The following is a summary of what to do for one week in Northern Argentina. Where to go, what to eat, what to see, and where to stay!
The summer of my sophomore year in college, I did a six week Summer Abroad program through my college. 4 of the weeks we were based in Córdoba, and the other 2 weeks entailed a road trip to spend one week in Northern Argentina in addition to 1 week in Buenos Aires.
This trip was completely life-changing for me. I never could have anticipated how much I would love this country and I learned so much about the Argentinian culture that gave me a new perspective on life. It was an amazing opportunity to practice my Spanish while enjoying the stunning scenery of the Northern Argentina landscape. I cannot recommend this trip enough to anyone considering spending One Week in Northern Argentina, and sharing a full summary of our entire tour.
One Week in Northern Argentina Itinerary Overview:
Includes stops through Tucumán, Tafi del Valle, Cafayate, and Salta
- Day 1) 8 hour overnight drive from Córdoba to Tucumán
- Day 2) Rio de La Sosa, Tafi del Valle, La Granja Ecologica
- Day 3) Quilmes Ruins, Pachamama Museum, Ampimpa Observatory
- Day 4) Finca Las Nubes Winery, Quebrada de las Conchas, Antifeatro, Los Castillos, Arrive in Salta
- Day 5) Full day in Salta: Cathedral, San Francisco’s Church, Museum of High Altitude Archaeology of Salta, La Peña
- Day 6) Drive back to Córdoba
There are 3 ways you can get to Tucumán from Córdoba:
A resource for transportation options can be found here.
Note that our group traveled via a charter bus for the entire trip. Our first departure left Córdoba at midnight for an overnight drive to arrive at Tucumán.
I would recommend traveling via bus/car as it is far more affordable and the views along the way are stunning and will be missed via plane.
8:00am: Arrive in Tucumán for breakfast. We just ate at a YPF Service Station for convenience. Depart for Quebrada de los Sosa which is about an hour drive away.
For the best view of the river, head to el Mirador del Rio which can be found in Monteros “en el kilómetro N° 20 de la Ruta Provincial 307”
Quebrada de Los Sosa
9:30am: Stop to explore el Mirador del Rio de Los Sosa
How to get there: For the best view of the river, el Mirador del Rio can be found in Monteros “en el kilómetro N° 20 de la Ruta Provincial 307”
The river is tropical, lush, and green and you can walk around on the rocks with many opportunities to snap photos. We were surprised by how tropical this area was as we envisioned Argentina to be more desert like.
Drive by “El Indio” Monument close to the town and market. Make sure to explore the markets to snag some local souvenirs. We all snagged some llama keychain souvenirs and llama socks!
El Indio Address: Calle Provincia de Santa Fe 307, San Miguel de Tucumán T4000ENG Argentina
Tafi del Valle
Lunch in Tafi del Valle at Estancia Los Cuartos, a bed and breakfast hotel with an in-house cheese factory. The estancia is over 200 years old and even welcomes you with some llamas outside!
How to get there: Leaving downtown Tafí del Valle, follow Critto Avenue up to estancia Los Cuartos.
Estancia Los Cuartos
Jesuit Historical Museum:
Explore Tafi del Valle and visit the Jesuit Historical Museum. The building was once a church and a governor’s home (WARNING there may not be English tours as all of ours were in Spanish). The price to enter is around 20/30 pesos to explore. Although this wasn’t my favorite tourist activity in the area, it is worth swinging by for a bit to explore (especially if interested in Jesuit history)! Then you can move on with your visit!
La Granja Ecologica (Ecological Farm):
By far one of my favorite parts of the trip. This ecological farm is owned by Cristina and Roberto. Their lifestyle is guided by the Earth Goddess “Pachamama” and they live off their land growing fruits, vegetables, teas, and herbs for daily use. Upon arrival you’re greeted with multiple llamas to feed and pet, horses, and breathtaking views of the mountains. The farm is high altitude and is 2,400 meters above sea level.
Hours: Open everyday from 8am to 7pm. Duration of visit generally lasts around 35-45 minutes.
Cost: 8 pesos for adults, 4 pesos for kids 9 and younger. There are also option to go horse back riding for a minimum of an hour. Cost to horseback ride is 30 pesos.
Address: Granja Ecológica Guiados por la Pachamama
Ruta 307 Kilómetro 68, (4137) , Tafí del Valle, Tucumán
Reservations: Call 0381 156092934 or 0381 3070364 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to Stay
We stayed at Hosteria Lunahuana and ate dinner in Tafi. The hotel has wifi and comes with a free breakfast. Prices range in the $50-65 range per night.
Address: Av. Gdor. Critto 540, T4137 Tafí del Valle, Tucumán, Argentina
Morning: We left early towards Amaicha Del Valle from Tafi to explore the Quilmes Ruins. Along the way you will pass views of cactuses along with the largest cactus which they nicknamed “El Abuelo” to snap some pics. The scenery was absolutely beautiful so allow yourself time to stop to enjoy the views!
Ruinas de Quilmes (Quilmes Ruins):
We continued on to explore las Ruinas de Quilmes, the largest Pre-Columbian archaelological site in Argentina. The Quilmes people lived here from about 800 AD to 1667 and is believed that up to 5k people lived at the site at its peak. Settlers were eventually forced to relocate to a province in Buenos Aires. We arrived to a large mound of rocks pictured below (on the left) to make an offering to mother earth (la madre tierra). We then hiked up to the top which has amazing views of the ruins and mountains! Wear layers as you will warm up during the hike.
Recommended Duration: 2-3 hours
Address: Ruta Nacional 40 Cerro Alto El Rey A 20 Km de Amaicha Del Valle
Stop for lunch in Amaicha del Valle and then continue on the explore Museo Pachamama in the afternoon.
The Museo de la Pachamama was a quirky spot highlighting aboriginal culture designed by self-taught painter and sculptor Hector Cruz. The museum is divided into four rooms to explore local stone and mineral collections, models of indigenous houses, clothing, musical instruments, paintings, and tapestries. The entire museum was full of large sculptures made of stone and surrounded by local cacti such as the massive table pictured below (top left) and the sculpture (top right) upon entering the museum. Many of the formations created were designed to worship the Pachamama or Mother Earth.
- 9am-12p Sunday
- 8:30am-6:30p Mon-Sat
Duration: 1-2 Hours
Address: Amaicha del Valle San Miguel de Tucumán, Ruta Provincial 307 km 118, T4137 Amaicha del Valle – Tucumán, Argentina
We continued on to the Ampimpa Observatory for the night high up in the mountains and 2,500m above sea level. Upon entrance there is a sign that reads “A window to the Universe.” The tour consisted of a geology walk, a lecture under the open sky, and star observations with their main telescope. The views were beautiful at the top and seeing the stars at night was an experience unlike any other with such a clear sky that typically is covered with light or air pollution in the city.
Address: Ruta Provincial 307 Kilómetro 107.5, T4137 Ampimpa, Tucumán, Argentina
Where to Stay:
Continue the drive towards Salta and stay overnight at Hotel Altalaluna located in Cafayate. The hotel is voted as Traveler’s Choice on Trip Advisor and the price can range from ~$80-160 per night depending on time of year. It comes with a pool, free wifi, a gym, and free breakfast. The pictures below show how tranquil and beautiful the hotel is!
Address: Km 4326, RN 40, A4141 Tolombon, Salta, Argentina
Bodega Finca de Las Nubes (Local Winery):
Start the day exploring the Finca de Las Nubes Vineyard which produces the white Torrontes wine along with some of the most picturesque views. Make sure to dress nice as you will want to get some photos with the stunning backdrop. The tasting includes 4 wines with options to purchase empanadas and picada platters from the kitchen. Email email@example.com with subject “Consulta Especial Turismo en Finca Las Nubes” to coordinate tours.
Hours: Open 10am-7p daily. Tours last 30-40 minutes with the last tour ending at 6pm.
Address: Camino del Divisadero s/n, Cafayate
Quebrada de las Conchas
Continue the scenic drive towards Salta passing through the “Quebrada de las Conchas” which contain some incredible rock formations including los Castillos, Garganta del Diablo, and el Anfiteatro. The formations were carved out by the Rio de Las Conchas over millions of years to create what we now see today. We pulled over to take time to walk around el Anfiteatro and per tradition made an offering to La Pachamama (Mother Earth).
El Anfiteatro Los Castillos
Where to Stay:
Arrive in Salta for the evening and stay at Hotel Del Antiguo Convento. This hotel is voted as Travelers’ Choice 2020 for Salta and prices can range as low as $35 per night. The hotel is an old recycled house which gives the colonial vibes with modern amenities. The location is perfect and within walking distance of all the main sites within the city. Comes with WiFi.
Address: Calle Caseros 113, Salta A4400DMC Argentina
The last full days to explore spent in the beautiful European-like town of Salta! The following are the main attractions to explore:
The Main Square
Walk around and explore The Cabildo (Town Hall), the Archbishop’s Palace and Cathedral all in the main square. The Cathedral was one of my favorite sights to see with baroque architecture, pink walls and beautiful cream detail in the heart of the city like many other European settlements across Latin America. The Cathedral is hard to miss and can be found at España 558, A4400 Salta, Argentina.
San Francisco’s Church
The San Francisco Church is hard to miss in Salta, and is one of the iconic postcard photos you will see in the city with a baroque style with red and yellow colors. The church was originally built in 1600 and has since then been reconstructed over the years.
Address: Córdoba 33, A4400 Salta, Argentina
San Bernardo’s Church & Convent
The convent is the oldest building in Salta and not open to the public. The nuns have a vow of silence and will not speak to visitors. There is a small gift shop and an opportunity to send you requests to the nuns to pray for you. I enjoyed exploring other parts of Argentina more than the convent, but it is a close walk from the plaza and worth strolling by.
Address: Calle Caseros 83, Salta A4400DMA Argentina
La Viña Church
Don’t miss another one of Salta’s beautiful churches on the outskirt of the city (still within walking distance) with a blue and pink color scheme. There are over 400 reviews on Trip Advisor on this stunning church and is well worth the visit and also lights up at night.
Address: Alberdi 485, A4400 Salta, Argentina
Explore the Salta Crafts Market (Mercado Artesenal Tradicional), the country’s first craft market which opened in 1968. TheWe loved exploring the regional handcrafts and artisanal products to admire or purchase as souvenirs. Some products you can expect to find include silver jewelry, mate, bombillas, and a variety of clothing with some made from alpaca. They are open from 9am-9pm. Across the street you can find Andean products such as ponchos, hats, etc. They accept pesos, USD, or credit card.
Address: Av. San Martín 2555, Salta, Argentina
Museum of High Altitude Archaeology of Salta
The MAAM is a MUST SEE. I found the museum incredibly fascinating to explore with rich history and well preserved items. The museum allows you to explore Inca history and traditions with a chance to see one of the preserved sacrificed Llullaillaco Children at the end of the tour. The children were buried over 500 years ago as part of a religious sacrifice with their bodies preserved due to the altitude and climate. The museum is located on the main square of Salta and costs $100 Argentine Pesos ($7.25 USD) to enter.
Address: Bartolomé Mitre 77, A4400 Salta, Argentina
Take a ride up the Teleferico Gondola to see a stunning view of the entire city. It only costs $500 Argentine pesos round-trip. You can hang out at the top and grab some food and drinks or snap your pictures and head back down once ready! Definitely a must for the photographer persona.
Address: Av. San Martín 4400, A4400 Salta, Argentina
Dinner at a local “Peña” in Salta called Peña Panadería del Chuña. A peña is a dinner with a folkloric show and the food was very traditional Argentinian cuisine. The show was a bit much at times but overall we had a great time and was fun to explore the cultural side of Argentina. The show costs 600 Argentinian pesos with a 210 service fee.
Address: Balcarce 446 y 475, Salta A4400EJI Argentina (.3 miles from Cathedral)
Head back to your home destination either as an overnight trip from Day 6 or as a day trip on Day 7. Our one week in Northern Argentina was coordinated with Patagonia Adventures which 10/10 would recommend!
- Phone/Fax: (831) 726-0859
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.patagoniaadventures.com
I hope you enjoyed this one week in Northern Argentina itinerary and get to explore this beautiful country that I fell in love with during our trip. Please be sure to reach out below or shoot me a message on @thefitdelish if you have any questions at all!
PS: If you enjoyed this one week in Northern Argentina itinerary be sure to check out my post covering A Perfect 24 Hours in Guanajuato, Mexico!