Enchanted Valley, Los Cardones National Park & Andean Weavers
Voyage (1 day)

Andes canyons, Quilmes Indian ruins, Las Conchas river, Ceramic artists of San Carlos (1 day)
Cave Paintings of the Diaguita Indians, Cabra Corral Dam, Condor & Falcon Adventure
Train to the Clouds, Tilcara ruins, Tropical Forest Adventure (2 days)


After breakfast, you will depart from Chicoana, through the subtropical region, rising from an elevation of 4,000 ft. through the colorful Valley Encantado, (Enchanted Valley) to the the top of Cuesta del Obispo at 11,873 ft. This is the main entrance to Los Cardones National Park. Here you will spend time hiking and exploring the park, named for the giant candelabra cacti, (cardones) that can live to be one thousand years old.

Next you will continue on to the scenic Colonial town of San Jose del Cachi, featuring an 17th century church whose ceiling, alter and confessional are crafted from the interior of the cactus. You will also visit the Rio Pablo Dia Museum of Archeology. Lunch is prepared at Juan's Inn where you can sample scrumptious empanadas and eye watering hot sauce!

After lunch, you will continue on to Seclantas and visit the Centro de Artesiana shops with the highlight of a visit to a After breakfast, you will depart from Chicoana, through the subtropical region, rising from an elevation of 4,000 ft. through the colorful Valley Encantado, (Enchanted Valley) to the the top of local weavers studio. Weavers in this high Andes region produce fine quality llama wool tapestries, rugs, blankets, scarves and ponchos. The serene setting of this Colonial settlement evokes the feeling of having stepped back in time. After this visit you will return to home base in Chicoana with time to relax before dinner.



 

 

 

After breakfast the day's adventure begins by driving south through the Lerma Valley to enter the Calchaquies Valley. The rivers of the Andes have carved the deep canyons, exposing the multicolored strata. Your guide will lead a hike in the canyons and discuss the geological history of the spectacular sedimentary rock formations.

Traveling on towards Cafayate you will pass fragrant peppermint farms. The town of Cafayate is famous for it's sunny dry climate and the highest vineyards in the world. Special arrangements can be made to visit the 17th Century wine cellars to taste the local wines. One of the most popular is the torrentes, a white grape.

After a traditional Gaucho style barbecue on the banks of the Rio Del Las Conchas the tour continues on to the ceramic artist community of San Carlos. Continuing south to the province of Tucuman you will arrive at the pre-Hispanic ruins of the 1000 AD Quilmes Indian. This is the best restored archeological site in Argentina revealing a complex urban settlement that once house 5000 people. Your guide's rich archeological background will bring the ruins and it's people to life for you. Returning to Chicoana, you will be back in time for dinner and a glass of Argentine wine.

 


 


 

 

After Breakfast you depart Chicoana and travel southeast through the Lerma Valley to Cabra Corral Dam, the largest reservoir in northwest Argentina. This subtropical region offers the opportunity for viewing wild life such as pumas, condors and falcons.

From the main road you will cross the wild Rio Juramento to the highland painted caves of Guachipas. These prehistoric cave paintings have been declared cultural treasure by the United Nations. Nine individual caves preserve this fascinating link to the past. Diaguita Indians who still inhabit the region offer current and local folklore interpretations and often join in the afternoon lunch under the large shade trees. Returning later in the afternoon you will have free time to explore Chicoana on your own or go for a refreshing swim at the inn before dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


 

 

 



D
ay 1. After breakfast you travel the route of the famous Train to the Clouds along the impressive valley Quebrada del Toro, making frequent stops as you climb to a 11,325 ft. elevation, arriving at the historic copper mining town of San Anonio del los Cobres. This spectacular high Andes town was also home to the Calchaquies and Incas.

Lunch will be served at a traditional native restaurant. The trip continues on Argentina's longest road, route 40, which runs from the Bolivian border, through the Puna and the large salt lakes, to the most southern point of the country. After crossing a 12,000 ft. high pass, you will travel down the spiral-like route of Cuesta de Lipan to the valley of Purnamarca. The night will be spent in Tilcara the gateway town offering panoramic views of the Tilcara ruins.

Day 2. The ruins are an easy stroll from the center of town and after breakfast your guide will lead an interpretive tour of the ruins and the nearby botanical gardens which features indigenous plants of the Andes.

Late morning you will continue to the province of Salta, returning to subtropical vegetation you will visit a tropical forest and lagoon. Lunch will be the catch of the day , fished from the lagoon. The rest of the day will be spent exploring the historic city of Salta, ending with a traditional dinner of Empanadas, humitas and tamales and a selection of regional wines. You return to the Inn in Chicoana.