ROAD TRIP NOA (North West Argentina)
Day 1: Transfer in – City tour / Mendoza – Executive Hotel
Your guide will be waiting for you at the airport to take you on a city tour of Mendoza. On this tour you will discover the history of this beautiful oasis city, enjoy the Plazas and learn about it´s rich history. The highlight of Mendoza is General San Martin Park, one of the largest urban parks in Argentina. The tour ends at the Cerro de la Gloria, where a stunning monument narrates the history of South American independence.
After the tour we will take you to your Hotel.
Day 2: Mendoza / Wine Tour (B/L) - Executive Hotel
After breakfast, a guide with expertise in wine will pick you up from the hotel, and you will head on your way to the most famous wineries in Lujan de Cuyo, cradle of the best Malbecs in the world. The guide will explain the origins of winemaking, our wine culture and the characteristics of the terroir. During the morning you will visit 2 traditional wineries, and after each visit you will taste their wines. The third winery we visit has a gourmet restaurant with a view of the Andes and the surrounding vineyards. Here you will enjoy a five-course lunch, each course paired with different wines from the winery. Then we will bring you back to your Hotel.
Day 3: Mendoza / San Juan – 180 km (B/L) – Hotel Del Bono Suites
We will depart from Mendoza and head north, following the legendary route number 40 to visit neighboring Province San Juan. This Province concentrates almost 21% of the Argentinean wine production. Upon arrival, we will embark on a San Juan city tour, including a tour and lunch at Bodega Graffigna. This winery is rich in history, and offers an interesting wine museum. You will complete your wine-tasting experience in San Juan during this lunch by tasting some of their best wines, paired with delicious dishes.
The rest of the day is free for leisure.
Day 4: San Juan / Villa Union – 497 km (B) – Hotel Cañon de Talampaya
We will depart early in the morning,and begin our journey to Ischigualasto Provincial Park. On the way, we will visit the “Difunta Correa” sanctuary, an important mythical figure in folk-religion, for which people feel a great devotion all over Argentina and Chile.
These two neighbouring parks (Talampaya & Ischigualasto), extending over 275,300 ha in the desert region on the western border of the Sierra Pampeanas of central Argentina, contain the most complete continental fossil record known from the Triassic Period (245-208 million years ago). Six geological formations in the parks contain fossils of a wide range of ancestors of mammals, dinosaurs and plants. No other place in the world has a fossil record comparable to that of Ischigualasto-Talampaya which reveals the evolution of vertebrate life and the nature of palaeoenvironments in the Triassic Period. Since year 2000, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ischigualasto is known as “Valle de la Luna” , literary, “The Moon Valley”. The name is given because of the extremely arid landscape, slowly drawn by rain and wind over millions of years. The whim of nature created wonderful rock formations such as The Worm, The Sphinx, The Mushroom, The Submarine and The Bowling Court.
Arrival and overnight in Villa Union.
Day 5: Villa Unión / Chañarmuyo Estate – 336 km (B/D) – Chañarmuyo Wine Resort
Departure from the Hotel to visit the Talampaya National Park.
Talampaya Canyon is the main tourist attraction in Talampaya National Park, receiving over 60,000 visitors every year. The 150-metre high reddish walls and the various geomorphologies (the Monk, the Tower, etc) make it a one-of-kind natural show, as well as the astonishing rock engravings called petro glyphs.
When the tour is over, we will continue towards Chilecito, across the “Cuesta de Miranda,” a colorful steep slope with great views. Chilecito is the wine capital of La Rioja Province and home of the wine cooperative “La Riojana.”
We will rest for the night in Chañarmuyo Wine Lodge, an exclusive wine hotel with winery, located close to the homonymous village. Dinner with wines and visit to the winery are included.
Day 6: Chañarmuyo / Tafi del Valle – 525 km (B) – Estancia Las Carreras
After breakfast, we will begin our drive to Catamarca, where we will have time for lunch (not included). Next we will continue on our way across the hills that separate Catamarca from Tucuman. This little province, called “The Garden of the Country,” shows a nice contrast between the arid Catamarca and the lush rainforest.
The way to Tafi del Valle is quite scenic as well, passing through a humid jungle, deep canyons and visiting a monument to the Indigenous. Close to Tafi del Valle, we will encounter “Parque de los Menhires,” an exhibition of pre-Columbian Menhir, or standing stones, some of which are more than 3 m high. Even though they have been relocated, it is still interesting to visit.
Tafi del Valle is a peaceful little town in the middle of the hills. It is ideal to relax after the long journey.
Day 7: Tafi del Valle / Cafayate: 135 km (B) – Cafayate Wine Resort
The morning is free for you to discover the wonderful Jesuit Estancia. There is the possibility of trekking, horseback-riding or learning about their cheese production. After lunch (not included), we continue our way into the Calchaqui Valley. Abra (mountain pass) Del infiernillo, 3042m.a.s.l, is the clear border between the humid hills and the arid mountains again. Shortly after passing Amaicha del Valle, we will arrive at the Quilmes Ruins, Argentina´s largest pre-Columbian archaeological site. Arrival and overnight in Cafayate.
Day 8: Cafayate (B/L) – Cafayate Wine Resort
Cafayate is a peaceful little village, located at 1700 m.a.s.l and is famous for its high altitude wines. During the day, we will visit 2 wineries and will have lunch at one of them. The reds are ink-intense, with great structure and unique personality. Torrontés, the only Argentinean variety, and best grown here, is sweet in nose, but dry and refreshing, and creates a surprising pairing with the traditional empanadas. These pastries filled with meat and spices are just unforgettable!
Day 9: Cafayate / Molinos / Cachi / Salta – 318 km (B) – Salta Design Suites
A spectacular scenic drive is ahead, with most of the road unpaved. A strange landscape of leaning formations creates the Quebrada de las Flechas (Arrows ravine). Molinos and Cachi are villages full of tradition and colors. Cachi mountain, with it´s imposing 6720m of altitude, is just 30 km away from the homonymous town.
Short after Cachi starts Los Cardones National Park, a 65.000ha. Natural Reserve created to protect the “cardon”, (Trychocerus pasacana), giant cactus that caracterizes this beautiful Argentinean region. The highest part of this Road is Piedra Del Molino, 3260m, and from here on, we descend 1000m trough the Cuesta del Obispo, one of the most breathtaking ascents in northwest Argentina. Arrival in Salta.
Day 10: Salta / Train to the Clouds (driving) / Purmamarca – 362 km (B) – Marques de Tojo
The Train to the Clouds, as this rail track is called, is a wonder of railroad engineering. It is the 3rd highest railway on earth, and takes 29 bridges, 21 tunnels and 13 viaducts to arrive at La Polvorilla. This 63 m high, 222 m long viaduct, located at 4200 meters, is one of the most famous and representative images of the Puna, the high-altitude plateau. Afterwards, we will continue up north, to the Great Salt Flats. The landscape is moving, the Salinas are as wide as it goes, immaculate white, desolated, just so silent. There is time to see the water pools (for extracting salt for commercial purposes), buy souvenirs carved out of salt and enjoy the unique landscape.
Just a few kilometers away, we will reach the highest point of our itinerary, at 4170 meters! And another memorable route, the Lipan Ascent, leads us trough 20 km of curves and slopes. Arrival and overnight in Purmamarca.
Day 11: Purmamarca / Tilcara / Salta – 232 km (B) – Design Suite Hotel
The first sunrays of the morning are the best to appreciate the beauty of the Cerro de los Siete Colores. Different minerals and substrates create in just one hill, the combination of 7 wonderful colors. After wandering around the Village, we continue to the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a 200km long network of Valleys. In 2003 Quebrade de Humahuaca was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site becuase of its 10,000 year age as a pre-Colombian settlement.
In Tilcara we visit the Pucará, a reconstructed pre-Columbian fortress, with a little museum and a very interesting high-altitude botanical garden, dedicated to local Flora.
On our way to Salta we admire the colors of La Paleta del Pintor (Pianter´s Palette) and Maimara cemetery.
Day 12: Salta / Transfer out (B)
After breakfast your driver will pick you up from you hotel and take you to the airport.
End of our services
For other dates, please contact us.
General Conditions: The proposed tours are organized with a minimum number of 4 passengers. The maximum capacity is 8 passengers. The price includes a bilingual French/English speaking guide. Meals included in the program are identified with the following letters:
B : Breakfast
L : Lunch
D : Dinner
The meals included are mentioned in the program. Any other meals or beverages not mentioned are not included and will be paid by each passenger.
The hotels are guaranteed until 40 days before departure date. After that, they are subject to availability.
Mendoza: Executive Hotel 4*, 02 nights, STD Room
Located in a residential area, in front of Italia Square, this hotel is located just a few blocks away from shopping centers and major tourist areas of the city. Executive Hotel with its elegant lobby, marble features and fine furnishings maintains a typical european style. Luxurious rooms, design features and comfort are its main characteristics, with 77 fully equipped rooms, including high technology and international level services, we offer our guests a unique experience during their business or leisure trips.
San Juan: Del Bono Suites, 4*, 01 night, STD Room
Strategically located in the heart of San Juan you will have walking access to the main commercial and banking district. The property offers 50 rooms, all well decorated and equipped in order to adapt fully to your special needs. For business or social trips, choose our impressive options. All the amenities at Del Bono Suites make for a memorable experience and a productive meeting.
Villa Union: Cañon de Talampaya, 4*, 01 night
At Cañón de Talampaya Hotel, every bedroom was carefully designed to give you a relaxing time, combining a country style with modern traits. Our 28 spacious rooms are meant to help you enjoy the mountain environment. The hotel restaurant offers an appealing menu including regional, vegetarian and classical dishes, as well as the best breakfast options. It is strategically located to enjoy the attractions in the area.
Chañarmuyo Wine Resort: 4*, 01 night
In the middle of a surprising and sublime landscape, is located Chañarmuyo Estate Winery and Lodge. A unique place with a distinct taste. in a magical, cousy and original place, with an environment that invites to live a unique experience. A boutique hotel to grasp the particular spirit of La Rioja, taste regional dishes, wander around the hills and regain energies after memorable visits to Famatina, Santo Domingo, Chilecito, Cuesta de Miranda or the Talampaya National Park.
Tafi del Valle: Estancia Las Carreras, 01 night
Viñas de Cafayate is located in Cafayate, 3 km away from the main square. It was built amidst a vineyard plantation at the foot of the impressive San Isidro Hill. The hotel has 12 rooms with door-windows from which you can access the gallery and enjoy a breathtaking view. The pool invites to contemplation of a unique landscape.
Salta: Design Suites, 4*, 03 nights – SUITE category
Located in front of the Belgrano Square, the Design Suites Salta offers a quiet atmosphere with modern design and facilities in the historical center of Salta. The stylish rooms have modern furniture and plenty of natural light, as well as free internet access among other facilities.
Purmamarca: Marques de Tojo, 3*, 01 night
Integrated in its mountain surroundings and designed in 7 colours, this modern boutique hotel offers spacious rooms and an outdoor pool. It is located 4 blocks from Purmamarca´s main square.
The air-conditioned rooms at Marqués De Tojo Hotel feature wooden floors. The natural colours used within the architecture also influences the rooms.
The vehicle is a Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van, with capacity for 14 people.
Due to climatic reasons, some unpaved (sometimes main routes for a few hours as well) roads might be closed or just too bad for the vehicle to pass. Driver or guide are allowed to decide an alternative route if safety or vehicle is endangered.
Some tours reach a very high altitude above the sea level. If you suffer altitude sickness, or if you have any medical condition that can be aggravated by the altitude, please let us know in advance.
Mandatory insurances are included (transported passenger).
Personal & Medical insurance is not included. Each passenger must show a valid insurance to start the tour.
Payment & Cancelation:
The tour must be paid 30 days before the departure date. Once paid, cancellation fees apply as described below:
Up to 2 weeks before tour starts: 50 % of total amount will be returned.
2 weeks before departure, just 10% will be returned, the rest will be charged as no show fee.
Feedback from our previous clients - Trip Advisor
We planned our trip to Argentina six months ago--before the volcano in Chile interrupted travel there. So, the day before our trip, we had to completely change our plans. I called Malbec Symphony and everyone really came to our rescue. They made all the arrangements for a new, two week itinerary: traveling to Iquazu Falls and then six days driving through the foothills of the Andes. Our driver and guide was a real pro and very enjoyable. I can't believe they pulled this off for us literally on one day's notice. And even though we couldn't do what we orignially wanted to, Malbec Symphony arranged wonderful hotels (including a stay at a 1600's era ranch), travel through the most amazing mountain passes, and tours that more than made up for our initial disappointment. And most of this way off the beaten path. You'll be more than satisfied if you put yourself in their hands.