Destinations:
Argentina
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TAO
14 Days Flight Inclusive
10 Days Land only
Min age: 18

Trip Overview

Travel to the northwest Argentinean provinces of Salta and Jujuy and encounter a wonderful and surreal Dali-esque land where nature bends the rules in truly breathtaking fashion. We drive along exquisitely picturesque roads, through cloud forests, salt flats, and colourful rock gorges in pursuit of some unique ‘off the beaten track’ walks. Combining a fascinating insight into Andean heritage with an active walking itinerary - what better way to discover the tranquil and lofty heart of South America?

At a Glance

2 daywalks and 4 shorter walks

Trip Highlights

Trek with llamas in the far north west of Argentina See the bizarre rock formations of Quebrada de Humahuaca Visit the Andean towns of Tilcara and Purmamarca Follow spectacular driving routes in Salta & Jujuy provinces Sample typical Andean cuisine and culture Start and end in lively Buenos Aires if booking Flight Inclusive package.

Is This Trip for You?

Activity Level: 3 (Moderate). Please see the introductory pages of the trekking holidays brochure or our website for more important information on classification and grading. The walks on this trip are not long in terms of distance but they are varied and interesting and showcase the region in all of it's natural glory. We experience some high altitudes throughout the trip, with the highest being at Salinas Grandes (3450m above sea level), but we sleep at a lower level in Tilcara. The itinerary covers quite a lot of ground and so it involves some long journeys, however this time spent on the road is a highlight in itself, as we follow some spectacular and dramtic routes and regulalrly stop for photo opportunities. Altitudes: Salta 1152 metres Cafayate 1683 metres Cachi 2210 metres Salinas Grandes 3450 metres Tilcara 2461 metres Purmamarca 2800 metres You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Adult min age:
18
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Salta; walking city tour.

    Flight inclusive bookings will have arrived into Buenos Aires on the previous day and been taken to the centrally located hotel by the guide. There is a short city walking tour and opportunity for an evening out exploring the city (famed for its tango and steaks), should you wish. Flight inclusive bookings include internal flights from Buenos Aires up to Salta today.

    Those booking ‘Land Only’ will make their own way to Salta and meet the other group members at the start hotel (Hotel del Convento - or similar) in the early afternoon. Upon arrival we will take a short walking tour of the city and visit some of the main sights.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 2

    Drive the 'Train to the Clouds' route to Salinas Grandes salt flats; to Tilcara.

    This morning our adventure into northwest Argentina begins as we leave the city behind and drive west to the high Andean plateau. Our route takes us along the spectacular ‘Quebrada del Toro’ as we follow the famous ‘Train to the clouds’ passage through ever-changing scenery up towards the Argentinean Puna. This region borders Atacama in Chile, and Uyuni in Bolivia to form the Andean plateau.

    We’ll stop for a short walk to explore the Incan ruins of ‘Santa Rosa de Tastil’ along the way, and continue onwards to the town of San Antonio de los Cobres for lunch. A speciality of this region is the ever-present empanadas which come in a host of varieties, coffee is also widely drank, as is the ubiquitous tradition of drinking yerba mate (herbal tea drink). From here it is a further 1 hour drive to arrive at the otherworldly landscape of ‘Salinas Grandes’ salt flat, a huge expanse of white and a wonderful sight to behold.

    Our journey continues on yet another spectacular road to the town of Purmamarca - ‘Cuesta de Lipan’ winds its way downwards and offers simply stunning vistas en route. The next stop is our destination for the night, the small town of Tilcara, with its Adobe houses and indigenous population.

    Important note regarding what to pack:

    Today we cross the province border between Salta and Jujuy. Due to local regulations we aren’t permitted to carry our main luggage in our private bus across the border, so instead we will leave our main bags in the hotel in Salta and just carry what items we need for the time that we stay in Tilcara (2 nights, 3 days).

    Walking approx. 2km; duration 1 hour; max. altitude 3,800m
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 2 km / 1 miles
  • Day 3

    Day trek on pilgrim route with llamas from Tilcara in La Quebrada de Humahuaca.

    After breakfast we will meet up with our local guide who will take us walking in the mountains surrounding Tilcara. This is a unique experience not only because of the incredible surroundings, but also because we will be accompanied by a caravan of llamas that our guide regularly walks with in the mountains.

    We will trek on a trail traditionally used by pilgrims at Easter time, to arrive at a place called Zanjas at around midday. Here we will meet members of the local community, the Martinez family, with whom we will share a traditional lunch. The terrain can be quite rough and we will go at a slow pace because of the altitude. Located at 3,000 metres above sea level, the area around Zanjas contains numerous natural sites of interest such as waterfalls and multi-coloured rock formations, in addition to archaeological sites that we can explore during the afternoon. It takes another 2 hours of walking to arrive back at Tilcara in the early evening.

    There are several good restaurants to choose from in the evening, all within walking distance of the hotel.

    Walking approx. 16km; duration 8 hours; max. altitude 3,000m
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 15 km / 9 miles
  • Day 4

    Visit Pukara de Tilcara ruins; transfer to Salta.

    This morning is free to explore the town of Tilcara, and you’ll have the option of joining the tour to visit the nearby ‘Pukara de Tilcara’ remains of a pre-Incan fortification. Optional excursions such as mountain biking can be booked in the town. In the afternoon we will drive back to Salta. Weather permitting we will split this journey with a short 30 minute walk.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 3 km / 1 miles
  • Day 5

    To Quebrada de las Conchas; trek with local guide; transfer to Cafayate.

    Today we drive south into the province of Salta and meet another local walking guide in ‘Quebrada de las Conchas’ where we will undertake a fascinating trek to discover the geological wonders of the area, pausing for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon we continue south to the town of Cafayate where we will spend the next two nights. The region is renowned for its vineyards and Cafayate is a lively and interesting town that acts as an ideal base in which to stay.

    Walking approx. 6km; duration 4 hours; max. altitude 1,700m
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 6 km / 3 miles
  • Day 6

    Free day in Cafayate; optional activities.

    Today is a free day so it is up to you whether or not to spend the time relaxing with a glass of wine, strolling around Cafayate or doing an activity. There are several options available to book locally including a cycling tour of local bodegas or a relaxing massage at a spa.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Drive spectacular route to Cachi via Molinos and Seclantas.

    Departing Cafayate we travel north on Ruta 40, the picturesque road that wriggles down the full length of Argentina. Our destination is the town of Cachi. Along the way we will make various stops at points of interest to discover some of the cultural heritage of the area in addition to making some short walks.

    After passing Angastaco, we’ll stop for lunch in ‘Finca El Carmen’ a beautifully situated family property in a lush green valley surrounded by swathes of mesmerising rock formations. Further up the road we reach Molinos and a village famous in Argentina for producing ponchos as well as other handicrafts. Here is a great opportunity to buy quality handmade products direct from artisans. We spend the next three nights in Cachi.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 8

    Short walk to Cachi Adentro; lunch at winery; free afternoon.

    Today we’ll have a late start and then go on a short walk to Cachi Adentro. We’ll visit a small boutique winery and have lunch. In the afternoon we’ll return to the town of Cachi and have a free afternoon.

    Walking approx. 3km; duration 2 hours; max. altitude 2,500m
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 3 km / 1 miles
  • Day 9

    Trek to Finca La Paya; boutique winery visit; free time in Cachi.

    Today we will go on a 5 hour trek from Cachi to a place called Finca La Paya. Here we will enjoy a superb lunch and be given a personalised tour by the host Virginia of her boutique winery that is also on the premises. It is quite likely that you’ll want to buy a bottle or two after tasting it, so be sure to remember to bring some money with you on the walk just in case! In the afternoon we return to Cachi and there is some free time for an extra walk in the surrounds hills next to the town, or to simply relax.

    Walking approx. 11km; duration 5 hours; max. altitude 2,500m.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 11 km / 6 miles
  • Day 10

    Stunning driving route down Cuesta del Obispo; End Salta.

    After breakfast we will drive to Salta Airport along the incredible ‘Cuesta del Obispo’ road, with photo opportunities aplenty. Depending upon timings, we will stop for a short walk in either Valle Encantado or Cachi Adentro, and have lunch in Sala de Payogasta.

    The trip ends for those booking Land Only in Salta, and Flight Inclusive bookings include the internal flight back to Buenos Aires.

    Those booking Flight Inclusive will arrive back in Buenos Aires this evening and there is time for a final night out in the city should you wish. The trip ends tomorrow with a transfer to the airport for the onward international flight to London.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels

Those booking 'Flight Inclusive' will have a night in Buenos Aires at the beginning and end of the tour staying in a well-located hotel in the Retiro district of the city.

In Salta we stay in a wonderful old property in the city centre. All properties are mid-range with en suite facilities.

Single supplement from £570 land only (from £670 flight inclusive)

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and 6 lunches included

Transportation

Internal flights from Buenos Aires to Salta are included for Flight Inclusive bookings only. We use a private minibuses for the rest of the tour.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

From November to February is the warm season in this region of Argentina and thunderstorms can occur. The cold seaon is June to August. Our departures are scheduled in April/May where the average daytiime temperature is about 22 Degrees Celcius, and in September/October when the average is around 25 Degress Celcius. It is a very pleasant and dry climate and we should encounter good conditions for walking. Temperatures can drop quite a lot at night time because of the altitudes.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Salta
Location end:
Salta

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Second smaller bag (separate to your main luggage) Daypack Warm jacket Waterproof jacket and trousers (just in case) Good walking boots with ankle support Sun hat Strong UV protection sunglasses Sun protection Water bottle (2 litre) Important note regarding what to pack: When we depart Salta and travel to Tilcara (day 2 of the Land Only itinerary) we cross the province border between Salta and Jujuy. Due to local regulations we aren’t permitted to carry our main luggage in our private bus across the border, so instead we will leave our main bags in the hotel in Salta and just carry what items we need for the time that we stay in Tilcara (2 nights, 3 days).

Optional Equipment

Gloves Walking poles Swimsuit

Practical Information

Passport

Argentina

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Argentina

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay.

No visa required for holders of British passport.

If you are crossing the border into Argentina from Chile on your trip, we will need to know your profession in order to provide when entering Argentina.

The Argentine government charges a reciprocity fee which applies to Canadian and Australian citizens. The amounts are as follows: Australians - US$100 (multiple entry) Canadians - US$75 (single entry) This fee must be paid before you enter Argentina. For full details, and to make the payment, please visit: https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Argentina

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Argentina with an update to the Health section – an outbreak of Hantavirus has been reported in Epuyén, Province of Chubut in southern Argentina; for more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers in Argentina, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim.

Dengue fever is also a known risk in Argentina. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Due to a recent outbreak of Yellow Fever in the Misiones province of Argentina, vaccinations are strongly recommended if you intend to visit the Iguazu Falls.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Argentina's Timezone:
America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires -03 (GMT -03:00)

Electricity

Argentina's Electricity:

220 volts

Batteries can be recharged in all the hotels. In Argentina electricity is 220 volts and it is easy to buy an adaptor at the airport or in Buenos Aires if needed.

Money

Argentina's Currency

The Argentine Peso is the currency of Argentina with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 46 to the UK£ and 35 to the US$.

ATM Availability

It is possible to change traveller's cheques but this is becoming more difficult and time consuming and can also attract a commission of 3-6%. They do however offer security and can usually be replaced quickly if lost or stolen. ATMs supporting major credit cards are easily accessible in Buenos Aires, Salta and Cafeyate.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

We recommend that you take most of your spending money in US Dollars cash, since Sterling and Euros are hard to change and the rates of exchange are likely to be poor. It is always wise to have some local currency for buying meals, snacks, incidentals etc. There are exchange facilities at Buenos Aires airport, and we recommend changing some money on arrival. Your tour leader will give you more information on exchanging currency as you go along, but do bear in mind that exchange facilities can be limited particularly as at times you'll arrive or leave an area outside of banking hours. Torn, damaged or marked bills can be refused so please make sure all your notes are clean and no too old. Please note that any leftover Argentine Pesos at the end of the trip cannot be changed back to Dollars so only change the amount that you are likely to spend.

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus. Although tipping is entirely discretionary, we recommend an allowance of US$50 for your local leader.

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.