spectacular sights and views I have ever seen while driving.

Packing for an Argentina road trip

When packing for an Argentina road trip there are a few items that are essential to make your trip as smooth as possible.

Warm clothes: No matter what time of the year you are doing your Argentina road trip you should always bring some warm clothes. Because of the altitude, the temperatures will often drop significantly as soon as the sun sets. We could be wearing shorts and bikini tops during the day, and wool or fleece that same evening. My suggestion is to bring at least one set of wool (t-shirt or sweater and pants), at least one hoodie, at least one pair of leggings, and a jacket.

Mosquito spray and an anti-itch cream for bites: And do not just bring them like me, USE THEM. Mosquito spray will be a real lifesaver.

Cards or other games: We spent so many hours playing cards during our Argentina road trip. When visiting small towns and such we spend the days exploring, and do not do much during the evening and night. Cards and games is the perfect way to spend those hours. It is also a great way to socialize with other travelers if you are staying at hostels.

Bottles, cutlery, plates, and cups: This will come in very handy for long hours on the road. On some stretches, there will not be any restaurants for hours, which means that you need to bring your own meals. Some plates and cutlery will make this a lot easier. Trust me, putting cream cheese on your rolls with your finger is just not as fun. Bottles are also great, not just for you, but also for the environment. Just fill it up whenever you can instead of buying new small plastic bottles multiple times a day.

Emergency chargers: Very important if you need it for an emergency, also great for when you have listened to too much music. Speaking of music, though you do not really pack it, you need to download some spotify playlists to play in the car.

A good day bag: A good day bag is really important and it will make your trip a lot easier. It is perfect to bring on hikes and to go sightseeing. You can also keep it in the car with your essentials so you do not need to get your big bag all the time. You can even pack what you need to a night or two in it, so that you can leave your big bag in the car without even needing to bring it into the hostel at all.

Budget for our Argentina road trip

Rental car for 12 days with Avis: 568 euro (47 euro per day)
Accommodation: About 9 euro per person per night (about 100 euros total per person for 14 days)
Gas: Around 130 euros for 12 days on the road (around 10 euro per day)
Food: Around 5-10 euro per day per person (cooking most of our meals ourself, eating out maybe once a day)
Total: 994 euros (71 euros per day including rental car) if you are two people the cost per person per day is around 45 euro

Argentina Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Salta

Getting to Salta is easy, which makes it the perfect city to use as a start and end for a northern Argentina road trip. You can either fly in or come by bus. The airport is large and international and you can, therefore, fly in both domestically or from other countries. If you opt to fly I highly recommend using Momondo or Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.

We traveled by bus from Corrientes, which is a great option. We find traveling by bus to be easier and cheaper than by plane, but that is all preferences. It does take a lot more time, but the busses are very comfortable in South America in general. They also often go overnight which means that you also save a night you would have to pay for otherwise. To find bus tickets in South America Busbud is a great option, they compare all the different companies for you.

We stayed at Salta por Siempre which is a hostel close to the city center. It is one of the cheapest hostels in the city, but it holds up a high standard. They have great beds and rooms, a nice outside area and a kitchen where you can cook for yourself. They also organize BBQ and pizza-nights which is perfect to socialize. We also got to know their two cats, Empanada and Negrita, who we fell in love with straight away.

Day 2 – Explore Salta

Salta is a city with much to offer. The city has plenty of beautiful architecture, you could spend a whole day just walking around enjoying the beautiful buildings. While walking around you also have to stop by San Martin Park. In this part you can find a market where you can buy anything and everything. You can find plenty of delicious street food, and you can even take a paddleboat out on a pound and get to know some swans. There are also quite a few interesting museums, we went to the Museum of High Altitude Archaeology. I highly recommend this museum. I learned a lot about the Inca culture.

Beautiful architecture in Salta, Argentina

While in Salta you also definitely have to make time to visit Cerro San Bernardo (San Bernardo Hill). It is a hill that is about 400 meters up, and it is definitely the best viewpoint in Salta. You can choose to either walk up or you can take a cable cart (the Teleferico), it coasts 500 pesos up and down. The hike is perfect if you are looking for a workout as you need to climb over 1000 steps to the top. If you are looking for a more relaxed entrance, you can enjoy the view from the Teleferico.

Day 3 – Drive from Salta to Tilcara – Start your Argentina road trip

Approximate drive time: 4 hours
Directions: Ruta 9
Road: Paved, but windy and narrow

You have two options for the drive to Tilcara, you can take the old Ruta 9 or you can take the new which is a highway. We opted for the old Ruta 9 because it is more scenic and interesting. I highly recommend it. The roads were in better condition than we expected. It was paved the whole way with no dirt roads. What makes this a more challenging drive is that the roads are narrow with plenty of hairpin turns. We just took it slow and steady and it went perfectly fine, there is no rush as the drive is not that long and the scenery is so beautiful that you do not want to rush through it anyways.

Mirador de Leon, lunchbreak on Argentina road trip

Experience the Atlantic rain-forest

The first part of the drive, which is over a mountain pass, is mostly through the Atlantic forest. Atlantic forest is a rainforest and one of the most diverse hotspots in the whole world. This is the perfect place to spot tons of unusual animals and plants. We saw mostly colorful butterflies, interesting birds as well as cows, horses and other farm animals. If you are lucky you could spot a sloth or maybe a tapir.

Atlantic rainforest in Salta

The second part of the drive is mostly highway, so great roads in great condition. Just because it is highway does not mean that this part will be boring though. After driving out of the forest you will drive through so many different, amazing, vast landscapes. We had one stop along the way to eat lunch at a viewpoint, Mirador de Leon, it was over-looking a dried-out river. Definitely a lunch with a view. The last hour of the drive was probably the most exciting as the scenery changed completely multiple times. We went from thick forests to amazing, dark green rolling mountains, to dry hot sand filled with cacti to bright red and orange mountains in such a short time. I have never seen views like this in my life. It really cannot be explained either by words or pictures.

Highway with a view on our northern Argentina road trip


We drove into Tilcara in the afternoon. Tilcara is a small town in Jujuy. It is located in the Quebrada de Humahuaca mountain valley which creates one of the most amazing backdrops and sceneries I have ever seen. The town is about 2500 meters above the sea, which means that altitude sickness is something you should be aware of. This was the first small town that we visited in Argentina and driving through the streets was an experience, it was also my first meeting with dirt roads, which did make it a whole lot more interesting. The town is cute and charming. Small houses made of clay and bricks, colorful street art and dogs everywhere.

Houses in Tilcara

We stayed at this Airbnb, which was a cute little house all the way at the top of Tilcara. From the outside, we had marvelous views of the mountains in every possible color. We decided to spend four nights in Tilcara which turned out to be the perfect amount of time for us.

Day 4 – Hike Quebrada de las Senoritas and view the Hornocal

For our first day, we decided to spend the morning hiking Quebrada de las Senoritas and the afternoon exploring Humahuca and the 14 colored mountain – the Hornocal.

Hiking Quebrada de las Senoritas

View from Quebrada de las senoritas in Jujuy

The hike starts from the town of Uquia. By car you drive about 30 km north from Tilcara, it should take about 30 minutes, as the roads are great. After turning into Uquia you drive through the town and follow the dirt road out back from the town. It is very easy to find. You can always also ask the locals who will be happy to help or if you have the app it can easily guide you to the parking for the hike.

The hike is relatively easy, it takes about 1.5 hours in total, but you should also plan to spend some time enjoying nature and view at the viewpoint. We spent about 45 minutes there, just exploring and enjoying the amazing scenery.

The scenery is amazing right from the start. Colorful mountains, incredible rock formations, and gigantic cacti. The trail is not marked and it is not always clear what is the trail. I recommend using and just checking every once in a while that you are on the right track. The hike itself is pretty easy, it is not steep. Though the heat and the altitude can make it a bit of a challenge. We tried to start as early as we could so that we would avoid the midday sun, and we also brought a lot of water. If you are not used to the altitude yet just make sure to stay hydrated and do not push yourself too hard. It’s okay to take your time. You do not want to rush through this spectacle scenery anyways.

View the red mountains in Jujuy on your Argentina road trip

Experience the quiet

The hike feels so remote, you can not hear any cars or sounds of cities. Make sure to take a few minutes to just enjoy the silence. When we went we hardly met any other people, and as far as your eye can see there is just nature and mountains. If you are lucky you might also spot some animals, we saw a snake during our hike.

The viewpoint itself was great, however, for me it was not the main attraction of the hike. The Quebrada de las Senoritas is a mountain in various colors, like black, grey, red and white and supposedly they look like women or female shape, we could not see it though. We spent quite a while exploring the area, climbing onto rock formations and the higher up we got the more amazing the views got, every time I did not think they could get better, and yet they did. The hike there took about one hour for us, and the hike back took about 30 minutes.

Quebrada de las senoritas hike in Jujuy

After the hike we got back to Uquia where we had empanadas at a small cute restaurant called Dona Lindia, the empanadas were TASTY.


From Uquia we drove further north to Humahuca, its only about a 20-minute drive. Our next destination was the Cerro de 14 colores (14 colored mountain) or Hornocal as it is better known as. While most people just visit the 7 color mountain in Purmacara, you should definitely try to fit in the Hornocal too on your itinerary for your Argentina road trip.

Hornocal - 14 colored mountain in Humahuca

When you enter Humahuca you will be stopped by some local guides, they will ask if you are going to the Hornocal and if you say yes, they will tell you that you should go with them because you need a four-wheel-drive or a higher car to drive there. We politely declined and kept on driving. We were also stopped once more and we just declined again and then we were on our way.

Driving to the Hornocal was an interesting experience. The drive is challenging but totally doable and the great views make it worth it. It was our first time driving on dirt roads for an extended period of time. It was about 30 km to get there from Humahuca, for us the drive took a bit more than one hour each way. We drove in between 20 and 30 km per hour for the most time.

Dirt roads to Hornocal from Humahuca

The drive is beautiful and driving on the sides of the mountains gives you views as you have never seen before. When you get close you pass an entrance where you have to pay about 50 pesos per car to enter, from here its only a few more minutes to the parking.

The view of the 14 colored mountain is unlike anything I have ever seen. I had seen pictures, but nothing is close to this view. The colors are so bright and vibrant, and I had no idea rocks and mountains could have this kind of color.


From the parking you can walk to a few different viewpoints, we did not do this because there was some rain that started to fall and we did not want to drive back on those dirt roads if it started to rain properly. However, if you have the opportunity you should definitely walk to the different viewpoints, they are easy to find and all marked. There is a bathroom at the top.


The Hormocal is it about 4300 meters above the sea. This means that you will most likely feel some altitude sickness and it also means that it is very cold. We all felt the altitude in that the air feels thinner, our eyes feel dryer, we felt pressure or pain in our heads, and if you try to run, jump or just walk a bit you feel very out of breath. Remember that altitude affects different people differently, some do not feel much while some get really sick. Always listen to your body, if it gets bad the best thing to do is find medical assistance or get lower. For us all the discomfort disappeared as soon as we descended, we did not have to defend far to feel it get better.

Driving back did go a bit quicker, as I was getting more used to and more comfortable on the dirt roads. Driving on them is mostly just annoying, more than difficult, you will get very annoyed and tired of the constant bumping. Still, always remember that it is ok to do it as slow as you want to, I have no count of the number of four-wheel cars that passed me on this road.

Driving back from Humahuca to Tilcara takes about 45 minutes, all on paved roads in great condition.

Day 5 – Visit Purmacara and 7 color mountain

This day we started out by driving about 30 km south from Tilcara to the town Purmamarca. This town is very popular among tourists, mostly because of the 7 color mountain. The 7 color mountain is a more popular version of the 14 color mountain from Humahuaca. This mountain is a lot easier to access and you also get a lot closer to the mountain. It is, however, a lot more touristy. I enjoyed visiting both and I would recommend the same as the offer very different views and experiences.

Purmacara 7 color mountain

In Purmacara we went up to two different viewpoints. One which gives a direct view of the 7 color mountain, it is a round rock formation straight in front of the mountain. This costs around 20 pesos per person and does get quite crowded. If you go during the sistea however it is usually very few people. Another viewpoint is one that gives a more general view of the area. You walk up to the left of the mountain in a sort of valley, at the top you can enjoy the view towards the town and also towards the scenery behind the mountain. Here you can also climb up on a large rock formation where you get an even better view.


After enjoying the view, we explored the city for a bit. It is a small city and very similar to Tilcara, though it is a bit more touristy. There is a great marked in the main square where you can buy beautiful, colorful souvenirs as well as plenty of warm clothes.

Garganta de Diablo

When we got back to Tilcara it was still pretty early so I had the idea that we should check out this waterfall I had heard about, Garganta de Diablo. We found it on and it was only a 7km drive (easy peasy). I was pretty used to driving on dirt roads at this point and did not think much of it until we started driving.

This road was really on the side of a mountain. Mountain on one side and straight down a cliff on the other. I am terrified of heights and I almost started crying quite a few times, the views are amazing though. At one point I got stuck in a hole and was too scared to drive on the side of the hole. So Mona had to get out of the car and try to fill the hole with rocks so I could drive through it. Having to pass cars was also not very fun for me. It was a very interesting experience for sure.

Garganto del diablo waterfall in Tilcara

However, after about one hour we got there. You get to a small parking lot and a little house where you buy your “tickets” for about 100 pesos per person. From there you walk down some very steep trails, down to the bottom of a gorge. Once at the bottom you hike for about 20 minutes to get to the waterfall. It is not the most impressive waterfall, but it is pretty and the scenery of the hike and drive is more amazing. I found walking in the bottom of the gorge to be the coolest part of this hike.

Day 6 – Explore Tilcara

On our fourth day we had considered driving to Iruya, but because of a lot of rain that night we knew it wouldn’t be possible, so we rather spent this day relaxing, sleeping in, packing and exploring a bit in Tilcara. It is important to take some time for relaxing in your itinerary when planning out your Argentina road trip.

Add Tilcara to your Argentina itinerary

We mostly just walked around in the city, looking at the market in the main square, exploring local shops and enjoying the town. There is a botanical garden you can visit, it was unfortunately closed when we went, but it looked beautiful from the outside. There is also a short hike you can do to a small mountain at the top of the city. You should also make time to visit Pucará de Tilcara, which is an archeological site with pre-Inca ruins. The ruins are located on a hill overlooking the Rio Grande de Jujuy which also makes it a great viewpoint.

Day 7 – Drive from Tilcara to San Antonio de los Cobres – Stop at SALINAS GRANDES

Approximate drive time: About 5 hours in total
Rutas: Ruta 9 to Ruta 52 till Salinas Grande. Ruta 38 or 40 to SA de los Cobres.
Road: Great and paved to Salinas Grandes and dirt roads from there til SA de los Cobres

High altitudes in Jujuy

We knew this was going to be a long day so we started early, and we were on the road around 9 in the morning. Heading to our first stop, the salt flats Salinas Grande. The drive is about 90km, and it took us about 2.5 hours. The roads are great but there are a lot of hairpin turns. This drive was great. There is a lot of beautiful scenery and views, and you still drive on well-paved highways. The drive takes you over a mountain pass that is about 4100 meters above the sea. At this mountain is where we first spotted Guanacos, llamas slender cousin.

Salinas Grandes – a must on your Argentina road trip

The Salinas Grandes is Argentinas version of Bolivias Uyuni. They cover about 215 square km, and they are located in both Salta and Jujuy. At the thickest, the salt can be as much as half a meter thick. Visiting the salt flats is something you definitely need to make time for in your Argentina road trip. It is an experience, unlike anything.

Salinas Grande in Argentina

Driving down the mountain we suddenly saw the salt flats form in front of us. They were huge, much bigger then I could have ever imagined. The highway cuts right through them, and you can pull over to a stop in the middle of the salt flats. From here you can go down onto the flats and explore them on your own. You can play with perspective and take fun photos. There are also some props laying around for this exact purpose. Walking around on the salt is such a weird experience, it just feels weird and wrong in a way to be walking on salt, and also amazing. ALSO, bring sunglasses, I cannot stress this enough, when you don’t have your sunglasses on you feel like you are going snowblind (saltblind?).

Salt flats

By the parking, there is a small market where you can buy lots of souvenirs, like salt llamas and stuff, and you can also just buy some salt. There is also a tourist information office there where you can book a “tour”. On the tour, you get to drive to the middle of the salt flats, and a guide comes with you. This tour lasts for about 45 minutes to one hour. It cost 400 pesos per car. You visit three different spots on the flats, and the guide explains to you how the salt flats were formed, and lots of interesting information about their culture and nature. It is only in Spanish though, but they have it written in English too so you can read it for yourself. The guide also helped us take some cool pictures.

Drive to San Antonio de los Cobres

From the salt flats, we headed towards San Antonio de los Cobres. Our plan was to take the Ruta 40, but we ended up taking Ruta 38. This drive was perhaps the most interesting of the whole road trip. It was 90km on dirt roads, it took us a bit over 3 hours, and we hardly saw any other cars on the whole drive. At some point, we were driving on wet mud and others just soft sand, but mostly on just extremely bumpy dirt roads, I was sure we were going to pop a tire, but luckily we didn’t. We drive past a few houses, but mostly just nature. We saw a lot of llamas, guanacos, donkeys, goats, and horses. These animals will never stop being cool to me, every time we drove past them I had to slow down and look at them.

A llama on the road

When we finally got to San Antonio de Los Cobres we were just so tired of dirt roads and also so ready for some food. San Antonio de Los Cobres is a small town mining about 3800 meters above the sea. The town is very cool, but also very weird (not in a bad way). The town does not offer that much for tourists, but it is still a town that is worth experiencing. It is located on the puna (the highlands of the Andes) and while it used to be a vibrant mining town it now feels more like a ghost town.

We did not have much time to explore this town because we were heading to Cachi the next morning, but this is a town that I wish I would have had a day to explore. There are some hiking opportunities as well as other activities like horseback riding.

A church

Altitude in SA de los Cobres

In SA de Los Cobres you definitely need to be aware of the altitude. Here we had to make a little stop by the hospital so I could get some extra oxygen. I had a terrible headache and just felt bad, and I quickly understood that it was the altitude. From Tilcara and other stops I already knew that the altitude hit me harder than the others. At the hospital they were great, I got a few minutes of oxygen and it helped me straight away. It was also free which was a plus. If you ever experience altitude sickness and you can not decent, I highly recommend stopping by a hospital and getting some extra oxygen.

Day 8 – Drive From San Antonio de Los Cobres to Cachi

Approximate drive time: 6 hours
Rutas: Ruta 51 and Ruta 33
Road: Paved, except a few parts at the end. Very windy and narrow close to Cachi.

Windy dirt roads

The main reason we went through San Antonio de los Cobres was that we wanted to drive through the Abra del Acay mountain pass along Ruta 40. This pass reaches over 5000 meters, and it is infamous for its difficult driving conditions. We were unfortunately not able to drive the pass because it had been raining in the previous days. If you are considering it you should ask at the tourist information and you should always follow their recommendations. They know the conditions and they know the roads.

Ruta 51 and 33 – Alternative to the Abra del Acay pass

Highways we met Argentina road trip

We, therefore, opted for the drive back towards Salta and then from there to Cachi. You just drive on Ruta national 51 until you reach the highway of Ruta national 68 where you take off to Ruta 33 towards Cachi. For the first half of this drive, you drive through high mountains and a very dry climate. So prepare for lots of cacti and gravel mountains. It’s a beautiful drive where the scenery changes a lot. You start out in dry climate then drive in the bottom of high valleys next to rivers, through thick jungle (at this part I spotted the biggest spider on the road that I have ever seen), head out into vast savannahs, and end up in a wine town.

Views of high altitude mountains

This drive is truly amazing. You also drive through Parque Nacional los Cardones, a national park of cacti. You will see plenty of cacti on this whole trip. So I did not think I was going to care much about a national cacti park, but wow. The amount of cacti here is just indescribable. The whole drive took us about 6 hours and it was our longest day on the road.

Roads on the side of mountains

Day 9 – Explore Cachi

We opted for spending one whole day in Cachi (two nights), but you could definitely stay here for a few more days. The one day we spent exploring the cute town, drinking wine and eating empanadas. In Cachi, there are plenty of wine farms you can visit and enjoy the wine and the view. Cachi felt very different from the small towns we visited further north in Jujuy. It was a bit lighter and brighter. The architecture is different, the houses are mostly white compared to the more orange or colorful houses in the north. The whole town is very cute, in the middle, there is a square where you can relax in the park or eat empanadas at one of the surrounding restaurants. Eating empanadas was one of my favorite things, food-wise, about our Argentina road trip.

Day 10 – Drive from Cachi to Cafayate

Approximate drive time: 6 hours
Rutas: Ruta 40
Road: Dirt roads, but wide and not windy

The drive from Cachi to Cafayate took us about 5 hours, including quite a few stops to enjoy the view. This was I think my favorite drive on the whole trip. The trip is mostly on dirt roads except for a paved area close to Cafayate.

Quebrada de las Flecas

My favorite part of this drive was the Quebrada de las Flecas which is a canyon you drive through. It is made of beige and white cliffs in unusual shapes. You will know straight away when you enter it. Everything changes and you wonder if you just entered an alternate universe. It is beautiful. We made one stop here, the Ventisqero, which is a viewpoint on the Quebrada de las Flecas. It only takes about 5 minutes to walk up and the view is breathtaking. Standing there in the Mars-like landscape in complete silence is amazing. You will know you are getting closer to Cafayate when you start seeing wine farms everywhere. On this drive, we also spotted a few green parrots, which I thought was amazing.

Quebrada de las Flecas - el Ventisqero

Day 11 to 13- Explore Cafayate

We had planned for four nights in Cafayate. Unfortunately, we had to cut it short because of the corona pandemic, therefore I do not have any personal suggestions for Cafayate. Our plans there were to spend one day horseback riding and to spend another exploring the wine farms. Cafayate is famous for great wines and great wine farms. For many, this town will be the highlight of their Argentina road trip. There are plenty of opportunities in Cafayate, no matter if you love good food and wine, an adventure or a relaxed hike in nature.

Day 14 – Drive from Cafayate to Salta

Approximate drive time: 4 hours
Rutas: Ruta 68
Road: Great

While we did not get to spend much time in Cafayate outside of our hostel, we did get to drive from Cafayate to Salta and experience some of the surrounding attractions and nature from there. The drive took us about 4 hours and we did make quite a few stops. The road is paved and really good for most of it, and driving this stretch was easy peasy.

Tres Cruces in Cafayate

We stopped at the Tres Cruces, which is a viewpoint overlooking the valley, el Amfiteatro and the Gargano, both are incredible rock formations. All of them are marked, and right by the main road. The most it took us to reach any of them was a five-minute walk. They are all stunning, and there are also a few others closer to Cafayate which you can stop at if you have the time.

Rock formations - Garganto

Would you ever do an Argentina road trip? What are must-sees in northern Argentina?


I am Maria, a 20 year old student. I am here to show you that traveling is possible for everyone, including you. I belive that traveling can be done in a lot of different ways and that you never have to limit.

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